Okay, great, you can snag fast grocery delivery…wait a darn minute. For how much extra? Sheesh. You have lines you won’t cross, one of which is affordability. You’d rather wait a little longer for food than pay up for it.
No worries. There are a handful of grocery services that get you food for cheap.
Here are five affordable grocery delivery services, ranked:
KrogerWalmartAlbertsonsCostco 2-Day DeliveryAmazon Fresh
Read on to compare fees and discover which one is right for you.
Kroger is the largest grocery store in the U.S., with nearly 2,800 stores in 35 states. Kroger offers two grocery delivery options. The most affordable, Kroger Deliver, charges shoppers a low $6.95 fee for next-day delivery. It’s one of the lowest delivery fees out there — very cheap.
Membership discount: Kroger Boost members get free 2-hour or same-day delivery as part of their $99 annual membership. Members must order $35 or more for this discount to apply.
Walmart is a chain that boasts everyday low prices, operating approximately over 10,000 stores and clubs in 19 countries, as well as e-commerce websites. It’s a big deal, and it offers big discounts to match. Walmart only charges non-members $7.75 to $9.95 for same-day grocery delivery.
Membership discount: Walmart Plus members get free shipping on orders above $35. An annual membership costs $98. Tips are optional. Shoppers who order grocery delivery from Walmart at least once per month would save money by subscribing.
One perk that sets Walmart apart from other online grocers is it doesn’t inflate prices on its website. According to Walmart, items cost the same online as they do in store. You can save an extra 6% or so by checking out with a grocery credit card.
Albertsons is one of the largest food and drug retailers in the U.S., chugging along in 35 states and the District of Columbia. Many stores offer shoppers easy delivery and only charge $9.95. You must create a free Albertsons account to add items to your cart.
Tip: Scroll to the bottom of the Albertsons website when shopping. Often, online grocery stores offer hidden deals to first-time shoppers. Keep an eye out for promo codes.
Costco is one of the biggest wholesalers around. Unless you’re buying alcohol in California or ordering through Instacart, it’s members-only. However, prices for nonperishable items are cheap enough to place Costco third on this list. Members can get free delivery on them, too.
An annual Costco Gold Star membership costs $60. If you order from Costco once per month, that’s about $5 per order. It’s a good deal. However, you must add $75 or more worth of items to your cart to qualify for free two-day delivery. Plus, you can only order nonperishables through Costco.
To buy perishable items (like frozen foods and dairy products), you must order through Instacart, which charges delivery fees and marks up the price of items by 15% or so. You typically tip Instacart shoppers, which can bump your total expenses even more. To save on perishables, consider shopping in-store.
Amazon Fresh is a grocery delivery service offered by Amazon, a delivery juggernaut. You must be an Amazon Prime member to order through the service. An annual Prime membership costs $139, and you must pay shipping fees if you add less than $150 of goods to your cart.
Amazon Fresh is expensive if you only sign up for the Prime membership to get grocery delivery. Alternatives like Walmart or local grocers may be cheaper. But current Amazon members who order big may want to take advantage of the service — it’s fast and easy.
Though Kroger has taken the No. 1 spot on this list, competitors that typically charge more may lower prices for the holiday season. Amazon Fresh has lowered its threshold for free delivery to $100 minimum for the holidays — keep an eye out for other discounts near you.
Third-party delivery services like Instacart and DoorDash didn’t make this list because they prioritize convenience over price. You’ll likely have better luck keeping the delivery fees low by ordering directly from a grocer. (Regardless, delivery is never 100% free.)
You can shop for groceries without emptying your checking account. The most affordable option is often the one you’ve already subscribed to. Failing that, your local supermarket may ship your groceries to you for $10 or so. Shop around your favorites to snag the best deal.
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We’re firm believers in the Golden Rule, which is why editorial opinions are ours alone and have not been previously reviewed, approved, or endorsed by included advertisers.
The Ascent does not cover all offers on the market. Editorial content from The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team.John Mackey, former CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Cole Tretheway has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Amazon, Costco Wholesale, and Walmart. The Motley Fool recommends Kroger. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
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