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Under-the-Radar Online Grocery Stores — And How Much They Charge for the Convenience

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Imagesines / Shutterstock.com

Many Americans turned to delivery services during the pandemic to get their groceries brought safely to their doors — and even as more and more people get vaccinated, it’s likely that many of us will stick to this habit (at least occasionally) because of the convenience factor.

Avoid These: Costly Mistakes People Make While Grocery Shopping

You likely already know about some of the more common delivery services — AmazonFresh, Instacart, etc. — but if you’re looking to try something new or want to support a smaller business, there are other less mainstream options you may consider. Here are a few under-the-radar grocery delivery services — plus, how much they cost.

Last updated: May 3, 2021
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Boxed

  • Fees: Free shipping on orders over $49, or free shipping on orders of $19.98 or more with a Boxed Up membership ($49 per year)

Boxed ships bulk items directly to your door. It carries well-known brands across a number of categories, including home and cleaning, food and drink, and bath and body.

 

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Bubble

  • Fees: Vary by vendor

Bubble specializes in carrying healthy foods, and it’s easy to shop based on your dietary needs. The site only approves products that contain clean ingredients and are sourced and produced responsibly.

Bubble is a curator rather than a vendor, so the shipping costs will vary by the vendor.

 

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Hive

  • Fees: Free delivery for orders over $50, $4.95 for orders under $50

Hive aims to make sustainable shopping easy. It curates its available groceries by ensuring they meet five criteria: ingredient integrity, low carbon footprint, recyclable packaging, brands that are committed to social good and products that are rave-worthy (all foods and products are tested by the Hive team).

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iGourmet

  • Fees: Delivery fees range from $13.99 to $39.99 for nonperishable items and $24.99 to $39.99 for perishable items

iGourmet sells a large selection of high-quality specialty foods, including over 900 cheeses. Shipping fees are high, so this may be more of a special occasion grocery store or a place to shop for gifts for your favorite foodies.

 

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Misfits Market

  • Fees: $5.50 flat rate shipping

Misfits Market sells organic produce and sustainably sourced pantry staples for up to 40% off grocery store prices. Customers enjoy discounted prices because some of the produce you receive may be “ugly” due to natural imperfections or variations in size.

Choose a weekly or bi-weekly delivery of a smaller “Mischief” box ($22), which contains a week’s worth of food for one to two people, or a larger “Misfits” box ($35), which contains a week’s worth of food for three to five people.

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Public Goods

  • Fees: $59 annual membership fee, free shipping on orders over $45

Public Goods sells its own line of personal care products, household products, groceries, pet care, CBD products and vitamins. Its products are made from sustainable materials and healthy ingredients.

 

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Umamicart

  • Fees: Free delivery for all orders over $49, flat shipping fee of $6.99 for orders under $49

Umamicart specializes in Asian groceries and is currently available throughout the Northeast.

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Vitacost

  • Fees: Free shipping on orders of $49 or more

In addition to selling discounted vitamins and supplements, Vitacost makes it easy for people with specialty diets to find groceries with curated selections for people who are gluten-free, paleo, keto and more. The online shop sells nonperishable foods from brands like Annie’s and Nature’s Path, typically for less than in stores.

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Weee!

  • Fees: Free delivery on orders over $35, no membership fees

Weee! specializes in Asian and Hispanic groceries, including both fresh and packaged foods. There are over 3,500 items available, and you can schedule your delivery in advance.

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Yummy Bazaar

  • Fees: Free shipping on orders of nonperishable items over $59, flat fee of $6.95 for orders under $59

Yummy Bazaar curates gourmet food from around the world, like ultra-spicy Calabrian chilis straight from Tutto Calabria, Italy and authentic chocolate croissants from France.

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How Much Mainstream Grocery Delivery Services Charge

To put those costs in perspective, here’s a look at the delivery fees charged by some of the more mainstream options:

  • Instacart: Delivery fee ranges from $3.99 to $7.99, or get free delivery on orders over $35 with an Instacart Express membership ($99 per year)
  • AmazonFresh: Free delivery on orders over $35 with an Amazon Prime membership ($119 per year)
  • Vons: $9.95 delivery fee on most orders
  • FreshDirect: Delivery fees range from $5.99 to $15.99, and there is a minimum order of $30
  • Google Shopping: Free delivery on orders that meet the vendor’s minimum (typically $25 to $35)
  • Costco: Free shipping on orders over $35 with a Costco membership ($60 per year)
  • Thrive Market: Free shipping on orders over $49 with an annual membership ($59.95)
  • Walmart Grocery: Free pickup or unlimited free deliveries on orders of $35 or more with Walmart+ membership ($98 per year or $12.95 per month)

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