6 Best Grocery Delivery Services of 2024
Though many people buy groceries online and use contactless delivery — there’s more to grocery delivery services than filling an online cart and scheduling delivery times.
Which grocery delivery services offer unlimited free deliveries? Which one allows you to order alcohol? Who offers fast delivery and great deals on in-store prices?
It’s important to note grocery delivery services sometimes make changes to things like their minimum order requirements or delivery fees. And while entities like Peapod are no longer in operation nationwide, Kroger delivery has expanded into places where it has no physical stores, including Florida, where Publix dominates the grocery game.
6 of the Best Grocery Delivery Services Compared
There are many grocery delivery options out there, so you need to know which one is the best fit for your life and your budget.
But it’s time consuming to dig around for pricing, restrictions, delivery times and other information about multiple stores to find the best grocery delivery services in your area. You can also get sucked into the novelty of ordering leeks and Lay’s through an app without thinking about the effect on your grocery budget.
To cut through the marketing speak, we’ve broken down the details of the best grocery delivery services offered around the country.
What: Instacart grocery delivery is available from a variety of grocery stores in your ZIP code, including drug stores, pet supply stores and, in some areas, liquor stores.
Where: Instacart delivers in all 50 states, plus Washington, D.C. Check out the full list of locations.
Product pricing: Instacart’s rundown of available stores includes notes on each retailer’s pricing policy. While most locations offer “everyday store prices,” others make it clear that the convenience of Instacart means you’ll pay higher prices for groceries than you would in stores.
Membership: Membership isn’t required to use the service, but if you’d rather skip the delivery fee every time you place an order, you can sign up for Instacart+. For $99 per year or $9.99 per month, you’ll get free delivery for every order over $35. The Instacart+ service also exempts you from peak pricing when Instacart is busy. You can sign up and try it for free for two weeks.
Delivery fee: The delivery fees start at $3.99 for same-day deliveries over $35. Orders under $35 cost more. If you want your order in an hour, there is an additional charge. Tipping your personal shopper is permitted.
Coupon policy: Instacart doesn’t honor sale prices in stores or manufacturer coupons. Instead, it offers special promotions you’ll see when you log in to your account. Once you order the required amount or type of items, the discount automatically applies to your order.
What: Shipt delivers products from a variety of grocery stores. Alcohol delivery is also available in some locations.
Where: Shipt is available throughout the U.S.
Product pricing: Shipt prices are slightly higher than if you had taken the trip yourself. “Our members can expect to pay about $5 more using Shipt than they would on a $35 order purchased in the store themselves,” the company’s website explains.
Membership: Shipt charges you $99 per year or $10.99 per month for unlimited free delivery on orders of $35 or more.
Delivery fee: Members must make a minimum order of $35 to get free delivery. If your order is less than that, you have to pay a $7 delivery fee. You could also be charged $7 for alcohol purchases. Tips are permitted.
Coupon policy: Shipt offers in-app specials on items, but it doesn’t allow you to use manufacturer or store coupons.
3. Walmart Grocery
What: Walmart has several grocery ordering options. In some locations, you can have your Walmart grocery order delivered to your doorstep. In many more locations, you can place your order for a pickup window to get your groceries delivered to your car at the store. Some stores even allow you to pay for your groceries with an electronic benefit transfer card.
Where: Same-day delivery is available in most states. Walmart lets customers reserve a time and store location for pickup in all states.
Product pricing: Pickup at the store is free and products are priced the same as if you had shopped in the Walmart grocery store yourself, but there is a $35 minimum order. If you order groceries to be delivered to your home, there is a delivery fee of $7.95 or $9.95. If you use delivery and have an order under $35, you’ll pay a $7.95 fee.
Delivery fee: Express Delivery is another option that costs $10 per delivery plus the $7.95 to $9.95 delivery fee. Your order usually arrives within two hours. The store recently stopped requiring an order be a minimum of $35 for Express Delivery.
With Walmart+ the groceries will likely be same-day delivery if you get a good time slot when you place your order. The service costs $98 per year (or $8.17 per month if you divide that by 12 months) or $12.95 a month. There is no fee for delivery, but the order must total at least $35.
If you are a Walmart+ member you only pay the $10 Express Delivery fee and not the additional $7.95 to $9.95 delivery fee.
If you can wait a couple of days for your items, Walmart+ members get free shipping with no order minimum on next-day, two-day and standard shipping on items shipped from Walmart.
Coupon policy: Walmart does not accept coupons for pickup or delivery orders. If you use the Savings Catcher app, it’ll verify that you received the lowest possible price and give you reward dollars.
What: Hungryroot is a subscription-based grocery delivery service that curates and delivers a box of healthy food to your door each week. It covers most of your groceries for the week, minus basics like milk and bread.
