Who has time for grocery shopping? One way to get more of your time back is to outsource tasks to someone else: Enter grocery delivery services.
You might dislike going to the grocery store for a number of reasons: It's crowded, the lines are long and you'd probably rather be doing something else. Additionally, grocery stores are full of temptations such as magazines, candy bars and other items not on your shopping list. With all these negatives, it's not surprising that delivery services are becoming more and more popular as a way to save time and money on grocery shopping.
11 Best Grocery Delivery Services
If you're hoping to save time, cut costs and ditch your weekly trip to the store, you should consider these grocery and meal delivery options. Here are the best grocery delivery services:
For those who need their groceries immediately, Instacart is the best option as it can deliver items in as little as one hour. Instacart currently services 26 states and the District of Columbia.
Unlike other grocery delivery services, Instacart doesn't have a giant warehouse where your food comes from. Instead, it connects you with freelance personal shoppers who will bring you groceries from your store of choice — like Whole Foods, Costco and Petco — and in record time.
You can also sign up for Instacart Express to save even more money if you use the service regularly. An Instacart Express membership costs $149 per year — which is about $12.50 per month. This fee is well worth it if you order grocery delivery at least three times a month. With Instacart Express, delivery is free for one-hour, two-hour and scheduled grocery deliveries over $35.
How much does Instacart cost? For one-hour services, the Instacart delivery fee is $5.99 for orders over $35. For non-rush orders above $35, the fee is just $3.99. The minimum order is $10.
Is Instacart worth it? Instacart's fee is the lowest of all the grocery delivery services profiled, and you can get your groceries within an hour.
Related: Best and Worst Deals at Whole Foods
AmazonFresh offers free delivery on all orders over $40. However, the catch is that members must pay a monthly fee of $14.99 in addition to their annual $99 Amazon Prime charge to use the service. Some people might scoff at the extra charge, but it's actually a decrease from the previous $299 annual cost of Amazon Prime and AmazonFresh.
AmazonFresh is currently available in the Seattle, Northern California, Southern California, New York City and Philadelphia areas. Though membership for this service is pricey, the actual items tend to be priced competitively.
How much does AmazonFresh cost? Amazon Prime members pay a monthly fee of $14.99, in addition to their annual $99 Prime membership. All deliveries over $40 are free — not including tips — with membership, but orders under $40 will be charged a delivery fee of $9.99.
Is AmazonFresh worth it? If you have an Amazon Prime membership and plan to use the service regularly, this could be the service for you. Amazon Prime costs $99 per year in addition to the monthly charge.
Peapod was founded in 1989, with the online shop coming to fruition in 1996. One of America's leading online grocers, Peapod offers more than 12,000 different products to consumers, including organic grocery delivery, deli items, prepared foods, seasonal items and much more. Peapod currently services 13 states and the District of Columbia.
One downside of Peapod is its use of plastic bags. However, the company does offer to recycle the bags if customers give them back to their drivers.
How much does Peapod cost? For orders greater than $100, the delivery fee is $6.95. Orders under $100 have a fee of $9.95. The minimum order allowed is $60.
Is Peapod worth it? If you use the service only when you're spending more than $100, the fee is minimal.
With Vons grocery delivery service, the early bird really does get the worm. Vons, whose parent company is Safeway, offers same-day grocery delivery if you order before 8:30 a.m. One of the biggest benefits of Vons is that users can "Shop by History." Use your registered Club Card when you shop and your purchases will be saved in your own personal online store. This feature makes shopping with Vons one of the best online grocery shopping experiences because it's easier and faster than many similar services from other grocery delivery companies.
Vons and Safeway deliver groceries and alcohol in many major U.S. cities and suburbs.
How much does Vons delivery cost? For purchases of $150 or more, Vons charges a $9.95 delivery fee in most areas. For purchases less than $150, the fee rises to $12.95. The minimum order amount is $49, and new customers get free delivery on their first online order.
Is Vons delivery worth it? Vons delivery is worth it for those who are extremely busy. Vons isn't among the cheapest grocery delivery services — in fact, its fee is one of the highest — but because users can shop by history, the time spent placing orders online is minimal.
5. Blue Apron
Blue Apron is a cooking delivery service that supplies both fresh ingredients and recipes on a weekly basis. Available nationwide, Blue Apron delivers pre-portioned ingredients for meals to your door on a day that is convenient for you. Although the service is pricey, it simplifies both the shopping and meal-planning process for customers.
How much does Blue Apron cost? Blue Apron prices allow you to choose between the two-person plan and the family plan. For the two-person plan, users receive three nights' worth of meals for $59.94. Two meals per week with the family plan will cost you $69.92, and four meals will run you $139.84. Shipping is free, and you can skip any week you choose.
Is Blue Apron worth it? Blue Apron meal delivery is best for those who want to learn to cook gourmet meals. Many Blue Apron reviews rave about the service. At roughly $8 to $10 per person, you can decide if the meal is worth it.
With FreshDirect, customers can find high-quality fresh foods, along with their favorite brand-name items, and purchase them with the click of a button. New users of FreshDirect's convenient grocery delivery service receive two months of free deliveries for just one penny with the DeliveryPass.
