Mom's Guide to the Best Online Grocery Services

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grocery cartsWhen I was working outside the home, I depended heavily on grocery delivery. It could be aggravating -- I hated that I couldn’t see the weekly produce specials, and if they didn’t have a particular item in stock, I might get a surprise. But for basic staples, it really couldn’t be beat.

Now that my schedule is more flexible, I do the shopping myself, usually with two girls in tow. It’s a hassle, but it means I can see if Trader Joe’s has those dairy-free mochi desserts, and get in on the Whole Foods meat specials, and hit Safeway for toilet paper.

But there are days I dream of the delivery guy magically whisking my purchases up the stairs with no parking, no crying, and no trying to decide which child to put back into the car first. Rumor has it that Walmart is testing out home delivery, so I'm clearly not the only one. So I did a quick, unscientific survey of grocery delivery services. Would one work for you?

Grocery delivery works in two ways: either a local store delivers by truck, or mostly-nonperishable items are shipped by FedEx or UPS. Neither is particularly green, except neither is driving your SUV to the store.

I compared prices on a few staple items that I buy a lot -- your staples may vary. And I may have missed some options! If so, let me know in the comments!


NetGrocer
How Delivered: FedEx
Where Available: Nationwide – cost depends on distance
Can I Get Meat? Nope
How Long Does Delivery Take? 3-7 days
Extra Cost/Fees? Really only makes sense if you’re in the Northeast.
Earth’s Best Stage 2 Jars: $0.95 each
Half Gallon Milk: Weirdly unclear
Arnold/Oroweat Bread: $5.89/loaf

Safeway/Vons
How Delivered: Truck
Where Available: Northern California and scattered other cities (see site)
Can I Get Meat? Yes, including organic
How Long Does Delivery Take? Next-day service is available
Extra Cost/Fees? Vary by delivery time and window.
Earth’s Best Stage 2 Jars: $0.95 each (cheaper in-store)
Half Gallon Milk: $1.99
Arnold/Oroweat Bread: $5.49/loaf (cheaper in-store)

Amazon.com
How Delivered: FedEx
Where Available: Nationwide
Can I Get Meat? Yes, via Omaha Steaks
How Long Does Delivery Take? Can choose next-day shipping
Extra Cost/Fees? Depends on distance, membership, and whether you opt for recurring delivery of certain items.
Earth’s Best Stage 2 Jars: In bulk – comes to $0.88/jar, but 15-30% less if you are in their Subscribe & Save program
Half Gallon Milk: n/a. Can get weird little cartons.
Arnold/Oroweat Bread: Only in two-loaf packs, $24 each (what?!)

Peapod

How Delivered: Truck (from local stores like Stop&Shop)
Where Available: Northeast, Midwest
Can I Get Meat? Yes
How Long Does Delivery Take? Next-day service
Extra Cost/Fees? Fees vary by cost of order.
Earth’s Best Stage 2 Jars: $0.80 each
Half Gallon Milk: $2.39
Arnold/Oroweat Bread: $4.49/loaf

FreshDirect
How Delivered: Truck
Where Available: New York, New Jersey, Connecticut
Can I Get Meat? Yes
How Long Does Delivery Take? Next-day service
Extra Cost/Fees? Fees vary by area
Earth’s Best Stage 2 Jars: $0.79 each
Half Gallon Milk: $2.49
Arnold/Oroweat Bread: $4.39/loaf

YourGrocer.com
How Delivered: Truck
Where Available: New York and Westchester   
Can I Get Meat? Yes
How Long Does Delivery Take? Next-day service
Extra Cost/Fees? Fees vary by cost of order
Earth’s Best Stage 2 Jars: n/a, only Gerber in bulk
Half Gallon Milk: $2.69, but out of stock
Arnold/Oroweat Bread: $3.60, but must buy bulk

PlanetOrganics.com

How Delivered: Truck
Where Available: San Francisco Bay Area
Can I Get Meat? Yes
How Long Does Delivery Take? Recurring -- once a week
Extra Cost/Fees? No
Earth’s Best Stage 2 Jars: n/a (presumably you’re making your own)
Half Gallon Milk: $3.83 (organic, so actually pretty good)
Arnold/Orowheat Bread: n/a

Ever tried home-delivery of groceries? Was it worth the extra cost?


Image via Polycart/Flickr

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Richard Ireland

There is a new service, MPB Today. they offer Wal-Mart brands "Tru-Value among others. Prices are said to be at or less that the local store. I found this to be true for coffee. They deliver with their own vans in FL and UPS in the rest of the country. their website is www.MpbToday.com/frontpage
I HATE GROCERY SHOPPING

nonmember avatar Dani

I just looked up the MPBToday and it seems to be a scam. be careful.

madfoot madfoot

lol! I'll look into that!


 

Butte... Butterflysky_24

I like going to the grocery store. I wouldn't order food online. I have to go to the store and look at the aisles to see what i want

Joel Hallet

Albertson's in the Pac. Northwest (maybe other areas too?) also does online delivery. It's comperable to Safeway.

Tracy Patton

If you leave in the Pacific Northwest, you can't beat Smith Brothers Farms for dairy and breakfast staples. Friendly local family business that has been delivering milk since 1920. My kids especially love their chocolate milk.

aj23 aj23

We have a local store that will delivery anything you like. You can take your list into the store or call them. They can even pick up your list for you. They are great and if you ask for something and there is the same item on sale but a different brand they will call and see if you want the cheaper one. They only charge $15 for the service if your order is under $100 but if its over that they deliver it for free.
Once I ordered from them and they didn't carry the item I wanted so the delivery driver went into another grocery store and got it for me. I may not be able to order things online from them but the customer service they have is worth it.

Saras... Sarasahmof3

If they were in my area (Dover, DE) I would.  It would make staying on a budget so much easier for me. Plus I would not have to arrange for transportation to and from the store with 3 kids in tow. I already use the Click and Pull at Sam's Club.  This would make my life so much easier, just wish it was in my area.

Anna Smith Maynard

I don't do delivery, but I do do online ordering and same-day pick up at my local store (Harris Teeter). I can order anything they carry in the store and pick my groceries up the same day. They bring them out to my car and load everything in for me and even bring cookies for my kids. It's AWESOME. 

Shana Gorny

If anyone is interested, I work with an online company called Melaleuca. They offer wellness and green products safe for the family and pets delivered to your door. http://www.melaleuca.com/ProductStore/ProductStore.aspx
Check out the product link. If interested I can help you register under my team and answer any questions on how to join.

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