With the advent of apps that take care of your daily tasks, you no longer need to leave your house to get your groceries. Instead, you can have them delivered right to your front door, saving you valuable time.
Grocery apps can generally be divided into a few different categories. When you use a service such as Instacart, you’re basically hiring someone to go to the grocery store and do your shopping for you. Services like Peapod operate more like virtual grocery stores. Walmart Grocery, on the other hand, is a pickup and delivery service offered by the brick-and-mortar store. They have their own inventory — you just don’t have to go to the store to get it.
Below are a few of our favorite grocery delivery services and apps, many of which now offer no-contact delivery.
Walmart Grocery Delivery
How it works: The process is pretty straightforward; you have two options for ordering groceries. The first option is to select your desired items directly from the Walmart Grocery website. The second option requires you to download the Walmart Grocery app. We prefer the app, but either way, you’ll find a wide selection of groceries that is almost as bountiful as shopping in person. You are not limited to only selecting food, so you can add useful items like toiletries and over-the-counter medicines. I’ve even used Walmart Grocery Delivery to purchase pots and pans. Once you’ve selected all of your items, the last step is to choose a time for delivery or pickup.
Availability: Many cities throughout the U.S. support the grocery delivery service.
Pricing and delivery: Delivery fees can vary depending on where you live, but they’re usually between $8 to $10. If you sign up for a service called Walmart +, any time you spend $35 minimum, you qualify for unlimited deliveries for about $13 per month or $98 annually. Keep in mind, these fees do not include a tip for the delivery driver.
We’ve found the Walmart + subscription to be worth its weight in gold, and you can sign up for a free 15-day trial here. With a Walmart + subscription, you get access to member-only time slots. Sometimes, you can get your items delivered in about two hours, and they’ll arrive before dinnertime! But we’ve never had to wait longer than 24 hours for delivery. With the Walmart + subscription, you don’t have to worry about making multiple orders because the delivery fees are included.
How it works: Once you sign up for a membership and download the iOS or Android app, all you have to do is select your groceries, choose your delivery option, and check out. Then, in as little as one hour, your Shipt shopper will knock on your door. Shipt currently offers products from major grocery chains, such as Publix, Kroger, Fry’s, and H-E-B, and uses teams of local shoppers to handpick your items, ensuring that your order of fresh produce is actually fresh. Customers can use this app during store hours, which in some cases means 24-hour availability.
Availability: Shipt is currently available in several major cities in the Southeast, as well as Texas, Arizona, Michigan, and Ohio.
Pricing and delivery: A Shipt membership costs $100 a year or $14 per month, and members get free delivery on orders that exceed $35. Otherwise, there’s a delivery fee. The price of grocery items is also slightly higher than if you were to buy them at a brick-and-mortar store yourself. Tipping your shopper is encouraged, too, and can be done via the Shipt app.
How it works: Instacart uses a team of local shoppers to procure grocery items from a variety of stores in your area. While you can shop at a number of major grocery chains, such as Mariano’s and Whole Foods, Instacart also has a feature that allows you to shop by recipe. You can schedule your deliveries in advance or order on-demand.
Availability: Instacart delivers to a number of major cities in the United States, including Chicago, San Francisco, Houston, and New York.
Pricing and delivery: The delivery fee depends on the size of your order and the delivery time that you choose. Delivery fees may be higher during busy shopping times, though customers can also sign up for an Instacart Express membership, which grants them free deliveries on orders exceeding $35.
While Instacart tries to offer their groceries at the same price as shopping in-store, these prices can vary slightly. Instacart adds a 5% service fee to non-alcohol items for non-Express customers. Express members still pay a service fee, but it’s much lower, starting at 1.9%. The service amount is not a tip, and the default tip amount is 5%. There are some additional fees for heavy items and “bottle fees” depending on your local laws.
Amazon Prime Now
How it works: Amazon Prime Now is one of the many benefits of an Amazon Prime membership. While this delivery service relies heavily on items stored at one of Amazon’s many warehouses, you can also get items from local markets such as Whole Foods. Prime Now also delivers much more than food. Everything from batteries and cleaning supplies can be delivered to your door in less than two hours with Prime Now.
Availability: Amazon Prime Now is available in dozens of major cities, including Atlanta, Chicago, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Nashville, San Antonio, and Seattle. Additionally, you may be familiar with Amazon Fresh, Amazon’s delivery service dedicated to only groceries, which launched with an additional fee of $15 that has since been dropped. We anticipate that these two almost identical Prime services will be merged at some point in the future.
