How many times have you read about a trendy new ingredient or an interesting healthy snack only to find out that your local grocery store doesn’t carry it? Or maybe Whole Foods sells what you’re looking for, but it’s super expensive. Both these things have happened to me, and it’s totally annoying. Which is why I started buying harder-to-find grocery items online. And let me tell you, since becoming an online grocery shopping devotee, I’ve never looked back.
Not only do online food retailers carry my favorite gluten- and dairy-free energy bites week after week (instead of, you know, when they can keep them in stock), many stores also offer steep discounts on specialty staples like avocado oil (one of these 5 fats you should be eating more of) and even grass-fed, organic meat. Here’s the 411 on some online retailers that can make your shopping life easier, along with some must-try items from each:
There’s no shortage of great bargains here—Vitacost carries more than 45,000 different products! Score vitamins and supplements, healthy snacks, pantry staples, sports nutrition products, beauty products, home goods, and pet supplies up to 50% off retail prices. My favorite feature: you can browse products by allergies, health concerns (i.e. heart health), or diet.
Shipping + fees: There’s no membership fee. Free standard shipping on orders totaling $49 or more.
Think of Thrive as a members-only online retailer that carries Whole Food-esque products at Costco prices. Their curated selection of healthy, non-perishable foods, home goods, and pet products are all 25 to 50% off retail prices. You can shop by specific diets, like gluten-free or vegan, or browse by categories such as ghee, oils, and vinegars, sunblock and bug spray, or kitchen appliances.
Shipping + fees: After your complimentary 30-day trial is up, there’s a $59.95 annual membership fee, which the company says the average member “earns back” through savings in just two orders. If you spend $49 or more, your loot ships for free. Shipping rates for orders below $49 vary depending on destination and weight.
At Lucky Vitamin, you’ll find everything from organic laundry detergent and nutritional supplements to chemical-free baking mixes and other healthified foods up to 75% off. But the thing that sets this shop apart from its competitors is its money-saving auto-ship option. Instead of going to the site whenever you need more vitamins or chia seeds, for example, you can opt to have your supply replenished every few weeks, based on how quickly you think you’ll use ’em up. As a reward for committing to future purchases, Lucky Vitamin knocks about 10% off the purchase price. The best part: They will send an email reminder before each recurring delivery, and you’ll have the opportunity to skip, change, or move forward with your delivery.
Shipping + fees: There is no membership fee. Orders over $49 ship for free. Shipping rates for orders below $49 vary depending on destination and weight.
Even though it tastes better and provides more healthy fats than conventional products, I have a hard time paying extra for things like grass-fed beef and wild-caught fish. I don’t love standing in line at the butcher counter, either. These are just two of the reasons I’m a fan of U.S. Wellness Meats. They sell more than 300 grass-fed, pastured, wild-caught, and free-range products and even carry hard-to-find specialty items like bones that can be used to make bone broth.
Shipping + fees: Shipping is free, but there’s a $7.50 handling fee per order. (For that reason it makes sense to order in bulk.) Your order will arrive 24 to 48 hours after it’s placed.