Currently, FreshDirect offers its services in Washington, D.C., parts of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Delaware, with delivery on the Jersey Shore and in the Hamptons available in the summer only.
How much does FreshDirect cost? After your 60-day trial ends, if you choose to keep DeliveryPass, you'll be charged $79 for six months of delivery services or $129 for a year.
Is FreshDirect worth it? If you will use this service regularly, it's worth it. The longer your subscription, the greater the savings you will enjoy.
Keep Reading: 9 Ways Being Healthy Can Save You Money
7. Purple Carrot
Purple Carrot is similar to Blue Apron, but it's all plant-based — every meal is completely vegan. This cooking delivery service supplies both fresh ingredients and recipes on a weekly basis.
Purple Carrot delivers pre-portioned ingredients for meals to 36 states — all throughout the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and West Coast regions of the U.S. — and the District of Columbia.
How much does Purple Carrot cost? Purple Carrot offers a one- to two-person plan that costs $68 per week and provides you with three recipes along with the food needed to prepare the meal. They also have a three- to four-person plan that costs $74 per week and provides two recipes.
Is Purple Carrot worth it? This is a great option for those who have special dietary needs like eating dairy-free, vegan, vegetarian and they even offer some gluten-free options. Purple Carrot doesn't charge any tax, additional shipping cost or any other hidden fees.
HelloFresh is another meal delivery service that sends you recipes and fresh, nutritionally balanced ingredients to help you prepare quick and easy meals without having to step foot into a grocery store.
HelloFresh delivers to all states, including the District of Columbia — with the exception of Alaska and Hawaii.
How much does HelloFresh cost? You can choose from three meal plans:
- The Classic Plan: Choose from three to five meals that serve two or four people for $60 to $120.
- The Veggie Plan: Strictly vegetarian, this plan allows you to choose three meals that serve two or four people for $60 to $120.
- The Family Plan: You can choose two to three meals on the which serves four people for $70 to $105.
The average price of a meal per person ranges from about $9 to $10, depending on the plan you choose.
Is HelloFresh worth it? HelloFresh offers delivery to more states than any other service listed here, making it a great option for some states that might not be serviced by the other companies. They also offer meal plans for vegetarians in addition to their other plans, making this a good choice for those who are vegetarian or want to try a plant-based diet.
9. Google Express
Google Express, originally called Google Shopping Express, doesn't just deliver groceries. You can get everything from flowers to shoes to pet supplies delivered as well — and sometimes within the same day.
The delivery area for Google Express is vast, but how long it takes to get to you depends on where the stores are located that you're ordering from. You'll be able to see this at checkout.
How much does Google Express cost? A Google Express membership is $10 per month or $95 a year if you pay up front. With a Google Express membership, you can get fast and free delivery on eligible orders, or pay a $3 small-order fee. Non-members pay a delivery fee of $4.99 per store, however.
Is Google Express worth it? One of the perks of Google Express is that you can get items delivered from Costco, Target and Fry's Electronics, which most other delivery services don't offer. Same-day delivery is also available, allowing you to get items from many stores quickly.
Costco now offers a delivery service to bring orders directly to your door. The wholesale giant launched its service in the Tampa, Fla. area in late March, with plans to expand to 50 markets by the end of 2017.
How much does Costco delivery cost? Costco uses Shipt to provide deliveries; the service is free for Tampa area residents for their first two weeks. Otherwise, Shipt membership costs $99 per year for unlimited Costco deliveries — just slightly cheaper than using Google Express, but significantly cheaper than Instacart Express. You can opt for a monthly membership, which costs $14 each month.
Is Costco grocery delivery worth it? No minimum order is required to get a delivery, but for orders under $35, you'll pay a $7 fee. But Shipt is also partners with other grocers to provide local grocery delivery services, including Whole Foods and regional chains H-E-B, Harris Teeter and Meijer, so it could be easy to meet that $35 minimum to get the delivery fee waived. Delivery is available seven days a week, with the exception of some holidays, and Shipt doesn't charge surge or busy pricing.
Yummy.com is a neighborhood market and online grocer. You can schedule a grocery delivery for any 30-minute window you wish — including 30 minutes from the time you order.
Yummy.com operates in six locations in Los Angeles: Century City, Hollywood, Mid-City, Playa Vista, Santa Monica and Silver Lake.
How much does Yummy.com cost? You can get free delivery if you order $100 or more. Otherwise, you will be charged a $5.99 delivery fee. Minimum order is $14.99.
Is Yummy.com worth it? Yummy.com can typically deliver groceries to you in 30 minutes, making it one of the fastest grocery delivery services available. However, this service is only available in Los Angeles.
Are Grocery Delivery Services Worth It?
To determine if grocery delivery service is worth the cost, examine your life and schedule. If you feel like you're constantly running from one task to the next, a grocery delivery could be a significant time-saver.
If you're debating whether or not to use grocery delivery services, give it a shot this month and see if you like it. See what discounts you can get for being a first time customer. Then, you can always cancel and return to the normal way of shopping for food if you find grocery delivery isn't for you.
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