The 7 Best Grocery Delivery Services of 2020

Get your groceries delivered from local stores while staying safe at home

All grocery delivery services are not made alike. They are all useful, of course, especially when you can't leave home to get your own shopping done. Some are better at communicating, however, while some charge lower fees, and still others help you find specialized foods.

There are pros and cons to shopping online anywhere, of course, so we've compiled this list to help you find what you need when you're at home and don't want to—or can't—get to a grocery store.

These services are often inexpensive to join and offer great convenience. However, prices do tend to be higher when you use one and not all services give you access to store savings or coupon programs. The price you see when you select an item in the app is the one you will pay, regardless of what the in-store price might be.

It's worth trying a few out with free trials to see which ones suit your needs best.

All grocery delivery services now offer contactless delivery but procedures for requesting this vary. Check with each service to determine how (or if) it sanitizes deliveries and confirm other precautions taken to protect consumers and personal shoppers.

The trick to ordering groceries online with any service is to plan ahead. So many people have discovered the ease of using grocery delivery that many services simply don't employ enough shoppers to keep up with demand. While all do attempt same-day delivery, that's often reserved for consumers who order very early in the morning. Remember: Gratuities for shoppers are above and beyond any fees noted.

This list includes online grocery services that have a brick-and-mortar storefront to help you keep the shelves at home stocked; it does not include other types of grocery delivery services that are available.

01
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Instacart: Best at Communicating While Shopping For You

Instacart online interface
What We Like
  • Partners with multiple stores.

  • Good communication from shoppers.

  • Easy to make substitutions and changes post-order submission.

What We Don't Like
  • Service fee.

  • Not enough shoppers to meet short delivery windows.

  • Minimum Order: $35
  • Delivery Fee: $0 if minimum is met; $7 if not
  • Service Fee: 5% with a minimum of $2
  • Membership: $14/monthly or $99/annual

If it seems like Instacart is everywhere, that's because it is. This service has grown quickly and is popular partly because it allows customers to take advantage of in-store coupons and partly because there are simply so many stores that offer delivery services via Instacart. The shopping interface allows you to easily designate substitutions if a desired product is out of stock and add more items or adjust your cart up until the shopper pulls your ticket.

Same day delivery is available in most major metro areas. Promised delivery times are often 'within two hours' but can suddenly change if a shopper doesn't pick your ticket quickly enough or if demand for delivery is high. In some areas, waits can be as long as 3-4 days. Instacart's interface does make it very easy to adjust the tip for the personal shopper.

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02
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Shipt: Best at Delivering When Promised

Shipt shopping cart
What We Like
  • Works with non-traditional grocery outlets.

  • Can be used for CVS pharmacy deliveries.

  • Usually able to deliver when promised.

What We Don't Like
  • Communication not quite seamless during shopping.

  • Not easy to make changes after order is submitted.

  • Minimum Order: $35
  • Delivery Fee: $0 if minimum is met; $7 if not
  • Membership: $14/monthly or $99/annual

Owned by Target Corporation, Shipt is a grocery delivery service that has expanded into services beyond Target and into delivery for less traditional 'grocery' stores by delivering products from stores like CVS Pharmacy and PetCo. However, grocery store chains do offer Shipt delivery services to customers.

You can text back and forth with the personal shopper while they cruise the aisles for you and changes are quickly accepted. However, the online interface and app aren't quite as easy to use as Instacart's when making substitutions. You can use the service without a membership but overall costs are inline with competitors.

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03
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Walmart+: Best for Delivery of Groceries Plus Everything Else

Walmart Delivery Unlimited screen
What We Like
  • Can purchase products besides groceries.

  • Service is available in thousands of locations.

What We Don't Like
  • Substitutions and changes are difficult to make.

  • Delivery windows not shown until shopping is completed.

  • Product availability is not always clear.

