I’ve been quietly enjoying Thrive Market for a few months, but when a box arrived recently while friends were around and several expressed interest in the company, I realized what a fabulous resource this is for anyone wanting to eat, cook, and snack healthier and more affordably.
Especially if you’re busy.
Or have stringent dietary requirements.
Or are short on space or mouths to feed.
Or you live in a small city or town.
So what is it? If you haven’t already heard the hype, here’s the scoop: Thrive Market is an online company that’s a mashup of Whole Foods goodies, Costco prices, and Amazon convenience — with eco-consciousness and superb website design as the cherry on top.
Like Costco there’s an annual membership fee ($70), and like Amazon Prime shipping is free and fast. Prices are 25-50% off. And if you’re seriously picky about your food quality, Thrive has you covered.
I first tried it after receiving a discount code from ChrisKresser.com. In that shipment I tried a bunch of new snack foods and a couple of old favorites at the best prices I’ve seen. All had impeccable ingredient lists. There was paleo granola, raw “cookies” with 3 ingredients, pizza-flavored seed snacks, kale chips, Epic bars, and my favorite dark chocolate ever. Oh, baby! I sent a similar box to a friend as a treat, and she too loved the snacks.
Then, as my family started working our way toward GAPS, I wondered if Thrive would still make sense for us. Even though the ingredients are great, many of those snacks will be off limits to us for a couple of years. But I found that Thrive has an ever-growing selection of top-quality real food staples too. I’m even toying with the idea of trying to do all of my “inner aisle” grocery shopping via Thrive to cut down on impulse purchases while I’m in the local health food store and get better prices at the same time.
Bottom line, I’m so hooked we’re giving up our Costco membership because . . .
1. Thrive is more convenient.
Big deal: I don’t have to shop with my kids or use babysitting time to shop. Bonus: the flawless website, favorites list, and the ability to re-order an entire shipment.
2. Thrive has more of what we really need.
No screaming deals on pillows or ice chests, no, but lots more of the foods we eat day in and day out.
3. I’m less tempted to overbuy.
I struggle to stick to my list at Costco. And let’s face it, a 3 year supply of ziplock bags isn’t a sexy way to blow the budget.
For many others, the biggest advantage of Thrive over Costco or Amazon is that you don’t have to stock up to get a good deal. Those with all the pantry space in the world and multiple kids can certainly get an even better price by buying a gallon of coconut oil at a time, but for everyone else, there’s Thrive.
Update January 1, 2016: I was a bit hasty in deciding to give up Costco. The Christmas shopping season proved to me how valuable our membership still is for everything from kids’ clothes to kitchen equipment, and we’ve decided to renew after all. Still, we buy more than ever from Thrive, and I can’t recommend it highly enough, .
What I Buy at Thrive
Wondering what they stock or what a real foods or GAPS family might buy? Here’s a sampling of what I’ve purchased recently. Not everything below is GAPS legal, but it is all healthy and delicious real food with no funk.
- Fats: pastured lard, ghee (also available: tallow)
- Oils: virgin coconut oil, refined coconut oil, olive oil, garlic-infused olive oil (also available: avocado oil & macadamia nut oil)
- Fish: Wild Planet sardines, tuna, salmon, and albacore tuna fillets
- Nut butters: almond, pecan, coconut butter
- Cacao butter & cacao powder — for making homemade dark chocolate
- Salt: Celtic sea salt, Real Salt
- Seasonings: truffle salt, coconut aminos, Red Boat fish sauce, vanilla extract
- Great Lakes gelatin
- Muir Glen tomato paste
- Pumpkin puree
- Maple syrup & raw honey
- Paleo People banana nut “granola” (eaten plain or in a small bowl with coconut milk MMMmmmMMMmmm!)
- Alive & Radiant kale chips
- SeaSnax — the only seaweed snack I’ve found that doesn’t use soybean or sunflower oil
- Go Raw sprouted pumpkin seeds
- Go Raw Pizza Flax Snacks
- Epic Bars
- Salazon chocolate bars
- Go Raw Ginger Snap Super Cookies
- Go Raw Chocolate Super Cookies
- Eating Evolved mint cream coconut butter cups
- Pure7 chocolate bars — GAPS legal!
These are just a few possibilities.
Thrive lets you try your first month free.
Even better, you get an extra 25% off your first order if you click on any of the links to Thrive from this post. While I’ve decided against using affiliate links anywhere else on my website because I’m offering Alison’s List as a gift, I’m making an exception for Thrive Market because in this case you benefit from using my personal link. (Full disclosure: If you purchase a membership with Thrive, I will get $25 credit with them.)
Updated Jan 1, 2016: I have removed affiliate links from this post because Thrive made it sound like new customers would get a bigger discount by using my link, but it’s not true. You get the same discount on your first order no matter what. While I would still get a kickback by using special links, it’s not a better deal for you, so I’d rather keep my website completely neutral. Lesson learned!