Thrive Market Review: Is It Worth the Cost of Membership?

Eating healthy is expensive. There’s no doubt about that. No matter what anyone says. We have to pay more for high quality food. I have found ways to make healthy eating more affordable, and I’m really excited to tell you about a new discovery that can help us all save lots of money on our groceries! If you’re like me, you’ve heard of Thrive Market, but have yet to really give it a serious look to see if it can really save you money. This article contains my complete Thrive Market Review, and answers the question is it worth the cost of membership. (note: it totally is)

Thrive Market Review

The Good & The Bad 

Before we dive into Thrive, I want to be upfront, so full disclosure, I am an affiliate for Thrive Market. This means they will pay me a fee for any new members I refer. My claim to fame here at ImSimplyaDad.com is my transparent and honest information. I would not recommend a product or service that I believe to be subpar. You can trust the information here to be objective, and you will find both the advantages and disadvantages of Thrive Market.

First Things First

Let’s start out by answering the 2 questions that’s likely already on your mind. Is it worth the yearly membership fee and will I save any money? Yes and Yes!!! Based on my current spending, I will save nearly $100 every single month, which is over $1,000 a year, so yes the $60 membership fee is totally worth it.

That being said, everyone’s situation is different, so take a look at this in depth Thrive Market Review and see for yourself.

 

Thrive Market Review

Thrive Market Review 

What is Thrive Market

Thrive Market is an online retailer with thousands of product options. You can think of them as a Whole Foods type store, but without a physical store front. Although, if you think of them in this way, you’d actually be doing them a disservice as they offer so much more than Whole Foods or other natural grocers.

Of course, they have non-perishable grocery items, but they actually have a whole assortment of products. I was very surprised by the vast array of products they have.

Their official categories on their website include:

  1. Food
  2. Beauty, Bath, and Body
  3. Home
  4. Health
  5. Babies & Kids
  6. Pet Supplies

Again, that doesn’t really give you an idea of the selection they offer. Here are some of the more detailed categories I was surprised to find at Thrive Market:

  • Vitamins & Supplements
  • Sun & Bug
  • Make Up
  • Diapers
  • Lunch Boxes
  • Toys
  • Cleaning Products
  • Food Storage
  • Bedding
  • Yoga
  • Fermentation Kits
  • Pet Supplies

As you can see, the variety of items they offer go far beyond non-perishable grocery items. All their products are environmentally friendly and all foods are GMO free and you can find tons of organic options as well.

Thrive Market Review 

Who is Thrive Market Best For?

Not everyone will benefit from a Thrive Market membership. If you would rather spend $1 on vegetable oil than $10 on avocado oil, then Thrive Market is not for you. Thrive is only for the people who are so committed to their family’s health that they are willing to pay extra for high quality food.

Thrive Market prices are better than those of Whole Foods, but they will likely never beat the highly processed convenience foods you find at Walmart or your local grocery chain.

In my opinion, Thrive is for 3 groups of people all of whom are dedicated to their health. They’re willing to spend a little extra for wholesome food, but at the same time, looking for ways to reduce their food bill.  These 3 groups are:

  1. Planners and Savers
  2. Small Town Healthy Families
  3. Poor Souls without a Local Costco

    I wish I joined years ago!!! I'm now saving almost $100/month on my Paleo & GFCF groceries from Thrive Market. Here is my complete Thrive Market Review.

1.) Planners and Savers

Because Thrive is an online retailer, you have to do a little bit of planning to make sure you don’t run out of pantry staples. You can’t run out of something and just go buy it that day. You’d have to wait until your next Thrive order.

I recommend you place one Thrive order for the entire month (or at least 2 weeks). This will allow you to capitalize on the free shipping for orders of $49 or more. If you do this, then you’ll have to learn how to ration or save the food so that it lasts the month. (or however often you order)

This will be the most difficult challenge for our family. My wife tends to be more liberal when we have an abundance of food in the house. She serves up larger portions and typically gives the kids more snacks the first couple of days after grocery shopping. We will have to figure a way around this because the savings from Thrive is just too good.

If you plan on just ordering one or two items at a time, it may not be worth the membership fee and the shipping costs. Amazon Prime may be a better choice for you, and you’d get free 2-day shipping. (We love Amazon Prime too!)

