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Public Goods Review – Groceries and Pantry Staples

Marne Orenich
ByMarne OrenichSep 2, 2020 | 15 comments

Public Goods Review - Groceries and Pantry Staples

Public Goods Review

Grocery and Pantry Staples Delivered

Public Goods is a membership service for household, personal care, vitamins and supplements, and shelf-stable grocery items. They aim to cut out the middlemen and eliminate the retail markup on quality goods by delivering products that contain “healthy ingredients with nothing to hide” straight to your door. Many of their products are organic, sustainably sourced, and are always made without toxins.

In this review, I'll be talking about a selection of pantry items found in their grocery section. To find out more about their household and personal items, as well as a more in-depth look at this membership, check out my Public Goods Household and Personal Items Review.

About Public Goods

The Subscription: Public Goods

The Cost: Membership is $59/year for access to low-cost groceries, household, and personal care items. 

The Products: A wide selection of groceries, household, and personal care items. Most products are organic, sustainably sourced, and toxin-free. 

Ships to: The US (free over $45 to the continental US) and Canada (free over $100)

COVID-19 Update: Orders may take an additional 3-4 business days to ship due to disruptions. There are also currently limits on certain items so that they can provide needed products to a larger amount of customers. Restocks are frequent on sold out products, so check back often. I also experienced a late notification on shipping and received the email after the box arrived, so just a heads up!

My Subscription Addiction paid for this box. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes).

Public Goods Packaging


Public Goods keeps their packaging pretty minimal with paper stuffing inside to prevent breakage and plastic to help prevent any spillage. No info cards or packing lists here - everything can be accessed via your account online.

Public Goods Grocery & Pantry Staples Review


Public Goods Penne

17.6 oz. - Retail Value $2.00

This penne is a little bit smaller than what I'm used to but that makes very little difference to me. It's made with organic durum semolina wheat and tastes great to me. I've been eating a ton of pasta lately since it can stay on my pantry shelf for a long time and is a snap to make. I even recently made lasagna, not realizing I didn't quite have enough lasagna noodles. I decided to improvise with a layer of this penne in the middle and it surprisingly worked out quite well! Necessity is the mother of all invention, I guess! This box ends up being cheaper than another organic brand I could find online. Win!

Organic. Made in Italy.


Public Goods Tomato Basil Sauce

21 oz. - Retail Value $4.75

I can be a little bit picky about my tomato sauce. I'm partial to Trader Joe's basil sauce as a staple, but I thought I'd give this one a whirl. The main thing I noticed is that it has a sharp taste to it which I really liked and thought was unique. My roommate thought it may not have as much sugar as other sauces that I'm used to but I don't know for sure. The bottom line is that I liked it! It's not too thin, not too thick, and I used it straight on the penne as well as in the lasagna I mentioned. Two thumbs up! Although when it comes to comparison items like this organic sauce, Public Goods is more expensive.

Organic. Made in Italy.


Public Goods Extra Virgin Olive Oil

16.9 oz. - Retail Value $9.00

I go through quite a bit of olive oil since I use it for any cooking on the stovetop, in the oven, and I make a lot of pasta. I recently used this over some beefy asparagus stalks before popping them in the oven for about 20 minutes. It has a lovely taste and is organic to boot! This product did seem a little pricier than something like this that I could pick up at the local grocery store though.

Organic. Product of Italy.


Public Goods Tuna Fish (Skipjack)

5 oz. each 6 pk - Retail Value $16.00

Tuna fish is another pantry staple of mine since it's easy to make into a tuna salad to eat with crackers as a snack or to be tossed on a roll for a sandwich. I mix my tuna with mayo, celery, capers, and salt + pepper. Each can ends up being $2.67 which is a bit more than what I normally buy, but since this is sustainably caught, I don't mind spending extra. It's actually cheaper than a similar product I found here. I quite enjoyed this tuna and would definitely buy more once I've gone through these.

Sustainably caught. Certified Kosher. Product of Thailand.


