The Best Grocery Store Home Delivery Service, Ranked

by Team HomeServe Top Tips and Lists  
Home grocery shopping

Shopping at your local grocery store can be an absolute nightmare. Issues can vary - long checkout lines, customers slowly moving their way through aisles - no regard for shoppers in more of a hurry, misunderstood orders at the deli counter, screaming toddlers pulling things off the shelves, the list goes on and on. 

Get a plan and peace of mind

So as a working mom, of two screaming toddlers, online grocery shopping and delivery (hello Amazon, Pea Pod, Fresh Direct) are all ultra-attractive to me. But is it really as good as it seems? We've looked at the top online grocery delivery retailers. Here’s what you need to know to choose which is right for you:

Services with multiple store options

  • Instacart: You can find Instacart in metropolitan areas from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. There's a delivery fee unless you join Instacart Express ($99 per year; $9.99 monthly), in which case it's free for orders above $35. Fees apply for rush delivery (in an hour or less) for all shoppers, and prices are sometimes (but not always) higher than what you'd pay in-store.
  • Shipt: Originally only in cities throughout the southeastern U.S. and Texas, Shipt has expanded to more than 260 cities, including Chicago, Boston, New York, Los Angeles and other major hubs. Unlike Instacart, you must be a member to use Shipt, which costs $14 per month or $99/year, and prices are always higher than in-store shopping.
  • FreshDirect: If you're in the Mid-Atlantic, FreshDirect might be the most appealing service. Deliveries come in refrigerated vehicles, and the "Farm Share box" produce option allows you to purchase from local farms. Business Insider spoke very highly of these and other advantages. However, it's only in various New Jersey, New York and Delaware cities (plus Philadelphia and D.C.), and there's no same-day delivery.
  • Google Express: Technically, this service is more general e-commerce outlet than grocery provider. You can order food from them - you just won't receive it that day. But Google Express allows you to shop from hundreds of stores in your area, so it may be worth trying for non-perishable foodstuffs.

Learn More About Home Repair Plans Near You

Many will give Instacart top marks due to its broad availability, but don't hesitate to consider its rivals if you're in their areas.

Branded delivery services

  • Peapod: Peapod is in New England, the Midwest and the Mid-Atlantic for Stop & Shop, Giant and Hannaford's customers. It doesn't require membership, but orders must be $60-plus and there's always a fee ($7.95 minimum, $9.95 max). The Penny Hoarder noted subscribers to the PodPass service receive unlimited deliveries of $100 and up orders at a fixed minimum; this costs $119 annually, $69 for six months or $49 for three months.
  • Walmart: If you're close to a Walmart, you can probably get same-day grocery delivery. There's no difference in price between delivery and in-store purchases, but the average delivery fee is $9.95. (TechCrunch reported the retail giant was piloting an annual membership plan offering free delivery.)
  • AmazonFresh and Amazon Prime Now: According to Consumer Reports, AmazonFresh's selection is wider than Prime Now (which only offers Whole Foods products), but the latter is preferable in almost every other way. For one, Prime Now is included for Prime members, while AmazonFresh requires a separate $14.99/month subscription on top of Prime membership. (Prime is $12.99/month or $119/year.) Both waive delivery fees for orders above $35, but a $35-and-under delivery only incurs a $4.99 surcharge on Prime Now, as opposed to $9.99 for AmazonFresh.

While big-box retailers aren't everyone's cup of tea, the aforementioned delivery services are worth a try if you're already a customer. Prime Now looks to be the most cost-efficient, so long as you're fine with Whole Foods.

Now that you’re in a kitchen and cooking state of mind, check out these articles:

And remember: Being prepared for any kitchen appliance or home repair is a smart strategy. See how plans from HomeServe can help with the costs of covered repairs.

View plans in your area

Related Articles