Saturday, October 15, 2016

Thrive Gives: $100 in free items and steep discounts on everything else

Swagbucks had a deal the other day where you got some Swagbucks for signing up for Thrive Market and then more for placing your first order. I went in through the Swagbucks link, then signed up for Thrive Gives, which is their program that gives a free yearly membership to anyone receiving any type of government assistance. The Swagbucks deal is down, but it may reappear. Or, if you want to apply for Thrive Gives without it, go here. Disclosure: Signing up for a Thrive Gives membership doesn't get me anything.

The Thrive Gives membership isn't very well explained on their site, so I'll tell you how mine has gone so far. I applied, then they sent me an approval e-mail within a couple days. I then placed an order that I paid their regular prices for. A week later, they sent me an e-mail offering me $40 off a $50 order if I took a survey about health habits. It stated that I'll get two more of these during the year, each for $30 off a $50 order. I'm not sure if you have to place an order first to get the $100 off; I thought it was a great deal anyway to buy things I normally buy at extremely discounted prices, and I got some Swagbucks for doing it. I remembered hearing somewhere that you get $100 of free things, but my membership approval didn't say how to get that, so I just bought some stuff so I could get some Swagbucks and because I signed up since I needed some things that they have the best priced on.

If you don't receive government assistance, Thrive Market is still a ridiculously good deal. The membership is $60 for the year. You can sign up for a regular membership here. Disclosure: Signing up through my link will give my family a few dollars off our next order. Then you can refer your friends and earn money off. (Is there anything these days that doesn't use a freakin' pyramid scheme to entice people?)

As far as their merchandise goes, it's basically the nonperishable sections of Whole Foods. So, I personally am not going to use it to buy organic pastas and soups and things. My family is very fortuntae in that we don't have any health conditions that limit our diets. So while we're scraping by, we buy whatever brands we can get through coupons and sales, and a lot of those are going to contain a lot of white flour and white sugar. I'm just not in a place where I'm going to spend two to three times as much for something that's probably slightly healthier. BUT, for those of you who have family members who require wheat-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free, etc. foods, Thrive Market is going to be a much better deal than pretty much anywhere you can get those things locally. The prices are much lower than a grocery store, because they have less overhead. You can sort by gluten-free, vegan, etc.

As for what I ended up buying, I got a bunch of Everyday Shea products. They were less than half the price they are at Whole Foods, which is the only place I've seen it. Hair and skin products are the area where our family really can't go with the cheapest stuff, because in our family we have eczema-prone skin and hair textures that need added moisture and oil. Everyday Shea is generally cheaper than Shea Moisture or Curls Unleashed or any of those, but it's high enough quality that it doesn't contain mineral oil or petroleum jelly, which is pretty much where I set my bar for what I'll put on our bodies on any sort of regular basis. And at $7.95 for 32 ounces of shampoo, conditioner, and lotion (so, twice as big as a normal bottle), it's barely more than buying a low-quality grocery store brand.

I rounded out my order (you have to buy $50 per order, or else you pay for shipping) with some organic bleach-free tampons and pads, which with the discount were the same price as the brands we get at CVS that are rarely on sale. With my next order, which will be $10 for $50 worth of stuff (and closer to $75-$100 worth of stuff based on store prices), I plan to stock up on various hygiene items. They have a small selection of baby things and kitchen gadgets, so it would be a good program to recommend to low-income friends who have a new baby or are newly housed and could use some free supplies. I know baby items are especially hard to come by, so I probably will get some disposable diapers and other baby things to give to a food bank when I place my order. 

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