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Whole Foods Offered Free Grocery Delivery Because of ‘Master of None’ Pickup Line

Whole Foods Offered Free Grocery Delivery Because of ‘Master of None’ Pickup Line


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The series used the grocery store to illustrate the potential downfalls of modern online dating

The deal offered customers the chance to avoid pickup lines… and checkout lines.

Aziz Ansari’s Netflix series Master of None makes a lot of culinary references due to the actor and comedian’s love for food off the screen. In the second season of the series, Ansari dropped a Whole Foods reference, which ended up inspiring the grocery store to offer free grocery delivery for a limited time.

If you’re in the dark about this Whole Foods reference, Ansari’s character, Dev, uses “Going to Whole Foods, want me to pick you up anything?" as his go-to pickup line when he matches with someone on a dating app. Dev’s friend, Arnold, encourages him to capture his matches’ attention by making a GIF kissing food and waving and saying “Hi, cutie.”


It's a match! You + @MasterofNone = free grocery delivery, 5/19-5/21. Code HICUTIE. Shop: https://t.co/pVStwrzLgu. https://t.co/WOZwYjH78G pic.twitter.com/DBsxJT0o41

— Whole Foods Market (@WholeFoods) May 18, 2017

In response, Whole Foods tweeted, “It's a match! You + @MasterofNone = free grocery delivery, 5/19-5/21. Code HICUTIE.”

Aside from the free grocery delivery, some Twitter users even admitted to using the pickup line in real life.


Hey @azizansari used ur Whole Foods pickup line for dating apps, got a response in minutes. 100% success rate #lookingforlove #masterofnone

— JDW (@ItsTheWaxman) May 19, 2017

To read about the 10 best online dating websites for food lovers, click here.


Grocery Delivery: How Much Extra Will You Pay to Skip the Store?

For 20 years and counting, dot-com pundits have predicted grocery delivery would be one of the next big online retail phenoms. Nonetheless, most of us still regularly schlep to the grocery store, wander up and down dozens of aisles, peer at every pint of strawberries and thump a dozen melons to find the best, forget something and backtrack six aisles, tell our kids &ldquono&rdquo 200 times, wait in line to check out, load the car, unload the car.

Several companies, including Amazon and some venture-capital-well-funded companies are still betting that, just as the internet has taken over so many other consumer services, lots of us finally will start using computers and smartphones to buy our apples and zucchini. There are now more grocery delivery options than ever.

There for sure is a (so far slowly) growing market for grocery delivery. Some consumers view going to the grocery store as a chore and hassle, and delivery services can definitely save you a lot of time. And these services can greatly help those who can&rsquot get to local markets due to physical impairments or who lack transportation.

But there are several reasons why so many shoppers still spend a lot of time buying their groceries in person. Ordering online requires more foresight than popping into a store on the way home from work and demands somewhat more planning than wandering aisles and throwing what looks good into a cart. With most delivery services you must be home to greet your goods, which requires scheduling. Building a list of products you want to buy makes the online shopping part of the process a lot more efficient&mdashjust pull up your list and click the things you need&mdashbut that list-building is, at least at first, tedious. You must trust that delivery service personnel will select the best-quality produce and other products, and make the right call on substitutions when your choices aren&rsquot available. And most of the online options cost more than shopping yourself.

In theory, grocery delivery should benefit both retailers and consumers. Well-designed websites, along with high-tech warehouses and inventory control systems, would allow you to see a continually updated list of available items and prices, get organized by creating lists of things you buy, and bring it to you when you want it. They could send you special offers based on your purchase history, or even offer recipes and meal planning tips and ideas. But the big appeal for most shoppers is saving time.

Grocers could benefit from a shift to delivery because it would let them close stores and sell from just a few centralized distribution warehouses. That would save a lot on real estate and sharply consolidate their distribution networks, eliminating a lot of energy use. Fewer facilities would also let them combine bakery, meat cutting, and kitchens to make prepared-food items. Without retail stores, they wouldn&rsquot have to maintain attractive facilities, stock shelves, and display produce to appeal to customers. And in these specialized warehouses and distribution facilities, they could more efficiently keep perishables refrigerated or frozen.

But most delivery services haven&rsquot moved toward that type of centralized model. In this area, only Amazon, FreshDirect, and Peapod work out of warehouses the rest of the delivery services we looked at send their personnel to local retail grocery stores to walk up and down the aisles, select the items you order, and then bring them to you&mdashhardly an efficient operation. While their shoppers might move through stores faster than you can (it helps that they&rsquore working from a finite, organized list and don&rsquot bring along kids to herd), these services in effect have only transferred from you to their workers the labor of picking out items at a store and driving them home. So, a potential big time-saver for you? Yes. But you&rsquoll have to pay extra for it.

All the delivery services charge delivery fees, mark up stores&rsquo item pricing, or both. The price penalty depends on which service you use and what you sign up for. The figure below reports how local grocery delivery services we evaluated compare for price. To compare their prices for groceries, we shopped delivery services using our market basket of 154 items (the same list we used to compare prices at conventional grocery stores).

We started by comparing the prices we collected from delivery services to those offered in-store at Washington area brick-and-mortar stores we surveyed. The figure reports how much more or less you&rsquod spend with each delivery service, compared to the average prices we found at all surveyed local brick-and-mortar grocery stores. Click here to see how local grocery stores stack up for price and quality.

We calculated how much you&rsquod spend with each of the grocery delivery services per month for groceries that would cost $200 per week in-store at an &ldquoaverage&rdquo grocery store. Then we added in each delivery service&rsquos extra fees, assuming our hypothetical shopper would place orders once a week. Finally, we added a 10 percent tip for each order.

You can see that there are often big cost consequences to hiring someone to do your shopping. For groceries that would cost $867 a month at the &ldquoaverage&rdquo brick-and-mortar grocery store, our estimates for delivery services range from $858 at Walmart (which at the time of this writing served only Laurel) and $896 using Shipt from Target to more than $1,200 with a few other options.

Keep in mind that grocery delivery options are changing rapidly&mdasha few went online or disappeared while we were doing our price research and writing this. Notably, Walmart only very recently began delivering out of its Glen Burnie and Laurel stores, and says it plans further expansion. By the time you read this, more changes likely occurred.

We also report below some practical info on each service: Delivery area where it obtains groceries whether it offers unattended delivery and our shoppers' general experiences and impressions from our price collection and orders we received.

The 1,000-pound gorilla of grocery delivery, of course, is Amazon, which with its purchase of Whole Foods has accelerated its expansion into the supermarket scene. In many parts of the Washington area, it offers both its Fresh and Prime Now services. To use either, you have to first sign up for Amazon Prime ($119/year) to join Fresh, you also have to pay $14.99/month. All orders with Fresh are fulfilled at an Amazon facility. With Prime Now, you can choose Amazon or a nearby store (in this area, so far the local option is usually just Whole Foods). Our research finds Fresh offers lower prices than Prime Now, which will make up for its monthly fee if you buy a lot. As Amazon continues its take-over-all-retail strategy, we expect it will offer more options and features&mdashand possibly lower prices.

Walmart has tried out several delivery models in pilot cities, and its latest foray is a partnership with DoorDash, which is a restaurant delivery business. Walmart store employees assemble grocery orders and DoorDash drivers deliver them you pay Walmart&rsquos low in-store prices, plus a $9.95 delivery fee. While this arrangement offers low costs, so far, Walmart&rsquos delivery service area is small.

Instacart is listed several times in our price comparisons because it works somewhat differently than the others. Rather than procuring groceries from one store or warehouse, it lets customers choose among many different chains, where it will send a shopper-driver to find the items you ordered, check out, and bring them to you. So, you could make one order for Whole Foods and another for Wegmans and yet another for Costco (each trip would be treated as a separate order).

Instacart has partnerships with some of the grocery stores it uses store personnel at some stores do the shopping and Instacart handles only the delivery. But most grocery stores it uses just put up with Instacart&rsquos workers coming in and shopping for clients.

We found that Instacart and a few other delivery services add a big markup to the prices you&rsquod pay on your own in-store. For Instacart, that markup is typically smaller than the others at its partner stores. Sometimes the markup is significant: In our shopping, Instacart&rsquos markup at Harris Teeter was 36 percent at Costco it was 20 percent, enough to wipe out a lot of that warehouse club&rsquos price advantage. Instacart also adds a five percent service fee to each order that fee isn&rsquot a tip, it goes to Instacart.

Several of the services drive up your costs by charging high delivery fees some charge $10 per order. With many, you can pay a membership fee to get unlimited free deliveries&mdashfor example, with Instacart you can pay $6 to $12 per delivery or $149 per year. If you order often, you&rsquoll save a lot by joining. (In our cost comparisons, we assumed our shopper would choose the least expensive option for delivery fees.)

We also added a 10 percent tip to our hypothetical weekly orders. If that&rsquos more or less than you&rsquod tip, then adjust our estimates accordingly. Some services accommodate tipping better than others with some, there&rsquos no way to do it while ordering, so you have to tip with cash. Safeway told us its drivers are not allowed to accept tips, so we didn&rsquot include tips in our cost examples for it.

On the quality side, the table below reports results from our recent limited survey of Checkbook subscribers. We asked them to rate services they had used as &ldquosuperior&rdquo (as opposed to &ldquoadequate&rdquo or &ldquoinferior&rdquo) on several aspects of service. The table reports the percent who gave "superior" ratings. The scores are combined ratings from subscribers in all of the seven metro areas where we publish Checkbook we report ratings for the companies that received at least 10 ratings. Note that for Instacart we report all the ratings we obtained for it because it shops at several different chains, each with different buying standards, these scores for product quality issues aren&rsquot as meaningful as for the other services.

Surprisingly, none of the services were rated highly by their surveyed customers, but none of them received notably poor ratings, either. We&rsquoll update these ratings as we continue to collect survey results for grocery delivery services.