2.) Small Town Healthy Families

For the small town family, Thrive may be the only option for high quality groceries and clean products for the bath and body. Sure, there is Amazon, but I found the prices at Thrive far better than Amazon.

3.) Poor Souls without a Local Costco

I feel bad for the folks without a local Costco. It saves an insane amount of money on clean, organic groceries. When I calculated what my monthly food costs would be if I did not have a Costco, it went up over $100 a month. Costco is actually my main source of groceries, and I drive 80 minutes every week just to shop at Costco. If you fit in this category, first off, I’m sorry. That’s a bummer. Good news though, you can now start saving with Thrive Market!

 

Thrive Market Review

Pro and Con List

Here is your classic pro and con list. In my opinion, there are 4 pros and 4 cons. The pro column weighs heavier than the con for me, but take a look and make your own choice.

PROS CONS
Lower Prices Up Front Cost
Quality Ingredients Requires Planning
Special Diet Friendly Shipping Speed
Huge Variety Only Non Perishables

Thrive Market Review: Disadvantages

Membership Fee

Let’s get the negative stuff out of the way first. The most obvious disadvantage of Thrive Market is the $59.95 membership fee. It works out to only $5 a month, but you have to pay for the entire year, so adding 60 bucks to your food bill at one time is prohibitive for some. It’s what prevented our family from joining for a long time.

The good news is that Thrive always runs a special for new members. Currently, they are offering 20% off your first 3 orders. Depending on what you purchase, this 20% savings can offset or at least lessen the pain of paying that membership cost.

Large Up Front Cost

In addition to the membership fee, you probably want to make a large purchase that first order. #1 because you want to take advantage of the 20% savings (or whatever they are currently offering). #2 you want to order enough to qualify for free shipping. Thrive does offer free shipping, but only for orders over $49. If you use Thrive like I plan to, then this is really no big deal because you’ll be using Thrive Market as your main source of non-perishable foods. This means your order will likely always be over $50.


While you may be used to spending $100 every week on your non-perishable foods, spending $300 on a one-time purchase for the month may be prohibitive. For example, if you’re living paycheck to paycheck, then all you have is $100 to spend in that week. So, spending $360 that week (for the month’s food and membership fee) may be too much for your wallet.  Never fear, Thrive has a solution for you if your budget is this tight.

Thrive Gives

I’ll be honest. Our families’ budget is this tight, which is one of the reasons I’ve neglected joining Thrive for so long. Luckily for us, Thrive Market offers free memberships for low income families. They also give free memberships to students, veterans, and teachers. They call this program Thrive Gives and without it, we probably would still not be members.

Shipping Speed & Planning

While you can get free shipping, it is standard shipping time. It may take a week or 2 to reach your door. If you’re a good planner, that may not be an issue, but it is something to be aware of if you’re considering joining.

You’ll also have to make a way to ration out the non-perishable foods. My kids would eat a whole month’s worth of food in a week if I let them, so again, this will be our toughest challenge. I’ll likely hide most of the food somewhere and only keep a week’s worth of food in the kitchen. If they go through it, they’ll just have to wait until the next week.

If you’re forgetful or are a poor planner, Thrive offers “autoship” on most of their items. It’s like Amazon’s subscription service. You set how many of an item you would like each month and Thrive sends it to you automatically. Really, you could set up one shipment and have it on autoship and never have to think about buying groceries. They’ll just appear at your door every month.

Non-Perishables Only

Thrive Market does not sell anything that needs refrigeration or that is perishable. This means it will likely not prevent you from still needing to drive to the store to get your fresh produce and frozen items.

I wish I joined years ago!!! I'm now saving almost $100/month on my Paleo & GFCF groceries from Thrive Market. Here is my complete Thrive Market Review.

Thrive Market Review: Advantages

Save Money 

This is the best reason to join Thrive. The prices are lower almost every time when compared to either Amazon, Sprouts, Fresh Thyme, Whole Foods… You can and likely will save a ton of money.

Later in this post, I will give you a complete breakdown of exactly how much I will save now that I am a member. It’s nearly $100 every month and depending on what YOU buy it could be more or less.

Quality Ingredients

Thrive Market has a huge selection of organic ingredients, but they also are committed to avoiding GMOs. You can be confident that your food will not have any genetically modified ingredients in anything they sell. They also make every effort to provide the highest quality, clean and sustainable products.

