Whole30 is described as a 30-day "reset" button for your diet. It's designed to clear away any processed foods and refocus our attention on whole foods. There's no sugar, dairy, alcohol, or legumes, but there is a ton of meat and vegetables.
There's also a lot of cooking, which sounds great, but the kind of food that's part of Whole30 is such a departure from the way many of us cook that even getting started with Whole30 can seem daunting and expensive. Unless you already own a bottle of liquid aminos and a barrel full of coconut oil, you're probably going to have to make a trip to the store before starting Whole30.
Thrive Market, a membership-based discount health food website that's sort of like an online version of Costco for health food, offers a starter kit designed to make the transition to Whole30 easier. It includes Whole30 basics like coconut oil, non-dairy creamer (because you can still have coffee on Whole30, but no sugar or dairy in it), and Whole30-compliant dressings and marinades, which should make it easier to prepare Whole30 meals in your own kitchen. It certainly sounds convenient. But is it actually any cheaper than just buying all the contents for yourself? We went to Amazon to compare prices to find out.
The base price: Thrive Market's Whole30 Starter Kit costs $82.99 for members, and a Thrive Market membership costs $59.99.
Here's everything in the Thrive Market Whole30 Starter Kit, and what those things cost on Amazon. Note: Prices were accurate during time of reporting.
- Avocado Oil Mayo, $12.35 for 12 ounces
- Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, $9.95 for 16 ounces
- Safe Catch Wild Albacore Tuna, 2-Pack, $16.59 for 6
- Grass-Fed Beef Bone Broth, $11.67 for 17.6 ounces
- Red Boat Premium Fish Sauce, $13.79 for 17 ounces
- Epic Beef Apple and Uncured Bacon Bar, $3.29
- Greek Vinaigrette with Avocado Oil, $9.35 for 8 ounces
- Organic Coconut Aminos, $10.83 for 10 ounces
- Non-GMO Wild Alaskan Pink Salmon, $7.30 for 2
- Classic Marinade & Cooking Sauce, $8.99 for 12 ounces
- Nutpods French Vanilla Unsweetened Non-Dairy Creamer, $14.95 for 4
Total price on Amazon: $129.06
The total price for the Whole30 Starter kit comes to $129.06 on Amazon, but because of the available package sizes, the Amazon total includes four more cans of wild tuna and three more cartons of the Nutpods non-dairy creamer than the Thrive Market kit does.
If we account for that difference and compare the per-item prices for the full set, buying everything on Amazon costs $100.11. So ordering the Whole30 Starter Kit from Thrive Market offers a savings of $15.12 over Amazon.
Thrive Market's annual membership costs $59.99, which would not be worth it to save $15 on one Whole30 Starter Kit. Thrive Market does have very good deals on all its products, though. It's generally cheaper than Amazon and local stores, and if you ordered regularly it would probably be possible to make the membership pay for itself.
Of course, Amazon Prime has an annual membership fee, too. Amazon Prime costs $99 a year, but that covers free shipping on books and other Amazon purchases, and Amazon's streaming services, while Thrive Market's membership only covers groceries.
Buying Thrive Market's Whole30 Starter Kit is cheaper than buying the same products on Amazon, but you'd have to buy a lot from Thrive Market to make the savings equal the $60 membership fee.
What do you think? If you're starting Whole3o, which is a more appealing deal for you?