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Want to save money on gluten-free, organic, natural, or Paleo items? Thrive Market will save you 25-50% and deliver right to your door!

Thrive Market Review: Saving Money on Organic + Paleo

This post contains affiliate links. This means that when you purchase an item through one of my links below I may receive a commission. Thanks for your help keeping this blog running!

Recently I signed up for a free Thrive Market trial offer to explore whether or not the yearly membership ($59.95) would be worth it. There are many reasons I believed it could be beneficial. But when you’re throwing a huge chunk of cash at treatment each month, adding a membership cost can feel overwhelming. If not downright impossible.

Buying organic, grain free, all-natural products to fit my dietary needs has it’s limits with our current budget. As in: we simply can’t afford it. So I had high hopes that this could help curb our costs. Spoiler alert: I just wasn’t prepared for how quickly the cost would pay for itself in savings!

So before I start throwing confetti all over you and singing Thrive Market’s praise, let’s get down to the basics.

What is Thrive Market?

Thrive Market is an online membership-based site that offers many of the top selling non-GMO, organic, healthy food and household products at a discount. We’re talking 25-50% off retail value!

“Why, yes, I do love a good discount, Thrive.” – Me.

Is non-toxic cleaning important to you? Well, they’ve got it.  Gluten free snacks? Done. Following a Paleo diet? You’re covered too. And you are going to be in love with the Simple Mills line. Or at least, I am.

So, in short, think: shopping the speciality/health food market at wholesale prices.

A Business That Gives Back

Beyond their selection of great healthy products, one of the biggest things that stood out to me was Thrive’s heart for those in need. I love that it’s their mission to give free memberships to those who can’t afford one. And for every paid membership, a box of food is donated to a family that needs it.

Which means that by shopping with Thrive, we get to be a part of that cause. And I LOVE that by buying groceries that my body needs (and even saving money while doing it) I can play a small role in helping someone else out.

What’s in my first Thrive box?

I know this is what many of you sneaky blog readers really want to know anyway. Yes, I’m looking at you, cutie who reads through posts but never says hi. 😉 Don’t worry. I still love you. And I’ve done it too.

Here’s what I got this round:

If you're looking to save money on organic, Paleo or gluten free products, Thrive Market will deliver them right to your door. And for 25-50% less than your local grocery store!

Teeccino Dandelion Dark Roast Tea – $4.45 for 10 ct.
I am supposed to stay away from coffee due to mold and candida issues and let me tell you: I MISS IT. Some friends told me about this awhile back and I finally tried it with this Thrive box. I’m in love, you guys!! It reminds me so much of coffee. Mmmmm coffee.

Thrive Organic Spices – $2.95 each.
I bought their brand of paprika, Chili powder, and cumin seeds. It’s such a great price period, let alone for organic. I’m not a spice expert, but they’re fresh and flavorful. Just like they should be. 🙂

Check out my recent Thrive Box review: Why it's helpful for me in chronic illness.

Simple Mills Rosemary Sea Salt Crackers – $4.45
These were probably my favorite thing in the box. Let me just ‘splain something before I get crazy with excitement. I do my best to eat grain free. And I’ll be honest and say it’s sometimes sad and I dream of donuts, but avoiding them helps my sick body. So basically: THESE CRACKERS ARE LIFE!! They taste amazing, have the crunch of crackers that I miss so much and I could easily write them a love song. That is all.

Simple Mills Pizza Dough Mix – $7.55
Okay, so I splurged with this one a bit. The box makes two 8-inch pizzas, but if I were to buy again I’d either try to make them bigger and thinner or make 3-4 smaller personal pizzas. I did like the crust, but probably won’t be buying this again anytime soon because paying for crackers and fake coffee come first.

Jackson’s Honest Sweet Potato Chips – $2.95
Get ready for more giddy excitement because these babies were another fave from this box! I absolutely adore these chips. Everything about them. The salty, thick kettle-like crunchy, that sweet potato goodness. Sigh. These are the goods. And they’re baked in coconut oil for a double win!

My Thrive Box Review: Unboxing and my favorite grain-free and organic products!

Acure Lemongrass Conditioner – $6.15
I’ve been a fan of Acure natural bath products for a couple of years now so I decided to try this out. I’m waiting to finish my current bottle of Acure conditioner in a different scent so I’ll have to update you later on how it works. But it smells great! And is several dollars cheaper than on Amazon.

Acure Body Wash – $5.95
I’m a fan of clean. Clean ingredients and clean skin. But sometimes organic + natural products can leave a little to be desired in the area of “sudsing”. This body wash is a winner in my book! I’m not sure how to describe the scent, so we’ll just go with I like it. And it’s fresh. Not overly floral or fruity, but light.

Meyer’s Hand Soap Refill – $6.45
This is such a deal for this hand soap refill! And the scent (lemongrass) feels so refreshing to me. I hadn’t tried this before, but I’ve used Meyer’s dryer sheets and loved those so decided to give this a shot. And I can report that the soap hasn’t disappointed either.

Califia Farms Better-Half Almond milk + Coconut Creamer – $2.95
It was important to me to get a full “coffee” experience so I treated myself to this dairy-free creamer. I was very impressed with it! I’ve run out and am definitely planning on ordering more of this. And soon.

Jason Peppermint Toothpaste – $3.95
What I like about this toothpaste is it’s better for me than what I’d used before. And it makes my teeth feel really clean. As in slick when run over with my tongue and my mouth stays fresh longer than with regular paste. The taste is different than traditional toothpaste mint (guess those chemicals taste pretty good…) but I really don’t mind it.

Is it worth it?

In short: I’m a convert. I love the ease of ordering specialty items online, saving money on things I’d be buying anyway, and supporting a company that gives back.