In addition to higher costs, we found other drawbacks when trying out grocery delivery:

  • Selecting produce and meat&mdashYou might not like having someone else select your produce and meat. This is where the delivery service&rsquos quality standards are key. When we tried out multiple services, we were often disappointed at the quality of produce we received: About half the time, they bought several items that were rotten, squashed, or frozen.
  • Missing items&mdashIf you&rsquore shopping and the store is out of an item, you can usually find a substitute. With most delivery services you tell it whether to pick a substitute or bring your order without that item some even let you leave a note for each item for your shopper. But ratings we receive for delivery services and our staff&rsquos experience is that in general orders are too often brought with missing items. Using a delivery service is no time-saver if you have to trek to a store anyway.
  • You must make a list&mdashIt&rsquos really inefficient to shop online without setting up a list of items you want to buy. Making a list&mdashand sticking to it&mdashis something you should do to avoid forgetting items and to minimize impulse purchases even if you shop in-store. But if you don&rsquot have it in you to make even a sketchy list, delivery services probably aren&rsquot for you.
  • You have to schedule&mdashSome of the services can leave shipments in coolers if you&rsquore not home, and most will deliver at night or on weekends. That&rsquos not so bad if the service offers wide choices regarding delivery time, short delivery windows, and prompt service, but not all are so accommodating. When scheduling, our shoppers sometimes found the most convenient delivery times (nights, weekends) weren&rsquot available for several days out.

On the other hand, one thing we really liked about shopping online is that it drastically cut back on impulse buys. And, again, delivery services give the gift of time.

Some stores offer online ordering with at-store pickup. You still have to be able to stomach the planning and list-making process, but you don&rsquot have to be home for deliveries, and you can check the quality of produce and meat before leaving the store. We didn&rsquot price out these types of arrangements&mdashwe just didn&rsquot have time to do everything&mdashbut several Checkbook staffers love this hybrid option.


Grocery Delivery: How Much Extra Will You Pay to Skip the Store?

For 20 years and counting, dot-com pundits have predicted grocery delivery would be one of the next big online retail phenoms. Nonetheless, most of us still regularly schlep to the grocery store, wander up and down dozens of aisles, peer at every pint of strawberries and thump a dozen melons to find the best, forget something and backtrack six aisles, tell our kids &ldquono&rdquo 200 times, wait in line to check out, load the car, unload the car.

Several companies, including Amazon and some venture-capital-well-funded companies are still betting that, just as the internet has taken over so many other consumer services, lots of us finally will start using computers and smartphones to buy our apples and zucchini. There are now more grocery delivery options than ever.

There for sure is a (so far slowly) growing market for grocery delivery. Some consumers view going to the grocery store as a chore and hassle, and delivery services can definitely save you a lot of time. And these services can greatly help those who can&rsquot get to local markets due to physical impairments or who lack transportation.

But there are several reasons why so many shoppers still spend a lot of time buying their groceries in person. Ordering online requires more foresight than popping into a store on the way home from work and demands somewhat more planning than wandering aisles and throwing what looks good into a cart. With most delivery services you must be home to greet your goods, which requires scheduling. Building a list of products you want to buy makes the online shopping part of the process a lot more efficient&mdashjust pull up your list and click the things you need&mdashbut that list-building is, at least at first, tedious. You must trust that delivery service personnel will select the best-quality produce and other products, and make the right call on substitutions when your choices aren&rsquot available. And most of the online options cost more than shopping yourself.

In theory, grocery delivery should benefit both retailers and consumers. Well-designed websites, along with high-tech warehouses and inventory control systems, would allow you to see a continually updated list of available items and prices, get organized by creating lists of things you buy, and bring it to you when you want it. They could send you special offers based on your purchase history, or even offer recipes and meal planning tips and ideas. But the big appeal for most shoppers is saving time.

Grocers could benefit from a shift to delivery because it would let them close stores and sell from just a few centralized distribution warehouses. That would save a lot on real estate and sharply consolidate their distribution networks, eliminating a lot of energy use. Fewer facilities would also let them combine bakery, meat cutting, and kitchens to make prepared-food items. Without retail stores, they wouldn&rsquot have to maintain attractive facilities, stock shelves, and display produce to appeal to customers. And in these specialized warehouses and distribution facilities, they could more efficiently keep perishables refrigerated or frozen.

But most delivery services haven&rsquot moved toward that type of centralized model. In this area, only Amazon, FreshDirect, and Peapod work out of warehouses the rest of the delivery services we looked at send their personnel to local retail grocery stores to walk up and down the aisles, select the items you order, and then bring them to you&mdashhardly an efficient operation. While their shoppers might move through stores faster than you can (it helps that they&rsquore working from a finite, organized list and don&rsquot bring along kids to herd), these services in effect have only transferred from you to their workers the labor of picking out items at a store and driving them home. So, a potential big time-saver for you? Yes. But you&rsquoll have to pay extra for it.

All the delivery services charge delivery fees, mark up stores&rsquo item pricing, or both. The price penalty depends on which service you use and what you sign up for. The figure below reports how local grocery delivery services we evaluated compare for price. To compare their prices for groceries, we shopped delivery services using our market basket of 154 items (the same list we used to compare prices at conventional grocery stores).

We started by comparing the prices we collected from delivery services to those offered in-store at Washington area brick-and-mortar stores we surveyed. The figure reports how much more or less you&rsquod spend with each delivery service, compared to the average prices we found at all surveyed local brick-and-mortar grocery stores. Click here to see how local grocery stores stack up for price and quality.

We calculated how much you&rsquod spend with each of the grocery delivery services per month for groceries that would cost $200 per week in-store at an &ldquoaverage&rdquo grocery store. Then we added in each delivery service&rsquos extra fees, assuming our hypothetical shopper would place orders once a week. Finally, we added a 10 percent tip for each order.

You can see that there are often big cost consequences to hiring someone to do your shopping. For groceries that would cost $867 a month at the &ldquoaverage&rdquo brick-and-mortar grocery store, our estimates for delivery services range from $858 at Walmart (which at the time of this writing served only Laurel) and $896 using Shipt from Target to more than $1,200 with a few other options.

Keep in mind that grocery delivery options are changing rapidly&mdasha few went online or disappeared while we were doing our price research and writing this. Notably, Walmart only very recently began delivering out of its Glen Burnie and Laurel stores, and says it plans further expansion. By the time you read this, more changes likely occurred.

We also report below some practical info on each service: Delivery area where it obtains groceries whether it offers unattended delivery and our shoppers' general experiences and impressions from our price collection and orders we received.

The 1,000-pound gorilla of grocery delivery, of course, is Amazon, which with its purchase of Whole Foods has accelerated its expansion into the supermarket scene. In many parts of the Washington area, it offers both its Fresh and Prime Now services. To use either, you have to first sign up for Amazon Prime ($119/year) to join Fresh, you also have to pay $14.99/month. All orders with Fresh are fulfilled at an Amazon facility. With Prime Now, you can choose Amazon or a nearby store (in this area, so far the local option is usually just Whole Foods). Our research finds Fresh offers lower prices than Prime Now, which will make up for its monthly fee if you buy a lot. As Amazon continues its take-over-all-retail strategy, we expect it will offer more options and features&mdashand possibly lower prices.

Walmart has tried out several delivery models in pilot cities, and its latest foray is a partnership with DoorDash, which is a restaurant delivery business. Walmart store employees assemble grocery orders and DoorDash drivers deliver them you pay Walmart&rsquos low in-store prices, plus a $9.95 delivery fee. While this arrangement offers low costs, so far, Walmart&rsquos delivery service area is small.

Instacart is listed several times in our price comparisons because it works somewhat differently than the others. Rather than procuring groceries from one store or warehouse, it lets customers choose among many different chains, where it will send a shopper-driver to find the items you ordered, check out, and bring them to you. So, you could make one order for Whole Foods and another for Wegmans and yet another for Costco (each trip would be treated as a separate order).

Instacart has partnerships with some of the grocery stores it uses store personnel at some stores do the shopping and Instacart handles only the delivery. But most grocery stores it uses just put up with Instacart&rsquos workers coming in and shopping for clients.

We found that Instacart and a few other delivery services add a big markup to the prices you&rsquod pay on your own in-store. For Instacart, that markup is typically smaller than the others at its partner stores. Sometimes the markup is significant: In our shopping, Instacart&rsquos markup at Harris Teeter was 36 percent at Costco it was 20 percent, enough to wipe out a lot of that warehouse club&rsquos price advantage. Instacart also adds a five percent service fee to each order that fee isn&rsquot a tip, it goes to Instacart.

Several of the services drive up your costs by charging high delivery fees some charge $10 per order. With many, you can pay a membership fee to get unlimited free deliveries&mdashfor example, with Instacart you can pay $6 to $12 per delivery or $149 per year. If you order often, you&rsquoll save a lot by joining. (In our cost comparisons, we assumed our shopper would choose the least expensive option for delivery fees.)

We also added a 10 percent tip to our hypothetical weekly orders. If that&rsquos more or less than you&rsquod tip, then adjust our estimates accordingly. Some services accommodate tipping better than others with some, there&rsquos no way to do it while ordering, so you have to tip with cash. Safeway told us its drivers are not allowed to accept tips, so we didn&rsquot include tips in our cost examples for it.

On the quality side, the table below reports results from our recent limited survey of Checkbook subscribers. We asked them to rate services they had used as &ldquosuperior&rdquo (as opposed to &ldquoadequate&rdquo or &ldquoinferior&rdquo) on several aspects of service. The table reports the percent who gave "superior" ratings. The scores are combined ratings from subscribers in all of the seven metro areas where we publish Checkbook we report ratings for the companies that received at least 10 ratings. Note that for Instacart we report all the ratings we obtained for it because it shops at several different chains, each with different buying standards, these scores for product quality issues aren&rsquot as meaningful as for the other services.

Surprisingly, none of the services were rated highly by their surveyed customers, but none of them received notably poor ratings, either. We&rsquoll update these ratings as we continue to collect survey results for grocery delivery services.

In addition to higher costs, we found other drawbacks when trying out grocery delivery:

  • Selecting produce and meat&mdashYou might not like having someone else select your produce and meat. This is where the delivery service&rsquos quality standards are key. When we tried out multiple services, we were often disappointed at the quality of produce we received: About half the time, they bought several items that were rotten, squashed, or frozen.
  • Missing items&mdashIf you&rsquore shopping and the store is out of an item, you can usually find a substitute. With most delivery services you tell it whether to pick a substitute or bring your order without that item some even let you leave a note for each item for your shopper. But ratings we receive for delivery services and our staff&rsquos experience is that in general orders are too often brought with missing items. Using a delivery service is no time-saver if you have to trek to a store anyway.
  • You must make a list&mdashIt&rsquos really inefficient to shop online without setting up a list of items you want to buy. Making a list&mdashand sticking to it&mdashis something you should do to avoid forgetting items and to minimize impulse purchases even if you shop in-store. But if you don&rsquot have it in you to make even a sketchy list, delivery services probably aren&rsquot for you.
  • You have to schedule&mdashSome of the services can leave shipments in coolers if you&rsquore not home, and most will deliver at night or on weekends. That&rsquos not so bad if the service offers wide choices regarding delivery time, short delivery windows, and prompt service, but not all are so accommodating. When scheduling, our shoppers sometimes found the most convenient delivery times (nights, weekends) weren&rsquot available for several days out.

