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NatureBox vs The Grocery Store: A Price Comparison

naturebox snack assortment

NatureBox is the only subscription box that has ever impressed me. I think most of the others are just glorified boxes of free samples. NatureBox actually provides their own branded snacks, and if I do say so myself, they are pretty tasty!

After publishing my review, a client messaged me on Facebook asking how the price of NatureBox compares to just shopping at the grocery store.

Well, that’s really a two-part question that goes like this:

  • Can you get the same snacks at the grocery store?
  • Do you save money by doing so?

See, with NatureBox, not only do you not have to leave your home or gas up your car, you don’t have to wade through lots of junk just to find the healthy snacks… if you can even find them. Most stores don’t carry crazy stuff like dried fruit without added sugar.

When you do find the good stuff, it’s not always cheap. So today, we’re going to compare the cost of NatureBox with what it would cost to get similar snacks at the local grocery store (basically Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods) or through Amazon.com.

What does Naturebox cost?

NatureBox is $19.95 per month,* and that gets you a box of 5 full-size packages of snacks, delivered right to your door. So, that’s about $3.99 per bag. Since the bags typically contain about 4 servings, that’s about $1.00 per serving.**

*Pre-pay for 3 months and it’s only $17.95 per month. Pre-pay for 6 months and it’s only $16.95 per month.

**This differs by product. It’s 2-5 servings per bag depending on the exact product. See the “nutrition facts” to be sure.

How does this comparison work?

I prepared three different NatureBox combos I’d enjoy. Each one has a theme but contains a variety of different types of snacks- fruit, nuts, and trail mix or granola. (I’d probably love a giant box of dried fruit, but you’ll notice that the expensive items contain 2-3 servings while cheaper ones contain 5. So if I went with dried fruit only, it wouldn’t be a giant box.)

Then I scoured my local Trader Joe’s (and Amazon.com) for similar offerings and priced those out to see what a “box” of food from the grocery store would cost. Estimated shipping and/or transportation costs are factored in.

On to the comparisons…

naturebox cheddar pub pretzels

Comparison #1: Party Snacks

The first box is filled with fun party snacks that are great to share with friends and snack on while watching the big game.

NatureBox #1: Party Snacks

Sourdough Cheddar Pretzels
What: Pretzel nuggets with a tangy beer cheese coating.
How much: 140g bag. 5 servings per bag.
Link: naturebox.com

Chili Lime Pistachios
What: Pistachios seasoned with cayenne pepper and lemon lime flavor.
How much: 60g bag. 2 servings per bag.
Link: naturebox.com

Praline Pumpkin Seeds
What: Pumpkin seeds with a sweet pumpkin spice coating (think cinnamon, sugar, and nutmeg.)
How much: 120g bag. 4 servings.
Link: naturebox.com

Toasted Sesame Stix
What: This classic snack is basically just wheat flour and sesame seeds, but they sure are fun to eat.
How much: 120g. 4 servings.
Link: naturebox.com

Cranberry Medley
What: Dried blueberries and cranberries flavored with pomegranate and acai.
How much: 120g. 3 servings.
Link: naturebox.com

 

Alternative product collection #1:

And here’s my attempt to re-create the party snacks box at the grocery store.

Combos Pretzel Snacks (Cheddar Cheese)
What: Pretzels stuffed with fake cheese. I love these things, and they have that sort of tangy cheese flavor, but they’re super unhealthy.
How much: $3.99 for a 15oz Party bag containing 15 servings.
Where: Grocery stores and Amazon.com

Archer Farms Sea Salt Roasted Pistachios
What: These are regular salted pistachios, so you’ll have to spritz them with lime juice and sprinkle on cayenne pepper yourself. But most of the seasoning is lost on the shells anyway.
How much: $12.49 for a 24oz jar containing 12 servings.
Where: at Target

SuperSeedz Roasted Pumpkin Seeds (Cinnamon & Sugar)
What: Gourmet pumpkin seeds coated in cinnamon sugar.
How much: $4.99 for a 5oz bag containing 5 servings.
Where: Amazon.com

