Signed, sealed, delivered.

By Mary Claire Lagroue
January 16, 2020
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It's 2020. Ordering groceries straight to our doors (at least some of the time) is no longer just a convenience. It's a way of life. But with all of the online grocery delivery services out there, choosing the right one for you could take as much time as a trip to the actual grocery store. Uh, no thanks. We've noted the pros and cons of standout grocery delivery services so you can find the one that fits your needs.


If you've already invested in an Amazon Prime membership, consider this grocery delivery service another major perk. Amazon has cut the cost of AmazonFresh service for Prime members, who used to pay an extra $15 per month to use it. Use your account to shop everything from fresh produce to meat and seafood to frozen foods. You choose the delivery date and time.

  • Membership: Free with Amazon Prime, which costs $119 per year
  • Delivery Cost: $5 for orders under $35
  • Pro: Large selection, including Whole Foods 365 products
  • Con: Only available in select cities


Boxed offers a ton of shelf-stable bulk goods, complete with a private label brand called Prince & Spring. Plus, you can shop a selection of Costco's Kirkland Signature line without a membership. For produce and foods with an expiration date (like seafood, eggs, and frozen meals), an Express Grocery option is available in select areas.

  • Membership: Free, with the option of a $49 annual fee for free shipping on all orders
  • Delivery Cost: $7 for orders under $49 (minimum price for free shipping depends on the region)
  • Pro: Easy returns with prepaid labels
  • Con: Fresh and frozen food only available in certain locations


FreshDirect boasts a huge selection of food from brands you're probably familiar with. You can filter products by several criteria. Think top-rated, local, organic, kosher, gluten-free, family size, and sale. You can also shop its Under 500 Calories selection, which includes pre-made foods like guacamole, Thai-style chicken salad, and mashed sweet potatoes.

  • Membership: Free, with the option of a $129 annual fee for unlimited free deliveries
  • Delivery Cost: $6 to $8 for most locations, with a $30 order minimum
  • Pro: Easily shop local produce and products
  • Con: Only available on the East Coast


With Instacart you can shop a selection of stores near you. Examples include CVS, Costco, Aldi, and Sprouts Farmers Market. Once you've placed an order at one of those stores, a personal shopper will pick up the groceries you ordered and deliver them to your door. You can also opt to pick up your groceries yourself if you prefer. Some locations offer same-day delivery, which can mean as little as a one- to two-hour wait.

  • Membership: Free, with the option of a $99 annual fee for free deliveries on orders over $35
  • Delivery Cost: $4
  • Pro: Minimum order cost of $10 is relatively low (compared to $30 for Walmart Grocery and FreshDirect and $60 for Peapod)
  • Con: Prices tend to be higher on Instacart than in stores


Peapod sells the same products you'd find at your go-to grocery store, as well as its own branded items. You can scroll through "aisles," or start with the Express Shop feature for suggested staples. If you're a planner, you'll enjoy creating shopping lists on the site, shopping its meal kits, and scheduling deliveries in advance. That said, some locations only offer pickups.

  • Membership: Free, with the option of a $119 annual fee for discounted deliveries
  • Delivery Cost: $7 and up
  • Pro: Schedule deliveries during certain time slots for discounted shipping
  • Con: Only available in certain regions


Shipt lets you shop certain stores in your area, such as Costco, Meijer, Publix, and CVS. It's also the only online grocery service that brings Target goods right to your door. Like Instacart, Shipt delivers through a personal shopper who tracks down your groceries at the store. Communicating with your shopper is easy with Shipt, and you can even make a note of what your shopper should do if items from your list aren't available. (I.e. "Contact me," "Use best judgement," or "Don't substitute.")

  • Membership: $99/year or $14/month
  • Delivery Cost: $7 for orders under $35
  • Pro: Speedy delivery available as long as stores are open
  • Con: Prices tend to be higher on Shipt than in stores

Thrive Market

Thrive Market describes itself as "Whole Foods meets Costco prices." It offers tons of healthy nonperishables, as well as frozen meat and seafood. Thrive caters to a number of diets, and it's easy to choose products that meet one (or more) of these diets. Think organic, vegan, paleo, ketogenic, raw, and gluten-free. Its selection of foods approved for the Low-FODMAP Diet and the AIP, or autoimmune protocol, really sets it apart. Bonus: The cost of a membership goes toward a free membership for a low-income family.

  • Membership: $60/year
  • Delivery Cost: $6 for orders under $50
  • Pro: Healthy foods at discounted prices
  • Con: No produce or frozen food

Walmart Grocery

With Walmart Grocery, you can easily browse products through categories like peak season produce, organic, kosher, canned goods, and best sellers in your area. You can also shop a selection of items for holidays and other events. For example, the “Game Time” section includes game day essentials for making burgers, wings, and more. Once you’ve totaled $30 worth of items, you can opt to pick up your items in the store or have them delivered. 

Keep Reading:

We're serving up and celebrating the biggest home-cooking trends from the most enthusiastic cooks we know: our community. We crunched the data from 1.2 billion annual visits and 2.5 billion annual page views. Then we dug even further, surveying Allrecipes cooks about what's in their carts and fridges, on their stovetops and tables, and on their minds. Online grocery is just one of the topics they're most curious about. See more of the "State of Home Cooking" special report.