A comparison of the best places to buy organic food online so you can eat healthy and save money at the same time. Learn the pros and cons and top picks from each online store, plus how to get freebies and further discounts on the organic products you love!
I’ll never forget the first few things I bought online – a book, a new shirt, a kitchen tool. It seemed a little risky to put my credit card information out there in cyberspace – but it was also pretty exciting to be able to shop without leaving the house!
Of course now, ordering online is commonplace, and more and more of us are extending our online purchases beyond household and personal items to the category of food.
Reasons to Buy Organic Food Online
If you are not already buying food online, you might ask yourself – why should I start? The way I see it, there are a few distinct reasons why someone would want to buy organic food online instead of at the local grocery store.
Convenience – Whether you are a new mom, a busy worker-bee or have some other reason why it’s hard to get to the store, the convenience of ordering groceries online is hard to beat. Personally, I use online ordering as a way to keep my pantry stocked with all the healthy, organic ingredients I need to pull off healthy meals for my family!
Availability – Living in an urban area (Minneapolis), I’m surrounded by grocery stores of all kinds, but I know that many Mindful Momma readers live in smaller towns and rural areas where organic groceries may be harder to find. Online stores are sometimes the only place to buy the healthy, organic groceries you are looking for. Another benefit to ordering food online is that you can immediately see whether or not something is in stock. It always sucks to drive to a store only to find an ingredient you need is out of stock.
Low Prices – One of the many ways to eat healthy on a budget is to find the lowest prices possible on organic ingredients and food products. It’s true, warehouses stores like Costco have some pretty low prices on organics, but you have to be willing to buy extra large quantities, which doesn’t work for everyone. And local grocery stores occasionally offer sale prices, but that can be very hit or miss. In my experience, the best way to consistently find low prices on my organic grocery staples is online.
Tips for Buying Organic Food Online
That said, I do have some tips for maximizing the value you get from ordering organic food online. If you do it well, you can find your favorite organic groceries, including pantry staples and organic meat at the lowest prices.
Plan in advance – Remember that delivery takes time – ordering organic food online is a great way to keep your pantry stocked, but obviously won’t work for last-minute ingredient needs.
Buy private label – Don’t be afraid of private label or store brands – they are often the best value and in my experience are very good quality!
Go for free shipping – Pay attention to the minimum for free shipping and wait to order until you have met the minimum. You won’t save money if you pay shipping charges.
Get free stuff – Some companies offer free products with a minimum purchase. This can be a fun way to try something new! See below for some of the freebies I have received from Thrive Market over the years!
Focus on non-perishables – Most of the organic groceries I order online are non-perishable, shelf-stable products. Purchasing produce or other perishable products is a bit trickier and I prefer to pick my fresh produce out myself. That said, I do purchase organic and sustainable meat online through both ButcherBox and Thrive Market (see below for more details).
Keep tabs on delivery dates – If you don’t work from home like I do, you’ll want to keep an eye on the delivery dates to make sure the package gets delivered safely. And especially if you are ordering perishables, make sure the packaging is sufficient to keep products cold until you arrive home.
Top Places to Buy Organic Food Online
I may receive commissions from purchases made through links in this article. Full Disclosure
As buying food online has become more and more common, the number of companies wanting to get in on the action has skyrocketed. I’ve looked at a lot of them and frankly some are better than others. The companies I’m sharing with you here are all companies that I have personally ordered from and have found true value in being a customer.
For the purpose of evaluation, I did cost comparisons on the organic version of some typical pantry items like rice, olive oil, coconut oil, peanut butter, honey and granola. To be honest, I found that many prices were similar among the online stores that I compared. Each company had the lowest prices in at least one of the categories and there was no clear “winner” in terms of value.
Ultimately, the best option for you will depend on the products you are looking for and your reasons for purchasing online in the first place.
Take a look at the pros and the cons of each of these places to buy organic food online. I’d love to hear your thoughts and questions in the comments!
Thrive Market is a membership-based shopping website, selling healthy, organic food and natural products at wholesale prices. By cutting out the middle man, Thrive Market can offer thousands of products at prices that are 25 – 50% below retail. As part of Thrive Market’s mission to make healthy living easy and accessible to everyone, they sponsor free memberships for low-income American families.
- Low prices on popular natural & organic brands, as well as many smaller, lesser-known brands
- High quality Thrive Market private label products at even lower prices than branded products
- Frequent discounts both side-wide or on particular product categories or brands
- Free gifts with purchase – Some of the things I’ve received for free include chocolate, coffee, skin care products, baking mix and maple syrup. Did I mention chocolate?
- Free shipping on orders over $49
- Giving back – For every membership purchased, they donate one to a family in need.
