Many of us are staying in more and limiting trips to the grocery store. If you don’t feel safe going out in public, there are several ways to have groceries delivered to you at home. In some cases you can even request a no-contact delivery, where you’re notified when your order is left at your doorstep (or in the place you designate).
During these crazy times, you’ll have to plan ahead for grocery delivery. Same-day delivery slots are hard to come by, and you may need to schedule several days out. We’ve heard from others that getting online at odd hours can increase your chances of getting a delivery time slot.
Then there’s the issue of empty store shelves in some areas right now. Make sure you know the substitution process for your chosen service. It can work in several ways — you can opt out of substitutions completely, request that your shopper call you before substituting, or designate a second choice for certain items.
Looking for meat or fish? Check out this new home delivery service, founded by a restaurant food supplier who was determined to stay in business and serve the community.
Editor’s Note: Everything is changing so fast right now! We strive for accuracy, but please understand if you encounter something that isn’t exactly as we described below.
See what Consumer Reports says about the grocery delivery services.
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Amazon has two grocery delivery options
Amazon offers two different online shopping and grocery delivery options.
• The first is Amazon Prime Now, which is only open to those with a Prime membership. To confuse matters, there is also Amazon Fresh, which has a monthly fee on top of the Prime membership requirement. It’s not even clear to the folks at Consumer Reports what the differences really are (except that Fresh costs more). We’re ignoring Fresh for the purposes of this article.
• The second grocery delivery option offered by Amazon is Prime Pantry. Products are limited to household products and non-perishable foods from Amazon. The products come in an Amazon box just like a regular delivery.
Here’s a breakdown of the Amazon services.
Amazon Prime Now
With Amazon Prime Now, Prime members can shop for food, including fresh produce and perishables, from Whole Foods or from Amazon warehouses. The service features same-day delivery in normal times.
You MUST have a Prime membership to use Amazon Prime Now.
There is a 30-day free trial for the program, but after that it is $12.99 per month or $119 per year. If you are an EBT or Medicaid user, it’s only $5.99 a month.
Currently, delivery may be temporarily unavailable or longer than usual, due to increased demand. When you order, availability and delivery times will be confirmed at checkout. You may get to the end of the process to find there is no available delivery slot — your items will remain in your cart, and you can try again later.
How to order:
Visit the website or order through the Amazon Prime Now app on a mobile device. The first step is to choose whether you want to order from Whole Foods or from an Amazon warehouse facility.
FREE delivery with your Prime membership for orders of at least $35.
If your order is less than $35, you’ll pay a $5 surcharge.
In normal times, you can choose delivery within a 2-hour window.
Amazon Prime Pantry
Products are limited to household goods and non-perishable food items. This works just like a normal Amazon order and shipment. It was designed to let you order common items (like soap) that would be costly to ship individually.
As of 3/27/2020, Prime Pantry is operational. It had temporarily stopped taking orders while inventory was being restocked, but you’re good to go now.
How to order:
Visit the Amazon Prime Pantry store on the Amazon website, or use the Amazon app for mobile.
No Prime membership is required for this service. (But Prime members get free shipping on orders of $35 and over).
If you’re not a Prime member, there is a flat rate shipping fee of $5.99 per box. (As you add items to your cart, you can see how full your box is getting.)
Plus, if you order any five Amazon Pantry items, you’ll get a 5% discount, and if you order any 10 Amazon Pantry items you’ll get a 10% discount.
Delivery times: This is a regular Amazon ground shipment — the window is 1 to 4 business days.
Farmers & Fishermen Purveyors
This former restaurant wholesaler is now doing home deliveries of meat and seafood in the extended metro Atlanta area.
See our full story here for complete details.
Up and running! Inventory and delivery times are widely availalable.
No-contact delivery is available.
How to order:
You can view the available meat and seafood on this PDF order sheet online.
You can order by phone at 770-441-1100 for personalized help with you order. Hours are 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week. (How AWESOME is that?!)
Or you can email your order to HomeDelivery@FarmersAndFishermen.com.
Just the price of the meat and fish, as seen on the order sheet. No delivery fee or hidden surcharges.
Currently running on next-day delivery. This may change as orders increase.
