Home » The Best Grocery Services Available for the Posh Moms
Grocery delivery services have proliferated in response to increasing demand for ways to simplify our busy lives. Determining the grocery delivery option best suited to our particular needs can be confusing, though—the antithesis of the simplicity we crave. In an effort to demystify the process, we’ve researched the options available in our area for services that deliver all your groceries—perishable and non-perishable alike—to help you live your best posh life.
Access to the world of grocery delivery services is simple and straightforward: you just need a computer or smartphone, a shopping list, and a credit card. The ordering process is essentially the same on websites as it is on mobile apps. In this article, we’ll assume you’re using an app.
After deciding where you want to shop, launch the app that handles delivery for that store, and create an account if you don’t already have one.
Once your account is set up, you’re ready to go. Just log into the app when you’re ready to order, search for products on your grocery list and add them to your shopping cart. (Not every product available in-store is available for delivery—e.g., prepared foods and seasonal items.) During checkout, choose a delivery window for when you want your order to reach your home or office. Some stores (Whole Foods for one) default to substituting unavailable items with close matches unless you instruct them otherwise during checkout. When you place an order, your credit card is authorized for an amount slightly above the estimated order amount to cover adjustments such as out of stocks, items sold by weight, and substitutions.
Nothing in life is free, including having your groceries delivered. Participating grocery stores cover the expense of hiring shoppers to assemble, bag, and deliver your order by passing the cost on to you. Some charge higher prices when delivering products than you’d pay for those same products in-store. Most charge a delivery fee or encourage you to pay an annual fee for free, unlimited delivery.
Order updates are communicated to you at every step along the way. This means you’ll know when a shopper has started working on your order, when your order has been bagged, and when it’s been delivered.
Tipping is discretionary in all cases but strongly recommended.
(Aldi, Giant, Harris Teeter, H Mart, Safeway, Shoppers, Sprouts Farmers Market, Target, Wegmans)
Download the Instacart app to your device, or shop from instacart.com. Delivery options are based on the distance from the store shopped to your delivery address. A significant advantage of Instacart is that you can buy from multiple stores, including Costco, as long as you meet each store’s minimum order amount threshold. Be sure to attach loyalty cards to your Instacart account to qualify for store discounts and to earn loyalty points.
Sign up for Instacart Express ($9.99/month), and get free delivery on orders over $35.
Delivery hours: 9 a.m.-10 p.m. daily.
Minimum order amount: $10 per store.
A $2 service fee per store is automatically added to all orders.
The following stores charge delivery customers higher prices than they’d pay instore: Giant, Target, and Wegmans.
Delivery fees range from $3.99 to $9.99, based on the distance from the store shopped to your delivery address.
Tipping is handled during checkout.
In-store coupons are honored by some stores.
Download the Peapod Delivery app to your device, or shop from peapod.com. Peapod doesn’t offer two-hour delivery, but you can receive your order as soon as next-day.
60 days of free delivery for all new customers. Sign up for PodPass ($119/year) for unlimited free delivery for orders over $100.
Delivery hours: 8 a.m.-10 p.m. daily.
Minimum order amount: $60.
Manufacturer coupons are doubled up to $0.99.
Delivery fees range from $7.95 to $9.95, depending on the order amount.
Tipping is done at the door.
To earn gas points, you must register your Giant card in your Peapod account. For every dollar you spend on groceries at Peapod, you earn a gas point.
If you aren’t going to be available to sign for your delivery, you’ll need to request an Unattended Delivery and, if applicable, will be charged for special packaging that’s suitable for temporary cold storage.
Download the Prime Now app to your device, or shop from PrimeNow.com.
Must be an Amazon Prime member.
Delivery hours: 8 a.m.-10 p.m. daily.
Free two-hour delivery with a minimum order of $35; upgrade to one-hour delivery for $4.99. (If the order amount is less than $35, two-hour delivery is $4.99.) The tip amount can be changed online up to 24 hours after order delivery.
(Harris Teeter, LIDL, Safeway, Target)
Download the Shipt app to your device, or shop from shipt.com. This service is similar to Instacart, with one big advantage: you are assigned a personal shopper to whom you can text instructions and requests. One disadvantage is that you can only shop from one store at a time.
Membership required: $99/year.
Free one-hour delivery with a minimum order of $35. (Otherwise, one-hour delivery is $7.)
Delivery hours: 7 a.m.-10 p.m. daily.
Download the Walmart Grocery app to your device, or shop from grocery.walmart.com. Note that Walmart requires an adult be present to sign for deliveries—so, no unattended orders.
Sign up for Delivery Unlimited ($98/year), and get free delivery on orders over $30.
Delivery hours: 7 a.m.-8 p.m. daily.
Minimum order amount: $30.
Delivery fees range from $5.95 to $7.95, based on how busy they anticipate being during your requested delivery window.
Tips may be added through the website or app after your order is delivered.
T.M. POLETTI is a freelance writer who lives in Loudoun County.