I’ve been using grocery delivery for a few months now and I️ promised you guys over on IG that I️’d share my thoughts after a while – so here we are! We are fortunate to live in an area where we have basically any store we could ever desire – so grocery delivery to our house provides us with a ton of options. Over the past year, I️’ve experimented with grocery pickup and delivery and feel like I️ have a pretty good handle on the process…and can share my personal preference!
The Best Grocery Delivery Services
I️’m going to break this post down into three groups – Instacart, Shipt and Walmart Grocery Delivery. Now that I️’ve used all three, I️ feel comfortable sharing my thoughts on each of these services!
I️ first worked with Instacart on an Instagram campaign over a year ago. As it was the first grocery delivery service I️’d ever used, I️ didn’t really have a benchmark at that time, so I️ ended up using the service again on my own later just to gauge my thoughts! I️ had an overall positive experience, but I️ wasn’t thrilled with the produce selection – which is obviously something that will vary based on the shopper but also on the selection available at the store. Here are some key Instacart points:
- You don’t need a membership to use Instacart. You can order groceries anytime for a delivery fee ranging from $3.99-7.99 per order, plus a service fee that’s usually 5%.
- The Instacart Express membership costs $99 per year and it gives you free delivery on orders of $35 or more, and reduces/eliminates the service fee. You can use this link to save $10 on your next order.
- I️nstacart partners with different stores in each area, so it’s hard to give specifics but I️ will say that in my area (Charlotte, NC), there are a TON more options than Shipt offers. All of the club stores, some pharmacies, Aldi, specialty grocers (Sprouts, Earth Fare, Fresh Market), Total Wine, Publix, etc.
- You can have groceries delivered in as little as one hour after placing your order.
- There are special coupons on the Instacart site that can be used at specific retailers.
- Prices are definitely marked up higher than you’d find in-store. This is especially noticeable at discount stores like Aldi. Basically, you’re paying for convenience.
I️ wouldn’t say I️ had a bad experience with Instacart, but it was just ‘meh’ and I️ didn’t really shop regularly at the stores they partner with (aside from BJ’s). So, I️ decided I️’d give Shipt a try just to compare the two. I️’m all about outsourcing as much as possible now that we have three kids, and going to the grocery store (even for pickup) was becoming more of a struggle between scheduling and whiny kids! I️ signed up for a free trial and used Shipt for the first time before Thanksgiving, ordering groceries from Lidl. I’ll be honest, I would choose Lidl over Aldi pretty much any day, though I️ don’t shop at either regularly. I️ was very impressed with how my shopper communicated with me throughout her shopping and asked questions if a product was out of stock. When my trial was getting ready to end, I️ went to cancel, because I️ was also doing Walmart delivery (more on that below) and basically didn’t want to pay for two services. The customer service rep offered to give me two additional months of Shipt so I️ could give it a fair shot, which was so awesome – talk about great customer service! And as we were chatting about other stores I️ could use with Shipt, she mentioned that I️ could shop directly through the Target app so I️ could pay with my RedCard Debit Card (which saves me 5% on every Target purchase). In my further research, I️ somehow had missed that Target owns Shipt(!) and when you shop at Target, there is ZERO markup! Here are some more key points about Shipt:
- You must have a membership to use Shipt. Fortunately, you can use my link to save $50 off your annual membership, making it only $49 for the entire year. That’s less than $1 per week, which isn’t bad at all! You can also pay $14 monthly rather than the annual fee.
- You automatically get free delivery when you spend $35 at any store. If you don’t meet that threshold, you pay $7 for delivery. I️ always make sure to meet the minimum so I️’m not throwing money away.
- I️f you shop at Target through the Target app, there’s no markup whatsoever. For most other stores, items are marked up slightly as a ‘service fee’.
- Every shopper I️’ve had is very good at communicating with me regarding out of stock or alternate items. And I️’ve used Shipt a LOT!
- Also, keep in mind that if you have a Target RedCard, def shop through the Target app and use that card to save 5%!
Walmart Grocery Delivery
So I️ started out using Walmart Grocery Pickup over two years ago – I️ was an early adopter and used it weekly. Over time, I️’ve been a little less impressed with certain aspects of Walmart Grocery, from the quality of produce, expiration dates of perishables to the wait times for pickup, even with a scheduled time. When I️ found out delivery was offered in our area, I️ decided to give it a try – I️ actually found promo codes for the first month or two, so I️ didn’t have to pay for delivery at all. Once Walmart fully launched its delivery service, they offered a free trial, followed by a monthly or annual membership. I️ actually forgot to cancel my trial, so I️’m technically still on a month-to-month plan at the moment! Here are some points about Walmart Grocery Delivery:
- You can order without having a membership – delivery fees range from $7.99-9.99 per order.
- There is also a membership option – $12.95 monthly or $98 a year. I️ have *not* seen any discount codes for this membership yet. There is a $10 discount on your grocery order using this code.
- Walmart partners with Postmates for delivery. Overall, I️ don’t think they are as high quality as the people that work for Shipt and Instacart. However, the Walmart Delivery people are literally just drivers – they don’t actually shop for your groceries like the others.
- You are still reliant on the Walmart Grocery team to properly shop for your order and hope they choose good produce and meats.
- The biggest downside so far is if an item is substituted, you can’t reject it like you can with order pickup. You have to go on the Walmart Grocery site/app and let them know if you had any order issues.
- The biggest positive about THAT, though, is that Walmart pretty much refunds anything automatically. So, yes, missing an item or getting an expired item is frustrating and requires you to make a trip out anyways – but at least you will get your money back, often without having to return the item in-store.
Now that I️’ve shared my thoughts about all three services, I️’ll share my favorite (if that wasn’t already obvious): SHIPT! So, if you’re talking purely convenience, it would be amazing to have all three services to use interchangeably – but cost-wise, that probably isn’t going to be worth it.
I️ initially thought I️’d want to keep my Walmart delivery service, but once I️ realized I️ could shop via Target and use my RedCard, I️ started leaning toward Shipt. For one, we get a lot of household and baby items from Target, so even if we have groceries delivered via Walmart, we’ll be making a Target trip. Also, we are fortunate to have a Super Target near our house, so we can literally get any grocery item we need delivered via Shipt. I️ think that could be challenging if you live in an area without a Super Target, since a regular store doesn’t have as much grocery variety. And finally, we like to take advantage of that 5% RedCard savings. I️ also used Shipt a LOT around Christmas for gifts, stocking stuffers and holiday foods. At a minimum, using a grocery delivery service during the holidays is worth it!
All of these services have their pros and cons, and promos aside, pricing is similar. It will probably come down to which of these services are offered in your area and which stores they service (well, minus Walmart delivery of course). I️ think you probably can’t go wrong with Shipt or Instacart and you could choose based on the stores you prefer to shop at, but I️’d say proceed with caution when it comes to Walmart Grocery Delivery. Yes, prices are good, which is a draw for me, but I️’ve just had so many issues that I️’m not sure if it’s worthwhile for my family. I️’d suggest giving the monthly membership a try and see how you like it before committing to a year!
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