Going to the grocery store can be a hassle, especially if you have a busy schedule. Eliminating this chore could free up some of your time.
Grocery delivery apps like Instacart make it easy to remove this task from your to-do list. However, you may have tried Instacart in the past and not liked it or would prefer another option.
This post shares the top alternatives to have food delivered to your door.
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What Are the Best Alternatives to Instacart?
Instacart is not the only online grocery delivery service in the space. The on-demand shopping market has exploded in recent years.
There are large, national companies that let you get your groceries online. Some local stores provide the service as well.
Each option works a bit differently, so it’s important to know what to look for when making a decision.
Here are the seven best Instacart alternatives to have groceries delivered to your home.
Shipt is a top competitor of Instacart for grocery delivery. Although Shipt is owned by Target, they deliver groceries from dozens of national chains plus local stores.
Shipt operates in over 5,000 cities nationwide and in Canada. This compares well to the 6,000 cities where Instacart operates.
The service offers same-day delivery in many locations, which is helpful if you forget an item or are in a time crunch. You request it within the app and schedule it within a one-hour window.
When the personal grocery shopper claims your order, they go to the nearest store to pick up items on your list.
If they have questions about substitutes, they can live chat with you in the app to find a suitable replacement.
You can also use the app to ask them to add items to your list while they’re shopping.
Once they are done shopping, they buy and deliver items to you at home or your place of work.
Unfortunately, like many other alternatives to Instacart, you can’t use manufacturer coupons. They also don’t allow you to use a store loyalty program.
Shipt does make up for these shortcomings by often running promotions for free delivery.
*Related: Are you interested in trying a meal delivery service, but not sure which to pick? Take our free quiz to receive a customized recommendation that meats your needs.
How Much Does Shipt Cost?
Similar to Instacart, Shipt has a membership program. You can join Shipt for $99 per year.
If you don’t want an annual paid membership, you can pay $14 per month instead.
One perk you receive through membership is free delivery on orders over $35. However, if your order is less than that, you’ll pay $7 for delivery.
Shipt does offer a free trial for some Target customers. Ask your local store what’s required to qualify for the promotion.
In comparison, Instacart offers an Express membership that costs $9.99 a month or $99 per year. They provide a 14-day free trial to test it out.
The membership means there are no delivery fees for orders $35 and over, reduced service fees, and no busy pricing fees during peak hours.
If you’re not a member, delivery fees start at $3.99 for same-day orders over $35. There’s also a service charge based on your order total.
Free deliveries for orders over $35 with $99/yr membership
Same day delivery from grocery stores and other retailers.
If you want to get food directly from local farmers, artisans, or fishermen, FreshDirect is one of the best alternatives to Instacart.
Items you receive do not come from a grocery store. Instead, they come directly from a producer. This lets you eliminate the middleman.
FreshDirect allows you to order a variety of items, including:
- Health and Beauty
- Baby items
- Meal kits
- Alcohol (in some locations)
The company primarily operates on the East Coast, but it is growing. Contact their customer support team if they are not in your area but you’d like to try the service.
Food from FreshDirect is fresher than products from a traditional store. It can last up to seven days longer in your fridge than what you might typically buy.
Pricing is generally more expensive than Instacart, but you do receive higher quality foods. If fresh produce is important to you, the price is likely worth it.
While you normally can’t get groceries the same day, FreshDirect does let you schedule deliveries within a two-hour window.
How Much Does FreshDirect Cost?
There is no membership fee to use FreshDirect. The service does offer a Delivery Pass membership that costs $129 per year if you want free delivery.
However, you don’t have to join to use the service.
Delivery charges range from $5.99 to $15.99 per order. The minimum order size is $30.
FreshDirect often runs promotions that waive delivery fees, so take advantage of those when they are available.
$5.99 to $15.99 delivery charge per order or $129/yr. for free delivery
Super fresh food and produce from farmers, artisans and fishermen.
3. Amazon Fresh
Amazon Fresh can be a terrific option for grocery delivery if you are a Prime member. You might think Amazon Fresh is an extension of Whole Foods, but it isn’t.
The service fulfills orders from local Amazon warehouses, then ships items to your location in temperature-controlled containers.
Not only can you do your grocery shopping via Amazon Fresh, but you can get other items for your home that Amazon might sell.
Furthermore, Amazon Fresh is a good choice for people who want organic produce and packaged foods. Since Amazon owns Whole Foods, they can source items from the store.
Unfortunately, Amazon Fresh is only available in several dozen locations. Plus, unlike other Instacart competitors, they do not allow for substitutions.
This may pose a problem vs. other grocery delivery apps that give you direct contact with the personal shopper to modify an order.
Additionally, it’s not possible to use manufacturer coupons.
Amazon Fresh does provide same-day delivery within a two-hour window.
How Much Does Amazon Fresh Cost?
Amazon recently eliminated the extra charge of $14.95 for this service. If you have an Amazon Prime membership, which costs $139 per year or $14.99 per month, there is no additional charge.
Deliveries over $35 are free. If you’re under that threshold, the cost varies by location.
Free food delivery for Prime members and on orders over $35
Orders from local Amazon warehouses are fulfilled and shipped to you in temperature-controlled containers.
Walmart has offered curbside pickup for years, but it also offers contactless delivery to your home through Walmart+.
Similar to curbside pickup, you can order the items you need through their free app or website. Then, you can choose the ‘delivery’ option instead of ‘pickup’ and add your address.
However, if you need same-day pickup, you can get groceries at the store. A customer service person will walk the items out to you when you arrive.
The Walmart+ app is fairly robust vs. other Instacart alternatives. You can compare prices to other stores, and it will soon allow you to combine coupons with the store’s low prices.