  • Minimum Order: $35
  • Delivery Fee: $0 on orders of $35-plus
  • Membership: $12.95/monthly or $98/annual

This same-day service from the budget retailer differs from its free grocery pickup service by offering home delivery for shoppers who pay a subscription fee. Delivery windows are typically offered within four hours of completion of the online order. Of Walmart's 4700 stores, 2700 offer same-day delivery. The company offers a free 15-day trial of Walmart+.

When you place an order using Walmart+, you can request substitutions for specific items if the one you want is out of stock. Then you can track your driver's location using the Walmart app once the delivery is on its way.

Walmart+ also offers its members discounts on fuel at Walmart and Murphy stations and the ability to use the Walmart app to scan their purchases as they shop and pay at a self-checkout counter.

What separates Walmart from most brick and mortar competitors is that its stores offer thousands of general merchandise items.

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04
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FreshDirect: Best Service for Farm-fresh Products

FreshDirect home page
What We Like
  • Farm fresh products.

  • Local products.

What We Don't Like
  • Needs 24-hour notice; otherwise must use sister site.

  • Small delivery area.

  • Minimum Order: $30
  • Delivery Fee: $6 minimum
  • Membership: $79/six months or $129/annual

A niche grocery delivery service for the Northeast, FreshDirect caters to customers seeking high-quality produce and meat fresh from local farms. It's more interested in finding the right products rather than delivering as quickly as possible; orders should be placed at least 24 hours in advance. Same-day delivery is available using its sister company Foodkick however.

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05
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Safeway: Best Grocery Delivery Service That Doesn't Require a Membership

Safeway website online shopping order page
What We Like
  • No membership required.

  • Can get the same in-store coupons.

  • Shows you delivery windows before you start shopping.

What We Don't Like
  • High threshold to waive delivery fee.

  • Minimum Order: $30
  • Delivery Fee: $10 or below
  • Membership: None

Safeway lets you reserve a delivery time before you start shopping, something that other services don't do. That's a giant plus when other services make you do the work in creating your shopping cart before they tell you they can't deliver for three days.

A West Coast grocery store chain, Safeway doesn't require a membership and will reduce the delivery fee if your order exceeds $150. Deliveries are offered between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. daily and shoppers who are part of Safeway's free Just 4 U club can get the same coupons and deals they would as if they were shopping in-store.

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06
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Peapod: Best Service for Special Nutitrional Needs and Organic Deliveries

Peapod shopping page
What We Like
  • Focus on organic and dietary shopping.

  • Easy to shop by nutritional needs.

What We Don't Like
  • Limited delivery time slots.

  • The Substitutions feature is opt-in.

  • Minimum Order: $30
  • Delivery Fee: $9.95 minimum
  • Pickup Fee: $2.95
  • Membership: $79/six months or $129/annual

What sets Peapod, another niche delivery service, apart is the ability for East Coast consumers to shop by dietary needs, shop organic products, and find foods by nutritional differences such as non-GMO and gluten-free features. It does offer a pickup option if you prefer but you'll pay for it with a small fee.

The service can provide fast pickup options but, if you use it, plan ahead because delivery time slots are limited. It's a good idea, too, to turn on the Substitutions option so shoppers can quickly find replacements for out-of-stock items.

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07
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Amazon Fresh: Best Large-Sized Service for Organic Delivery

Amazon Fresh shopping screen
What We Like
  • Works with Whole Foods.

  • Multiple delivery choices, including temperature controlled bags.

  • Ability to order items beyond groceries.

What We Don't Like
  • Must be an Amazon Prime member to use it.

  • Boxed deliveries (boxes are tougher to recycle).

  • Minimum Order: $35-$50
  • Delivery Fee: $0 with minimum
  • Membership: $119 (Amazon Prime membership is required)

This service is included because of its delivery options for Whole Foods Market, the popular organic grocery store that Amazon purchased. Deliveries are available only for Amazon Prime members in large metro areas across the United States and Germany. A variety of items are available beyond groceries.

The company promises short delivery windows and offers multiple delivery choices, including a temperature-controlled tote bag. Most items are delivered in boxes.

Even if you have a Prime membership, Amazon Fresh is not currently accepting new grocery delivery customers as of May 2020.

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