Shopping for groceries online is getting more popular and more convenient. You can save time, gas, and other inconveniences by only purchasing things that are truly needed, all without having to go through aisles after aisles of impulse-buy items. Buying groceries online is ideal for those who are time-strapped or on a strict budget.
Some of the best options for ordering groceries online come from companies that only serve customers over the Internet.
If you live in metropolitan areas in the USA, London, Berlin, or Tokyo, Amazon Fresh delivers fresh produce, meat, and all kinds of food items directly to customers' addresses or through drive-in type grocery stores, which is a real advantage. Customers, however, need to order online beforehand, even when they choose to the AmazonFresh Pickup option in select locations (beta mode). You will also need an Amazon Prime membership for $10 per month, plus an additional $14.99 per month to buy groceries online. The minimum order is $35, which is quite low compared to other online grocers.
As early as the next day, you can start receiving fresh groceries and meal kits from Fresh Direct if you live in select counties along the East Coast. If you prefer to pick them up on the spot, they're located at Midtown Tunnel in Long Island City, Queens. To start with their delivery program, you can choose the six-month DeliveryPass for $79 or a one-year pass for $129. Most deliveries will go through eco-friendly routes to save fuel and costs. If your order delivery isn't within the eco-route, however, you'll need to pay $2 extra. This can add up if you order quite often.
Peapod is one of the oldest online grocers serving 16 metropolitan areas, so their reputation has been tested by consumers for years. The minimum purchase for home delivery is $60 with a $9.95 service fee. For purchases more than $100, the fee is $6.95. If you prefer, you can also pick your groceries up at local Stop & Shop stores. This is a real advantage, as there are many locations available. Curbside delivery isn't offered as they believe home delivery is the best way to maintain freshness.
If you live in Utah or Nevada, Winder Farms can deliver weekly online fresh groceries or prepped ready-to-cook products to your door. The main disadvantage is you'd need to register for 40 deliveries and pay for a one-time cooler bag fee. Each delivery will cost approximately $5, which is a good price and lower than most online grocers. For early cancellation, the fee is $50, which is quite high for some customers. Also, they only deliver on weekly basis, not every day. If you need daily or any day delivery, Winder Farms may not be your best choice.
Physical Grocery Stores with Online Options
Many more traditional grocery stores are now offering options where you can either order your items online for delivery or opt for curbside pickup at a nearby store location.
You can shop for groceries online from Safeway and have them delivered the same day if your order is received before 8:30 am. This can prove inconvenient if you order later in the day. The minimum order is $49 with a $12.95 delivery fee for orders less than $150, a fee higher than some other grocers. For orders more than $125, the fee is $9.95. You can also choose to pick them up at the store or have a Safeway employee help you with a curbside pickup.
With organic foods available at Walmart, almost everything you need can be found there now. This is a real advantage for bargain hunters on an organic diet. The minimum order per home delivery is $30 with a $5 to $7 fee per order. You can also have a store pickup or curbside pickup at your convenience, which is another advantage. Walmart, apparently, has it all: low prices and flexible delivery options.
Whole Foods Market
Organic grocer giant Whole Foods Market was acquired by Amazon for $13.4 billion in June 2017. It offers two types of online shopping: "Online ordering" for in-store pickup and "order groceries for delivery" with InstaCart. They promise one-hour delivery in 15 major U.S. cities. That's a real plus if you need something quick without the pain of going through rush hour traffic. The first delivery is free. After that, it costs $5.99 per one-hour delivery. Two-hour delivery is $3.99, which is an even better price. For $99 per year, an InstaCart Express membership will provide you with free deliveries on all orders over $35.
Grocery Shopping Made Easy
Shopping for grocery products online can be a fun and rewarding experience as long as you've prepared a list in advance. This can expedite the process and steer you away from impulse buys. Just be mindful that you won't be able to handpick items personally, which can sometimes be crucial for fruits, vegetables and meat items. Waiting for scheduled delivery can also be an issue. Even so, there are many store options, so you can always shop around for the one that's the most reliable and reputable.