You know those times when you have a million places to be and things to do, and then remember you still need to go grocery shopping? Grocery delivery services are becoming more popular for helping to save you time.
While there is value in getting groceries brought directly to your home without you needing to step foot inside the store, you aren’t necessarily going to save money. But in the case that you are in a pinch for time, or just don’t feel like stepping out to the store, I’ve listed below a cost and value comparison of three popular delivery options out there for your grocery needs.
How They Work
Regardless of which grocery delivery service you use, you can pretty much expect the same process for each one. You order your groceries online via either the website or by downloading the app. Then you search for the grocery item you want and add each item to your online shopping cart. Once you’ve completed your online shopping, a hired shopper goes to the store for you and gets your items, delivering them to your house.
Why use a grocery delivery service?
There are so many reasons why getting groceries delivered to your home might be appealing, here are a few:
You have a cold and can’t make it out to the store.
It’s raining and you don’t want to drive.
It’s too dark outside and you don’t want to drive.
You’re busy doing other things.
You’re tired from running around all day.
You don’t want to carry heavy groceries.
Cost Summary – Know Before You Go
There are two big factors worth knowing up front before using a grocery delivery service, so you can be sure you’re getting the full value out of them: The first is, you can almost always spend less money by doing the grocery shopping yourself at the store. Second, it’s a delivery service, which means you’ll probably want to tip the person delivering your groceries, although it isn’t necessarily required.
The bottom line when it comes to cost: While this isn’t the case for every grocery item with every delivery service listed below, in my research, I’ve found that grocery items online were sometimes 20 cents to 50 cents higher compared to the ones in the store. To limit surprises and help stick to your budget, expect to pay around 5% to 10% or more for your groceries using a delivery service (including tip). Again, this isn’t always the case, but it can be depending on which service you are using and what you are buying.
Despite the costs, there are still reasons (like the ones mentioned above) why people find having the option of using a delivery service so helpful.
So, considering ordering your groceries online? Below are three popular grocery delivery services available in the St. Petersburg, FL area.
Costs: $14 per month / $99 per year, Shipt requires membership fees to use its service, both of which can be canceled at any time. Delivery fees are $7, but this can be eliminated if you spend more than $35.
Grocery Stores Available through Shipt in St. Petersburg, FL: Publix, Winn-Dixie. Also includes CVS and Target (Shipt is owned by Target)
Delivery Time: Your groceries can be delivered as quickly as one-hour after you place your order.
Bonus Feature: You have the option to receive messages from the personal shopper if you’re using the app for Shipt. Let’s say the store is out of the cereal you selected, the shopper can send you a text message asking if another type of bread that is available would be alright. There’s also a feature to shop for savings, helping you to save cash.
Overview: I found Shipt’s website to be very easy to navigate and straightforward about the fees associated with the service.
Cost: Instacart has two service options: $3.99 delivery fee on $35 or more, plus an up to 5% service fee Or, you can opt-in for a subscription service with Instacart Express, which is $9.99 per month / $99 per year, with unlimited free grocery delivery on orders more than $35. They do mention adding a “busy pricing fee” on their website for times when delivery is in high-demand.
Grocery Stores Available through Instacart in St. Pete: Publix, Aldi, The Fresh Market, CVS, Sam’s Club.
Delivery Time: Within two-hours of ordering. Sometimes in one-hour for a fee.
Bonus Features: A coupon section is listed.
Overview: There’s a wide variety of grocery store options. While I had difficulty finding the associated fees listed on their website, it was easy to add grocery items to my shopping cart and schedule customized delivery times.
Cost: $12.99 per month / $119 per year, which is the cost for an Amazon Prime membership, so if you already pay for Amazon Prime, you’re all set to use this grocery delivery service. You can cancel at any time.
Grocery Stores Available through Amazon Prime Now in St. Pete: Whole Foods Market
Delivery Time: Two-hour delivery options at no extra cost. Or one-hour delivery for a fee.
Bonus Features: I found Amazon Prime Now had a very large selection of grocery items to choose from. For example, in the meat & seafood department, there were 86 options for my specific zip code, which ranged from boneless chicken breasts to organic ground beef to kielbasa sausage.
Overview: Grocery prices listed online with Amazon Prime Now appeared to match the cost of groceries in the Whole Foods store. The subscription fees seemed very straightforward and easy to understand. When shopping for your groceries, you can filter by department (dairy, frozen, meat substitutes, etc.) and specific food brands based on what item you are looking to add to your cart.
Pro Tips for Using a Grocery Delivery Service
Take advantage of the on sale items – many delivery service websites offer a feature to shop for sale items or buy specific brands. Also, take into account where you want your groceries from (Whole Foods, Publix, Target, etc). The service you select will determine where your groceries come from, since as pointed out above, different services have different grocery store partnerships.
Curious to learn more about your spending and where you can afford to spend or save money? Contact Us