Public Goods Mayonnaise

12 oz. - Retail Value $4.00

If I'm gonna buy 6 cans of tuna, I better make sure I have enough mayo to make tuna salad. This mayo is made with cage-free eggs which I like to hear and is also organic. I think it compares very well taste-wise to what I normally buy at Trader Joe's or Whole Foods and is cheaper than another similar brand that I found.

Organic. Made in California.


Public Goods Corn Chowder Mix

7.25 oz. - Retail Value $7.00

A lot of my friends are great at making soups and I have been making them from scratch more often since we've been housebound. Sadly, I am not such a wizard in that department but this corn chowder soup mix lets me pretend like I am. All I needed for this to become a delicious creamy soup was water and half + half. I ended up adding salt + pepper to give a bit more seasoning to my liking, but it was really tasty and made quite a bit that my roommate and I could enjoy for several days. It also ends up being slightly cheaper than another similar soup mix I could find online.

Locally sourced potatoes from Oregon and Washington. Made in Washington.


Public Goods Brown & Wild Rice

8.8 oz. - Retail Value $4.50

I just made this last night as a bed for the asparagus I mentioned earlier. Brown and wild rice is another pantry staple for me to make (normally with salmon) along with some healthy veggies. I enjoyed the ease of making this since it's already cooked and in a pouch, it only needed to be heated up with a couple of teaspoons of water. It was ready in under five minutes and was surprisingly flavorful even though it only has salt and olive oil in it. My boyfriend Kurt and I split the amount in the pack which was perfect as a side dish for dinner. This packet is probably pricier than buying a dry version in bulk, but the short prep time is worth it to me.

Organic. Made in Germany.


Public Goods Ramen Noodles (Original Flavor)

5 pk - Retail Value $7.00

I have been eating this ramen for lunch for a couple of days and loving it! It's been quite some time since I've made Top Ramen at home, but this is by far much more substantial and feeds my ramen cravings since I can't go to one of my favorite restaurants right now. Ready in just 4 minutes once the water is boiled, I opted for the original (soy sauce and sesame oil) flavor. There are 5 packs in this bag and each one has a liquid flavor packet that supplies more than needed for me. The second day I decided to fry up some broccoli to add to it, and it felt right to add the cooked noodles straight into the pan to fry a little in sesame oil. I am now obsessed with this meal and will be slowly adding more ingredients as I make it more. Congrats, ramen! A new staple to my pantry is born! This pack of five ends up being slightly cheaper per ounce than something I found online that doesn't come with sauce packets.

Made in Taiwan.


Public Goods Oatmeal

16 oz. - Retail Value $3.25

Am I the only one who struggles with making the perfect oatmeal? I feel like no matter what, it's too soupy or too sticky, like cement. I actually faired pretty well with this oatmeal even though it had no directions at all. That was the only downside which was easily remedied by the modern convenience of the internet. Like rice, oatmeal has a 1-1 water ratio, so I started with 1/3 cup of each, boiling the water first before adding the oatmeal. It was easy to go from there and add more oatmeal and water as I saw fit. It was ready in mere minutes and I added some brown sugar to sweeten it a bit. This is a nice healthy breakfast food (which I've actually been eating now that I am working from home). I can't wait to get some fresh berries soon to add to it. Public Goods' brand seems to be a lot cheaper than this popular organic brand I found online.

Organic. Made in Kentucky.


I am once again very happy with everything from my Public Goods order! There wasn't a product I didn't like and I love that almost everything is organic. Out of the nine items I purchased from Public Goods, only 2 or 3 of them were a bit pricier than other products I could find online, so it can be hit or miss depending on what you get. For the most part, I think most of their products end up being cheaper and taste just as good if not better than other brands. Ordering from home is really easy and I like that I can get non-grocery items from them as well, all in one order. The $59 membership is kind of a drawback but since I just placed my third order in the first two weeks, I think it'll be worth it!

