7 Best Alternatives to Instacart for Grocery Delivery
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Going to the store has dramatically changed due to our current pandemic. However, if you’re like many people I know, you want to minimize trips to the grocery store. That’s where grocery delivery can help. Instacart is one of the leading grocery delivery apps, but they’re not the only one. There are numerous alternatives to Instacart to have groceries delivered to your doorstep, each with their own perks.
Using grocery delivery services may not seem frugal, but they are. While apps like Instacart have grown in popularity in the past several years, they help you accomplish one thing – saving time.
If you spend an hour or two at the store each week, you can cut that time by using grocery delivery apps. You can use that time in other ways – whether it be something financial or spending time with your family.
Our guide shares the top Instacart alternatives to use if the service is not in your area or you want a different service.
What is Instacart?
Instacart is a grocery delivery app that delivers items straight to your door. They partner with grocery stores all over the U.S. and hire independent contractors to shop and deliver items to your home.
To learn the Instacart grocery stores in your area, you can download the app and enter your address. Some of the stores the service partners with include:
- Sam’s Club
The service is available in over 1,000 cities and is known for same-day and next-day delivery. Although the Instacart membership cost is $149 per year, you don’t need to have a membership to use the service.
The perk of being a member is you receive free deliveries on all orders over $35. If your order is under $35, then you must pay $3.99 per delivery.
If you’re not a member, delivery rates range from $5.99 to $11.99 per delivery – based on the total amount of your order. The more your order costs, the less you pay for delivery.
The provider does not honor manufacturer coupons, but most stores allow you to use your loyalty cards. It also offers free delivery promotions on occasion.
Best Alternatives to Instacart
Instacart is not the only grocery delivery company in the space. Several national or regional players operate similarly, not to mention services from your local grocery store.
Most of the services allow you to place same-day or next-day delivery, and you can often schedule delivery for a particular day, up to two weeks out.
Here are the seven best alternatives to have groceries delivered to your home.
Shipt is one of the top companies like Instacart. Target owns this grocery delivery service, but they do deliver groceries from numerous stores.
Similar to Instacart, Shipt does have a membership program. You can join Shipt for $99 per year, or $14 per month if you don’t want an annual membership.
One perk you receive through membership is free delivery for orders over $35. However, if your order is under that, you must pay $7 for delivery.
Like other grocery delivery apps, the Shipt app allows you to order items 24 hours a day. Additionally, you can schedule delivery times within a one-hour window.
One drawback to Shipt is it doesn’t allow you to use coupons. The app also doesn’t allow you to link to store loyalty cards. However, like Instacart, Shipt does occasionally offer promotions.
Amazon Prime members are familiar with Amazon Music, Prime Video, and of course, their famous free two-day shipping. If you’re an Amazon Prime member, you can get groceries delivered to your home with AmazonFresh.
AmazonFresh costs $14.95 per month, and you can order groceries online and have them delivered to your door. There is an additional $9.99 delivery fee if you order less than $50 in groceries, so you want to minimize smaller orders.
The fees for AmazonFresh are in addition to the Amazon Prime membership. However, you can use the service even if you’re a trial member.
Similar to Instacart, AmazonFresh does not allow manufacturer coupons.
What makes AmazonFresh one of the best alternatives to Instacart is it offers same-day delivery of orders. In a worst-case scenario, deliveries occur the following morning.
One key drawback to AmazonFresh is it’s currently only available in 15 cities. But with the growing demand for at-home grocery delivery, it’s sure to grow.
3. Walmart Grocery
Walmart Grocery Pickup has been around for a few years now, and it’s free. Did you know that Walmart also delivers groceries to your house?
Just like the grocery pickup method, you can order the items you need through their app or website.
From there, just choose the ‘delivery’ option instead of ‘pickup’ and add your address, including what day and time you’ll be at the store to pick up your items.
Drivers can bring your order straight to your office or home during the time slot you request. There is a membership fee to use this service of $98 per year, or $12.95 per month. Walmart does offer a 15-day free trial to test the service.