Trader Joe’s Sesame Sticks
What: Sesame sticks, which are likely identical to the Naturebox version.
How much: $4 for a 16oz bag containing 16 servings.
Where: Your local Trader Joe’s, or Amazon.com

Ocean Spray Craisins Sweetened Dried Cranberries (Blueberry flavor)
What: A bag of dried cranberries sweetened with extra sugar. Infused with blueberry juice, but no actual blueberries included.
How much: $3 for a 10oz bag containing 7 servings.
Where: Nearly any grocery store, or Amazon.com

 

And the winner is?

In this case, Naturebox has a few unique products I couldn’t find elsewhere. But for party snacks, I consider the other options nearly as good and less expensive. And it’s a good time to buy in bulk – you don’t want to run out of party snacks! I’ll give the edge to grocery stores in round 1.

Grocery stores: 1, Naturebox: 0

naturebox dried peaches snack

Comparison #2: Sweet and Tropical Mix

This is a mix of excellent dried fruits (no sugar added) and other tropical sweets.

NatureBox #2:

Big Island Pineapple
What: Big chunks of dried pineapple with no added sugar.
How much: 80g. 2 servings per bag.
Link: naturebox.com

Banana Bread Granola
What: A granola mix containing mostly rolled oats, raisins, and dried bananas.
How much: 110g. 2 servings.
Link: naturebox.com

Dried Mango
What: Dried mango slices with no added sugar.
How much: 100g. 2.5 servings.
Link: naturebox.com

Pistachio Power Clusters
What: Bite-size snack bars consisting of almonds, cashews, and pistachios baked together.
How much: 84g. 3 servings.
Link: naturebox.com

Dried California Peaches
What: Dried peach slices with no added sugar.
How much: 100g. 2.5 servings.
Link: naturebox.com

 

Alternative product collection #2:

And here’s my attempt to re-create the dried fruit box at the grocery store.

Trader Joe’s Dried Baby Sweet Pineapple
What: Not your typical pineapple “rings,” but a similar product. It’s unsweetened & unsulfured dried pineapple.
How much: About $5 for a 6oz bag containing 4 servings.
Where: Your local Trader Joe’s or Amazon.com

Bear Naked All Natural Granola, Banana Nut
What: A granola mix consisting of oats, honey, coconut, and banana chips.
How much: About $6 for a 12oz bag containing 11 servings.
Where: Numerous grocery stores and Amazon.com

Trader Joe’s Just Mango Slices
What: Unsweetened & unsulfured dried mango slices. Probably identical to the Naturebox product.
How much: About $4 for a 6oz bag containing 4.5 servings.
Where: Your local Trader Joe’s or Amazon.com

LARABAR Uber (Roasted Nut Roll)
What: A bar of roasted nuts held together by sweet syrup. Amazingly delicious!
How much: $5 for a box of 5 bars (40g each.)
Where: Numerous grocery stores and Amazon.com

Trader Joe’s Dried White Peaches
What: Dried peaches with no added sugar.
How much: $8 for a 16oz bag containing 11 servings.
Where: Your local Trader Joe’s or Amazon.com

 

The winner?

This is a close one. Trader Joe’s is also a good source for unsweetened dried fruit, which is much more expensive than the sugary versions (go figure,) but priced on par with Naturebox. And the Bear Naked and Larabar products are excellent.

For round 2, one point each!

Grocery stores: 2, Naturebox: 1

naturebox bbq kernels

Comparison #3: Hot and Spicy Mix

Like everything hot and spicy? Here’s a mix of spicy snacks, with everything from your standard barbecue flavors to a special sriracha sauce. Time to light your taste buds on fire.

