A picture of the Brandless box
Thrifty Reviews

Too Good to be True? A Frugal Dad’s Brandless Review

Is Brandless Legit?

Your average parent is all about scoring the best bargain. Finding a great deal is hard enough. Finding a great deal on organic goods? Good luck. Unless you live near a Trader Joe’s, you’re probably stuck scrounging the organic section of your local grocery store.

Enter Brandless, an online store that sells organic foods, beauty supplies, and more, all for $3. With prices that low, you might be wondering, is Brandless legit?

 

Is Brandless a Good Deal?

 

First things first, yes Brandless is legit.

Secondly, what is  Brandless? In a nutshell, Brandless is a website that sells everything for $3.

Founded in 2014 by Ido Leffler and Tina Sharkey, Brandless has quickly grown into a national distributor of organic goods. Leffler and Sharkey say they’ve eliminated what they call a “brand tax,” allowing them to sell all of their items at $3, or 2 for $3, or 3 for $3 in some cases. They say the brand tax is the markup you often pay on products simply because they’re made by a large brand. The irony being, the Brandless store is quickly growing into quite the brand name.

Further setting themselves apart from other brands, Brandless distributes a meal to those in need through Feeding America. For every order purchased, Brandless donates a meal. Those who pay for the optional B.More membership have two meals donated for their purchases. (More on that membership later.)

So, no, Brandless is not a scam and they’re totally legit. But, are they worth it?

The Value of Brandless

 

On the surface, $3 for organic items seems like a great deal. This is definitely true in some cases. With items ranging from cookies to popcorn to pens to feminine hygiene products, obviously, the price tag will carry different weight.

The Brandless shipping fees are $5 until you reach $39 on an order, at which point it’s free. You can also opt to be a B.More member for $36 annually and have free shipping on all orders, and two meals donated for every order you place. This is a great option if you plan on placing numerous tiny orders.

I haven’t sampled everything from Brandless as they have more than 300 products, but I have sampled quite a few things. I’ve put together a few Brandless food reviews to determine the general value of Brandless. Also, there are two office supply reviews, because why not?

 

Brandless Sour Cream & Onion Popped Potato Crisps

 

Because potato chips would be too simple, I went with the Sour Cream & Onion Popped Potato Crisps. No, they’re not chips – they’re potato crisps!

In all seriousness, these were really good. They had a light, airy texture that was akin to Munchos chips without the “I’m dying” feeling after. The sour cream flavor was really subtle but still great.

A bowl of Brandless sour cream and onion puffed potato crisps

The bag was only 5oz, which when compared to a 15.25oz Party-Size bag of Lays for $3.98, is a pretty bad deal. But again, these were definitely a healthier alternative and not something I felt too guilty about eating a lot of. The bag was also surprisingly full. Because the chips are so light and airy, a ton of them are jammed in there.

I’d likely order them again if I planned on placing a large order with Brandless, but this is a tough one to call because of the low volume.

 

Brandless Steel Cut Oatmeal

 

Steel cut oatmeal is all the rage. What makes it so much better than traditional oatmeal? A kind of hard texture that rivals its mushy cousin, traditional oatmeal. Also, the name is pretty cool.

Anyone that’s bought or thought about buying steel cut oatmeal knows it can be really pricey. So pricey, that I never tried it until I saw a 24oz bag of it on Brandless for $3. That’s right, a 24oz bag for $3.

Unlike the fancy puffed potato crisps, Brandless doesn’t skimp on the steel cut oatmeal. And because it’s oatmeal and brand almost never makes a difference in flavor, it’s really great. (Seriously, if you can taste the difference between one brand of oatmeal and another, chime in down below in the comments and enlighten me.)

A bowl of Brandless steel cut oatmeal

I’m no oatmeal snob, but Brandless’s steel cut oatmeal is awesome. It’s quick cooking too, so you don’t have to spend 10 minutes staring at a pot on the stove. This one is a surefire buy if you shop Brandless. Also, the little guy couldn’t get enough of it!

 

Brandless Pens

 

Pens are a far cry from puffed potato things and fancy oatmeal. Brandless really does sell a little bit of everything. While most Brandless reviews focus on food, I  felt their office items deserved some recognition.

The Brandless Black Gel Pens come in a pack of four for the price of, you guessed it, $3. They’re nothing to write home about as far as appearances go, but they do write well and last a decent amount of time. I was also pleasantly surprised with how defined the lines were when writing with them.

A Brandless pen on a Brandless notepad

They easily rival the likes of the Pilot G2 pens. That’s right, I said it. And, with those costing nearly $14 for 12, a pack of four brandless pens for $3 is a steal.

