How many times have you dragged yourself to the car to go grocery shopping? Yep, we get it. Grocery shopping is one of those chores that very few people enjoy. It’s a love it or hate it scenario. The thing is, you might not have a problem with actually shopping, it’s just finding the time to do it! That’s why people have turned to grocery delivery services and meal delivery services – to make their lives easier.
Let’s be honest, life is busy, and we are currently living with a generation that craves convenience. We want everything bigger, better, faster, more HD, tastier, more efficient – everything we want; we’re impatient for it to be quicker. Grocery shopping is no different.
We’ve branched out from standard grocery stores with regular cash registers and cashiers. More and more, we see the use of automatic scanners and self-service checkout lines. People are scanning their groceries, packing bags themselves, and bringing them to their cars on their own.
And now we demand grocery delivery services, and we are LOVING it. More and more of these services are popping up nowadays, with stores everywhere getting involved with delivering your groceries right to your kitchen. The idea is a straightforward one: you select your groceries on your favorite grocery website, pay online, and they’ll bring your order to your door. You pay a delivery fee, and the groceries are delivered to you by a friendly delivery driver.
Great Reasons to Choose a Grocery Delivery Service
There is no right or wrong way to do your weekly grocery shop. Using a grocery delivery service doesn’t come with a negative connotation. However, it is good to understand why people use one. Let’s take a look at the reasons behind the choice:
Less Chance To Impulse Shop
Picture the scene: you’re walking around the store list in hand, but WOW a deal on your favorite steaks. They’re not on the list, but into the shopping cart they go. By the time you’ve gone around your favorite supermarket, you’ve tagged an additional $100 to your shopping bill.
Supermarkets are smart in the way that they advertise. There’s a reason that they put all the enticing offers at the end of the aisle – they know you’ll buy them.
When you do your grocery shopping online, you take this out of the equation. There’s every chance you will stick to your budget as you’re only looking for the specifics – there’s nothing to entice you into buying.
Filtering The Products
Wandering around a grocery store can be a bore if you know you are looking for specific items. When you shop online instead, you can search for a particular category without going around in circles to find what you need.
Excellent Budgeting Tool
As you have a specific budget that you want to stick to for groceries, shopping online makes sticking to it SO much more manageable. You get back the money, too, because of the lack of impulse buying. You can challenge yourself to spend less than you have set in your budgeting tool by searching for offers. Taking these small steps over time will help bring you closer to financial independence, too.
A Helping Hand
If you have a condition that requires you to need assistance while in the grocery store, it could be very stressful to go grocery shopping. With online grocery delivery services, you don’t have to worry about that. You’ve bought your items online, paid for it, and someone has delivered it to your door without you having to stress yourself out to do it.
It’s also an exceptional tool if you have an elderly parent or neighbor who can’t get to the grocery store but still needs their grocery shopping. You can purchase their groceries online, and the store brings it to their house. You are ensuring that they are eating well without needing to be there yourself.
Shop Anywhere, Anytime
Whether you are at home or on vacation, there will be a local online grocery delivery service. Getting your groceries delivered means that you no longer have to spend valuable vacation time going shopping.
If your flight gets delayed, your concierge can even take the groceries to your room, saving you the time you’d spend buying food when you’ve just landed!
Grocery delivery services could be life-changing for you, especially if you have had an injury and cannot leave the house. They save you time, money, sanity and they give you back that time in a crowded store – which means you get to have fun, instead!
Should I Tip for My Grocery Delivery Service?
Tipping is always encouraged when you receive your grocery delivery. This is especially important if the driver has brought the bags to your kitchen for you and was helpful. Grocery delivery drivers often survive on tips, and it’s nice to know you’re helping them as much as they’ve helped you!
So, Who’s the Best Grocery Delivery Service?
Almost all of the grocery delivery services out there are for your benefit. People avoid the stores for so many reasons, from it being too crowded to the lines being too long. They also avoid them for the temptation that comes at every aisle. If you are looking to ditch that weekly grocery store trip, then you’re in luck.
It’s 2019 (almost 2020), and in fine modern fashion, stores compete with each other to be the best of the best for grocery delivery. That’s fine by us – all the more to choose from to help us save as much cash as possible and still receive an epic service.
If you want to see how saving more money over time can help you get closer to financial independence, check out this FIRE calculator.
Shall we go through some of the best grocery delivery services out there?
3, 2, 1… Go!
Many people don’t want to wait those few days for grocery delivery – they want instant service. It’s easy to come by when you choose Instacart for your grocery delivery service. We’ve all had one of those days where you run out of everything in the fridge. Luckily Instacart grocery delivery service can be at your door within an hour!
Instacart works a little differently from other grocery delivery services, as it doesn’t come from a warehouse. Instead, they connect you to personal shoppers who bring you groceries from the store of your choice. You don’t need to be a member of Instacart to use it, but you will find that the delivery costs are far cheaper when you are one.
How Much Does Instacart Cost?
Instacart Express membership is $149 a year, which works out at $12.50 a month. This is a fantastic deal if you are getting deliveries at least once a week. Their Express service offers one-hour, two-hour, and scheduled deliveries over $35.