On the other hand, one thing we really liked about shopping online is that it drastically cut back on impulse buys. And, again, delivery services give the gift of time.

Some stores offer online ordering with at-store pickup. You still have to be able to stomach the planning and list-making process, but you don&rsquot have to be home for deliveries, and you can check the quality of produce and meat before leaving the store. We didn&rsquot price out these types of arrangements&mdashwe just didn&rsquot have time to do everything&mdashbut several Checkbook staffers love this hybrid option.


Grocery Delivery: How Much Extra Will You Pay to Skip the Store?

For 20 years and counting, dot-com pundits have predicted grocery delivery would be one of the next big online retail phenoms. Nonetheless, most of us still regularly schlep to the grocery store, wander up and down dozens of aisles, peer at every pint of strawberries and thump a dozen melons to find the best, forget something and backtrack six aisles, tell our kids &ldquono&rdquo 200 times, wait in line to check out, load the car, unload the car.

Several companies, including Amazon and some venture-capital-well-funded companies are still betting that, just as the internet has taken over so many other consumer services, lots of us finally will start using computers and smartphones to buy our apples and zucchini. There are now more grocery delivery options than ever.

There for sure is a (so far slowly) growing market for grocery delivery. Some consumers view going to the grocery store as a chore and hassle, and delivery services can definitely save you a lot of time. And these services can greatly help those who can&rsquot get to local markets due to physical impairments or who lack transportation.

But there are several reasons why so many shoppers still spend a lot of time buying their groceries in person. Ordering online requires more foresight than popping into a store on the way home from work and demands somewhat more planning than wandering aisles and throwing what looks good into a cart. With most delivery services you must be home to greet your goods, which requires scheduling. Building a list of products you want to buy makes the online shopping part of the process a lot more efficient&mdashjust pull up your list and click the things you need&mdashbut that list-building is, at least at first, tedious. You must trust that delivery service personnel will select the best-quality produce and other products, and make the right call on substitutions when your choices aren&rsquot available. And most of the online options cost more than shopping yourself.

In theory, grocery delivery should benefit both retailers and consumers. Well-designed websites, along with high-tech warehouses and inventory control systems, would allow you to see a continually updated list of available items and prices, get organized by creating lists of things you buy, and bring it to you when you want it. They could send you special offers based on your purchase history, or even offer recipes and meal planning tips and ideas. But the big appeal for most shoppers is saving time.

Grocers could benefit from a shift to delivery because it would let them close stores and sell from just a few centralized distribution warehouses. That would save a lot on real estate and sharply consolidate their distribution networks, eliminating a lot of energy use. Fewer facilities would also let them combine bakery, meat cutting, and kitchens to make prepared-food items. Without retail stores, they wouldn&rsquot have to maintain attractive facilities, stock shelves, and display produce to appeal to customers. And in these specialized warehouses and distribution facilities, they could more efficiently keep perishables refrigerated or frozen.

But most delivery services haven&rsquot moved toward that type of centralized model. In this area, only Amazon, FreshDirect, and Peapod work out of warehouses the rest of the delivery services we looked at send their personnel to local retail grocery stores to walk up and down the aisles, select the items you order, and then bring them to you&mdashhardly an efficient operation. While their shoppers might move through stores faster than you can (it helps that they&rsquore working from a finite, organized list and don&rsquot bring along kids to herd), these services in effect have only transferred from you to their workers the labor of picking out items at a store and driving them home. So, a potential big time-saver for you? Yes. But you&rsquoll have to pay extra for it.

All the delivery services charge delivery fees, mark up stores&rsquo item pricing, or both. The price penalty depends on which service you use and what you sign up for. The figure below reports how local grocery delivery services we evaluated compare for price. To compare their prices for groceries, we shopped delivery services using our market basket of 154 items (the same list we used to compare prices at conventional grocery stores).

We started by comparing the prices we collected from delivery services to those offered in-store at Washington area brick-and-mortar stores we surveyed. The figure reports how much more or less you&rsquod spend with each delivery service, compared to the average prices we found at all surveyed local brick-and-mortar grocery stores. Click here to see how local grocery stores stack up for price and quality.

We calculated how much you&rsquod spend with each of the grocery delivery services per month for groceries that would cost $200 per week in-store at an &ldquoaverage&rdquo grocery store. Then we added in each delivery service&rsquos extra fees, assuming our hypothetical shopper would place orders once a week. Finally, we added a 10 percent tip for each order.

You can see that there are often big cost consequences to hiring someone to do your shopping. For groceries that would cost $867 a month at the &ldquoaverage&rdquo brick-and-mortar grocery store, our estimates for delivery services range from $858 at Walmart (which at the time of this writing served only Laurel) and $896 using Shipt from Target to more than $1,200 with a few other options.

Keep in mind that grocery delivery options are changing rapidly&mdasha few went online or disappeared while we were doing our price research and writing this. Notably, Walmart only very recently began delivering out of its Glen Burnie and Laurel stores, and says it plans further expansion. By the time you read this, more changes likely occurred.

We also report below some practical info on each service: Delivery area where it obtains groceries whether it offers unattended delivery and our shoppers' general experiences and impressions from our price collection and orders we received.

The 1,000-pound gorilla of grocery delivery, of course, is Amazon, which with its purchase of Whole Foods has accelerated its expansion into the supermarket scene. In many parts of the Washington area, it offers both its Fresh and Prime Now services. To use either, you have to first sign up for Amazon Prime ($119/year) to join Fresh, you also have to pay $14.99/month. All orders with Fresh are fulfilled at an Amazon facility. With Prime Now, you can choose Amazon or a nearby store (in this area, so far the local option is usually just Whole Foods). Our research finds Fresh offers lower prices than Prime Now, which will make up for its monthly fee if you buy a lot. As Amazon continues its take-over-all-retail strategy, we expect it will offer more options and features&mdashand possibly lower prices.

Walmart has tried out several delivery models in pilot cities, and its latest foray is a partnership with DoorDash, which is a restaurant delivery business. Walmart store employees assemble grocery orders and DoorDash drivers deliver them you pay Walmart&rsquos low in-store prices, plus a $9.95 delivery fee. While this arrangement offers low costs, so far, Walmart&rsquos delivery service area is small.

Instacart is listed several times in our price comparisons because it works somewhat differently than the others. Rather than procuring groceries from one store or warehouse, it lets customers choose among many different chains, where it will send a shopper-driver to find the items you ordered, check out, and bring them to you. So, you could make one order for Whole Foods and another for Wegmans and yet another for Costco (each trip would be treated as a separate order).

Instacart has partnerships with some of the grocery stores it uses store personnel at some stores do the shopping and Instacart handles only the delivery. But most grocery stores it uses just put up with Instacart&rsquos workers coming in and shopping for clients.

We found that Instacart and a few other delivery services add a big markup to the prices you&rsquod pay on your own in-store. For Instacart, that markup is typically smaller than the others at its partner stores. Sometimes the markup is significant: In our shopping, Instacart&rsquos markup at Harris Teeter was 36 percent at Costco it was 20 percent, enough to wipe out a lot of that warehouse club&rsquos price advantage. Instacart also adds a five percent service fee to each order that fee isn&rsquot a tip, it goes to Instacart.

Several of the services drive up your costs by charging high delivery fees some charge $10 per order. With many, you can pay a membership fee to get unlimited free deliveries&mdashfor example, with Instacart you can pay $6 to $12 per delivery or $149 per year. If you order often, you&rsquoll save a lot by joining. (In our cost comparisons, we assumed our shopper would choose the least expensive option for delivery fees.)

We also added a 10 percent tip to our hypothetical weekly orders. If that&rsquos more or less than you&rsquod tip, then adjust our estimates accordingly. Some services accommodate tipping better than others with some, there&rsquos no way to do it while ordering, so you have to tip with cash. Safeway told us its drivers are not allowed to accept tips, so we didn&rsquot include tips in our cost examples for it.

On the quality side, the table below reports results from our recent limited survey of Checkbook subscribers. We asked them to rate services they had used as &ldquosuperior&rdquo (as opposed to &ldquoadequate&rdquo or &ldquoinferior&rdquo) on several aspects of service. The table reports the percent who gave "superior" ratings. The scores are combined ratings from subscribers in all of the seven metro areas where we publish Checkbook we report ratings for the companies that received at least 10 ratings. Note that for Instacart we report all the ratings we obtained for it because it shops at several different chains, each with different buying standards, these scores for product quality issues aren&rsquot as meaningful as for the other services.

Surprisingly, none of the services were rated highly by their surveyed customers, but none of them received notably poor ratings, either. We&rsquoll update these ratings as we continue to collect survey results for grocery delivery services.

In addition to higher costs, we found other drawbacks when trying out grocery delivery:

  • Selecting produce and meat&mdashYou might not like having someone else select your produce and meat. This is where the delivery service&rsquos quality standards are key. When we tried out multiple services, we were often disappointed at the quality of produce we received: About half the time, they bought several items that were rotten, squashed, or frozen.
  • Missing items&mdashIf you&rsquore shopping and the store is out of an item, you can usually find a substitute. With most delivery services you tell it whether to pick a substitute or bring your order without that item some even let you leave a note for each item for your shopper. But ratings we receive for delivery services and our staff&rsquos experience is that in general orders are too often brought with missing items. Using a delivery service is no time-saver if you have to trek to a store anyway.
  • You must make a list&mdashIt&rsquos really inefficient to shop online without setting up a list of items you want to buy. Making a list&mdashand sticking to it&mdashis something you should do to avoid forgetting items and to minimize impulse purchases even if you shop in-store. But if you don&rsquot have it in you to make even a sketchy list, delivery services probably aren&rsquot for you.
  • You have to schedule&mdashSome of the services can leave shipments in coolers if you&rsquore not home, and most will deliver at night or on weekends. That&rsquos not so bad if the service offers wide choices regarding delivery time, short delivery windows, and prompt service, but not all are so accommodating. When scheduling, our shoppers sometimes found the most convenient delivery times (nights, weekends) weren&rsquot available for several days out.