Where: Delivery is available in most ZIP codes around the U.S., excluding Alaska and Hawaii.
Product pricing: You’ll build a plan based on how much food you want to receive, and prices are personalized to your plan.
Membership: Personalized plans are $65 and up.
Delivery fee: Hungryroot ships for free for plans $70 and up.
Coupon policy: The company delivers Hungryroot brand foods, so you’ll have to find brand-specific coupons. Keep an eye out for its promos for free Ancient Grain Pancake Mix, Superfood Almond Butter and cookie dough.
5. Thrive Market
What: Thrive Market is a subscription-based grocery delivery service that delivers organic and non-GMO foods. It can cater to special diets and food allergies, including vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, nut-free, dairy-free, Kosher, keto and more. It offers prepared meals and foods, nuts, pantry staples as well as frozen meat and seafood. It doesn’t offer fresh fruits and vegetables.
Where: Thrive ships to the 48 contiguous U.S. states via ground shipping.
Product pricing: Thrive has a “low price promise,” which means if you find a lower price, it will match it.
Membership: Membership is $5/month, or $60 a year, billed annually. It is $12/month when billed monthly. Annual members can cancel anytime within 30 days for a full refund. Students, teachers, military members or veterans, first responders and low-income families can apply for free one-year membership through Thrive Gives.
Delivery fee: Shipping is free on orders of groceries over $49. There is a $5.95 delivery charge if your order is below $49. Frozen orders under $120 ship for $19.95. Shipping is free on wine orders more than $79, with $13.95 shipping if under $79.
Coupon policy: Thrive users report periodically receiving coupons for discounts on their full order. You can also receive store credit for referring friends, leaving product reviews and purchasing promotional items.
What: Kroger has Delivery (powered via Instacart), Ship and Pickup programs that give customers the choice of how they’d like to receive their groceries. With Delivery, you can have groceries, including milk and fresh produce, delivered to your door the same day you order, or schedule delivery for a later date. Ship allows you to order nonperishable items and have them mailed to your home in 1-3 days. If you choose Pickup, you can select a time slot and an associate will bring your items to your car.
Where: Kroger Ship is available throughout the continental United States and includes P.O. and APO/FPO boxes. The availability of Delivery and Pickup varies by location.
Product pricing: Prices on Kroger’s website will reflect the prices of your currently selected store and prices could change depending on your delivery/pickup day, current in-store promotions and other factors. The Kroger Ship service offers separate promotions on goods, but no wholesale discounts.
Membership: There is no membership, but you’ll want to create an account so you get fuel points, discounts and digital coupons. A Boost membership does include free grocery delivery on orders of $35 or more.
Delivery fee: The Ship service is free with orders over $35. Under $35, the cost varies by location. Delivery charges are $9.95 to $11.95 depending upon your location and Pickup has a $4.95 service fee on orders under $35.
Coupon policy: Kroger Delivery accepts digital coupons. Clip them online and they will be automatically applied to your order. Kroger does not accept coupons on Ship orders.
Other Delivery Services
Some of the best grocery delivery services are only available in select cities or regions, so be sure to check the websites of your local stores.
Here are a few we like:
- FreshDirect: Get delivery of grocery staples, including fresh produce and meat, and wines and spirits, in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, and seasonally in the Hamptons and the Jersey Shore.
- Safeway: This favorite West Coast grocery store lets you order online for store pick up or delivery.
- Amazon Fresh: Anyone is able to shop Amazon Fresh stores. Amazon’s grocery delivery service delivers food, including fresh fruits and vegetables. Though orders more than $100 don’t incur fees for Prime members, orders with a two-hour delivery window have a service fee of $6.95 for orders $50-$100, and $9.95 for deliveries under $50. Non-Prime member shoppers will be charged $7.95-$13.95 depending on how much they order and the delivery time window.
- Publix: Select locations of the Southeastern grocery store offer grocery delivery and curbside pickup through Instacart. Publix also offers in-store pickup.
What Is the Best Grocery Delivery Service for You?
Each of the best grocery delivery services offers unique benefits depending on your grocery needs. To select a grocery delivery service for your household, consider:
- Is it available in your area?
- Do you want fresh produce and meat delivered, or only nonperishables?
- Do you prefer to buy from local stores or national chains?
- Do you like to shop around at different stores, or do you have a go-to grocery store?
- Do you follow a special diet?
- Does a service cover all your grocery needs, or only select items?
- Do you prefer meal kits, curated orders or hand-picked groceries?
If one of the best grocery delivery services doesn’t cover all your needs, you can always use more than one. Just keep an eye on costs — multiple memberships could add up quickly and negate any savings you find.
Adam Palasciano is a personal finance-obsessed and money-savvy individual who loves to create content on all things saving and making money. His work also appears on The Smart Wallet, FinanceBuzz, Yahoo! Finance and JoyWallet.