The one-hour service costs $5.99 for orders coming in over $35. For the orders that don’t need rush delivery, the fee is just $3.99. The minimum order amount is $10
What’s the Verdict?
Instacart has the lowest fee of all the delivery services, and it gets you your groceries within an hour – perfect!
Walmart Grocery Delivery
Walmart has increasingly been opening new stores to become part of its grocery services for the past few years. That shouldn’t come as a surprise though, as they have almost 5,000 stores in the US alone. Over 1,400 of them now offer grocery delivery services.
The process is simple – order online or through your Walmart grocery app and select delivery. Using this service lets you plan out your meals ahead of time and stick to your budget.
How Much Does Walmart Grocery Delivery Cost?
Walmart Grocery Delivery is available on a per delivery basis for $9.99. They also offer a subscription-based model for $12.95 per month or $98 annually.
What’s the Verdict?
If you like the convenience of picking what items you get from the grocery store, this is a great option. Utilizing this option also lets you see what you previously purchased, which makes reordering painless.
If you want to save some money, you could also try their pickup service. You’ll still have the convenience of not having to go into the store, and your car gets loaded for you.
As one of the leading online grocers in the US, Peapod offers more than 12,000 different products. Whether you’re looking for seasonal items, deli items, pre-prepared foods, or organic items for grocery delivery, you can get what you need from Peapod. Serving 13 states, those who need their groceries delivered won’t be disappointed with the service that Peapod has to offer.
How Much Does Peapod Cost?
The delivery fee on online grocery orders totaling $100 is $6.95. Under $100 and its $9.95. There is a minimum order value of $60 required for home delivery.
What’s The Verdict?
While Peapod does have a minimal fee when shopping over $100, the biggest downside is their use of plastic bags to pack groceries. The good bit? They will offer to recycle the bags if you hand them back to the drivers once you’ve taken your goods out!
Customers who shop with FreshDirect will be well-versed on the high-quality options, from generic names to brand name items online. Those who are new to the FreshDirect grocery delivery service will receive two months of groceries for just a penny with the DeliveryPass on offer.
At the moment, FreshDirect only services Washington, DC, and parts of New Jersey, New York, Delaware, and Connecticut as well as Pennsylvania. In the summer months, FreshDirect also serves Jersey Shore and the Hamptons.
How Much Does FreshDirect Cost?
All new users are given a 60-day free trial with FreshDirect, and after the trial ends, they will be charged $79 for six months of delivery. For a year, when keeping DeliveryPass, you’ll be charged $129.
What’s The Verdict?
If you’re not going to be shopping online regularly, you probably won’t find FreshDirect worth the charges. However, if you’re using it frequently enough, you won’t be disappointed!
AmazonFresh is a part of Amazon Prime. At the moment, they offer free delivery on orders that are over $40. The only problem is that you need to have a Prime membership as well, which means that there is an additional charge each month to use the service.
You can currently find AmazonFresh in Seattle, both Northern & Southern California, Philadelphia, and New York City. Membership is quite costly, but the items are priced well, and there are always excellent deals to be had.
How Much Does AmazonFresh Cost?
Annual $99 Prime Membership fee + monthly $14.99 fee, with orders over $40 free.
What’s The Verdict?
Some people find the fee too steep, even though it’s come down from the previous $299 yearly charge for Prime! It’s worth it if you frequently will use it, or already have a Prime account for other reasons.
Yet another meal delivery service that sends you pre-selected and portioned meals. They are fresh (the name gives that away!), and the meals are of very high quality. They allow you to save money because you’re only buying exactly what meals you need. They allow you to prepare easy evening meals without having to go to the store yourself.
All of the ingredients are nutritionally balanced and allow you the chance to pick your meals and the ingredients that you like. This is perfect for someone who works all week and doesn’t want to think about what to cook. HelloFresh delivers to the District of Columbia and all states, but they don’t deliver to Hawaii and Alaska.
How Much Does HelloFresh Cost?
HelloFresh has a sliding scale pricing plan, and it’s very detailed, which gives you the chance to choose what would work for you. The meal plans range from $60 to $120 for the Classic Plan (3-5 meals serving 2-4 people), the Veggie Plan (3 meals serving 2-4 people) and lastly, the Family Plan at $70-105 (2-3 meals for four people)
What’s The Verdict?
While they offer delivery to more states than other services listed, they only provide a limited number of meals. So, you would have to get delivery for other meals or the rest of the meals for the day. They do have a high-quality range, though, so they’re excellent as a choice for that!
The parent company for Vons is Safeway, and they offer same-day grocery delivery services – but only if you order before 8.30 am! One of the most significant benefits of the Vons grocery delivery service is the fact you can “Shop by History.” Shopping what you previously ordered can save you a ton of time and money.
With the Vons Club Card, you can save your purchases in your own mini online store. This allows you to shop faster and easier than any other service, which is what you want from a convenient online grocery delivery service. Currently, Vons delivers to many of the major U.S. cities.
How Much Does Vons Cost?
There is a $9.95 delivery fee for orders over $150, and for grocery delivery services under this amount, the price is $12.95. There is a minimum order value of $49, and all new customers are offered free delivery for their first online order.