Additionally, the app extends members-only gas discounts, allowing you to receive $0.10 off per gallon when filling up at your local store.
If you want Walmart to deliver groceries directly to your home, this option is available same-day. You can schedule a delivery time with a one-hour window.
Walmart+ does have a 30-day free trial to test the app. However, the app makes it confusing to select this option when you are creating an account.
If you opt to sign up for a paid membership instead, there’s no refund of membership fees.
How Much Does Walmart+ Delivery Cost?
Walmart+ works similarly to Amazon Prime. You need to have a membership to use it. This costs $98 per year or $12.95 per month.
Members receive free unlimited deliveries on orders over $35. Expect a delivery charge of $7.95 to $9.95 if your order is less than $35.
If you need delivery of items aside from groceries, Walmart is one of the best sites like Instacart.
Free delivery on orders over $35 for members; $7.95 to $9.95 otherwise
Contactless delivery to your home through Walmart+.
Hungryroot is a combination meal delivery and grocery service. It’s best for people who want health-conscious meals and groceries.
The company focuses on minimally processed, nutrient-dense food. Upon opening an account, you take a brief quiz to help them identify what may suit your needs.
Depending on your answers, Hungryroot selects appropriate meals and groceries.
This is a fantastic alternative to shopping for groceries as it saves time by reducing the number of meals you must prepare from scratch.
If you follow a vegetarian diet, Hungryroot is a good choice that combines groceries and meal delivery. Unfortunately, our testing of the service revealed that it doesn’t offer a lot of variety.
But, if you want to get food at home that’s high-quality, Hungryroot is worth trying.
How Much Does Hungryroot Cost?
Pricing is somewhat fluid with Hungryroot. Compared to other options, Hungryroot uses a credit-based approach to pricing.
Meals start at roughly eight credits per recipe (which breaks down to only about $4 per serving) but can cost as much as 28-30 credits.
Grocery items begin at 0.25 credits each but can go as high as eight to ten credits each.
Shipping is free on orders over $70 but costs $6.99 otherwise. However, the minimum order is $65, so it’s better to order at least $70 worth of food to get free shipping.
New members can receive 30 percent off their first box. They also get a free gift in each delivery.
Read our Hungryroot review to learn more.
6. 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.
The company offers over 5,000 food, home, and beauty products.
What makes Thrive Market one of the best grocery delivery options is that you can customize it based on your preferences.
You can choose from any of the following categories to select your groceries:
- Sustainable meat and seafood
This feature is not something offered by Instacart or other similar companies.
However, you must pay for the ability to customize what you receive. Thrive Market is a membership-based company, so you have to open an account to start shopping.
Furthermore, since items are shipped to you, you must wait to get groceries. It often takes several days for them to deliver your orders to you.
Nevertheless, if sustainability and fresh groceries are important to you, Thrive Market is worth trying.
How Much Does Thrive Market Cost?
Thrive Market costs $59.95 per year. However, your first order is free if you spend more than $25.
Orders usually arrive in two to three business days.
You can receive free shipping after your first order, but your total must come out to $49 or more. Ordering less than that means you will have to pay an additional $5.95 for shipping.
The company often runs promotions and claims to offer up to 30 percent off groceries.
Boxed is to warehouse clubs as Thrive Market is to specialty diets. If you love to shop at Costco or Sam’s Club for your groceries and home goods, Boxed is worth considering.
Similar to warehouse stores, Boxed lets you order groceries and other items for your home in bulk.
This is particularly helpful if you have a larger family or don’t have a Costco or Sam’s Club in your area.
You can expect products to mirror what you’ll find at either store. This includes staple foods like pasta, cereal, canned goods, and seasonings.
Boxed also includes coupons on their website to help you take advantage of savings opportunities.
Like Thrive Market, you must wait several days to receive shipments. Additionally, there’s no way to get fresh produce via Boxed.
How Much Does Boxed Cost?
There is no membership fee required to use Boxed. You receive free shipping on all orders over $49. If your order total is below that, you pay $6.99 for shipping.
Boxed Up is their membership program. It costs $49 annually to join, and you receive two percent cash back on all orders.
You also get faster shipping in addition to free shipping on orders over $18.98. They even offer extra deals not found in the non-membership offering.
What is the Best Grocery Delivery Service?
Walmart+ and Instacart are the two top grocery delivery apps. Amazon Fresh is also worth considering, but it lacks the wide availability that Walmart+ and Instacart have.
Walmart+ is terrific since you can purchase almost anything the retailer sells and have it delivered to your home.
It also has an affordable membership fee, and you can utilize its pick-up services if you want to get items on your way home from work.
Instacart is great for those that don’t need a membership and is available nationwide.
Which App is Cheapest for Grocery Shopping?
Walmart+ is often the most affordable option for grocery delivery. While it does include a membership fee, the app makes it simple to identify savings.
Additionally, the gas discount makes it an attractive choice.
If you’d rather not deal with Walmart+, Instacart is a justifiable option. They do not require a membership fee, and you can link a store loyalty card to take advantage of further savings.
Grocery delivery is becoming increasingly popular. Apps like Instacart let you save time and potentially money if sticking to your grocery list is a challenge for you.
Take advantage of free trial offers and promotions before committing to a membership fee. This will keep more money in your pocket and help you choose the best service for your needs.
How much would you spend for someone to do your shopping for you?
Choncé is a Certified Financial Education Instructor (CFEI), personal finance freelance writer, and blogger who focuses on helping others manage their money better in order to live a life with more possibilities and fewer limitations. Her work has been featured on Business Insider, LendingTree, Credit Sesame, and Barclaycard.