On the other hand, one thing we really liked about shopping online is that it drastically cut back on impulse buys. And, again, delivery services give the gift of time.

Some stores offer online ordering with at-store pickup. You still have to be able to stomach the planning and list-making process, but you don&rsquot have to be home for deliveries, and you can check the quality of produce and meat before leaving the store. We didn&rsquot price out these types of arrangements&mdashwe just didn&rsquot have time to do everything&mdashbut several Checkbook staffers love this hybrid option.


Grocery Delivery: How Much Extra Will You Pay to Skip the Store?

For 20 years and counting, dot-com pundits have predicted grocery delivery would be one of the next big online retail phenoms. Nonetheless, most of us still regularly schlep to the grocery store, wander up and down dozens of aisles, peer at every pint of strawberries and thump a dozen melons to find the best, forget something and backtrack six aisles, tell our kids &ldquono&rdquo 200 times, wait in line to check out, load the car, unload the car.

Several companies, including Amazon and some venture-capital-well-funded companies are still betting that, just as the internet has taken over so many other consumer services, lots of us finally will start using computers and smartphones to buy our apples and zucchini. There are now more grocery delivery options than ever.

There for sure is a (so far slowly) growing market for grocery delivery. Some consumers view going to the grocery store as a chore and hassle, and delivery services can definitely save you a lot of time. And these services can greatly help those who can&rsquot get to local markets due to physical impairments or who lack transportation.

But there are several reasons why so many shoppers still spend a lot of time buying their groceries in person. Ordering online requires more foresight than popping into a store on the way home from work and demands somewhat more planning than wandering aisles and throwing what looks good into a cart. With most delivery services you must be home to greet your goods, which requires scheduling. Building a list of products you want to buy makes the online shopping part of the process a lot more efficient&mdashjust pull up your list and click the things you need&mdashbut that list-building is, at least at first, tedious. You must trust that delivery service personnel will select the best-quality produce and other products, and make the right call on substitutions when your choices aren&rsquot available. And most of the online options cost more than shopping yourself.

In theory, grocery delivery should benefit both retailers and consumers. Well-designed websites, along with high-tech warehouses and inventory control systems, would allow you to see a continually updated list of available items and prices, get organized by creating lists of things you buy, and bring it to you when you want it. They could send you special offers based on your purchase history, or even offer recipes and meal planning tips and ideas. But the big appeal for most shoppers is saving time.

Grocers could benefit from a shift to delivery because it would let them close stores and sell from just a few centralized distribution warehouses. That would save a lot on real estate and sharply consolidate their distribution networks, eliminating a lot of energy use. Fewer facilities would also let them combine bakery, meat cutting, and kitchens to make prepared-food items. Without retail stores, they wouldn&rsquot have to maintain attractive facilities, stock shelves, and display produce to appeal to customers. And in these specialized warehouses and distribution facilities, they could more efficiently keep perishables refrigerated or frozen.

But most delivery services haven&rsquot moved toward that type of centralized model. In this area, only Amazon, FreshDirect, and Peapod work out of warehouses the rest of the delivery services we looked at send their personnel to local retail grocery stores to walk up and down the aisles, select the items you order, and then bring them to you&mdashhardly an efficient operation. While their shoppers might move through stores faster than you can (it helps that they&rsquore working from a finite, organized list and don&rsquot bring along kids to herd), these services in effect have only transferred from you to their workers the labor of picking out items at a store and driving them home. So, a potential big time-saver for you? Yes. But you&rsquoll have to pay extra for it.

All the delivery services charge delivery fees, mark up stores&rsquo item pricing, or both. The price penalty depends on which service you use and what you sign up for. The figure below reports how local grocery delivery services we evaluated compare for price. To compare their prices for groceries, we shopped delivery services using our market basket of 154 items (the same list we used to compare prices at conventional grocery stores).

We started by comparing the prices we collected from delivery services to those offered in-store at Washington area brick-and-mortar stores we surveyed. The figure reports how much more or less you&rsquod spend with each delivery service, compared to the average prices we found at all surveyed local brick-and-mortar grocery stores. Click here to see how local grocery stores stack up for price and quality.

We calculated how much you&rsquod spend with each of the grocery delivery services per month for groceries that would cost $200 per week in-store at an &ldquoaverage&rdquo grocery store. Then we added in each delivery service&rsquos extra fees, assuming our hypothetical shopper would place orders once a week. Finally, we added a 10 percent tip for each order.

You can see that there are often big cost consequences to hiring someone to do your shopping. For groceries that would cost $867 a month at the &ldquoaverage&rdquo brick-and-mortar grocery store, our estimates for delivery services range from $858 at Walmart (which at the time of this writing served only Laurel) and $896 using Shipt from Target to more than $1,200 with a few other options.

Keep in mind that grocery delivery options are changing rapidly&mdasha few went online or disappeared while we were doing our price research and writing this. Notably, Walmart only very recently began delivering out of its Glen Burnie and Laurel stores, and says it plans further expansion. By the time you read this, more changes likely occurred.

We also report below some practical info on each service: Delivery area where it obtains groceries whether it offers unattended delivery and our shoppers' general experiences and impressions from our price collection and orders we received.

The 1,000-pound gorilla of grocery delivery, of course, is Amazon, which with its purchase of Whole Foods has accelerated its expansion into the supermarket scene. In many parts of the Washington area, it offers both its Fresh and Prime Now services. To use either, you have to first sign up for Amazon Prime ($119/year) to join Fresh, you also have to pay $14.99/month. All orders with Fresh are fulfilled at an Amazon facility. With Prime Now, you can choose Amazon or a nearby store (in this area, so far the local option is usually just Whole Foods). Our research finds Fresh offers lower prices than Prime Now, which will make up for its monthly fee if you buy a lot. As Amazon continues its take-over-all-retail strategy, we expect it will offer more options and features&mdashand possibly lower prices.

Walmart has tried out several delivery models in pilot cities, and its latest foray is a partnership with DoorDash, which is a restaurant delivery business. Walmart store employees assemble grocery orders and DoorDash drivers deliver them you pay Walmart&rsquos low in-store prices, plus a $9.95 delivery fee. While this arrangement offers low costs, so far, Walmart&rsquos delivery service area is small.

Instacart is listed several times in our price comparisons because it works somewhat differently than the others. Rather than procuring groceries from one store or warehouse, it lets customers choose among many different chains, where it will send a shopper-driver to find the items you ordered, check out, and bring them to you. So, you could make one order for Whole Foods and another for Wegmans and yet another for Costco (each trip would be treated as a separate order).

Instacart has partnerships with some of the grocery stores it uses store personnel at some stores do the shopping and Instacart handles only the delivery. But most grocery stores it uses just put up with Instacart&rsquos workers coming in and shopping for clients.

We found that Instacart and a few other delivery services add a big markup to the prices you&rsquod pay on your own in-store. For Instacart, that markup is typically smaller than the others at its partner stores. Sometimes the markup is significant: In our shopping, Instacart&rsquos markup at Harris Teeter was 36 percent at Costco it was 20 percent, enough to wipe out a lot of that warehouse club&rsquos price advantage. Instacart also adds a five percent service fee to each order that fee isn&rsquot a tip, it goes to Instacart.

Several of the services drive up your costs by charging high delivery fees some charge $10 per order. With many, you can pay a membership fee to get unlimited free deliveries&mdashfor example, with Instacart you can pay $6 to $12 per delivery or $149 per year. If you order often, you&rsquoll save a lot by joining. (In our cost comparisons, we assumed our shopper would choose the least expensive option for delivery fees.)

We also added a 10 percent tip to our hypothetical weekly orders. If that&rsquos more or less than you&rsquod tip, then adjust our estimates accordingly. Some services accommodate tipping better than others with some, there&rsquos no way to do it while ordering, so you have to tip with cash. Safeway told us its drivers are not allowed to accept tips, so we didn&rsquot include tips in our cost examples for it.

On the quality side, the table below reports results from our recent limited survey of Checkbook subscribers. We asked them to rate services they had used as &ldquosuperior&rdquo (as opposed to &ldquoadequate&rdquo or &ldquoinferior&rdquo) on several aspects of service. The table reports the percent who gave "superior" ratings. The scores are combined ratings from subscribers in all of the seven metro areas where we publish Checkbook we report ratings for the companies that received at least 10 ratings. Note that for Instacart we report all the ratings we obtained for it because it shops at several different chains, each with different buying standards, these scores for product quality issues aren&rsquot as meaningful as for the other services.

Surprisingly, none of the services were rated highly by their surveyed customers, but none of them received notably poor ratings, either. We&rsquoll update these ratings as we continue to collect survey results for grocery delivery services.

In addition to higher costs, we found other drawbacks when trying out grocery delivery:

  • Selecting produce and meat&mdashYou might not like having someone else select your produce and meat. This is where the delivery service&rsquos quality standards are key. When we tried out multiple services, we were often disappointed at the quality of produce we received: About half the time, they bought several items that were rotten, squashed, or frozen.
  • Missing items&mdashIf you&rsquore shopping and the store is out of an item, you can usually find a substitute. With most delivery services you tell it whether to pick a substitute or bring your order without that item some even let you leave a note for each item for your shopper. But ratings we receive for delivery services and our staff&rsquos experience is that in general orders are too often brought with missing items. Using a delivery service is no time-saver if you have to trek to a store anyway.
  • You must make a list&mdashIt&rsquos really inefficient to shop online without setting up a list of items you want to buy. Making a list&mdashand sticking to it&mdashis something you should do to avoid forgetting items and to minimize impulse purchases even if you shop in-store. But if you don&rsquot have it in you to make even a sketchy list, delivery services probably aren&rsquot for you.
  • You have to schedule&mdashSome of the services can leave shipments in coolers if you&rsquore not home, and most will deliver at night or on weekends. That&rsquos not so bad if the service offers wide choices regarding delivery time, short delivery windows, and prompt service, but not all are so accommodating. When scheduling, our shoppers sometimes found the most convenient delivery times (nights, weekends) weren&rsquot available for several days out.

On the other hand, one thing we really liked about shopping online is that it drastically cut back on impulse buys. And, again, delivery services give the gift of time.

