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 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.
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 and delivery: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.