Best Bets for Grocery Deliveries

We've picked the best deals for home delivery of groceries given three scenarios.

Young woman carries a shopping basket filled with fresh produce. She is shopping for fresh fruit and vegetables in a grocery store.
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We picked the best deals for home delivery of groceries given three scenarios:

Guide to Scoring the Best Deals in 2018

You want to restock staples or household items: On orders of $35 or more, Walmart offers millions of items with free, two-day delivery in the contiguous U.S. (look for the “2-Day Shipping” flag). If you can wait a little longer, Walmart offers additional items with free three- to five-day shipping.

You need quick delivery of fresh or frozen items: You can get your groceries delivered within one hour with Instacart, but you can also schedule delivery up to five days in advance. The service partners with more than 190 retailers, including national and local chains, and is widely available throughout the U.S. (except in Montana, South Dakota and Wyoming). You’ll pay a $10 fee on orders of less than $35, or a $6 fee on orders of $35 or more. Instacart also offers a membership plan: If you pay $49 for the first year and $99 a year thereafter, you get unlimited deliveries for orders of $35 or more—worth considering if you place orders a couple of times a month.

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Amazon Prime Pantry (for Prime members) charges a monthly fee of $4.99 (after a 30-day free trial) for free delivery of orders worth $40 or more, or a flat $7.99 per order. If you get at least two deliveries a month, the monthly fee can be worth paying. Delivery takes one to four days.

You are a warehouse club member: Costco offers free same-day delivery via Instacart to its members on orders of $35 or more (prices will be marked up, however). Costco also offers two-day delivery of non-perishable and household supplies in most states through its own service. There’s no minimum order and no fee on orders of $75 or more, but the service isn’t available on weekends.

Patricia Mertz Esswein
Contributing Writer, Kiplinger's Personal Finance
Esswein joined Kiplinger in May 1984 as director of special publications and managing editor of Kiplinger Books. In 2004, she began covering real estate for Kiplinger's Personal Finance, writing about the housing market, buying and selling a home, getting a mortgage, and home improvement. Prior to joining Kiplinger, Esswein wrote and edited for Empire Sports, a monthly magazine covering sports and recreation in upstate New York. She holds a BA degree from Gustavus Adolphus College, in St. Peter, Minn., and an MA in magazine journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School at Syracuse University.