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Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, many people have avoided the grocery store and swapped to a grocery delivery service to adhere to social distancing and avoid contracting COVID-19. While it was initially challenging to even get a delivery time for some grocery delivery services, things have seemed to have cooled down. There are several services to choose from, but which one is right for you?
To help you out, we’re breaking down the eight most popular places that will deliver groceries straight to your door. Not only do grocery delivery services help limit your contact with others (all these services have a contactless delivery option), but they can be useful for those of us who are too busy to grocery shop or just hate the errand. Plus, it’s always nice getting a delivery—especially when it’s food.
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Minimum order: $10
Delivery fee: Starts at $4 for non-members
Membership: Instacart Express: $99/year or $9.99/month for free delivery on all orders over $35
Instacart is probably the most well-known of the grocery delivery services, as it sends personal shoppers to a grocery store in your area of your choosing. Depending on where you’re located, options include Wegman’s, Whole Foods, Stop & Shop, Costco, and even non-grocery stores like CVS and Petco. You don’t need a membership to use the service, but you will be charged a delivery fee unless you purchase the Instacart Express membership.
We’ve tried Instacart before and found the site is easy to peruse, though it can be hard to request specific sizes on produce. Shopping for the most part is easy. Once you’ve chosen your grocery store, you can search through a variety of produce, non-perishables, and specialty items. After selecting an item, you have the option to choose substitutions, in case it’s sold out. After you’ve virtually shopped, you can select a time window for the delivery within an hour.
The initial subtotal will estimate the cost of your groceries (this will change to the precise total when the shopper is done), delivery fee, service fee, sales tax, and driver tip, making it pricier than your typical grocery run.
Shop for groceries at Instacart
Minimum order: $35
Delivery fee: Free with membership
Membership: Walmart+: $98/year or $12.95/month for free deliveries and a $35 minimum
Did you know Walmart delivers groceries? As long as you’re located near a participating store, you can get Walmart groceries shipped to you with no delivery cost with the new service Walmart+ (though you do need to front the membership cost). You can also order groceries without the membership, but there’s a $35 minimum. Plus, if you sign up for Walmart+, you can also get free shipping on other essentials, like paper towels, toys, dumbbells, and the like, so you can conquer all your shopping in one place.
Navigating the grocery page of Walmart is very similar to other food delivery services. The homepage features a variety of popular items, but it’s typically easier to search for the food you’re looking for or choose a department. Walmart will also feature “rollbacks” on certain food that’s on sale, so you’ll be in the know regarding deals. Once you’ve added everything to your virtual cart, you can select either a pickup time or a delivery time.
3. Amazon Fresh
Minimum order: $35 for free delivery in most locations
Delivery fee: $10 for orders under $35
Membership: Amazon Prime: $12.99/month or $112/year to use the service
Amazon Fresh is a great option for those who already use Amazon Prime, as it’s the only way to order from the grocery delivery service. Shopping on Amazon Fresh works the same way as shopping for anything else on Amazon—you’re just looking for groceries instead. You can see an item is in stock (something not a lot of grocery delivery services offer), and you can even find coupons. But if you spend less than $35, you’ll be hit with a $9.99 delivery charge.
Groceries are sourced from Whole Foods as well as other neighboring grocery stores, depending on where you live. Once your cart is full, you can choose your delivery window for as early as same-day if it’s available. You can opt for an in-person delivery if you’d like, but you don’t need to be there to get your order.
Shop for groceries at Amazon Fresh
Minimum order: $60
Delivery fee: From $2.95 to $9.95
Stop & Shop lovers will be big fans of Peapod, which exclusively delivers from the grocery chain. Therefore, this service is also only available in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island where Stop & Shops are located. Peapod’s site features virtual aisles, but it’s much easier to just search for specific products.
When you click on the product, you get an in-depth look at the nutritional values and the ingredients, which is a nice feature considering you can’t see these specs on an apple when shopping IRL. You can also make suggestions for substitutions if your desired item is out of stock. After you’re done shopping, you can select a delivery time and select whether you’ll be home or not, or you can choose in-store pickup and waive the delivery fee.
Minimum order: None
Delivery fee: $10
Membership: Shipt Everyday: $99/year for free deliveries on orders over $35
Like Instacart, Shipt ships groceries from local grocery stores as well as items from retailers like Target, Bed Bath and Beyond, and Petco. You can get your haul delivered as soon as one hour after ordering, and you can place an order whenever the store is open, including 24/7 stores. The Shipt shopping page heavily focuses on deals, with icons showing various sale pages on specific groceries, toys, and more.
Adding items to cart is easy, and when you go to check out, the site tells you how much time you’ve “saved” from not going to the store, which is a feel-good stat. Once you go to checkout, just select your delivery time and add any special instructions. The delivery will cost $10, or you can reduce that price by purchasing bulk Shipt Passes or Shipt Everyday for $99.
Minimum order: $30
Delivery fee: Starting at $6
Membership: DeliveryPass: $79/six months or $129/year for unlimited free deliveries
If you live in New York City, Philadelphia, or Washington, D.C, consider using FreshDirect, which ships high-quality produce and meat selections to these areas. While FreshDirect isn’t associated with a particular grocery store, you can still browse a great selection of groceries. Shopping the site is easy and you can find everything from prepared foods to party platters to wine and spirits. You usually need to order a day in advance, especially for catered items, as they take time to prepare.
After shopping, you can set a delivery time or opt for a pickup location in your respective city. The delivery fee is typically $6, but you can also get a membership for unlimited free deliveries.
Shop for groceries at FreshDirect
7. Thrive Market
Minimum order: $49
Delivery fee: Included with membership
Membership: $9.95/month or $59/year
While Thrive Market doesn’t deliver fresh produce, it’s a great place to supplement your grocery runs with grains, snacks, specialty items, beauty products, and other non-perishable goods. To use Thrive Market, you do need a membership, which costs $10 a month. But for each membership sold, the company donates one for a teacher or person in need.
Before shopping the site, you’ll take a quiz to determine your food interests, which will impact the items you’ll most frequently see. There’s a focus on organic products as well as keto and vegan items at affordable prices. Thrive Market also has its own line of products and uses carbon-neutral delivery, for feel good purchases. You can fill your orders via the Thrive Market app or online on your internet browser, and then wait for your shipment to arrive.
Shop for groceries at Thrive Market
Minimum order: $49 for free shipping
Delivery fee: $7 delivery fee on orders under $49
Membership: BoxedUp: $49/year for free shipping on all orders, 2% cash rewards, and additional discounts
Boxed specialties in bulk groceries and household supplies (think an online Costco). Our office used to get snacks shipped via Boxed during the before times and we loved the variety of choices. Navigating the site is simple, and you can also browse via the Boxed app. After placing an order, you simply wait for your shipment to arrive.
You can also get perishable goods shipped in bulk, too, like milk, eggs, fruit, and veggies with Boxed Express. Note that the selection is more limited and these shipments have different minimum orders and delivery fees, like any other grocery delivery service.
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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
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