NatureBox #3:

Chili Munch Mix
What: A mix of corn sticks, peanuts, and almonds.
How much: 120g. 4 servings.
Link: naturebox.com

Southern BBQ Sunflower Kernels
What: Spicy sunflower seeds.
How much: 135g. 4.5 servings.
Link: naturebox.com

Sriracha Rice Crackers
What: Rice crackers coated in sriracha sauce.
How much: 135g. 4.5 servings.
Link: naturebox.com

BBQ Kettle Kernels
What: Dry roasted corn kernels with BBQ seasoning.
How much: 150g. 5 servings.
Link: naturebox.com

Jalapeno Cashews
What: Cashews with a jalapeno powder spice.
How much: 120g. 4 servings.
Link: naturebox.com

 

Alternative product collection #3:

The Peanut Shop of Williamsburg Hot and Spicy Snack Mix
What: A mix of peanuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, and a variety of crackers, all coated in a hot and spicy seasoning.
How much: $14.97 for 16oz canister
Where: Amazon.com

Gerbs Hulled Sunflower Seeds (Spicy Habanero)
What: Dry roasted sunflower seeds with a habanero seasoning.
How much: $4.99 for a 1lb bag containing 16 servings.
Where: Amazon.com

Brown Rice Triscuit (Tomato & Sweet Basil)
What: OK, these rice crackers are not hot or spicy, but wow are they good.
How much: $2.50 for a 9oz box which contains 9 servings.
Where: Grocery stores and Amazon.com

Corn Nuts (Barbecue or Chili Picante)
What: Crunchy corn kernels with a variety of flavor options.
How much: $16 for 18 single-serving bags.
Where: Amazon.com, Amazon.com

Ass Kickin Cashews (Habanero)
What: Cashews coated in their famous habanero blend of spices.
How much: $6.95 for a 6oz can.
Where: Amazon.com

 

The winner?

Naturebox is well-stocked with spicy snacks and I was able to easily put together this box of five different things. Though there are some other interesting options at other stores, Naturebox takes the win here in round 3.

Grocery stores: 2, Naturebox: 2

naturebox snack menu

Conclusion: Naturebox Wins, If…

After three intense rounds… it’s a tie.

We could go into a shootout to determine the winner, but I don’t think that’s going to help us any. Let’s instead focus on what we learned:

  • Naturebox has an awesome selection of snacks.
  • Trader Joe’s stores have a great selection of snacks.
  • It’s not difficult to find snacks anywhere in the USA.
  • Healthy snacks, such as unsweetened dried fruit, are similarly expensive everywhere.
  • Going to the grocery store can take a long, long time.
  • Sometimes the Amazon.com prices are way, way too high.

If you have a local Trader Joe’s, you’re probably all set. If not, and you have to pay the jacked up Amazon.com prices for Trader Joe’s brand products, then Naturebox is the clear choice.

Naturebox has the snacks, fair prices, and the simplicity and convenience of online ordering.

Most of the time you can even get your first month free with a special offer. Grocery stores don’t offer deals like that!

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4 Comments
  1. Like you Levi I’m a die-hard fan of Trader Joe’s. The nearby location is approximately 45 minutes drive. 🙁

    These Naturebox assortments look very appetizing and could be just what I need! 🙂

  2. @Shelly

    I’m lucky enough to live near three TJ’s locations, but they’re all 20-45 minutes away – if there’s no traffic. I wish I could get there more often.

  3. I know you like to cook Levi. So why not make your own pistachio power clusters? 😀

    http://www.gimmesomeoven.com/cranberry-pistachio-energy-bites/

    • @Alexandria

      I’ve actually been meaning to make those! I love that site and have the recipe bookmarked. 😉

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coach levi
Hi, I'm Coach Levi. I'm a USA Cycling Certified Level 3 Coach as well as Level 1 Certified with Precision Nutrition. Want to feel better, ride faster, and look great? Let's work together!

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Coach Levi is my favorite child and favorite cycling coach. I'd choose him over Christoper McCarmikael even. Did I mention that Levi can coach you to a healthier lifestyle where you look and feel your best?
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Hometown, PA