IIf you already have Amazon Prime, you should use AmazonFresh to get the most out of your membership. Just log in to your Amazon account, and order almost any fresh groceries you can think of through the AmazonFresh page. If there's a Whole Foods in your area, you'll have the option to shop specifically from that store, too. And Prime members in specific zip codes get access to Prime Now, which can deliver groceries from Whole Foods—as well as a range of other items—in one to two hours.
There's no additional membership or service fees, and delivery is free if the order totals more than $35 (in most regions). If you want an expedited delivery, you can pay an extra fee for your goods to be delivered within the hour. Many grocery delivery companies require you to be home to accept delivery, but Amazon offers both attended and unattended delivery options.
Amazon Fresh allows you to use SNAP EBT cards in participating states without a Prime membership. The delivery fee will still apply if the order is under $35. An Amazon Prime membership starts at around $119 per year or $13 per month.
Thrive is an online-only marketplace that allows customers to shop according to filters such as "vegan," "gluten-free," or "paleo," making it easy for those following a specific diet or philosophy.
Instead of ordering items at your local store, you can order from Thrive's vast selection of 6,000-plus items. From toothpaste and chips to dog treats, the products are all GMO-free and usually organic. There are even wines from organic, biodynamic, or sustainably-farmed grapes. The majority of items offered are shelf-stable, so there's no fresh produce. But the company does provide bulk packs of frozen meat and seafood.
While grocery delivery companies like Instacart and Shipt offer slightly higher prices than the stores to cover their costs, Thrive products are 25% to 50% cheaper than retail because the company buys direct and passes on the savings. Think of it like Costco, but online, and with an emphasis on natural foods. And just like Costco, a membership—it costs approximately $60—is required to shop. But with each membership purchased, the company donates one to someone who can't afford a membership through its Thrive Gives program.
Thrive delivers anywhere in the contiguous United States and often throws in gifts or samples. Orders usually arrive in two to three business days and are packed with sustainable materials. Delivery is free for orders over $25 or $5.95 for orders less than $25.
While some grocery delivery services only offer items from their own inventory, Instacart allows customers to shop from most of their favorite neighborhood grocery stores, like Kroger, Albertsons, and even Petco. The company recently began offering shopping services at Target, too, even though Target owns Instacart’s main competitor, Shipt. That means you can get far more than groceries if you want.
Depending on your local laws, you may even be able to have prescriptions and alcohol delivered, but you’ll have to show proper ID upon delivery. There’s also usually an additional service fee depending on the total of the order.
Every store that Instacart partners with sets its own price for items. Some stores offer the same prices through Instacart as they do at the actual store. Others charge a bit more. To determine costs, select the store you want to browse through, then click the "view pricing info" link under the shop’s logo. Although store sale prices aren’t promoted through the service, Instacart often offers its own coupons, promotions, and discounts.
Keep in mind; there's a delivery fee for orders if you don't sign up for an Instacart Express membership (which gives members free delivery on orders of $35 or higher). And, if you order your delivery during a hectic time of day, an extra "busy time" fee may apply. You will see it displayed after selecting a delivery time, so you'll have the chance to reschedule the delivery for a different window if you want to avoid the fee.
You can have the groceries delivered to your door or have them set aside for pick-up. Instacart is available in more than 4,000 cities across all 50 states. You can schedule your order to be delivered within two hours, and you can even schedule it up to six days in advance. Instacart has an order minimum of $10.
Shipt is very similar to Instacart, although at the moment it's offered in fewer cities. You can order online or in the app from a range of your local grocery stores—and even drug stores like CVS. Target owns Shipt, however, so you can tap into its vast range of goods.
Personal shoppers do all the work and deliver to your door. If you'd like, they can even text you to make sure you're okay with substitutions or see if you need any late additions to your order. Shipt also offers 24/7 chat with customer service. You can schedule your delivery to arrive as soon as one hour after ordering. Shoppers are available anytime a store is open, which includes ones open 24 hours. In some cities, you can opt to pick up from the grocery store instead.
Aside from excellent customer service, another thing that sets Shipt apart from Instacart is its streamlined approach to fees. Instead of charging various fees for different circumstances, customers have to sign up for a membership.
Shipt's prices are generally a bit higher than in-store prices, which the company says helps cover its costs. Membership starts at around $99 per year or $14 per month. Delivery is free for orders $35 and up or $7 for orders less than $35.
Peapod is owned by the same company that owns the Stop & Shop supermarket chain. Its service allows you to place pickup and delivery orders via GIANT, MARTIN'S, Stop & Shop, and Giant, based on the store most convenient to you.
Customer-friendly features like a weekly shoppable ad, an enhanced shopping list, and the convenience to integrate coupons and rewards make this a seamless digital grocery experience.
Order groceries online or in the app, and an employee will deliver your order during the time selected the next day or up to two weeks in advance. You can also opt for pick up in certain areas. When scheduling, keep your eyes peeled for special value days when Peapod offers discounted delivery fees. You can see these discounts when selecting your time slot. But be aware: Sometimes, a fuel surcharge of a few cents is added along with a delivery fee.
A delivery fee is based on your order's size, but starts at $9.95 with the order minimum of $30.
Grocery shopping in New York City isn’t for the faint of heart, especially if you’re getting a week’s worth of groceries. FreshDirect lets city dwellers skip the lines and the long slog home—and they’re not the only ones. The service is also available in other parts of New York and the Jersey shore, the Greater Philadelphia area, and the Greater Washington, D.C. area.
FreshDirect is like a supermarket that comes to you. It has its own warehouses of fresh produce, meat, seafood, dairy, and prepared foods, and it’s well-known for offering top-quality goods. It also sells beer and wine and popular brands of everyday household goods like bathroom cleaners, deodorants, and toothpaste.
Customers have to order a day in advance and reserve their delivery time slot up to a week in advance. Those in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens can sign up for the DeliveryPass—a way for customers to get unlimited free deliveries for a flat fee.
What Is a Grocery Delivery Service?
A grocery delivery service is for those who wish to skip going to the grocery store. Customers order online, and the groceries are delivered to the home. Some services allow you to shop directly from the grocery store digitally. A personal shopper gathers your items and delivers them; other services provide specialty products that you order online and are delivered to your home.
What if I Am Unsatisfied With the Substitutions Made To My Order?
Some services, such as InstaCart, allow you to select your preferred item as well as an appropriate substitute if that item isn't available. If you are logged into their App, often the shopper will notify you if an item isn't available and ask if a substitution will be appropriate. In the event you receive a substitution you are unsatisfied with, contact customer service about the matter.
Is There a Minimum Order Amount for a Grocery Delivery Service?
This varies with each company. For example, Peapod has a minimum $60 order; Instacart is $10. While there isn't a minimum order with Thrive, there's motivation to order at least $49, as that's when free delivery kicks in.
How Much Do Grocery Delivery Services Charge?
Some companies, such as Boxed, Thrive, and Shipt, have membership fees. After the membership fee is paid, the actual cost of each item (plus delivery, if applicable) is all you'll pay.
How We Chose the Best Grocery Delivery Services
We chose the best grocery delivery services based on a variety of options. We sought companies that provide the best prices, best bulk purchasing, and best-personalized experience, among other criteria.
For example, we chose Peapod because of its exceptional value days. Boxed was selected for its bulk purchases and Shipt for a personalized experience.