When it comes to grocery delivery services, “what you’re ultimately paying for is convenience,” said Lisa Young, adjunct professor of nutrition at New York University. Instead of taking time out of your day to visit a store, wander through aisles and wait in line to check out, you can quickly order food and other household essentials online, as well as choose a day and time for them to arrive at your doorstep.
And beyond helping you save time, these delivery services may also help you save money on groceries. “By not being in the store, you won't be making impulse purchases,” said nutritionist Ariane Resnick, a special diet chef and author. “Those could be items that you try to not eat because they aren't healthy, or that you regret buying because of their high cost.”
Many shoppers are currently trying to reduce the price of their grocery bill due to concerns about inflation — the items in the basket of goods under the Consumer Price Index — including food and energy — have increased by a collective 7.1% since Nov. 2021, according to the World Economic Forum. With this information in mind, we talked to experts about the benefits of grocery delivery services and how to choose one that works for your budget. We also highlighted grocery delivery services that experts recommended, as well as Select staff favorites and others we think you should know about.
The best grocery delivery services to shop from in 2023
We rounded up a variety of grocery delivery services and organized them by membership-based, subscription and open access options. We noted associated fees like how much you’ll need to pay for delivery so you know how much gets added to your bill after accounting for products. We included expert and staff recommendations, as well as other options we think you’ll want to know about, like those that specialize in bulk orders or offer discounted produce.
Keep in mind that our list is not exhaustive. Local grocery stores in your area may operate their own grocery delivery services. Some stores also deliver groceries through food delivery platforms like UberEats, Postmates, GrubHub, DoorDash and Seamless.
Membership-based grocery delivery services
To get access to the below grocery delivery services, you need to pay a monthly or yearly fee. For each option, we highlighted the membership fee and delivery costs that would be added on to your bill each time you shop.
- Membership fee: $139 a year, discounted memberships available
- Delivery cost: $10 per order, plus an additional rush fee for one-hour delivery orders. Pick-up is free for orders over $35.
Amazon Prime members can order groceries through Whole Foods and either pick them up in store or get them delivered. You can choose a day and two-hour time slot for pickup or delivery in advance, or pay an added fee to have your groceries delivered within an hour.
Resnick said she orders Whole Foods groceries through Amazon, and to save even more, she uses her Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Card, which offers 5% back at Whole Foods Market in stores and online. Between groceries she’s purchased for personal and professional use, Resnick said she’s received a couple hundred dollars back this year so far in rewards. Additionally, Prime members get an extra 10% off sale items while shopping at Whole Foods in stores or online.
- Membership fee: $139 a year, discounted memberships available
- Delivery cost: Amazon Fresh recently raised delivery fees. There's a $9.95 delivery fee for orders under $50; a $6.95 delivery fee for orders between $50 and $100; and a $3.95 delivery fee for orders between $100 and $150. Orders $150 and up qualify for free delivery.
Amazon Fresh grocery delivery is available to those with an Amazon Prime membership. Amazon Fresh offers a larger variety of food compared to Whole Foods since you're not limited to what one specific supermarket carries. In addition to pantry items and fresh produce, Amazon Fresh also allows you to order baby, pet, healthcare, personal care and cleaning products. If you purchase specific items consistently, you can opt to make them Repeat Items — this means Amazon Fresh will automatically add them to your cart based on a schedule you set so they’re waiting for you before you begin shopping. Certain items also have a Subscribe & Save option, which will automatically ship the item after a designated number of weeks or months for up to 15% off.
Jennifer Birkhofer, vice president of commerce at NBC News, said that when she uses Amazon Fresh, her order is always delivered on time. Birkhofer noted you can choose delivery times before 6 a.m. so your order is waiting for you when you wake up.
- Membership fee: $98 a year
- Delivery cost: Free for orders $35 or more, $7 for orders under $35
Walmart+ members can get free same-day delivery on groceries with no additional delivery fees. Photo editor Becca Delman said her family orders groceries through Walmart+ weekly and enjoys the low-priced, high-quality fresh produce. You can choose a one-hour delivery window for your order to be delivered day-of or schedule deliveries ahead of time.
