Shopping for groceries online is becoming the new norm. More and more people are using grocery delivery services to grab their essentials, enjoying time spent away from lines and crowds, and safely social distancing themselves. If you’ve been to a grocery store, you know how packed it can get during holidays, in preparation for incoming storms, or during rush hour. It can be a huge headache, but you still have to eat. Luckily, now there are many ways to order groceries online.
We’re not talking about just bags of chips and boxes of mac and cheese — we’re talking about fresh meats, produce, beer, eggs, cheese, bread, beer, butter, flour, beer, and all the other stuff you usually count on having in your kitchen. Here are the best grocery delivery services so you can get your grocery done quickly and in time to start a new recipe.
Delivering to your door with Walmart+
Walmart has expanded its delivery service with its Walmart+ Membership. The Walmart+ Membership offers free delivery from your local eligible Walmart store so you can get your groceries delivered as often as you need — all for free. You can opt for contact-free delivery from your driver and track your order via the app. The Walmart+ Membership is $98 annually or $12.95 a month and with as few as two deliveries a month, it pays for itself.* You can grab your groceries, your pet’s food, diapers, a toy, and other items you need around the house with a few clicks on your smartphone. Right now you can try Walmart+ with the Walmart+ Free Trial for 15 days.
Whole Foods Market
Partnered with Amazon, of course
Got an Amazon Prime membership? Of course you do. Then you have access to free grocery delivery from your local Whole Foods Market. Just hop onto Amazon, click the “Whole Foods” tab under the main search bar, and start adding broccoli, flax waffles, kidney beans, chicken and sage sausage, avocados, and … wait, that’s my grocery list. You do your own thing. Shopping for Whole Foods groceries on Amazon is as easy as using Amazon to order anything else. The issue is that delivery windows can be tricky to find, so be ready to load your cart, then check in every hour or so. A huge delivery might mean refreshing the page about a couple of times.
Not strictly Whole Foods Market
Amazon Fresh used to cost $14.99 on top of your Prime membership. Now, you can get free Amazon Fresh deliveries, provided you’re ordering more than $35 worth of groceries. Which, of course you are. Amazon Fresh shoppers will stick with Whole Foods when they can, but branch out to other markets when Whole Foods isn’t an option, thus offering grocery delivery to more folks around the nation. Delays and tight windows to book delivery can be tricky, so be ready to load your cart then refresh to score a slot.
Same-day delivery with slim pickings
In 2017, Target acquired Shipt, a company that employs thousands of personal shoppers who, in many markets, will go about hand-selecting the groceries you add to your cart and will get everything to you fast, often within the hour. To get started, go to Target, click “Same Day Delivery,” then choose “Grocery” and start browsing. The process is easy, but note that fresh produce items might be “unavailable or delayed.”
Serving the East Coast only, but still
If you live in the American Mid-Atlantic or Northeast, you may well be able to order all of your groceries from Peapod, including booze delivery, meal kits, and plenty of fresh foods. Peapod partners with Stop & Shop, which has more than 400 locations around the Northeast, and if you live in range of a Stop & Shop, you can place as large or small a grocery order as you want for just $9.95 per delivery.
Partnered with Costco and Sam’s Club even if you’re not
Instacart has teamed up with all sorts of grocery chains, from Aldi to Shop Rite. Better yet, their shoppers can pull foodstuffs from the shelves of places like Sam’s Club and Costco, which require memberships, and deliver to you with no membership required. If you get an Instacart membership, you’ll pay $99 per year and get free deliveries. Nonmembers pay as little as $4 per delivery during non-rush times and $10 when demand is high. Note that Instacart tends to add about 3% onto food costs, so those low rates are only part of the story.
While we discuss national options for grocery delivery, know that many smaller chains and one-off markets have also set up new ways to get foodstuffs to customers with minimal contact, so call up the local grocer in your town and ask if they have any protocols in place. Some shops offer contactless curbside pickup when you order online or by phone. A pandemic need not curtail the shop-local mentality. (But health and safety come first, folks.)
*Based on $7.95 delivery fee
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