With the advent of apps taking care of your daily tasks, you no longer need to leave your house to get your groceries. Instead, you can get 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 for you. Services like Peapod operate more like virtual grocery stores. Walmart Grocery, on the other hand, is the pickup and delivery service for 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.
- What is Instacart
- What is Amazon Prime Now
- Best food-delivery apps
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 about an hour or so, 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 $7 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.
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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 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 the 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.
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How it works: Fresh Direct is a delivery service which focuses on, you guessed it, freshness. 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: Fresh Direct is available in many cities in the Northeast, including cities in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Delaware, and Washington, D.C.
Pricing and delivery: The delivery fee varies depending on location, but you can expect to pay about $6 on a minimum order of $30. Fresh Direct doesn’t offer immediate delivery, but its FoodKick service offers faster delivery times.
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Walmart Grocery Delivery
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How it works: You can download the Walmart Grocery app or visit the Walmart Grocery website. The app offers most of the items you’d find in the store. There’s a wide selection of grocery items, and you can even find items like makeup and Tylenol. Once you select all of the items you want, choose pickup or delivery and a time slot.
Availability: Grocery delivery is available in many cities throughout the country.
Pricing and delivery: Delivery fees usually range from $8 to $10. However, you can sign up for a service called Grocery Unlimited that provides unlimited deliveries for $13 per month or about $100 per year. These fees do not include a tip for the delivery driver. While you can typically find a delivery slot available within 24 hours, there have been minimal grocery delivery slots available during the coronavirus pandemic.