IT WOULD BE GREAT IF everyone had the time to drive to the grocery store, browse the aisles and individually select each grocery item to buy. However, having that time is not always realistic for many folks. This is where grocery delivery services come in, saving shoppers significant time and hassle. Also, if you were to assign an appropriate dollar value to the time spent grocery shopping, a grocery delivery service is often actually cheaper than doing it yourself. After all, time and hassle are some of the reasons many Americans are not all growing their own produce.
Here are a few of the best grocery delivery services available now:
- Amazon’s Prime Pantry
- Google Express
If you shop through Amazon, you probably know that Amazon sells almost everything, including groceries, and not just through Whole Foods. It may be a little complicated that Amazon has three different grocery delivery options, but read on to see the differences between them and other grocery delivery services.
AmazonFresh requires a paid membership of $14.99 per month in addition to a Prime membership of $12.99 per month, making for a total cost of $27.98 per month. If you are prepaying annually for your Prime membership, that reduces your Prime rate to $119 per year and brings the combined cost of both services to $298.88 per year. Users get free delivery for orders of more than $35 or $50 depending on location. One downside of AmazonFresh is that you cannot use traditional brand coupons like at a traditional grocery store. However, you can get Whole Foods store brand 365 products, which are often high-quality.
Amazon’s Prime Pantry
Prime Pantry costs $4.99 per month in addition to the required Amazon Prime membership of $12.99 per month and gets you free delivery on orders of $10 or more but is limited to household products and dry groceries. Fresh produce is not available through Prime Pantry. Also Prime Pantry does not offer same-day delivery but delivers in one to four business days.
Amazon’s Prime Now
If AmazonFresh and Prime Pantry sound expensive, but you would still like to shop through Amazon, Prime Now may be a good option. Prime Now does not require a separate membership but does require a Prime Membership at $12.99 per month. Prime Now does not allow you to schedule a delivery time window but does offer free two-hour delivery of all kinds of products, including groceries, household products, toys, electronics and even pet supplies.
Google Express can deliver from many stores such as Best Buy, Costco, Target and others. However, Google Express only delivers dry goods. There is no annual membership fee and shipping is free with a $25 to $35 minimum per order. Google Express is good value if you are shopping for just dry goods and have an alternative source for fresh produce.
If you shop for groceries and produce at a variety of stores, than Instacart might be a good choice. Instacart delivers from a variety of different grocery stores, liquor stores, pharmacies and even from Costco and BJ’s Wholesale, depending on your location. With Instacart Express, you can get a membership at $99 per year for free delivery of orders over $35, or forgo the membership and pay $3.99 or higher per delivery. However, Instacart may mark up their products and also charges service fees. Also, their delivery fee is per store, so it is best to limit the number of stores from which you are ordering. If all that sounds good, also note that Instacart is expanding its geographic coverage, so check the website to see if and when Instacart is available in your area.
Peapod is a little different in that it operates its own warehouses (sometimes in partnership with Giant and Stop & Shop stores) instead of sending shoppers to their favorite stores. It also has an advantage in that it not only supports manufacturers’ coupons, but often double them up to 99 cents. Peapod does not require a membership but charges a variable delivery fee depending on your location and size of order. The other interesting thing about Peapod is that it also offers the additional convenience of meal kits, which is another excellent way of saving time and hassle.
If you are still not sure, remember that most of these grocery delivery services offer a free trial. If you haven’t already, it is worth experimenting to see how some of the best grocery delivery services can help save you time and hassle.