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Hi! I’m Madeline, the face behind Mad About Food. Come learn more about me here. See a list of my favorite things here or jump to all my recipes here.

Save Time and Money by Shopping for Pantry Items Online

Save Time and Money by Shopping for Pantry Items Online

This post is not sponsored by any of the companies mentioned. All opinions are my own. This page does contain affiliate links and I earn commission if the products on the links are purchased. I only promote products and services I believe in and actually use.

Like most people, the number one reason I shop online is the convenience. I am pretty lazy and it makes things very convenient if I can get the things that I need delivered right to my front door. Because I am cooking so frequently I end up buying most of my pantry items online, but the other day I wondered if I was actually saving money with all this online shopping.

So of course I took to Instagram to ask all of you which items you buy online most frequently. It paralleled what I mostly buy. Things like coffee, tea, grains, baking supplies, canned goods, pasta, collagen and bars like RX Bar or Larabar. After I gathered my list of items I walked around Whole Foods noting the prices of each of these items. I then compare the prices to popular online spaces for shopping like Amazon, Thrive Market, Brandless Life and Vita Cost.

Do you know how much time and money you could save buying pantry items online instead of at the grocery store? Click here to read a comparison chart of prices between online retailers and a grocery store.

A few disclaimers:

  • Amazon now owns Whole Foods so a lot of those prices matched exactly because you are buying Whole Foods products.

  • Many of the Amazon products had to be purchased with Amazon Fresh - a memebership to fresh will cost you an extra $15 a month on top of your prime subscription

  • Whole Foods Prices were based off ones in a store outside Philadelphia, PA

  • Store brand was selected as often as possible - I LOVE Thrive Market brand products, but I cannot vouch for the quality of Brandless Life or Vitacost

  • Size was selected at Whole Foods. If I couldn’t get the exact price from another source I took the unit pricing and extrapolated out to full size.

  • Tax was not considered.

The Results:

Do you know how much time and money you could save buying pantry items online instead of at the grocery store? Click here to read a comparison chart of prices between online retailers and a grocery store.

The Breakdown:

  • For the items I chose cheapest is Amazon followed by Vitacost then Whole Foods then Brandless Life and finally, Thrive Market.

  • Overall using Amazon looks like your cheapest option, but only if you have Prime and only if you are willing to buy in bulk. Still I find it to be my favorite option for cooking and baking items. It is the only place I know I can get my favorite dutch cocoa powder.

  • I have not shopped with Brandless Life, but they do not have a very impressive selection. Their thing is there are no brand names so that allows them to keep costs low, but they also have this weird thing where every single item has to be priced $3 so sometimes the amount in the container is so low that you are paying for a lot of packing. Not ideal. There is also a yearly membership of $36

  • I was surprised to see that Thrive Market’s prices were not as competitive as I had hoped. It is still my favorite online shopping spot because I can get the most variety of items. The membership is $59.99 for the year, but I usually save far more than that. I save an average of $30 per order so after a couple orders I make up for the membership cost.

  • Whole Food’s prices continue to surprise me!! When I did my first grocery challenge I learned that their prices are actually not as crazy as people make them out to be.

  • My main takeaway: I should be giving Vitacost a try! They had an awesome selection and no membership fee!!

Let me know if you like posts like this and if you want me to do more shopping experiments life this one!!

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