There isn’t a mother on earth that wants to go to the grocery store anymore, and who can blame us? It was never easy to navigate the grocery store especially with little ones who insist on standing inside your cart, running down the aisles, and pretty much touching every. single. thing. In short, grocery delivery services have never been more needed, but while the supply and demand are certainly there, it’s hard to know which one is best for you. (Hint: You may prefer shopping from more than one.) Each grocery delivery service has a different selection of items and the delivery times can really run the gamut. In some cases, you’ll need a membership to order and in others, it won’t be necessary, but in all cases, there’s likely to be some kind of delivery fee per order unless minimum amounts are met.
One bit of silver lining to the messed-up times we’re in is that contactless delivery is the name of the game right now, with companies implementing a bunch of practices that take social distancing into account. Everything can be delivered to your door with little to no contact whatsoever.
The best thing about grocery delivery services is that you can order what you need without leaving your house or changing our of your yoga pants, and you can get what you need — like a glass of wine perhaps ?— sometimes in under an hour. So whether you plan to use the time you’re saving by not grocery shopping to vacuum (boo) or lounge in a hammock in the backyard (yay), here are eight grocery delivery services worth checking out.
We’ve listed either the lowest delivery fees or the least cost of membership with each brand, as they each have a different opening price point. None are more than $10 to experience at least once!
Instacart has become increasingly popular in part because they have relationships with so many retail stores, including a growing number of local, mom-and-pop shops (YAY!). First, you choose from a variety of grocery stores, drugstores, and even wine shops via the app or website. You’ve got a ton of options, including Publix, Fresh Market, Aldi, Safeway, Costco, CVS, and ABC Fine Wine & Spirits. Once you select items and place your order, a shopper is dispatched to shop the items for you. Some stores have “everyday low prices” set for Instacart shoppers, but in many cases, the prices are higher for using Instacart (hey they’ve got to make their money somehow). You’ll be kept in the loop of your shopper’s status and — oops — if you forgot something, you’ll have a window of time where you can add items. Once shopping is in progress you’re able to communicate with your shopper (“How did I forget [email protected]) via text. You can also scroll through a handy list of replacements for approval if an exact item isn’t found. Coupons are automatically applied to qualifying items in your cart, but you usually have to spend quite a bit to unlock those and you can’t apply any other coupons.
What sets them apart: Instacart has partnerships with more retail stores than any other grocery delivery service we found.
Availability: Nationwide but exact stores are dependent on your zip code
Cost: $7.99 for one-hour delivery or $5.99 for two-hour or more delivery, but the price creeps up when it’s busy. For free two-hour delivery on orders $35+, you can pay for an Instacart Express membership that costs $99 per year or $9.99 per month if you opt for monthly billing. The express service exempts you from peak pricing when Instacart is busy, so if you plan to use the service regularly, this is the way to go. Beware that a tip is added to each order automatically, and you’re free to increase it, decrease it, or remove it altogether.
This grocery delivery service has become synonymous with Target as that’s one of their exclusive partners, so if you’re a major fan of “Tar-Jay,” as loyalists call it, Shipt is all you. It does offer several other retail stores, including Costco, Petco, CVS, and even swanky Sur La Table (which we love) but fewer than other grocery delivery services. Once shopping is in progress you get up-to-the-minute updates about the status of your order and you’ll also have a window of time when you can add items you may have missed. Shipt’s rule is that if the shopper is still in the store aisle, you can add any item you want. Like other grocery delivery services, you can text your shopper via the app or website. In general, prices are a little bit higher than shopping for yourself (about $5 more per order) but not nearly as high as other grocery delivery services. Heads up about coupons: Shipt offers in-app specials on items, but you can’t use manufacturers’ or store coupons.
What sets them apart: It’s the exclusive delivery service for Target, aka the mother ship to moms everywhere.
Availability: Nationwide but exact retail stores depend on your zip code
Cost: Membership is $99 per year or $14 per month. If you meet the order minimum of $35, delivery is free. It’s $7 for orders below $35.
If you normally spend at least $30 each time you walk into a grocery store, you may have met your match with Peapod. Owned by the same company that’s behind Food Lion and Stop & Shop, it bypasses the retail shops and allows you to order from the warehouse directly. Same-day or next-day delivery is available, but you can actually order up to two weeks ahead, which is perfect if you’ve got an AirB&B stay on the horizon. If you’re not home at the time of delivery, Peapod delivery drivers will leave your order in an insulated container right on your doorstep. In addition to regular groceries, Peapod has trendy chef-inspired meal kits for those times when you need dinner in a hurry.
What sets them apart: Peapod accepts manufacturers’ coupons and will even double them up to $.99 (woot woot).
Availability: Peapod offers services throughout the Northeast, the Midwest, and the mid-Atlantic states mostly.