If you’re a member, deliveries are free. Otherwise, you can expect a delivery charge of $7.95 to $9.95, depending on the amount on your order.
What makes Walmart Grocery one of the best sites like Instacart is you can order anything from the store for delivery. That means you can get most small appliances, or outdoor gear, along with your groceries.
What makes FreshDirect one of the top Instacart alternatives is it does not have a membership fee to use the service. While the app does offer Delivery Pass, which costs $129 per year offering free delivery, you don’t have to join to use the service.
Assuming you don’t join, delivery charges range from $5.99 to $15.99 per order, with a minimum order size of $30. FreshDirect doesn’t just offer grocery delivery; it also offers fully prepared meal delivery in some locations.
FreshDirect allows you to order a variety of items you may need, including:
- Health and Beauty
- Baby items
- Alcohol – in some locations
Food with FreshDirect comes to them straight from farmers, artisans, or fishermen. This feature allows them to avoid the middleman, which puts more money in the hands of these farmers and fishermen.
FreshDirect food is fresher than food from a traditional store. It can last up to seven days longer in your fridge than what you may typically buy.
The one drawback of FreshDirect is it’s only available in the Northeast. FreshDirect is available in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Washington, D.C.
5. Thrive Market
Thrive Market is one of the more unique alternatives to Instacart. You don’t have someone shopping for you; instead, the company ships your groceries.
They currently send orders to any address in the 48 adjoining United States. Unfortunately, this leaves out Hawaii, Alaska, and also places like Canada and Puerto Rico.
Thrive Market costs $59.95 per year to use, but your first order with Thrive Market is free if you spend more than $25. Orders are typically on your doorstep in two to three business days.
What makes Thrive Market one of the best websites like Instacart is you can customize your groceries based on your preferences. You can choose from any of the following categories to select your groceries:
This feature is not something most Instacart competitors offer.
After your first order, you can still receive free shipping, but you must have an order amount totaling $49 or more. Anyone who orders less than that will have to pay an additional $5.95 for shipping.
Some big orders may come in multi-piece shipments since Thrive Market has different fulfillment centers used to shop products.
6. Google Shopping
Google Shopping, formerly known as Google Express, is one of the best alternatives for one simple reason – there is no membership cost.
Like Thrive Market, Google Shopping ships groceries to your doorstep. Google Shopping merely acts as a middleman between you and a retailer as Google partners with merchants to ship their products.
To use the service, you enter in items from your grocery list. Google uses that and will show you the available merchants that can ship you the items.
If you find something you like, simply add it to your cart and check out whenever you are ready. Google Shopping makes it easy to compare the different prices for each item on your wish list.
You are also able to see all the reviews for the product as well. Each store has its own minimum order amount to qualify for free shipping, though it’s usually $25 – $35. You can order from multiple stores as well.
Last on our list of alternatives to Instacart is Peapod. Like FreshDirect, Peapod doesn’t require you to join a membership to use the service. Peapod allows you to use manufacturers’ coupons.
PeaPod is a little trickier when it comes to delivering your groceries. The site staggers pricing as follows:
- Orders $100+ will have a fee of $6.95
- Orders ranging from $75 to $100 will have a fee of $7.95
- Orders ranging from $30 to $75 will have a fee of $9.95
Although not required, you can join their PodPass program for $119 per year and receive free delivery on all orders over $100.
You can order fresh and organic produce through the site. Peapod also has next day delivery in most areas as well as even same-day delivery in select cities.
Unfortunately, Peapod is not available nationwide. The service is available in New England and some mid-Atlantic states.
Grocery delivery services provide a lot of convenience to people. Grocery shopping takes time, and using one of the Instacart alternatives allows you to reclaim time.
On a similar note, if you only want meals delivered to your home, read our review of the best food delivery apps to use.
In our current state of affairs, using apps like Instacart allows you to steer clear of the store. Doing so provides much-needed peace of mind that you can get the groceries you want without putting yourself at risk.
What grocery delivery services have you tried? How much would you spend for someone to do your grocery shopping for you? What do you look for when using apps like Instacart?
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