 

Brandless Notepads

 

The Brandless notepads, like all things Brandless, are very plain as far as appearances. That being said, I kind of like their organic, cardboard aesthetic. They simply look environmentally friendly.

A Brandless notepad

The notepads come in a pack of two for $3, each notepad being 80 pages. The paper is a nice thickness and the Brandless pens write very well on them. I also like the length of the notepads, as they’re much longer than your super cheap mini notepads from Target or Walmart.

The fact that you only get two for $3 makes this one a close call. They’re more expensive per notepad than your “Back to school special” notepad for $1 or less at a big box store, but they’re also a higher quality and longer. If you’re a big list taker or want something for mega grocery lists, these are a match made in organic Heaven.

 

Brandless Toilet Paper

 

My Brandless toilet paper review is brief, and for good reason: I didn’t want to think about it for too long.

The Brandless toilet paper is $3 for a six-pack of two-ply toilet paper. It’s listed as biodegradable, it’s tree free, and it’s made from sugarcane and bamboo grass. And boy, does it feel like sugarcane and bamboo grass.

It’s rough, a single roll goes very quickly, and I definitely won’t be buying it again. Abandon all hope, ye who use this stuff.

 

Brandless: A Great Deal, or an Illusion?

 

As I mentioned before, Brandless has a TON of products. Since the time I started using Brandless, they’ve added more than 25 additional products.

With an entire line of hygiene products, lotions, and more, I definitely see myself exploring Brandless more. (On that note, this Brandless review will likely be a living article.) That being said, certain items are definitely a tough sell. Sure, their organic mac and cheese is great, but even at $1.50 a box it’s barely competitive with something like Amy’s Macaroni and Cheese, which is also organic. And delicious.

All things considered, is Brandless legit? Most definitely. There’s a little of something for everyone, and they aren’t running any kind of shady operation. I don’t have any major complaints about my overall experience, save that toilet paper.

Now, is Brandless worth it? This largely depends on you.

My advice: check them out, jot down some items you’re interested in, and do some comparison shopping. If you’re near a Trader Joe’s you’ll likely find many better deals there. But, if you’re like me and Trader Joe’s is an hour away, the convenience of Brandless, the fact that they offer organic foods, and their partnership with Feeding America, all make them an appealing alternative to putting a toddler in the car and driving an hour for fancy chips and mac and cheese. (I would drive a hundred miles for Trader Joe’s Cookie Butter, though.)

I’d also advise you to regularly check the Brandless website for new products, as they are growing their lineup at a pretty quick pace. You may not be interested in bamboo toilet paper, but maybe next week they’ll stock some deluxe peanut butter or fruit chips you like! This being the case, I plan on doing many more Brandless product reviews in the near future.

While there is no Brandless membership fee, there is the B.More membership. I can’t say the B.More membership is the best option if you’re an infrequent shopper like I am. (A man can only eat so many puffed potato crisps.) For those of you who find yourselves impulse-buying a lot, the B.More membership could be a great deal as it will save you $5 a pop. If you’re like me, you’re better off placing orders in excess of $39 and scoring that free shipping.

Brandless also offers occasional coupons if you join their mailing list, so I would advise you sign up if you’re at all interested in checking them out at some point.

If you’ve ever purchased anything from Brandless I’d love to hear about your experience. Aren’t the notepads great? Am I alone in loathing the eco-friendly toilet paper? Is anyone full embracing the brandless life? And what the hell is quinoa?

    3 Comments

  1. Pingback: Using Frozen Cheap Burgers: Are they worth it? - The Thrifty Dad

  2. I recently got my first order from Brandless and so far I’ve been pretty happy (by the way the whole wheat animal crackers are a huge bag and my little one loves them)! I ordered a couple of kitchen utensils and the quality is way higher than I anticipated: they’ve quickly become my go-to utensils. I also tried the lemonade rings which are delicious but for the size I wouldn’t order them again unless I had a large order. I am happy to see your review about the toliet paper because I was going to try it on my next order but I was skeptical: the body wash however is very nice and hydrating for mt skin!

    Reply

    • Hi Kyrie!

      Glad to hear you enjoyed the review! The toilet paper is definitely not the best, but in a pinch it’s serviceable!

      Thank you for the tip on the animal crackers! Our little guy loves animal crackers, so I’ll definitely try the brandless ones! We love their office supplies, so we’ll absolutely try the utensils!

      The new ramen bowls look so nice!

      Reply

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