The 5 Best Grocery Delivery Services of 2021

Get your groceries sent right to your doorstep

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

Our Top Picks

Best Organic: Thrive Market

"Grocery items are screened to ensure that they are free of genetically modified organisms, or GMOs."

Best East Coat: FreshDirect

"Customers can order their items a week in advance or at 11 pm the night before a delivery."

Best Traditional Experience: Peapod

"Also offers meal kits, so you can order all the groceries needed for a particular dish to prepare for yourself and others in one click."

Best for Whole Foods Lovers: Instacart

"Have your products delivered in as little as an hour, or you can pick them up at your local store."

Best for Target Lovers: Shipt

"This more personable option brings your food and everyday essentials to you with same-day delivery."

Due to increased demand, there are significant delays on grocery delivery orders. Please check with your local services for timing and product availability.

Our Top Picks

Best Organic: Thrive Market

Thrive Market

Thrive Market

Thrive is a market looking to bring people into a more food-accessible community. Touting wholesale prices that save you 25%-50% off retail prices, their direct buying strategy brings you fresh, quality products for less. Grocery items are screened to ensure that they are free of genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.

Customers are offered a 30-day trial to test this option, and shoppers can search based on their “values.” The categories listed include items that are gluten-free, for moms, paleo-friendly, raw, staples, or vegan. And don’t forget about Fido. Thrive also sells pet products for your cat and dog.

The company is also helping others along the way. For each paid annual membership of about $60, the company offers free membership to a low-income family, student, teacher, veteran, or first responder. You can order Thrive from anywhere in the contiguous United States.

Best East Coat: FreshDirect

FreshDirect

FreshDirect

Many East Coast residents rely on FreshDirect for their home and office grocery deliveries. The service is available in locations in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Washington D.C. Over the summer, FreshDirect also goes to homes on the Jersey Shore and the Hamptons.

Partnerships with local farms, dairies, and fisheries help you get fresh food fast. They offer more than 3,000 food products and the list of available items changes depending on the season. Because of this focus, there are more food items and fewer home essentials compared to other services. That being said, there is a sizable selection of goods in the “Supplies” tab on the site.

FreshDirect is geared toward solving your time constraint problems. Customers can order their items a week in advance or at 11 pm the night before a delivery. Your products can ship as soon as the next day, and most minimum orders are $30.

Best Traditional Experience: Peapod

Peapod

Peapod

Started back in 1989, Peapod now serves 24 U.S. markets in Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Wisconsin.

Peapod looks to be the most efficient delivery service, with filters catered toward matching you with the ultimate grocery list. You can “Order Genius,” a feature that analyzes your frequent purchases and recommends items you should add to your cart. Peapod also offers meal kits, so you can order all the groceries needed for a particular dish to prepare for yourself and others in one click. The Express Shop also allows you to type in your list, submit it, and receive product suggestions.

From the next day to two weeks beforehand, you can load your e-cart any time of day. Your items can be delivered to you, or there are pick-up locations in select areas. All new customers get 60 days of free delivery.

Best for Whole Foods Lovers: Instacart

Instacart

Instacart

Residents in cities like LA, Miami, New York City, Washington D.C., Atlanta, and others can enjoy Instacart delivery service for all of their grocery necessities. You can have your products delivered in as little as an hour, or you can pick them up at your local store.

Instacart hires personal shoppers to fulfill each request from whichever store you’ve selected. Whole Foods Market, Fairway, Costco, CVS, and Petco are just a few of the stores affiliated with Instacart. The company also sets itself apart with Instacart Express, a grocery delivery membership that you can sign up for on a monthly or yearly basis. The feature includes unlimited free deliveries on orders over $35, and the opportunity to order from multiple stores for a single order with no added fees.

All orders have a minimum of $10, and there is no delivery fee if your order exceeds $35.

Best for Target Lovers: Shipt

Shipt

Shipt

Launched in 2014, Shipt caters to people in the following states: Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Shipt partners with retailers in each of the 72 cities where the service is provided, and Shipt shoppers pick up everything you need. This more personable option brings your food and everyday essentials to you with same-day delivery. You can pay on a monthly basis for $14, or commit to a $99 per year membership.

Shipt sells products from Target, so lovers of the retailer will enjoy this delivery option.

How Do Grocery Delivery Services Work?

For most grocery delivery services, you shop online and select your groceries, rather than going to the supermarket. You then pay for your order, including any additional delivery service fees, and the groceries are delivered right to your door.

How Much Should I Tip?

In general, you should tip in the range of 10% to 20% of the bill or at least $5, whichever is higher. If you used a coupon to get a discounted price, make sure you base the tip on the pre-discount amount. 

Is a Grocery Delivery Service Worth It?

Using a grocery delivery service can save you the hassle and time of going to a grocery store. It can be very convenient for busy people who don’t have a lot of time for grocery shopping or parents who don’t want to have to bring young children to a store. Your food choices will be much more deliberate, so you can choose healthier foods and you can avoid making impulse buys because you’re distracted, tired, or hungry.

However, using a grocery delivery service will cost more than if you went to the store yourself. On top of delivery fees and tips, you may find that some items are priced higher than at a supermarket and it can be harder to search for bargains or compare prices. For foods such as produce, you can’t handpick your items, and you may not always get the freshest, highest-quality picks.

If your free time is extremely limited, you only want to purchase exactly what's on your shopping list, or it’s not always convenient for you to get to the store, the extra expense of grocery delivery may be well worth it. 

How Much Do These Services Cost?   

The cost of grocery delivery services varies, as most retailers offer the option of paying a fee for each order or buying a membership that includes unlimited free orders over a certain amount.

Retailers generally charge in the range of $7 to $10 per order, with some including extra fees for heavy orders or items such as alcohol. You may be able to save some money on delivery fees if you choose less desirable time slots, such as Tuesday to Thursday evenings. Memberships generally cost about $10 to $13 per month, with discounts for longer plans.

Can You Use EBT for Grocery Delivery?

Using EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer) cards for grocery delivery services is not common, but may be available through certain retailers in some areas. Some retailers may allow customers to pay with EBT for grocery pick-up, but not delivery. Check with your local retailer to see which services are available. 

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