I Started Using Thrive Market for Groceries and Saved $60 in the First Month

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If you're anything like me, you may have noticed a major uptick in grocery spending over the past six months. Suddenly, I'm eating three full meals, plus snacks, every single day at home and it's resulted in a grocery bill that is borderline offensive. I know it is probably balanced out by my otherwise lack of spending on travel, bars, restaurants, and clothing that doesn't resemble pajamas, but I found myself not only shopping more frequently, but buying more items, and I was getting sick of it. So, I went straight to Google to try and find a solution.

After researching different home delivery food options — since going out multiple times a week is not currently ideal in Los Angeles — I made the decision to focus on an ingredient-and-product-driven delivery service, as opposed to a meal delivery service, since I wanted flexibility in what I was eating each day. I also have been attempting a keto diet, so was looking for an option that allowed me to stick to my dietary restrictions and preferences — which is what brought me to Thrive Market.

So, what exactly is Thrive Market?

Let's start with the basics: Thrive Market is an online membership-driven marketplace that offers healthy, clean products in a convenient and affordable way. They source products from sustainable companies — or create the product in-house — and cut the supply chain, giving members an average savings of $30 on every order. There is a base membership fee which you can pay in two ways, either annually at a one-time rate of $59.95, which nets out to $5 per month, or monthly at a rate of $9.95 per month. (FYI: New members can start with a free 30-day trial.) All members get free shipping on your first order over $25 and on all orders thereafter of $50 or more. Plus, another great perk with membership is that your fees also sponsor a free membership for a low-income family at the same time — a win-win.

The Pros

Thrive offers over 6,000 products, each priced anywhere between 5-50% lower than standard grocers, and has clever filtering options to help find items according to diet, lifestyle, and other preferences such as organic, non-GMO, or allergen-free — which made finding interesting and healthy keto products for myself super easy. The shipping was free and I was always pleasantly surprised by how quickly I received my items.

Another exciting part of Thrive is that it carries a ton of beauty products and home items that similarly fit my interests. For example, I've been wanting to switch over to an all-natural deodorant for a while, but haven't really had a chance to explore my options much. When I searched for deodorants on Thrive, they not only had a ton of options to choose from, but they were all-natural, made without aluminum, and had Thrive members' reviews to help me decide. Similarly, while specific items like toilet paper and cleaning supplies have been few and far between in stores — especially if you're looking for more sustainable and eco-friendly options — Thrive was fully stocked and I was able to easily get those healthy products delivered right to my door without much hassle.

I also immediately saved money. My first order, which was filled with everything from the previously mentioned deodorant and toilet bowl cleaner to ground coffee, a keto creamer, a couple of spices, and a few more fun snacks, totaled $71. Shipping was free and per the app's calculations, I saved $43 by shopping at Thrive over another store. My second order was a bit smaller, but, according to Thrive's count, I saved another $15, meaning I basically already made up for the membership fee for the entire year. In fact, Thrive says that most customers make up that payment by their second order — and if you happen not to by the end of the year, Thrive will gift you the remaining charge as "Thrive Cash" to be used towards your next orders.

The Cons

I hate to position this as a con, but one challenge I came across was simply the sheer amount of options — there are an endless number of items to purchase. I'm the type of person that likes to make a list and stick to it while shopping so as not to impulse buy and it certainly is harder to resist while browsing the Thrive app. When I'm organized and focused only on what I need it's easy to be economical, but it would be incredibly easy to fill up a giant cart with delicious snacks and interesting products and suddenly spend way more than you planned to, even with the helpful discounts.

Also, while you can purchase a few perishable items, like meat and seafood, in bulk, most of the products available on Thrive are shelf-stable, meaning that you'll probably need to still visit a local store for your fresh produce and dairy. If you have a large family and/or a large freezer, it might make sense to bulk-order those staples, but it didn't really make sense for me and I didn't realize that going into the membership truthfully, so that was a bit disappointing to me. But, I've been doing a quick Trader Joe's run to buy those things every two weeks or so and that seems to be a good cadence in accordance with my Thrive Market picks.

The Verdict

All in all, I love the ease and quality of my Thrive Market membership. The app is super easy to use and, if I'm organized about my purchases, I only have to make one to two orders per month. It's a great place to find healthy snacks and pantry staples like olive oil, ghee, and other dressings and sauces. If you're limited by dietary restrictions in any way or are trying to be more mindful about your purchases, Thrive is an especially helpful resource for finding healthy and unique staples.

If you and your family are finding yourselves spending way more on groceries and home essentials during these stay-at-home times, it might just be the perfect time to try out Thrive Market.

Try it out now

Katie is the Commerce Editor at Hunker. She has previously been on staff at Shape Magazine, Well+Good, and PureWow, and has spent her life perfecting the art of online shopping.

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