Some stores offer online ordering with at-store pickup. You still have to be able to stomach the planning and list-making process, but you don&rsquot have to be home for deliveries, and you can check the quality of produce and meat before leaving the store. We didn&rsquot price out these types of arrangements&mdashwe just didn&rsquot have time to do everything&mdashbut several Checkbook staffers love this hybrid option.


Grocery Delivery: How Much Extra Will You Pay to Skip the Store?

For 20 years and counting, dot-com pundits have predicted grocery delivery would be one of the next big online retail phenoms. Nonetheless, most of us still regularly schlep to the grocery store, wander up and down dozens of aisles, peer at every pint of strawberries and thump a dozen melons to find the best, forget something and backtrack six aisles, tell our kids &ldquono&rdquo 200 times, wait in line to check out, load the car, unload the car.

Several companies, including Amazon and some venture-capital-well-funded companies are still betting that, just as the internet has taken over so many other consumer services, lots of us finally will start using computers and smartphones to buy our apples and zucchini. There are now more grocery delivery options than ever.

There for sure is a (so far slowly) growing market for grocery delivery. Some consumers view going to the grocery store as a chore and hassle, and delivery services can definitely save you a lot of time. And these services can greatly help those who can&rsquot get to local markets due to physical impairments or who lack transportation.

But there are several reasons why so many shoppers still spend a lot of time buying their groceries in person. Ordering online requires more foresight than popping into a store on the way home from work and demands somewhat more planning than wandering aisles and throwing what looks good into a cart. With most delivery services you must be home to greet your goods, which requires scheduling. Building a list of products you want to buy makes the online shopping part of the process a lot more efficient&mdashjust pull up your list and click the things you need&mdashbut that list-building is, at least at first, tedious. You must trust that delivery service personnel will select the best-quality produce and other products, and make the right call on substitutions when your choices aren&rsquot available. And most of the online options cost more than shopping yourself.

In theory, grocery delivery should benefit both retailers and consumers. Well-designed websites, along with high-tech warehouses and inventory control systems, would allow you to see a continually updated list of available items and prices, get organized by creating lists of things you buy, and bring it to you when you want it. They could send you special offers based on your purchase history, or even offer recipes and meal planning tips and ideas. But the big appeal for most shoppers is saving time.

Grocers could benefit from a shift to delivery because it would let them close stores and sell from just a few centralized distribution warehouses. That would save a lot on real estate and sharply consolidate their distribution networks, eliminating a lot of energy use. Fewer facilities would also let them combine bakery, meat cutting, and kitchens to make prepared-food items. Without retail stores, they wouldn&rsquot have to maintain attractive facilities, stock shelves, and display produce to appeal to customers. And in these specialized warehouses and distribution facilities, they could more efficiently keep perishables refrigerated or frozen.

But most delivery services haven&rsquot moved toward that type of centralized model. In this area, only Amazon, FreshDirect, and Peapod work out of warehouses the rest of the delivery services we looked at send their personnel to local retail grocery stores to walk up and down the aisles, select the items you order, and then bring them to you&mdashhardly an efficient operation. While their shoppers might move through stores faster than you can (it helps that they&rsquore working from a finite, organized list and don&rsquot bring along kids to herd), these services in effect have only transferred from you to their workers the labor of picking out items at a store and driving them home. So, a potential big time-saver for you? Yes. But you&rsquoll have to pay extra for it.

All the delivery services charge delivery fees, mark up stores&rsquo item pricing, or both. The price penalty depends on which service you use and what you sign up for. The figure below reports how local grocery delivery services we evaluated compare for price. To compare their prices for groceries, we shopped delivery services using our market basket of 154 items (the same list we used to compare prices at conventional grocery stores).

We started by comparing the prices we collected from delivery services to those offered in-store at Washington area brick-and-mortar stores we surveyed. The figure reports how much more or less you&rsquod spend with each delivery service, compared to the average prices we found at all surveyed local brick-and-mortar grocery stores. Click here to see how local grocery stores stack up for price and quality.

We calculated how much you&rsquod spend with each of the grocery delivery services per month for groceries that would cost $200 per week in-store at an &ldquoaverage&rdquo grocery store. Then we added in each delivery service&rsquos extra fees, assuming our hypothetical shopper would place orders once a week. Finally, we added a 10 percent tip for each order.

You can see that there are often big cost consequences to hiring someone to do your shopping. For groceries that would cost $867 a month at the &ldquoaverage&rdquo brick-and-mortar grocery store, our estimates for delivery services range from $858 at Walmart (which at the time of this writing served only Laurel) and $896 using Shipt from Target to more than $1,200 with a few other options.

Keep in mind that grocery delivery options are changing rapidly&mdasha few went online or disappeared while we were doing our price research and writing this. Notably, Walmart only very recently began delivering out of its Glen Burnie and Laurel stores, and says it plans further expansion. By the time you read this, more changes likely occurred.

We also report below some practical info on each service: Delivery area where it obtains groceries whether it offers unattended delivery and our shoppers' general experiences and impressions from our price collection and orders we received.

The 1,000-pound gorilla of grocery delivery, of course, is Amazon, which with its purchase of Whole Foods has accelerated its expansion into the supermarket scene. In many parts of the Washington area, it offers both its Fresh and Prime Now services. To use either, you have to first sign up for Amazon Prime ($119/year) to join Fresh, you also have to pay $14.99/month. All orders with Fresh are fulfilled at an Amazon facility. With Prime Now, you can choose Amazon or a nearby store (in this area, so far the local option is usually just Whole Foods). Our research finds Fresh offers lower prices than Prime Now, which will make up for its monthly fee if you buy a lot. As Amazon continues its take-over-all-retail strategy, we expect it will offer more options and features&mdashand possibly lower prices.

Walmart has tried out several delivery models in pilot cities, and its latest foray is a partnership with DoorDash, which is a restaurant delivery business. Walmart store employees assemble grocery orders and DoorDash drivers deliver them you pay Walmart&rsquos low in-store prices, plus a $9.95 delivery fee. While this arrangement offers low costs, so far, Walmart&rsquos delivery service area is small.

Instacart is listed several times in our price comparisons because it works somewhat differently than the others. Rather than procuring groceries from one store or warehouse, it lets customers choose among many different chains, where it will send a shopper-driver to find the items you ordered, check out, and bring them to you. So, you could make one order for Whole Foods and another for Wegmans and yet another for Costco (each trip would be treated as a separate order).

Instacart has partnerships with some of the grocery stores it uses store personnel at some stores do the shopping and Instacart handles only the delivery. But most grocery stores it uses just put up with Instacart&rsquos workers coming in and shopping for clients.

We found that Instacart and a few other delivery services add a big markup to the prices you&rsquod pay on your own in-store. For Instacart, that markup is typically smaller than the others at its partner stores. Sometimes the markup is significant: In our shopping, Instacart&rsquos markup at Harris Teeter was 36 percent at Costco it was 20 percent, enough to wipe out a lot of that warehouse club&rsquos price advantage. Instacart also adds a five percent service fee to each order that fee isn&rsquot a tip, it goes to Instacart.

Several of the services drive up your costs by charging high delivery fees some charge $10 per order. With many, you can pay a membership fee to get unlimited free deliveries&mdashfor example, with Instacart you can pay $6 to $12 per delivery or $149 per year. If you order often, you&rsquoll save a lot by joining. (In our cost comparisons, we assumed our shopper would choose the least expensive option for delivery fees.)

We also added a 10 percent tip to our hypothetical weekly orders. If that&rsquos more or less than you&rsquod tip, then adjust our estimates accordingly. Some services accommodate tipping better than others with some, there&rsquos no way to do it while ordering, so you have to tip with cash. Safeway told us its drivers are not allowed to accept tips, so we didn&rsquot include tips in our cost examples for it.

On the quality side, the table below reports results from our recent limited survey of Checkbook subscribers. We asked them to rate services they had used as &ldquosuperior&rdquo (as opposed to &ldquoadequate&rdquo or &ldquoinferior&rdquo) on several aspects of service. The table reports the percent who gave "superior" ratings. The scores are combined ratings from subscribers in all of the seven metro areas where we publish Checkbook we report ratings for the companies that received at least 10 ratings. Note that for Instacart we report all the ratings we obtained for it because it shops at several different chains, each with different buying standards, these scores for product quality issues aren&rsquot as meaningful as for the other services.

Surprisingly, none of the services were rated highly by their surveyed customers, but none of them received notably poor ratings, either. We&rsquoll update these ratings as we continue to collect survey results for grocery delivery services.

In addition to higher costs, we found other drawbacks when trying out grocery delivery:

  • Selecting produce and meat&mdashYou might not like having someone else select your produce and meat. This is where the delivery service&rsquos quality standards are key. When we tried out multiple services, we were often disappointed at the quality of produce we received: About half the time, they bought several items that were rotten, squashed, or frozen.
  • Missing items&mdashIf you&rsquore shopping and the store is out of an item, you can usually find a substitute. With most delivery services you tell it whether to pick a substitute or bring your order without that item some even let you leave a note for each item for your shopper. But ratings we receive for delivery services and our staff&rsquos experience is that in general orders are too often brought with missing items. Using a delivery service is no time-saver if you have to trek to a store anyway.
  • You must make a list&mdashIt&rsquos really inefficient to shop online without setting up a list of items you want to buy. Making a list&mdashand sticking to it&mdashis something you should do to avoid forgetting items and to minimize impulse purchases even if you shop in-store. But if you don&rsquot have it in you to make even a sketchy list, delivery services probably aren&rsquot for you.
  • You have to schedule&mdashSome of the services can leave shipments in coolers if you&rsquore not home, and most will deliver at night or on weekends. That&rsquos not so bad if the service offers wide choices regarding delivery time, short delivery windows, and prompt service, but not all are so accommodating. When scheduling, our shoppers sometimes found the most convenient delivery times (nights, weekends) weren&rsquot available for several days out.

On the other hand, one thing we really liked about shopping online is that it drastically cut back on impulse buys. And, again, delivery services give the gift of time.

Some stores offer online ordering with at-store pickup. You still have to be able to stomach the planning and list-making process, but you don&rsquot have to be home for deliveries, and you can check the quality of produce and meat before leaving the store. We didn&rsquot price out these types of arrangements&mdashwe just didn&rsquot have time to do everything&mdashbut several Checkbook staffers love this hybrid option.