Cost: Membership isn’t required, but there’s a $30 minimum to qualify for delivery, and delivery fees start at around $6.95. Those fees vary depending on how much you spend (the bigger the order, the less money out of your pocket). If you don’t need your order right away, off-peak times usually provide lower delivery fees. You can also buy a PodPass for discounted deliveries at $69 for six months or $119 for the year.
If you love the everyday low prices at Walmart and you like the ability to order more than just groceries (gardening essentials, electronics, you name it), check out the Walmart grocery delivery service. You can arrange for same-day deliveries if you place your order before 1 p.m. or schedule them up to a week out. If you’re planning on running errands, you can also set up curbside pickup and swing by your local store to grab your stuff. You can order online or through the Walmart Grocery app (the company plans to merge this app with their primary Walmart app soon but for now, they’re two separate things). Keep in mind you’ll have to order a minimum of $30 to qualify for pick-up or delivery.
What sets them apart: True to their branding, Walmart offers some of the lowest prices on grocery items and they don’t add “service” fees on top of everything else, so you never have to worry about major markups.
Availability: The service is growing and is currently available almost anywhere with a Walmart nearby — nearly 2,000 cities!
Cost: Delivery fees range from $7.95 to $9.95, depending on the size of your order and how fast you want it, but if you’re a regular Walmart shopper, you may want to sign up for Delivery Unlimited ($98 per year or $12.95 per month) and enjoy free delivery on every order.
If you’re an Amazon Prime member (and if you’re not, we need to know how you muster the strength to resist), you’d be crazy not to take advantage of AmazonFresh. From groceries to meal kits to prepared meals from local restaurants, it’s all available for delivery as part of AmazonFresh so long as you spend at least $35. Delivery windows vary and in recent months, they’ve been so backed up that Amazon has introduced a virtual cue or waitlist, but pickup at an Amazon locker is available for free in select cities, so if you can’t wait, you’ve got options. Not a Prime member? There’s always Amazon Pantry, which allows anyone to order non-perishable items like pantry staples and cleaning supplies. The fee is $5.99 for non-prime members and orders usually take one to four days to arrive.
What sets them apart: Amazon owns Whole Foods, so the freshest, yummiest organic produce is pretty much at your fingertips, but they also partner with several other major grocers.
Availability: AmazonFresh is only available in select cities, but that number is growing all the time, especially now that delivery services have become a lifesaver for so many. Amazon Pantry is available in most regions of the U.S.
Cost: Free for Amazon prime members if you send at least $35, but it’s $9.99 if you spend less.
If you’d love nothing more than to stock your kitchen with organics but the higher-then-usual prices scare the [email protected]# out of you, meet Thrive Market. It sells mostly organic, healthy foods at affordable prices, hence why they refer to themselves as a cross between Costco and Whole Foods. Orders are made via an app or website and take about two to three business days to arrive, so it’s mostly frozen foods and non-perishables as far as groceries go, but the selection is pretty vast. You can also shop by room if you need bathroom essentials or kitchen supplies like cleaners and soap.
What sets them apart: Thrive has a ton of allergy-free foods as well as those specific to meal plans like Keto, Paleo, and Whole 30, making it easy to shop if you’re on a special diet.
Cost: Membership is $59 if paid annually or $9.99 monthly and you must be a member to order, but every paid membership is matched with a free one that’s given to a low-income family, a student, a teacher, a veteran, or a first responder. It’s the perfect choice for do-gooders!
Fans of Fresh Direct swear it saves them hours at crowded supermarkets. You basically shop via an app or website like you would any virtual store, select a delivery time with a two-hour window, and check out. You can choose from same-day or next-day delivery, or schedule one up to a week in advance. Fresh Direct’s partnerships with many East Coast farms, dairies, and fisheries mean the bulk of what you order is grown locally. They also sell a few household supplies, but the majority of their selection is focused on groceries.
What sets them apart: Fresh Direct offers Farm Share boxes filled with assorted produce, milk, cheese, and eggs from local farms, which is basically like a virtual visit to a farmer’s market.
Availability: Fresh Direct delivers to certain counties in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C. with seasonal summer service in the Hamptons and the Jersey Shore.
Cost: Delivery fees start at $5.99 for minimum orders of $30 but increase depending on the exact location.
The company behind Albertsons, Vons, and of course, Safeway itself now offers same- or next-day deliveries. This means the full spectrum of grocery store staples are available to you, as well as many bath and household items like paper towels and toothpaste. Heads up that Safeway, in particular, is also available via Instacart, which provides access to dozens of other retailers as well.
What sets them apart: Your first delivery is usually free and in most cases delivery is available rather quickly after placing your order.
Availability: Mostly on the West Coast, but Safeway does have several locations on the East Coast, too. It varies depending on the exact location.
Cost: Delivery fees start at $10 for minimum orders of $30 but decrease if you spend more than $150. Tip: Sign up for their email and you’ll score coupons for discounted or free delivery.
Check out more of our home and kitchen picks designed to make life a little easier.