- More than food – Thrive Market also sells beauty & personal care, cleaning, household products, supplements, pet care and more, making it very easy to reach the minimum for free shipping.
- Frozen meat and seafood as well as clean wine deliveries also available. Personally, I have ordered the meat (great value!), but I have not tried the seafood or the wine – yet!)
- 30 day trial allows you to try Thrive Market risk free
- Membership fee of $59.95 per year (Most people make back the fee in savings after only 2-3 orders.)
- Lundberg Organic Rice
- Thrive Market Organic Beans (in a pouch, not a can!)
- Nature’s Path Organic Granola
- Organic Valley Ghee
- Barnana Banana Bites
- Traditional Medicinals Tea
- Kettle & Fire Bone Broth
- Thrive Market Organic Coconut Milk
- Thrive Market Organic Marinara Sauce
- Many more pantry staples
Brandless is an online marketplace created with the intention of making better stuff accessible and affordable for more people. Everything they sell is “brandless”, meaning you don’t have to pay the BrandTax™ – the hidden extra costs you typically pay for a retail brand. However, quality is never compromised – every Brandless product is carefully vetted to meet the gold standards of quality including safe ingredients and sustainable practices.
- The entire food line is non-GMO and over half of the products are certified organic. Artificial preservatives and flavors are never used.
- Everything is $3 so you can try organic without spending a lot.
- No membership fee
- Small package sizes can be helpful for individuals and small families.
- Free shipping on orders over $39
- Giving back – For every online purchase, Brandless will donate the equivalent of one meal to Feeding America.
- Brandless also sells personal care, cleaning and household products, making it easy to reach the minimum for free shipping.
- You won’t find your favorite brand here – everything is private label (brandless) – but that’s the point!
- Smaller package sizes can be a downside for those with larger families
- Organic Virgin Coconut Oil – the cheapest one around and the quality is great!
- Organic Maple Syrup
- Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Cocoa Granola – a bit decadent for breakfast but so good!
Amazon – Prime Pantry
Prime Pantry is an additional benefit for Amazon Prime members, allowing them to package everyday non-perishable grocery store items into a single box for delivery. If you’ve ever looked for food on Amazon, you will notice many items are either only sold in large quantities, or the prices are higher than normal. Prime Pantry is the solution that allowed Amazon to expand its selection of individual food items at low prices as long as you meet the minimum for free shipping.
- Favorite organic brands at low prices
- Free shipping over $35 for Prime members
- Prime Pantry also includes household, beauty and wellness products, making it easy to reach the minimum for free shipping.
- Must be an Amazon Prime member to take advantage of the pricing
- Limited organic brands available
- No private label brand (other than Whole Food’s 365 brand)
- For an additional fee of $4.99 per month, Prime Pantry members can get free shipping on all orders over $10. (This may be a benefit for some, but I prefer to meet the $35 minimum and skip the extra fee.)
- Company does not give back the way that Thrive Market and Brandless do
- Whole Foods 365 products (this is Whole Food’s store brand) – high quality products at great prices (Note: not all products are certified organic, but all are Non-GMO Project verified.)
- Low prices on some well known organic brands like Nature’s Path, Annie’s, Muir Glen, Nutiva, Cascadian Farm and more.
Vitacost is an established online marketplace, selling food, supplements and household products from over 2,500 healthy and natural brands.
- Many popular brands available, plus they carry supplements, household products and beauty products, making it easy to reach the minimum for free shipping.
- Vitacost private label is even less expensive than branded products.
- Free shipping over $49
- Frequent sales
- No membership fee
- Pricing is hit or miss depending on current sales – I’ve found some prices to be a bit higher than Thrive Market
- No freebies offered like Thrive Market.
- Vitacost does not have an altruistic mission like some companies do.
- Vitacost Organic Chocolate Covered Almonds
- Simple Truth Organic Granola
- Bob’s Red Mill Organic Flour
- Gorilly Goods Fruit & Nut Snacks
ButcherBox is a subscription service for organic, grass-fed and heritage breed meats. You choose from a curated selection of meats or a custom selection of the cuts that work best for you.
- High-quality, ethically raised meats at a very reasonable price
- Boxes can be customized each month
- Deliveries can be adjusted to the time frame that works for you
- Meat is frozen (not necessarily bad but some people prefer fresh)
- Organic and ethical meat is an investment (not cheap like most supermarket meat) but totally worth it in my opinion.
- ButcherBox bacon is uncured, sugar/nitrate/hormone free, and Whole30 approved. Plus it tastes delicious!
Do you buy organic food online? I’d love to hear your favorite online stores and what you buy!