Could Online Grocery Delivery Services Save You Time and Money?

July 20, 2015

Online grocery delivery services have been taking off in popularity lately.  It seems that every grocery store features advertisements for their grocery delivery service, and some stores are offering in-store pickup services as well.

When we blogged about these services last year, the trend was seemingly just getting started. I didn’t really hear much buzz about them until they began popping up on the mommy blogs I read.  (Yes, that’s my version of “happening.”) Motivated by the idea that I would no longer have to take up precious weekend time with grocery shopping, I thought I would give it a try.

There are options for every lifestyle and budget 

I researched the available online grocery delivery services in my area (metro Denver) and found that quite a few are now available. Due to the popularity of the services, delivery areas are expanding quickly to other parts of the state as well.

Kroger/HomeShop

The HomeShop service, offered through King Soopers and City Market stores, is available in many locations throughout Colorado, including the Denver metro area, Pueblo, Loveland, and other locations on the Front Range. A Delivery Shop and Stock service is available in the Avon, Beaver Creek and Vail communities.

The HomeShop service enables you to place orders online and then either pick them up from a local store or have them delivered to your home.  The minimum grocery order is $50.  Pricing on the website are the same as in-store pricing.  Delivery is $10.95 per order (delivery is free on your first order) with a standard 2-hour delivery window.  Store pickup is $4.95 with a 30 minute pickup window.  You can enter your membership card information online to save on a variety of items.

Walmart To Go

Available in the Denver metro area market and expanding rapidly, Walmart To Go includes multiple services including grocery delivery and in-store pickup.  Enter your zip code on the website to check if the service is available in your area.

For grocery delivery, you can establish an online account and begin shopping for groceries.  The selection is quite expansive and includes all types of food items, from dairy and produce to meat and pantry staples.  You can also add other types of products to your cart.  Diapers and wipes?  Done.  New bathmats?  Done.  Printer cartridge?  Just add to cart.  Walmart’s website states that there are no price markups on the products offered through its Walmart to Go service.

Orders are placed online and can be delivered the same day if needed.  You can also schedule deliveries ahead if necessary.  Delivery is free for the first three months. After that, delivery prices differ depending on the time and day you select, but overall range from $3 to $9. There is a $30 minimum for delivery.

You can also elect to order online and then pick up your items curbside at a designated time window at the store of your choosing. The pickup service is free of charge.

Instacart

Available in Denver, this service allows you to order from a number of grocery and other retailers using one website and one delivery service. Currently, the retailers included under Instacart are Whole Foods, Safeway, Costco, King Soopers, Natural Grocers, Marczyk Fine Foods, and Petco, although not all retailers may be available in all zip codes. Instacart offers the convenience of simultaneously shopping multiple stores online instead of having to either separately order from each retailer or spend hours driving around town to complete your shopping list.

Once you register on the Instacart website, you are taken to a menu of retailers. Select the retailer you want, choose from their offerings, and include items from other retailers if need be. Pricing for items may be the same or higher than in store, but you will be notified on the site either way. The minimum order value is $10 per retailer, and delivery costs may differ depending on the dollar amount of goods ordered and the time of delivery. Keep in mind that a separate delivery fee is charged per retailer. You can request for items to be delivered as quickly as within two hours from the time of order.

Instacart is available in other states as well. Enter your zip code on the website to see whether Instacart is available where you live.

Door to Door Organics

Available in Colorado and a number of other states, Door to Door Organics focuses on delivery of fresh seasonal organic produce and organic natural and local foods.  You can choose from boxes that are mixed fruit and vegetable or boxes that only have fruit or vegetables. Produce boxes, depending on type and size of box, range from $25.99 for a Bitty Mixed Box (1-2 people) to a $59.99 Large Mixed Box that “feeds a family of vegetarians,” with deliveries available weekly or bi-weekly. Deliveries are free.

You also have the option of adding groceries and pantry staples to your box. Door to Door Organics offers a selection of organic and local groceries, such as dairy, meats, fish, breads and pantry staples.

Amazon Prime Pantry 

This service is available to Amazon Prime members (currently a $99 annual fee). Amazon Prime Pantry offers non-perishable household items such as snack foods, soft drinks, baking goods, and canned goods, among others, for a flat $5.99 delivery fee per Prime Pantry box.  One box holds up to 45 pounds of household products.  You can see how full each box is getting as the Prime Pantry items are added to your cart.

Amazon offers various coupons on the Prime Pantry website. Some coupons are for specific food items, others are general, such as discounts on the first order and discounts for purchases over a certain amount.  Delivery is estimated between 1-4 business days.

The bottom line 

The popularity and availability of grocery delivery services continues to be on the rise.  The convenience factor is a great draw.  It helps to have another option when your busy schedule or work hours prevent you from having sufficient time to grocery shop.  Grocery delivery is also convenient for those who may be less mobile or perhaps who do not have a mode of transportation altogether.  With expanding geographical areas and companies continuously entering this space, this trend is likely to stay around long-term.

This post was written by Julie Borisov, a staff attorney at Colorado PERA. Would you like to write a guest post for The Dime? Email us at dimecontact@copera.org.