Variety

As if the lower prices weren’t good enough, I love the huge selection of foods you can find. There are items I have found at Thrive that I never even heard of like Cassava Crunch (paleo potato chips), and Keto Cups (chocolate candy). This will open a whole new world of snacks and school lunch ideas for the kids.

Special Diet Friendly

One of my favorite things about Thrive Market is the ability to shop by diet. Our family is mostly paleo, but we are all GFCF (gluten free casein free). I can go in an click shop by paleo and it will only show me paleo items. You can also shop by gluten free or vegan or even raw.

Thrive calls this “shopping their values”. You can choose from an assortment of “values” to shop by including fair trade certified, kosher, organic, low fodmap, no sulfites, low sugar and 64 other values. This is a handy function for us all but especially for those new to a particular diet.

Thrive Market Review

I’ve talked about what Thrive Market is and who it’s best for. I’ve also discussed some advantages and disadvantages of being a member. You’ve heard me mention high quality foods and lower prices quite a few times already, and I’m sure you’re skeptical on how much you can actually save.

For those skeptics, here is a real world example to help you better determine if Thrive Market is worth the cost of membership. Keep in mind I am a new member, but based on my current spending I will personally save over $1,000 a year by using Thrive Market as my source of non-perishables.

 

I wish I joined years ago!!! I'm now saving almost $100/month on my Paleo & GFCF groceries from Thrive Market. Here is my complete Thrive Market Review.

Thrive Market Review

My Personal Savings Breakdown

When I was looking into Thrive, I wrote down all the costs for every non-perishable food item I buy regularly. I then compared that cost to the cost of Thrive Market. I’m not going to If you would like to see the worksheet that I used to calculate my savings, just enter your email and I’ll send you a copy.

Preface

The prices for my groceries reflect what I would actually pay for them NOT retail price. I am a bargain shopper. There are things that I do not purchase unless it’s on sale. Likewise, I buy whatever brand is on sale. For example, I typically buy organic dark chocolate bars. Retail price ranges from $4-6, but I will not pay more than $3. Usually one brand is on sale, and that’s the brand I buy. $3 is the cost I calculated to come up with my savings.

My Shopping Habits

I typically buy my groceries from 3 stores. About 70% of my food I buy from Costco, 20% from Whole Foods, and 10% from Target. I do buy a few things here and there from Amazon as well. I essentially buy everything from the cheapest source I can find without sacrificing quality. For example, I can buy organic ketchup & chocolate for less at Target while paying less for things like MCT oil at Amazon.

Retail Prices May Be Higher than My Calculations

Remember, the cost I calculated is based on what I would actually spend NOT retail price. I could have easily used retail prices to inflate the value of Thrive Market, but this is an accurate and honest review. It tells you what I actually spend now vs. what I will spend moving forward as a Thrive member.

That’s a HUGE savings every single month.

When I added my regular monthly purchases, I am currently spending about $700. When I compared that to Thrive Market, my spending will go down to about $600.

My Non-Perishable Grocery List

Here is the worksheet I used to figure out if Thrive Market could save me any money. This sheet has all the items I buy regularly.

 Notice that I will be saving $88.47/month now as a Thrive member. 

Thrive Market Review Cost Comparison

A few things to point out.

Costco prices are still superior to Thrive Market and everyone other retailer. If Costco offers an item, it’s likely cheaper, so my Costco purchases will remain the same.

No Need For a Whole Foods (well almost)

The next thing to point out is everything I buy from non-Costco sources (Whole Foods, Target, Amazon…) can now be purchased for cheaper at Thrive Market. I wish I could say that would save me a trip to Whole Foods, but I still need to go and buy my produce and other perishables. 

Thrive Market Review
Conclusion

As you can see, Thrive Market is definitely worth the cost of membership and is going to save our family a boatload of money. Not only that, but it will gives us some new options for snacks and school lunches that I am excited to try. I personally would recommend anyone who takes their health seriously to join Thrive Market, and see how much you might save too!

Get 20% Off Your First 3 Orders

If you found the information in my Thrive Market Review to be helpful, please support my efforts and use my affiliate link here.

You’ll get 20% off your first 3 orders! 

What’s Your Thoughts On Thrive Market? 

Did my Thrive Market Review convince you to give it a try? Have you already? Tells us your thoughts in the comments!!

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