Not necessary! Drivers are full-time employees with a salary.
Walmart offers both grocery pickup and delivery. The pickup service is free. Delivery is a paid service, with a membership plan available.
Shop Walmart’s selection of groceries online and choose a time slot to pick them up have them delivered to your door. You can also shop for other everyday items, such as laundry detergent and pet supplies.
With current demands higher than usual, we recommend checking time slots available before starting your order.
How to order:
Walmart grocery website or app
There is a minimum order of $30.
Delivery is a flat fee of $9.95, unless you’re a member of the Delivery Unlimited plan.
There are no other markups or surcharges.
Membership is $12.95 a month or $98 a year after a 15-day free trial.
Choose a time slot when you order. Typically, if you place your order before 1 p.m., same-day pickup and delivery is available (applies to normal times!)
If you are picking up, you should know that WalMart store associates may not accept tips.
You can tip a delivery driver through the website or app — it is optional.
You can shop both perishable and non-perishable food items, as well as other household and everyday products. Once placed, your order is passed on to a personal shopper, who then visits your local store and shops for you.
You can order from stores like Publix, Kroger, Fresh Market, Aldi, Sprouts, Total Wine & More, Costco, CVS, Sam’s Club, Petco, and more. To see a complete list of the stores covered in your zip code, go here.
Longer than usual delivery times, with no-contact delivery available.
Also, your personal shopper may find limited inventory in the stores. Be clear about how you want the shopper to handle substitutions.
How to order: Go to the Instacart website, or use the mobile app.
At one time, your first order came with free delivery. Now, who knows?
There is a minimum order of $35.
Delivery fees vary based on the size of your order and the delivery time that you choose. You’ll be able to see the various prices for different delivery time windows.
Service fees are also added, with an extra service fee for alcohol. There is a 5% (or $2 minimum) service fee that applies to non-alcohol items.
You can also purchase a membership to Instacart Express — this is $99 for a year. Members don’t pay a delivery fee, but service fees still apply.
Delivery times: In normal times, you can choose between same-day delivery or another day. Right now, you have to take what you can get.
Optional, but strongly encouraged. These people are risking serious illness by shopping for you!
At the checkout process, there is a default tip of 5% applied. You can adjust it up or down, up to 3 days after the order is delivered.
This is another personal shopper service. You can order from Kroger, Publix, Target, Costco, CVS, Office Depot, Petco, and more. To find the stores covered in your zip code, go here.
It is also a membership-driven service. You can pay the membership by the month or by the year.
High demand is having an impact on availability and delivery times.
How to order: Shipt website, or use the app
The membership fee is either $14 per month or $99 per year. You pay the membership fee when you first sign up.
Your groceries are marked up — you can expect to pay approximately 14% more than the prices in the store. The price you see in the Shipt app or website is what you pay.
No delivery fee on orders over $35. There is a $7 small deliver fee for smaller orders, in addition to a surcharge for orders under $35.
In normal times, you can get delivery in a one-hour window. Same-day delivery may be hard to come by right now.
Optional but greatly appreciated. Tip in cash or within the app after you get your delivery. The entire tip goes to your shopper.
While primarily a restaurant takeout delivery service, Postmates has limited grocery options. It primarily covers Kroger and Publix, although there may be other options in your zip code. To check which stores are covered, go here.
It’s unknown to us whether Postmates is as overwhelmed as the other delivery services.
How to order:
Go to the Postmates website, or download the mobile app
There is both a delivery fee and service fee on each order. They vary with the store location and size of the order.
There is a membership option, Postmates Unlimited. Members get free delivery on orders over $12. Membership costs $9.99 per month or $99 per year, after a seven-day free trial.
In normal times, same-day delivery is available.
Assumed to be optional.
Only Costco members are eligible for delivery services.
There are two options:
Same Day Delivery is powered by Instacart.
2-Day Delivery lets you shop for non-perishable foods and household supplies. It is available on weekdays only.
How to order:
Start on the Costco Grocery website and work thru the process.
For same-day delivery or delivery of perishables, your order goes through Instacart, whether you place it thru Costco or Instacart.
Minimum order of $35.
Orders include both a service fee and delivery fee.
You choose your delivery time slot. Availability is currently limited.