Grocery Delivery: How Much Extra Will You Pay to Skip the Store?

For 20 years and counting, dot-com pundits have predicted grocery delivery would be one of the next big online retail phenoms. Nonetheless, most of us still regularly schlep to the grocery store, wander up and down dozens of aisles, peer at every pint of strawberries and thump a dozen melons to find the best, forget something and backtrack six aisles, tell our kids &ldquono&rdquo 200 times, wait in line to check out, load the car, unload the car.

Several companies, including Amazon and some venture-capital-well-funded companies are still betting that, just as the internet has taken over so many other consumer services, lots of us finally will start using computers and smartphones to buy our apples and zucchini. There are now more grocery delivery options than ever.

There for sure is a (so far slowly) growing market for grocery delivery. Some consumers view going to the grocery store as a chore and hassle, and delivery services can definitely save you a lot of time. And these services can greatly help those who can&rsquot get to local markets due to physical impairments or who lack transportation.

But there are several reasons why so many shoppers still spend a lot of time buying their groceries in person. Ordering online requires more foresight than popping into a store on the way home from work and demands somewhat more planning than wandering aisles and throwing what looks good into a cart. With most delivery services you must be home to greet your goods, which requires scheduling. Building a list of products you want to buy makes the online shopping part of the process a lot more efficient&mdashjust pull up your list and click the things you need&mdashbut that list-building is, at least at first, tedious. You must trust that delivery service personnel will select the best-quality produce and other products, and make the right call on substitutions when your choices aren&rsquot available. And most of the online options cost more than shopping yourself.

In theory, grocery delivery should benefit both retailers and consumers. Well-designed websites, along with high-tech warehouses and inventory control systems, would allow you to see a continually updated list of available items and prices, get organized by creating lists of things you buy, and bring it to you when you want it. They could send you special offers based on your purchase history, or even offer recipes and meal planning tips and ideas. But the big appeal for most shoppers is saving time.

Grocers could benefit from a shift to delivery because it would let them close stores and sell from just a few centralized distribution warehouses. That would save a lot on real estate and sharply consolidate their distribution networks, eliminating a lot of energy use. Fewer facilities would also let them combine bakery, meat cutting, and kitchens to make prepared-food items. Without retail stores, they wouldn&rsquot have to maintain attractive facilities, stock shelves, and display produce to appeal to customers. And in these specialized warehouses and distribution facilities, they could more efficiently keep perishables refrigerated or frozen.

But most delivery services haven&rsquot moved toward that type of centralized model. In this area, only Amazon, FreshDirect, and Peapod work out of warehouses the rest of the delivery services we looked at send their personnel to local retail grocery stores to walk up and down the aisles, select the items you order, and then bring them to you&mdashhardly an efficient operation. While their shoppers might move through stores faster than you can (it helps that they&rsquore working from a finite, organized list and don&rsquot bring along kids to herd), these services in effect have only transferred from you to their workers the labor of picking out items at a store and driving them home. So, a potential big time-saver for you? Yes. But you&rsquoll have to pay extra for it.

All the delivery services charge delivery fees, mark up stores&rsquo item pricing, or both. The price penalty depends on which service you use and what you sign up for. The figure below reports how local grocery delivery services we evaluated compare for price. To compare their prices for groceries, we shopped delivery services using our market basket of 154 items (the same list we used to compare prices at conventional grocery stores).

We started by comparing the prices we collected from delivery services to those offered in-store at Washington area brick-and-mortar stores we surveyed. The figure reports how much more or less you&rsquod spend with each delivery service, compared to the average prices we found at all surveyed local brick-and-mortar grocery stores. Click here to see how local grocery stores stack up for price and quality.

We calculated how much you&rsquod spend with each of the grocery delivery services per month for groceries that would cost $200 per week in-store at an &ldquoaverage&rdquo grocery store. Then we added in each delivery service&rsquos extra fees, assuming our hypothetical shopper would place orders once a week. Finally, we added a 10 percent tip for each order.

You can see that there are often big cost consequences to hiring someone to do your shopping. For groceries that would cost $867 a month at the &ldquoaverage&rdquo brick-and-mortar grocery store, our estimates for delivery services range from $858 at Walmart (which at the time of this writing served only Laurel) and $896 using Shipt from Target to more than $1,200 with a few other options.

Keep in mind that grocery delivery options are changing rapidly&mdasha few went online or disappeared while we were doing our price research and writing this. Notably, Walmart only very recently began delivering out of its Glen Burnie and Laurel stores, and says it plans further expansion. By the time you read this, more changes likely occurred.

We also report below some practical info on each service: Delivery area where it obtains groceries whether it offers unattended delivery and our shoppers' general experiences and impressions from our price collection and orders we received.

The 1,000-pound gorilla of grocery delivery, of course, is Amazon, which with its purchase of Whole Foods has accelerated its expansion into the supermarket scene. In many parts of the Washington area, it offers both its Fresh and Prime Now services. To use either, you have to first sign up for Amazon Prime ($119/year) to join Fresh, you also have to pay $14.99/month. All orders with Fresh are fulfilled at an Amazon facility. With Prime Now, you can choose Amazon or a nearby store (in this area, so far the local option is usually just Whole Foods). Our research finds Fresh offers lower prices than Prime Now, which will make up for its monthly fee if you buy a lot. As Amazon continues its take-over-all-retail strategy, we expect it will offer more options and features&mdashand possibly lower prices.

Walmart has tried out several delivery models in pilot cities, and its latest foray is a partnership with DoorDash, which is a restaurant delivery business. Walmart store employees assemble grocery orders and DoorDash drivers deliver them you pay Walmart&rsquos low in-store prices, plus a $9.95 delivery fee. While this arrangement offers low costs, so far, Walmart&rsquos delivery service area is small.

Instacart is listed several times in our price comparisons because it works somewhat differently than the others. Rather than procuring groceries from one store or warehouse, it lets customers choose among many different chains, where it will send a shopper-driver to find the items you ordered, check out, and bring them to you. So, you could make one order for Whole Foods and another for Wegmans and yet another for Costco (each trip would be treated as a separate order).

Instacart has partnerships with some of the grocery stores it uses store personnel at some stores do the shopping and Instacart handles only the delivery. But most grocery stores it uses just put up with Instacart&rsquos workers coming in and shopping for clients.

We found that Instacart and a few other delivery services add a big markup to the prices you&rsquod pay on your own in-store. For Instacart, that markup is typically smaller than the others at its partner stores. Sometimes the markup is significant: In our shopping, Instacart&rsquos markup at Harris Teeter was 36 percent at Costco it was 20 percent, enough to wipe out a lot of that warehouse club&rsquos price advantage. Instacart also adds a five percent service fee to each order that fee isn&rsquot a tip, it goes to Instacart.

Several of the services drive up your costs by charging high delivery fees some charge $10 per order. With many, you can pay a membership fee to get unlimited free deliveries&mdashfor example, with Instacart you can pay $6 to $12 per delivery or $149 per year. If you order often, you&rsquoll save a lot by joining. (In our cost comparisons, we assumed our shopper would choose the least expensive option for delivery fees.)

We also added a 10 percent tip to our hypothetical weekly orders. If that&rsquos more or less than you&rsquod tip, then adjust our estimates accordingly. Some services accommodate tipping better than others with some, there&rsquos no way to do it while ordering, so you have to tip with cash. Safeway told us its drivers are not allowed to accept tips, so we didn&rsquot include tips in our cost examples for it.

On the quality side, the table below reports results from our recent limited survey of Checkbook subscribers. We asked them to rate services they had used as &ldquosuperior&rdquo (as opposed to &ldquoadequate&rdquo or &ldquoinferior&rdquo) on several aspects of service. The table reports the percent who gave "superior" ratings. The scores are combined ratings from subscribers in all of the seven metro areas where we publish Checkbook we report ratings for the companies that received at least 10 ratings. Note that for Instacart we report all the ratings we obtained for it because it shops at several different chains, each with different buying standards, these scores for product quality issues aren&rsquot as meaningful as for the other services.

Surprisingly, none of the services were rated highly by their surveyed customers, but none of them received notably poor ratings, either. We&rsquoll update these ratings as we continue to collect survey results for grocery delivery services.

In addition to higher costs, we found other drawbacks when trying out grocery delivery:

  • Selecting produce and meat&mdashYou might not like having someone else select your produce and meat. This is where the delivery service&rsquos quality standards are key. When we tried out multiple services, we were often disappointed at the quality of produce we received: About half the time, they bought several items that were rotten, squashed, or frozen.
  • Missing items&mdashIf you&rsquore shopping and the store is out of an item, you can usually find a substitute. With most delivery services you tell it whether to pick a substitute or bring your order without that item some even let you leave a note for each item for your shopper. But ratings we receive for delivery services and our staff&rsquos experience is that in general orders are too often brought with missing items. Using a delivery service is no time-saver if you have to trek to a store anyway.
  • You must make a list&mdashIt&rsquos really inefficient to shop online without setting up a list of items you want to buy. Making a list&mdashand sticking to it&mdashis something you should do to avoid forgetting items and to minimize impulse purchases even if you shop in-store. But if you don&rsquot have it in you to make even a sketchy list, delivery services probably aren&rsquot for you.
  • You have to schedule&mdashSome of the services can leave shipments in coolers if you&rsquore not home, and most will deliver at night or on weekends. That&rsquos not so bad if the service offers wide choices regarding delivery time, short delivery windows, and prompt service, but not all are so accommodating. When scheduling, our shoppers sometimes found the most convenient delivery times (nights, weekends) weren&rsquot available for several days out.

On the other hand, one thing we really liked about shopping online is that it drastically cut back on impulse buys. And, again, delivery services give the gift of time.

Some stores offer online ordering with at-store pickup. You still have to be able to stomach the planning and list-making process, but you don&rsquot have to be home for deliveries, and you can check the quality of produce and meat before leaving the store. We didn&rsquot price out these types of arrangements&mdashwe just didn&rsquot have time to do everything&mdashbut several Checkbook staffers love this hybrid option.


Grocery Delivery: How Much Extra Will You Pay to Skip the Store?

For 20 years and counting, dot-com pundits have predicted grocery delivery would be one of the next big online retail phenoms. Nonetheless, most of us still regularly schlep to the grocery store, wander up and down dozens of aisles, peer at every pint of strawberries and thump a dozen melons to find the best, forget something and backtrack six aisles, tell our kids &ldquono&rdquo 200 times, wait in line to check out, load the car, unload the car.

