Here's how—and why—to shop with Thrive Market for staples you can't find locally.
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a box from Thrive Market with olive oil, coffee drinks and other products
Credit: Courtesy Thrive Market

I'm usually all about shopping local, and in ordinary times I actually enjoy running around to different stores to find whatever ingredients I need to make my meals. But these are not ordinary times, so while I'm still getting my produce, eggs and meat from a local farm delivery service and many other ingredients from a local restaurant that's turned into a grocery store, I also recently joined the online subscription-based grocery store Thrive Market to fill in the gaps on food staples, cleaning products and other household supplies. Read on to learn more about how Thrive works and the best products to buy.

What Is Thrive Market & How Does It Work?

Thrive Market is kind of like a mashup of Amazon, Whole Foods and Costco. It's an online, membership-only grocery store with a focus on healthy and sustainable products. A yearly membership costs $60 (there's also a monthly membership that costs $10), and for that Thrive Market claims to offer prices that are 25-50% off of retail prices. The yearly membership starts with a 30-day free trial, so you can try it out, and Thrive also says they'll refund whatever part of your membership fee you don't end up saving by shopping with them. The site is perfect for people on special diets, as you can filter by vegan, gluten-free, paleo, keto and more. In addition to shelf-stable staples like beans, flour, crackers and snacks, Thrive Market also sells meat, seafood, wine, household goods like cleaning supplies and—yes!—toilet paper.

How Your Membership Can Help Others

Another selling point for the online shop is that for every paid Thrive Market membership, the company gives a free membership to a low-income family, student, teacher, veteran or first responder. The company also started a COVID-19 Relief Fund, which provides free memberships and grocery stipends to medical professionals, first responders, at-risk individuals for whom going to the grocery store is not possible and others who have been affected by COVID-19. "With the support from our community, we've now raised more than $500,000 to fund grocery stipends allocated to over 6,000 families directly affected by the pandemic," says Nick Green, Co-Founder and CEO of Thrive Market, who donated his salary as CEO for the remainder of this year to the fund.

The Best Products to Buy From Thrive Market

I found a lot of ingredients on Thrive Market that I couldn't easily find locally, like pasta, chickpeas, quinoa, coconut milk, crackers and this really delicious dark-roasted peanut butter, all at good prices. Of course, I got myself a few treats, too, like dark chocolate peanut butter cups and potato chips. And I restocked on lavender hand soap and this amazing smelling peppermint cleaner to get my aromatherapy and cleaning needs met at the same time.

They also have baking supplies that have been hard to find, like baking soda (Unfortunately they are currently sold out of all-purpose flour, but they do have a number of alternative flours.) They are also currently out of stock on this natural cleaner that's approved to kill coronavirus, but you can set a reminder for them to let you know when it's back in stock. Thrive Market shared this list of their top 10 member favorites right now, so you can crib off other people's shopping lists—I can tell you I am a big fan of #10.

Thrive Market's Top 10 Member Favorites