In my first two boxes (the second one containing only 3 items), I saved nearly $60 – which, as you read at the beginning of this, is the cost of the yearly membership. So I’ll most definitely be joining as a way to save money this year!

A free gift for you.

When I signed up for my free trial I didn’t get a free gift, but YOU WILL! This month when you sign up for a free 30-day trial through my link, they’ll include a FREE full-sized bag of raw cashews with your first order of $50+. And you’ll only pay $1.95 shipping! (UPDATE 5/23/17: You can get 25% OFF your first order and FREE shipping!)

You can even more perks if you share the Thrive love. Invite a friend to join and they’ll get 15% off their first order, while you get $25 Thrive Cash! And if you blog and want to become a Thrive Market affiliate, you’ll earn a commission every time a new customer joins or your fellow bloggers sing up as an affiliate.

Have you tried Thrive Market? What are your favorite items?

Who knew you could buy healthy groceries AND save money?! Have you checked out Thrive Market? Click here to check out the free gift you get when you sign up for a trial membership.

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Dining out with a special diet

DineSafe: An App for Dining Out with Food Allergies

This post was sponsored by DineSafe, but the following are my own opinions on the app.

Dining out when you have food allergies – or even sensitivities – can range from impossible to headache-worthy. And sometimes both.

Maybe you’ve been here before…

After waiting for 45 minutes you are finally seated, only to be handed a menu that you now must carefully scan for options that fit your very specific dietary needs.  Much of it is a guessing game as you sort through each category, mentally crossing off anything that might contain your food enemy.

20 minutes later and somewhat (if not entirely) defeated, you make the decision to play it safe with a salad. Without the dressing, cheese, croutons, or seeds. You’ll dress it yourself with a side of olive oil and the salt and pepper from the table. Your stomach will thank you later.

You’ve created an item that works for you. And you know what? That makes you happy indeed. You’re pretty used to this. And you conquered that menu like a champ!

This menu adaptation game has been my story countless times. In my years of battling illness, I’ve seen my bestie food friends drop like flies as I’ve taken on some necessary diet changes to protect and support my health: gluten, dairy, soy, and lastly: most grains. (I KNOW. Cue the weeping).

For a foodie it can be a mournful loss that becomes even harder to cope with when the search to find restaurants YOU CAN ACTUALLY EAT AT leaves a girl spinning in circles.

Wouldn’t it be great if someone could cut out the work for us in searching a menu for safe foods? To remove that headache I mentioned a bit ago?

Guys. There’s a new app that does just that.

Enter: the DineSafe App.

DineSafe helps make dining out safer and easier. Check out more of the features over on the blog!

DineSafe’s goal is to improve the dining experience for those of us with specific dietary needs, as well as help restaurants connect with diners who need safe options.

After reading up on all the app offers, I downloaded the app to explore it myself.

This app makes it so-super-easy to create your very own personalized menu. You simply tap once on any allergen or special diets you follow and it’s automatically saved in your profile.

One of my favorite parts?

There is NO LIMIT on how many allergens you can add to your list!

This is a revelation for those of us with multiple allergies or sensitivities: no more hunting through menus and product lists when the work has already been done for you!

So just how many allergens are available?

There’s a total of 24 including various meats, vegetables, gluten and ingredients like Sulphates or MSG.

Even better is the ability to select from 8 different diets ON TOP OF whatever food allergies you may have. Paleo and Vegan users, rejoice!

Here’s a sample of some of the allergens and diets you can choose from. I spy with my little eye a little something called Organic…(!!!)

How to Find Safe Dining Options Near You with the DineSafe App

For restaurants, this app is a great way to connect with individuals and families who look for menus that will cater to their restrictive diets and clearly list allergens.

Restaurants can easily enter in their own menu on the app, detailing current offerings, ingredients and allergen information.

I love that this leaves any guessing out for me as the user as to whether the menu showing is up-to-date and/or accurate. I am much more likely to trust the menu they release over anyone else.

With the United States estimate of 15 million people affected by food allergies, this is a great time for restaurants to get ahead of any upcoming laws regulating allergen disclosure. Europe and the UK already have their own regulations in place, requiring mandatory allergen information for all of their menu items.

I can’t ignore that it’s also a great way to play a part in changing the landscape of the dining world for those with sensitivities. We will all thank you!

You can easily locate restaurants near you using the built-in GPS feature. Once you have chosen a restaurant you can then scroll through the menu using the “filter menu” option which will apply your current diet settings.

The app then allows you to find menu items that are safe, ones to avoid and even a list of items that can be modified to fit your specific diet.

DineSafe App for Safe Dining Out

Because this app is on the newer side they are still growing their restaurant list.

One way we can help is by endorsing and submitting petitions for restaurants in our area. If we find a restaurant that offers items catered to our specific diet requirements, endorsing their menu helps other diners with the same restrictions know it is a safe place to eat.

We can also look up restaurants in our area and start (or sign an existing) petition, requesting that they upload their menu to DineSafe (which is free!) detailing any allergens to be aware of.

It’s really a win-win for both restaurant and user – the user locates a restaurant with food items they can have and the restaurant increases its reach!

I’ve already started some petitions for some restaurants in my new home town and have signed a couple of existing ones. It’s such a great, tangible way to encourage restaurants to get on board!

If you’d like to check out DineSafe, you can download the app for free on both iPhone or Android. It only takes a few seconds to install and a couple minutes to set up your personalized menu and you’re done!

Super easy and you’re on your way to fewer menu-searching-induced-headaches and more restaurants to enjoy.

If you have food allergies, a sensitivity or if you follow a special diet – do you have a favorite restaurant in your area that goes out of their way to cater to your needs? Try finding them on DineSafe to give them a shout out!

{You can follow DineSafe on Facebook and Twitter.}

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