Several companies, including Amazon and some venture-capital-well-funded companies are still betting that, just as the internet has taken over so many other consumer services, lots of us finally will start using computers and smartphones to buy our apples and zucchini. There are now more grocery delivery options than ever.

There for sure is a (so far slowly) growing market for grocery delivery. Some consumers view going to the grocery store as a chore and hassle, and delivery services can definitely save you a lot of time. And these services can greatly help those who can&rsquot get to local markets due to physical impairments or who lack transportation.

But there are several reasons why so many shoppers still spend a lot of time buying their groceries in person. Ordering online requires more foresight than popping into a store on the way home from work and demands somewhat more planning than wandering aisles and throwing what looks good into a cart. With most delivery services you must be home to greet your goods, which requires scheduling. Building a list of products you want to buy makes the online shopping part of the process a lot more efficient&mdashjust pull up your list and click the things you need&mdashbut that list-building is, at least at first, tedious. You must trust that delivery service personnel will select the best-quality produce and other products, and make the right call on substitutions when your choices aren&rsquot available. And most of the online options cost more than shopping yourself.

In theory, grocery delivery should benefit both retailers and consumers. Well-designed websites, along with high-tech warehouses and inventory control systems, would allow you to see a continually updated list of available items and prices, get organized by creating lists of things you buy, and bring it to you when you want it. They could send you special offers based on your purchase history, or even offer recipes and meal planning tips and ideas. But the big appeal for most shoppers is saving time.

Grocers could benefit from a shift to delivery because it would let them close stores and sell from just a few centralized distribution warehouses. That would save a lot on real estate and sharply consolidate their distribution networks, eliminating a lot of energy use. Fewer facilities would also let them combine bakery, meat cutting, and kitchens to make prepared-food items. Without retail stores, they wouldn&rsquot have to maintain attractive facilities, stock shelves, and display produce to appeal to customers. And in these specialized warehouses and distribution facilities, they could more efficiently keep perishables refrigerated or frozen.

But most delivery services haven&rsquot moved toward that type of centralized model. In this area, only Amazon, FreshDirect, and Peapod work out of warehouses the rest of the delivery services we looked at send their personnel to local retail grocery stores to walk up and down the aisles, select the items you order, and then bring them to you&mdashhardly an efficient operation. While their shoppers might move through stores faster than you can (it helps that they&rsquore working from a finite, organized list and don&rsquot bring along kids to herd), these services in effect have only transferred from you to their workers the labor of picking out items at a store and driving them home. So, a potential big time-saver for you? Yes. But you&rsquoll have to pay extra for it.

All the delivery services charge delivery fees, mark up stores&rsquo item pricing, or both. The price penalty depends on which service you use and what you sign up for. The figure below reports how local grocery delivery services we evaluated compare for price. To compare their prices for groceries, we shopped delivery services using our market basket of 154 items (the same list we used to compare prices at conventional grocery stores).

We started by comparing the prices we collected from delivery services to those offered in-store at Washington area brick-and-mortar stores we surveyed. The figure reports how much more or less you&rsquod spend with each delivery service, compared to the average prices we found at all surveyed local brick-and-mortar grocery stores. Click here to see how local grocery stores stack up for price and quality.

We calculated how much you&rsquod spend with each of the grocery delivery services per month for groceries that would cost $200 per week in-store at an &ldquoaverage&rdquo grocery store. Then we added in each delivery service&rsquos extra fees, assuming our hypothetical shopper would place orders once a week. Finally, we added a 10 percent tip for each order.

You can see that there are often big cost consequences to hiring someone to do your shopping. For groceries that would cost $867 a month at the &ldquoaverage&rdquo brick-and-mortar grocery store, our estimates for delivery services range from $858 at Walmart (which at the time of this writing served only Laurel) and $896 using Shipt from Target to more than $1,200 with a few other options.

Keep in mind that grocery delivery options are changing rapidly&mdasha few went online or disappeared while we were doing our price research and writing this. Notably, Walmart only very recently began delivering out of its Glen Burnie and Laurel stores, and says it plans further expansion. By the time you read this, more changes likely occurred.

We also report below some practical info on each service: Delivery area where it obtains groceries whether it offers unattended delivery and our shoppers' general experiences and impressions from our price collection and orders we received.

The 1,000-pound gorilla of grocery delivery, of course, is Amazon, which with its purchase of Whole Foods has accelerated its expansion into the supermarket scene. In many parts of the Washington area, it offers both its Fresh and Prime Now services. To use either, you have to first sign up for Amazon Prime ($119/year) to join Fresh, you also have to pay $14.99/month. All orders with Fresh are fulfilled at an Amazon facility. With Prime Now, you can choose Amazon or a nearby store (in this area, so far the local option is usually just Whole Foods). Our research finds Fresh offers lower prices than Prime Now, which will make up for its monthly fee if you buy a lot. As Amazon continues its take-over-all-retail strategy, we expect it will offer more options and features&mdashand possibly lower prices.

Walmart has tried out several delivery models in pilot cities, and its latest foray is a partnership with DoorDash, which is a restaurant delivery business. Walmart store employees assemble grocery orders and DoorDash drivers deliver them you pay Walmart&rsquos low in-store prices, plus a $9.95 delivery fee. While this arrangement offers low costs, so far, Walmart&rsquos delivery service area is small.

Instacart is listed several times in our price comparisons because it works somewhat differently than the others. Rather than procuring groceries from one store or warehouse, it lets customers choose among many different chains, where it will send a shopper-driver to find the items you ordered, check out, and bring them to you. So, you could make one order for Whole Foods and another for Wegmans and yet another for Costco (each trip would be treated as a separate order).

Instacart has partnerships with some of the grocery stores it uses store personnel at some stores do the shopping and Instacart handles only the delivery. But most grocery stores it uses just put up with Instacart&rsquos workers coming in and shopping for clients.

We found that Instacart and a few other delivery services add a big markup to the prices you&rsquod pay on your own in-store. For Instacart, that markup is typically smaller than the others at its partner stores. Sometimes the markup is significant: In our shopping, Instacart&rsquos markup at Harris Teeter was 36 percent at Costco it was 20 percent, enough to wipe out a lot of that warehouse club&rsquos price advantage. Instacart also adds a five percent service fee to each order that fee isn&rsquot a tip, it goes to Instacart.

Several of the services drive up your costs by charging high delivery fees some charge $10 per order. With many, you can pay a membership fee to get unlimited free deliveries&mdashfor example, with Instacart you can pay $6 to $12 per delivery or $149 per year. If you order often, you&rsquoll save a lot by joining. (In our cost comparisons, we assumed our shopper would choose the least expensive option for delivery fees.)

We also added a 10 percent tip to our hypothetical weekly orders. If that&rsquos more or less than you&rsquod tip, then adjust our estimates accordingly. Some services accommodate tipping better than others with some, there&rsquos no way to do it while ordering, so you have to tip with cash. Safeway told us its drivers are not allowed to accept tips, so we didn&rsquot include tips in our cost examples for it.

On the quality side, the table below reports results from our recent limited survey of Checkbook subscribers. We asked them to rate services they had used as &ldquosuperior&rdquo (as opposed to &ldquoadequate&rdquo or &ldquoinferior&rdquo) on several aspects of service. The table reports the percent who gave "superior" ratings. The scores are combined ratings from subscribers in all of the seven metro areas where we publish Checkbook we report ratings for the companies that received at least 10 ratings. Note that for Instacart we report all the ratings we obtained for it because it shops at several different chains, each with different buying standards, these scores for product quality issues aren&rsquot as meaningful as for the other services.

Surprisingly, none of the services were rated highly by their surveyed customers, but none of them received notably poor ratings, either. We&rsquoll update these ratings as we continue to collect survey results for grocery delivery services.

In addition to higher costs, we found other drawbacks when trying out grocery delivery:

  • Selecting produce and meat&mdashYou might not like having someone else select your produce and meat. This is where the delivery service&rsquos quality standards are key. When we tried out multiple services, we were often disappointed at the quality of produce we received: About half the time, they bought several items that were rotten, squashed, or frozen.
  • Missing items&mdashIf you&rsquore shopping and the store is out of an item, you can usually find a substitute. With most delivery services you tell it whether to pick a substitute or bring your order without that item some even let you leave a note for each item for your shopper. But ratings we receive for delivery services and our staff&rsquos experience is that in general orders are too often brought with missing items. Using a delivery service is no time-saver if you have to trek to a store anyway.
  • You must make a list&mdashIt&rsquos really inefficient to shop online without setting up a list of items you want to buy. Making a list&mdashand sticking to it&mdashis something you should do to avoid forgetting items and to minimize impulse purchases even if you shop in-store. But if you don&rsquot have it in you to make even a sketchy list, delivery services probably aren&rsquot for you.
  • You have to schedule&mdashSome of the services can leave shipments in coolers if you&rsquore not home, and most will deliver at night or on weekends. That&rsquos not so bad if the service offers wide choices regarding delivery time, short delivery windows, and prompt service, but not all are so accommodating. When scheduling, our shoppers sometimes found the most convenient delivery times (nights, weekends) weren&rsquot available for several days out.

On the other hand, one thing we really liked about shopping online is that it drastically cut back on impulse buys. And, again, delivery services give the gift of time.

Some stores offer online ordering with at-store pickup. You still have to be able to stomach the planning and list-making process, but you don&rsquot have to be home for deliveries, and you can check the quality of produce and meat before leaving the store. We didn&rsquot price out these types of arrangements&mdashwe just didn&rsquot have time to do everything&mdashbut several Checkbook staffers love this hybrid option.


Grocery Delivery: How Much Extra Will You Pay to Skip the Store?

For 20 years and counting, dot-com pundits have predicted grocery delivery would be one of the next big online retail phenoms. Nonetheless, most of us still regularly schlep to the grocery store, wander up and down dozens of aisles, peer at every pint of strawberries and thump a dozen melons to find the best, forget something and backtrack six aisles, tell our kids &ldquono&rdquo 200 times, wait in line to check out, load the car, unload the car.

Several companies, including Amazon and some venture-capital-well-funded companies are still betting that, just as the internet has taken over so many other consumer services, lots of us finally will start using computers and smartphones to buy our apples and zucchini. There are now more grocery delivery options than ever.