- Membership fee: $59.95 a year
- Delivery cost: Free for orders $49 or more, $6 for orders under $49
Thrive Market sells fresh and frozen groceries, non-perishables, household essentials, wine and more. The company says it works directly with brands to cut out middlemen like brokers and distributors, allowing it to avoid markups you may see at other retailers and offer products at lower prices. Thrive Market also carries its own line of grocery items available exclusively on the platform.
You can always customize your order from Thrive Market and shop on an as-needed basis — there are no order frequency requirements or limits. You can also set up autoship deliveries for specific products so they’re delivered on a recurring schedule — when you do so, you get an extra 5% to 10% off these items. Thrive Market offers members exclusive deals and free gifts throughout the year, and members can earn Thrive Cash that can be used towards future purchases. I used Thrive Market to stock my apartment with groceries while living with roommates in college and getting them shipped to my door while I was in class or at work was very convenient.
Grocery delivery subscription services
The below online grocery delivery services operate on a subscription-based model. You can cancel your subscription at any time and skip weeks when you don’t need a delivery, like if you’re going on vacation. For each option, we highlighted how much it costs to subscribe to the service and the delivery cost that would be added to your bill every time an order is delivered.
- Cost: $146 to $169
- Delivery cost: Free
ButcherBox, a meat and fish subscription service, is especially great for people who live in areas where there is limited access to grass-fed and wild meat and seafood choices, Resnick said. The service says food is delivered cold and sometimes frozen, allowing you to refrigerate items for more immediate use or freeze them for future use.
ButcherBox offers six different boxes: the custom box, mixed box, beef & chicken box, beef & pork box, all beef box or basic box. Each box’s content varies, as does how much meat or seafood it contains. You can choose how often you want to receive an order and change which type of box you get at any time. ButcherBox members also get access to exclusive deals, referral perks, recipes and tutorials and more.
- Cost: $35 to $40 per box, or per item if shopping a la carte
- Delivery cost: Flat rate per zip code starting at $7 per order
Misfits Market works with food producers to source items like organic produce, meat, seafood, dairy products, pantry staples and more that might otherwise go to waste and sells them at up to 40% off grocery store prices. You can choose from grocery plans that range in price from $35 to $40 per box and customize what’s in your order each week during a specific time period leading up to delivery. Alternatively, you can choose to shop a la carte so you're only charged for the items you order. You can also purchase wine through Misfits Market and earn points while shopping, which you can later use towards free shipping, discounts and more.
- Cost: Depends on what you order
- Delivery cost: $6 per box
Imperfect Foods operates similarly to Misfits Market — in fact, Misfits Market announced it will acquire Imperfect Foods, but shoppers can continue ordering through its site. Imperfect Foods works with food producers to source items that may otherwise go to waste. Imperfect Foods offers a wider array of products compared to Misfits Market, however: In addition to groceries, you can buy wellness items like hand soap, tampons, sunscreen and more. Imperfect Foods also has its own line of food that the brand says it makes from rescued and upcycled ingredients.
Imperfect Foods does not charge a membership fee and prices items individually. Where you live impacts what day of the week your order will be delivered. Each week, you customize the contents of your order during a specific time period leading up to delivery. There is no minimum order value.
- Cost: Starting at $65 per plan
- Delivery cost: Free delivery for plans $70 or more, $7 for plans under $70
Hungryroot is a cross between a meal delivery service and a grocery delivery service, Resnick said. When you sign up, you take a quiz about your dietary preferences, tastes, culinary skills and more, and Hungryroot recommends meals and groceries for you based on that information.
Hungryroot offers multiple different plans you can choose from based on how many servings of each meal and snack you want. Lunches and dinners come with the ingredients and instructions you need to make each meal, while everything else — like snacks, sweets and pantry essentials — is á la carte. Former Select senior editor Morgan Greenwald uses Hungryroot and said that she loves how much variety there is every week, even for her gluten-free, pescatarian diet.