What’s The Verdict?
For those who are busy and need the convenience of fast delivery, Vons is an excellent option. We can’t say it’s the most affordable out there, but as you can shop by history, you’ll spend less time ordering.
Google Express used to be called Google Shopping Express, but they don’t just deliver groceries. You can get anything from shoes and flowers to pet supplies from here, and in some cases, you can get them on the same day. The delivery area for Google Express is a big one, but it depends on the location of the store as to how long the actual delivery takes to get to you.
How Much Does Google Express Cost?
Monthly membership for Google Express costs $10 a month, or if you want to pay upfront, $95 per year. You can get free delivery with a membership, or you pay a $3 small order fee. If you are not a member, you’ll pay just $3.99 for delivery per store.
What’s The Verdict?
The biggest attraction to using Google Express is the fact that you can get your deliveries from Target, Costco, and Fry’s.
All of the food at Purple Carrot is plant-based, so vegans will be major fans of these guys! Serving 36 states, Purple Carrot delivers all meals pre-portioned – similarly to HelloFresh. The recipes and ingredients are served up every week.
How Much Does Purple Carrot Cost?
Some plans serve one to two people costing $68 per week, but there are also those with three to four people costing $74 per week. The first provides three recipes, and the second offers two recipes.
What’s The Verdict?
For those with additional dietary needs, such as requiring dairy-free, vegan, or vegetarian, Purple Carrot is the best option. There are even some options for those requiring gluten-free food. There are no hidden fees or additional tax charges, either, making it an attractive option.
This online grocery delivery service offers a neighborhood market option. You can get a grocery delivery window within an astonishing thirty minutes if you need it! Yummy.com is currently in operation in six locations in Los Angeles, including Hollywood, Playa Vista, and Santa Monica.
How Much Does Yummy.com Cost?
Free for delivery on orders over $100 or $5.99 for orders under that amount. The minimum order is $14.99!
What’s The Verdict?
Given that you can get a grocery delivery in half an hour, we’d say that Yummy.com is one of the best out there for convenience and speed. Those who want to order with a fast timescale will appreciate how easy it is to order from Yummy.com.
Martha & Marley Spoon
Everyone knows Martha Stewart, and now they know that she is offering a delivery service for meals called Martha & Marley Spoon. Shoppers can choose their favorite recipes online from Martha, as well as their delivery dates for receiving pre-measured, high-quality, and fresh ingredients.
How Much Does Martha & Marley Spoon Cost?
The costs for this service depend on the number of people you are planning to cook for. You can choose from two or three to four people, and it also depends on how many meals you want per week. Marley Spoon is a little bit more expensive than some of the other meal delivery services.
What’s The Verdict?
Although it is a little bit more of a pricier option, you do get the chance to make excellent, nutritious meals for your family. You won’t have to waste your time grocery shopping and finding all the right ingredients, either. Just follow the recipe, and you are good to go!
Back in March 2017, Costco launched a delivery service in Tampa. Many people who love Costco are so happy with this, and it’s expanded since its launch.
How Much Does Costco Cost?
Costco chooses to use Shipt for deliveries, and membership with Shipt costs $99 per year. The good news is that this covers unlimited Costco deliveries, and that’s cheaper than Google Express and even Instacart! You can use a monthly membership, too, if you don’t want to commit for the year. The monthly membership is $14 per month.
What’s The Verdict?
There is no order minimum here. You could get delivery as little as you like, but under $35, you’ll have to add $7 to it. It’s easy to waive that delivery fee, though, as Shipt partners with Whole Foods and Meijer as well as Harris Teeter, too. You can get deliveries every day of the week, aside from a few holidays through the year, and Shipt won’t charge extra for busy days.
If you’re a fan of restaurant-quality meals but have no time for preparation, you’ll love Plated. Plated provides over 20 recipes to choose from per week. Plated also allows you to select the delivery date as well as how many people you’re cooking for. You can even put it on hold if you can’t afford the subscription for the month.
How Much Does Plated Cost?
For meals three nights a week for two people, you’ll pay $71.70. For four meals three nights a week, you’ll pay $119.40. If you’re busy with a varied schedule or a shift worker, this could be the grocery delivery service of your dreams.
What’s the Verdict?
Customizable options for meals on the days you’re busiest? It’s absolutely worth it!
Are Grocery Delivery Services Worth It?
You may find that grocery delivery services change your life. You’ll get so much time back, meaning you can do things that put your time to good use. You’ll save money, and you’ll finally be following a budget properly. Examine your life, your schedule, and the needs of your family. Don’t waste your time running about like a headless chicken – in two clicks; you could be ready to receive your grocery delivery.
Sam is the co-owner of How To FIRE, a blog that discusses financial independence and early retirement. She uses her BS in Finance and MBA to help others get control of their finances through budgeting, saving, investing, side hustles and travel hacking. Due to following the FIRE Movement’s principles, she was able to quit her high-stress job in the financial services industry in July 2019 to pursue her side hustles full-time. When not working, she enjoys spending time with her dog “Simba” and traveling with her husband, John.
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