Can you still get this box if you order today? Unfortunately at the moment, a handful of the items I selected are sold out at the time of publication but I've noticed that they seem to be restocking quite often. There were items sold out one day when I went to order but then back in stock the next. It's best to use their restock notification so that you will be alerted when things you want are back in stock. There is still plenty to choose from and PS- they still have paper towels (tree-free), hand sanitizer, and hand soap in stock, plus tree-free toilet paper that should restock soon. I'm excited to try more new grocery items too! 

If you're interested in more information about signing up, ordering, or Public Goods' non-food items, check out my Public Goods Household Cleaning and Personal Care Review!

Keep track of your subscriptions by adding this box to your subscription list or wishlist!

Have you tried Public Goods groceries? What do you think of the cost and taste?

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Public Goods is a membership service for household, personal care, vitamins and supplements, and grocery items. They aim to cut out the middlemen and eliminate the retail markup on quality goods by delivering products that contain healthy ingredients with nothing to hide straight to your door.
Marne Orenich
Marne Orenich
Marne is a lipstick connoisseur, record collector, and twice over cat mom. She loves discovering new clean beauty brands and has quite the collection of beautifully packaged serums and moisturizers.

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Just a note – anytime I have made simple white rice it is a 2-1 ratio, not a 1-1 ratio. Would this ratio be for brown rice? I am unsure as I don’t normally use brown rice. You had said “oatmeal, like rice, is a 1-1 ratio”. if you like to add milk to your oatmeal, as many people do, I would back off of the 1-1 ratio and do a 1-3/4 ratio (3/4 being the water) so it is a little denser before you add your milk. This is how I have always done this and it seems to work for people who like to add milk after it is cooked.

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Someone should tell Public Goods that there is no such thing as treeless paper towels or toilet paper. If it’s made of paper, trees were used. Paper is made from wood pulp. Wood comes from trees. Maybe they meant to say recycled rather than treeless. But even if it’s recycled, it originated from trees.

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It’s made from bamboo : )

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Thank you for such a thorough review Marne! As usual, you have taken the leg work out of this choice. I for one, appreciate it.

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I think the real saving from Public Goods comes from their personal care products (with the exception of their tree-free paper goods). Their shampoo, conditioner, bar and liquid soaps etc. are ridiculously cheap, AND excellent. I’ve yet to find a product of theirs that I don’t like.!

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Where are the prices of how much these cost? You pay $59 membership, but then you also pay per item, right? How much was the pasta??

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Marne Orenich

Hi Rachel,
That’s correct. Membership is $59/yr (after free 2 week trial) and you pay per item. The prices are under each item name in the review. The pasta is $2. 🙂

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Thank you for the reply! I read those prices as being the price for a comparable item in the grocery store, not as the actual price after membership. Thanks for the extra info.

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Might give this service a try now that Thrive Market keeps shutting down their ordering system every other day.

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I’ve been disappointed by Thrive. I’ve been a member for a year and a half. I went to place my monthly order today, only to discover I couldn’t add anything to my cart. Had to leave the app and go to the website to see the message that they weren’t taking any orders right now. They should have sent an email out to members about that.

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Amanda P

These ‘retail prices’ for groceries are 20%-100% more expensive than the name brands at my store. Sure, imported from Italy tomato sauce in a fancy glass jar might be a little more, but these are nowhere near generic prices. Is this supposed to be ‘sourced form the best of the best’ like Trader Joe’s advertises? Or are we supposed to be saving money?

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I think the prices seem fair for the quality of the products. I also think it’s a little unfair that you’re essentially mocking people who buy “fancy glass jar” pasta sauce. I shop and Aldi, and even their brand pasta sauce comes in a glass jar. I

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Will have to try when they have more items to purchase😁 thanks for the info!

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Marne Orenich

Hi Amanda- I tried to compare these items to ones that were as close in ingredients as possible. That means organic and sustainable, so they may be more expensive than items that are not either of those. I hope that makes sense!

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Honestly I thought the prices were not bad but I mostly shop at Whole Foods so my perspective may be skewed.

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