Open-access grocery delivery services
If you’re looking for grocery delivery services that don’t require a membership or subscription, we rounded up a handful of options below. Delivery and service fees vary, and we included information about each service’s membership option.
- Delivery fee: Starts at $4 for same-day orders over $35, fees vary for one-hour deliveries, club store deliveries and deliveries under $35
- Membership option: Instacart+ for $99 a year
Instacart allows you to order groceries and other items from participating stores near you. You can schedule deliveries or curbside pickup days in advance, as well as choose from same-day and one-hour options if you need products quickly. Instacart also allows you to order from warehouse clubs like Costco, Sam’s Club and BJ’s without a membership, but prices are marked up. I use Instacart multiple times a month and often place an order when I’m on my way home from work through the service’s app.
The Instacart+ membership includes benefits like free delivery on orders over $35, lower service fees, 5% credit back on pickup orders and more.
- Delivery fee: $10
- Membership option: Shipt membership for $99 a year
Shipt is similar to Instacart, and some stores — like Costco and Target — offer delivery through both platforms. You can schedule deliveries and pickups in advance or choose from same-day and one-hour options.
With a Shipt membership, you can get free delivery on orders over $35. There’s a $7 fee for deliveries under $35 with a membership.
- Delivery fee: $3.95
- Membership option: Gopuff Fam for $7.99 a month
Instead of shopping from local stores in your area that partner with services like Instacart or Shipt, you can shop directly through Gopuff, which has warehouses stocked with products in each of the areas it serves across the country. Once you place your order, personal shoppers pack and deliver it to your door. Gopuff describes its product offerings as what you’d typically find at a convenience store — you can’t get fresh fish and meat, but you can order snacks, basic dairy products like milk and eggs, alcohol and more. Gopuff also offers bath, beauty and health products as well as pet and baby supplies. I specifically recommend Gopuff for college students — it was one of the most popular grocery delivery services used on my campus. Students would purchase shelf-stable snacks they could keep in their dorms and frozen meals they could microwave.
The Gopuff Fam membership offers perks including free delivery and free delivery on regulated products like alcohol. You can also earn two-times the amount of Puff points, the service’s rewards program.
- Delivery fee: $7, free shipping on orders over $75
- Membership option: Boxed Up for $49 a year
Boxed is designed for those who prefer to shop for groceries and household essentials in bulk. The service sells oversized or multipacks of food, beverages, cleaning supplies and personal care products, as well as pet products, alcohol and office supplies. For example, you can get a jumbo bottle of dishwashing detergent, 32 snack-sized bags of chips, 600 disposable bathroom cups and more. Boxed also allows you to enroll in autosave subscriptions for specific products if you want them delivered on a consistent schedule. Boxed runs Boxed Express in some areas, too, which is similar to Instacart or Shipt — Boxed Express partners with local stores to deliver groceries during a day and time slot of your choosing.
If you join Boxed Up, Boxed’s membership program, you get 2% cash back on every purchase, exclusive discounts and free standard shipping on purchases of $20 or more.
- Delivery fee: Varies based on location
- Membership option: Weee! VIP Club for $99 a year
Weee! is an online market that offers groceries across what it describes as “ethnic storefronts,” meaning storefronts focused around the following cuisines: Chinese, Mexican, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Filipino, Indian and Asian. You can shop for groceries online and choose a delivery day and time that best fits your schedule.
The Weee! VIP Club is the service’s optional membership program. Perks include 2% cash back on eligible purchases, discounted pricing on select items and access to the Weee! VIP appreciation week to shop exclusive savings, events and more.
How to choose a grocery delivery service
According to Resnick, grocery delivery services are a “godsend” — they take the in-person work out of food shopping, and you can order everyday essentials like cleaning products and pet supplies. But since there are dozens of grocery delivery services out there, finding your favorite may take some trial and error. To help guide your shopping, we highlighted a few important factors to think about based on our research, Select staff experience and expert advice.