Pricing and delivery: Amazon Prime Now is included with an Amazon Prime membership ($100 a year). Two-hour delivery is free, and you can pay for expedited one-hour service (usually around $10). A minimum order of $35 is required for free delivery, or you’ll be charged a $5 delivery fee. You can also add special instructions to your delivery order.
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How it works: Peapod is an online grocery store. While services such as Shipt and Instacart rely on the products offered by other local stores, many of Peadpod’s items come from its own inventory. In that regard, Peapod is much more like a standard grocery store than some of the other options on our list. The online store is organized by “aisles,” and since the bulk of Peapod’s inventory is stored in the company’s own warehouses, customers can forgo some of the delivery costs by picking up their own orders.
Availability: Peapod is available in several major cities across the U.S. You can enter your zip code to find out if Peapod is available in your area.
Pricing: The delivery fee varies depending on the size of the order. For orders of $30, which is the minimum required for delivery, Peapod charges $10. The delivery fee drops to $8 for orders exceeding $75 and drops again to $7 for orders of more than $100. All orders can also be picked up at a Peapod store for no fee.
How it works: True to its name, Fresh Direct prides itself on delivering the freshest produce, meats, and cheeses money can buy. If you’re concerned about where your vegetables come from or if your chicken is free-range, Fresh Direct is definitely worth checking out. In addition to providing daily quality ratings for its produce, Fresh Direct includes explanatory information for many of its products, so you know exactly how your food arrived on your doorstep.
Availability: This is a predominantly urban delivery service that you can only find in the northeastern states of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Delaware, and Washington, D.C.
Pricing and delivery: You’ll have to check to see what the exact delivery costs are in your area, but the average cost of a $30 package is around $6. If you don’t want to wait on the standard shipment schedules, you can upgrade to the FoodKick service to speed up delivery arrivals.
How it works: You could say Dumpling is a grocery app with a conscience. Built on making small business ownership available to anyone who wants it, dumpling essentially facilitates the tech side so anyone can start, run, and grow their own local, service-based delivery business. You interact with your own “personal shopper” so you’re dealing with a person, not a robot.
Availability: Popping in your zip code on Dumpling’s website will introduce you to the shoppers working in your neighborhood. Read their bios and reviews to choose a good match.
Pricing and delivery: Since you’re dealing with independent contractors, each is free to set their own pricing structure; you may only pay a set delivery fee or a percentage of the total order value. The personal shopper lists all the information so you can compare.
How it works: This service is more of a weekly meal subscription, but if you’re always falling for those checkout-side snacks and treats, getting your meals delivered ensures you’re not tempted. (Then again, you can always click “add to cart” for those Hershey bars, can’t you?) Hungryroot is like having your mom do the ordering for you: It recommends only healthy options based on its three-point standard — it has to be nutritious and made from whole, trusted ingredients; it has to be easy and quick to prepare; it has to taste good. This service might also fall into the gray area of a meal delivery service since it does offer full meals, so surf the site to see if it’s right for you.
Availability: Hungryroot says it delivers to most zip codes but not in Alaska or Hawaii. It may be rather frustrating to find out if it will deliver to you since when you sign up, it may simply provide no dates for delivery, meaning you’re out of luck.
Pricing and delivery: Hungryroot’s smallest plan starts at about $59.94 which gets you three two-serving meals. Beyond that, the size of the plans will vary depending on how many breakfasts, lunches, dinners, snacks, and sweets you want for the week.
How it works: The catch with this service is in the name: Imperfect Foods delivers produce, fruits, and vegetables that aren’t as pretty as their store-bought cousins. While some of your delivery may not be picture-perfect, you’re helping the planet and the supply chain by using this service. In the past, less-than-perfect foods have been considered cast-offs and tossed in the trash. Imperfect Foods saves the ugly veggies from the waste bin — they are still high quality, they just don’t look like the ones in those country vegetable beauty pageants.
Availability: Currently, Imperfect Foods delivers to most of the West South Central region, the Midwest, Northeast, and along the West Coast. You can find out if they deliver in your area by visiting Imperfect Foods’ website and typing in your zip code.
Pricing and delivery: Imperfect Foods prices all of its items individually. As you add and remove items to/from your cart, you’ll see the total. The company adds a delivery fee of $4.99 to $8.99, depending on the area. There are no subscription or service fees.
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