Open access, membership-based and subscription models
When evaluating a grocery delivery service, consider how often you’ll be using it and whether you want to pay a recurring fee. This will help you decide whether you want to use an ad hoc open access service, pay for a membership-based service or opt for a subscription model.
Some services are open access, meaning once you make a free account, all you have to do is pay a delivery fee every time you place an order. Select open access services offer membership plans you can join for a yearly or monthly fee, which may offer you perks like free or faster delivery, exclusive discounts or rewards and more. For example, anyone can use Instacart to get groceries delivered, but with an Instacart+ account, you get benefits like unlimited free delivery on orders over $35, lower service fees and more.
Other services exclusively operate on a membership-based model. You pay a flat fee to gain access to the service and can usually opt for a monthly or annual membership. In some cases, you also pay an additional delivery fee per order. There are a few benefits of membership delivery services to consider:
- They may be the only way you can get grocery deliveries from a certain store. For example, only Amazon Prime members can get Whole Foods groceries delivered.
- Individual products sold by the service may cost less than those at a physical grocery store. Thrive Market, for example, says it works directly with brands to avoid markups you may see at chain grocery stores.
Some delivery services operate on a subscription model, delivering your food on a set schedule just like a meal kit delivery service. Experts said one of the biggest benefits of subscription services is that they “remember” to shop for you: Groceries are shipped to your door consistently, and you don’t have to think about reordering them. Most subscription services notify you via an email, text or app before an order ships so you can customize its contents, skip an order or cancel your subscription if needed.
Where you live can impact which grocery delivery services you have access to. FreshDirect, which Select editor Christina Colizza and Select managing editor Leah Ginsberg both use, only operates in parts of the East Coast like New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, for instance. Additionally, the stores you can get delivery from vary when it comes to services like Instacart and Shipt: After you input your zip code, the platforms tell you which participating local retailers you can choose from.
Many grocery delivery services offer produce, pantry staples and prepared foods, as well as household necessities like toiletries and cleaning supplies. Others, however, specialize in a certain type of food — Butcher Box, for example, only delivers meat and seafood. If you enjoy visiting a grocery store to pick out your produce, perhaps choosing a grocery delivery service that offers more pantry staples is right for you. But if you want to get all your shopping done using the service, it’s best to pick one with a more expansive product assortment.
Benefits of grocery delivery services
Beyond the convenience of shopping for food and household essentials online, Young noted that grocery delivery services can help you save money on travel since you don’t have to pay for gas or other types of transportation. Over time, the cost of getting yourself to and from the supermarket may end up being more than a grocery service’s delivery fee, experts noted. Resnick encouraged people to think through the logistics of how long it takes to go grocery shopping and how much it costs to get there and back before balking at a grocery service’s delivery fee or monthly membership fee. “You might realize that a $5 or $10 fee is minimal compared to what you pay in gas and time,” she noted.
Young also said that when you’re grocery shopping through a delivery service, you’re often on “automatic pilot.” You can see orders you’ve placed in the past and deliberately add items you need back into your cart, which she said makes you less likely to spend money on products that aren't on your shopping list. And as we highlighted above, many grocery delivery services offer subscription or autoship enrollment for specific products at a discounted price. If you know you need to buy paper towels every month or rice every two weeks, enrolling in these types of programs may save you money long-term.
Meet our experts
At Select, we work with experts who have specialized knowledge and authority based on relevant training and/or experience. We also take steps to ensure that all expert advice and recommendations are made independently and with no undisclosed financial conflicts of interest.
- Lisa Young is an adjunct professor of nutrition in the Department of Nutrition and Food Studies at New York University.
- Ariane Resnick is a special diet chef and certified nutritionist. She’s also a recipe developer and has written about nutrition, health, wellness and identity for a variety of platforms, including The Kitchn, Livestrong and Simply Recipes.