There for sure is a (so far slowly) growing market for grocery delivery. Some consumers view going to the grocery store as a chore and hassle, and delivery services can definitely save you a lot of time. And these services can greatly help those who can&rsquot get to local markets due to physical impairments or who lack transportation.

But there are several reasons why so many shoppers still spend a lot of time buying their groceries in person. Ordering online requires more foresight than popping into a store on the way home from work and demands somewhat more planning than wandering aisles and throwing what looks good into a cart. With most delivery services you must be home to greet your goods, which requires scheduling. Building a list of products you want to buy makes the online shopping part of the process a lot more efficient&mdashjust pull up your list and click the things you need&mdashbut that list-building is, at least at first, tedious. You must trust that delivery service personnel will select the best-quality produce and other products, and make the right call on substitutions when your choices aren&rsquot available. And most of the online options cost more than shopping yourself.

In theory, grocery delivery should benefit both retailers and consumers. Well-designed websites, along with high-tech warehouses and inventory control systems, would allow you to see a continually updated list of available items and prices, get organized by creating lists of things you buy, and bring it to you when you want it. They could send you special offers based on your purchase history, or even offer recipes and meal planning tips and ideas. But the big appeal for most shoppers is saving time.

Grocers could benefit from a shift to delivery because it would let them close stores and sell from just a few centralized distribution warehouses. That would save a lot on real estate and sharply consolidate their distribution networks, eliminating a lot of energy use. Fewer facilities would also let them combine bakery, meat cutting, and kitchens to make prepared-food items. Without retail stores, they wouldn&rsquot have to maintain attractive facilities, stock shelves, and display produce to appeal to customers. And in these specialized warehouses and distribution facilities, they could more efficiently keep perishables refrigerated or frozen.

But most delivery services haven&rsquot moved toward that type of centralized model. In this area, only Amazon, FreshDirect, and Peapod work out of warehouses the rest of the delivery services we looked at send their personnel to local retail grocery stores to walk up and down the aisles, select the items you order, and then bring them to you&mdashhardly an efficient operation. While their shoppers might move through stores faster than you can (it helps that they&rsquore working from a finite, organized list and don&rsquot bring along kids to herd), these services in effect have only transferred from you to their workers the labor of picking out items at a store and driving them home. So, a potential big time-saver for you? Yes. But you&rsquoll have to pay extra for it.

All the delivery services charge delivery fees, mark up stores&rsquo item pricing, or both. The price penalty depends on which service you use and what you sign up for. The figure below reports how local grocery delivery services we evaluated compare for price. To compare their prices for groceries, we shopped delivery services using our market basket of 154 items (the same list we used to compare prices at conventional grocery stores).

We started by comparing the prices we collected from delivery services to those offered in-store at Washington area brick-and-mortar stores we surveyed. The figure reports how much more or less you&rsquod spend with each delivery service, compared to the average prices we found at all surveyed local brick-and-mortar grocery stores. Click here to see how local grocery stores stack up for price and quality.

We calculated how much you&rsquod spend with each of the grocery delivery services per month for groceries that would cost $200 per week in-store at an &ldquoaverage&rdquo grocery store. Then we added in each delivery service&rsquos extra fees, assuming our hypothetical shopper would place orders once a week. Finally, we added a 10 percent tip for each order.

You can see that there are often big cost consequences to hiring someone to do your shopping. For groceries that would cost $867 a month at the &ldquoaverage&rdquo brick-and-mortar grocery store, our estimates for delivery services range from $858 at Walmart (which at the time of this writing served only Laurel) and $896 using Shipt from Target to more than $1,200 with a few other options.

Keep in mind that grocery delivery options are changing rapidly&mdasha few went online or disappeared while we were doing our price research and writing this. Notably, Walmart only very recently began delivering out of its Glen Burnie and Laurel stores, and says it plans further expansion. By the time you read this, more changes likely occurred.

We also report below some practical info on each service: Delivery area where it obtains groceries whether it offers unattended delivery and our shoppers' general experiences and impressions from our price collection and orders we received.

The 1,000-pound gorilla of grocery delivery, of course, is Amazon, which with its purchase of Whole Foods has accelerated its expansion into the supermarket scene. In many parts of the Washington area, it offers both its Fresh and Prime Now services. To use either, you have to first sign up for Amazon Prime ($119/year) to join Fresh, you also have to pay $14.99/month. All orders with Fresh are fulfilled at an Amazon facility. With Prime Now, you can choose Amazon or a nearby store (in this area, so far the local option is usually just Whole Foods). Our research finds Fresh offers lower prices than Prime Now, which will make up for its monthly fee if you buy a lot. As Amazon continues its take-over-all-retail strategy, we expect it will offer more options and features&mdashand possibly lower prices.

Walmart has tried out several delivery models in pilot cities, and its latest foray is a partnership with DoorDash, which is a restaurant delivery business. Walmart store employees assemble grocery orders and DoorDash drivers deliver them you pay Walmart&rsquos low in-store prices, plus a $9.95 delivery fee. While this arrangement offers low costs, so far, Walmart&rsquos delivery service area is small.

Instacart is listed several times in our price comparisons because it works somewhat differently than the others. Rather than procuring groceries from one store or warehouse, it lets customers choose among many different chains, where it will send a shopper-driver to find the items you ordered, check out, and bring them to you. So, you could make one order for Whole Foods and another for Wegmans and yet another for Costco (each trip would be treated as a separate order).

Instacart has partnerships with some of the grocery stores it uses store personnel at some stores do the shopping and Instacart handles only the delivery. But most grocery stores it uses just put up with Instacart&rsquos workers coming in and shopping for clients.

We found that Instacart and a few other delivery services add a big markup to the prices you&rsquod pay on your own in-store. For Instacart, that markup is typically smaller than the others at its partner stores. Sometimes the markup is significant: In our shopping, Instacart&rsquos markup at Harris Teeter was 36 percent at Costco it was 20 percent, enough to wipe out a lot of that warehouse club&rsquos price advantage. Instacart also adds a five percent service fee to each order that fee isn&rsquot a tip, it goes to Instacart.

Several of the services drive up your costs by charging high delivery fees some charge $10 per order. With many, you can pay a membership fee to get unlimited free deliveries&mdashfor example, with Instacart you can pay $6 to $12 per delivery or $149 per year. If you order often, you&rsquoll save a lot by joining. (In our cost comparisons, we assumed our shopper would choose the least expensive option for delivery fees.)

We also added a 10 percent tip to our hypothetical weekly orders. If that&rsquos more or less than you&rsquod tip, then adjust our estimates accordingly. Some services accommodate tipping better than others with some, there&rsquos no way to do it while ordering, so you have to tip with cash. Safeway told us its drivers are not allowed to accept tips, so we didn&rsquot include tips in our cost examples for it.

On the quality side, the table below reports results from our recent limited survey of Checkbook subscribers. We asked them to rate services they had used as &ldquosuperior&rdquo (as opposed to &ldquoadequate&rdquo or &ldquoinferior&rdquo) on several aspects of service. The table reports the percent who gave "superior" ratings. The scores are combined ratings from subscribers in all of the seven metro areas where we publish Checkbook we report ratings for the companies that received at least 10 ratings. Note that for Instacart we report all the ratings we obtained for it because it shops at several different chains, each with different buying standards, these scores for product quality issues aren&rsquot as meaningful as for the other services.

Surprisingly, none of the services were rated highly by their surveyed customers, but none of them received notably poor ratings, either. We&rsquoll update these ratings as we continue to collect survey results for grocery delivery services.

In addition to higher costs, we found other drawbacks when trying out grocery delivery:

  • Selecting produce and meat&mdashYou might not like having someone else select your produce and meat. This is where the delivery service&rsquos quality standards are key. When we tried out multiple services, we were often disappointed at the quality of produce we received: About half the time, they bought several items that were rotten, squashed, or frozen.
  • Missing items&mdashIf you&rsquore shopping and the store is out of an item, you can usually find a substitute. With most delivery services you tell it whether to pick a substitute or bring your order without that item some even let you leave a note for each item for your shopper. But ratings we receive for delivery services and our staff&rsquos experience is that in general orders are too often brought with missing items. Using a delivery service is no time-saver if you have to trek to a store anyway.
  • You must make a list&mdashIt&rsquos really inefficient to shop online without setting up a list of items you want to buy. Making a list&mdashand sticking to it&mdashis something you should do to avoid forgetting items and to minimize impulse purchases even if you shop in-store. But if you don&rsquot have it in you to make even a sketchy list, delivery services probably aren&rsquot for you.
  • You have to schedule&mdashSome of the services can leave shipments in coolers if you&rsquore not home, and most will deliver at night or on weekends. That&rsquos not so bad if the service offers wide choices regarding delivery time, short delivery windows, and prompt service, but not all are so accommodating. When scheduling, our shoppers sometimes found the most convenient delivery times (nights, weekends) weren&rsquot available for several days out.

On the other hand, one thing we really liked about shopping online is that it drastically cut back on impulse buys. And, again, delivery services give the gift of time.

Some stores offer online ordering with at-store pickup. You still have to be able to stomach the planning and list-making process, but you don&rsquot have to be home for deliveries, and you can check the quality of produce and meat before leaving the store. We didn&rsquot price out these types of arrangements&mdashwe just didn&rsquot have time to do everything&mdashbut several Checkbook staffers love this hybrid option.


Grocery Delivery: How Much Extra Will You Pay to Skip the Store?

For 20 years and counting, dot-com pundits have predicted grocery delivery would be one of the next big online retail phenoms. Nonetheless, most of us still regularly schlep to the grocery store, wander up and down dozens of aisles, peer at every pint of strawberries and thump a dozen melons to find the best, forget something and backtrack six aisles, tell our kids &ldquono&rdquo 200 times, wait in line to check out, load the car, unload the car.

Several companies, including Amazon and some venture-capital-well-funded companies are still betting that, just as the internet has taken over so many other consumer services, lots of us finally will start using computers and smartphones to buy our apples and zucchini. There are now more grocery delivery options than ever.

There for sure is a (so far slowly) growing market for grocery delivery. Some consumers view going to the grocery store as a chore and hassle, and delivery services can definitely save you a lot of time. And these services can greatly help those who can&rsquot get to local markets due to physical impairments or who lack transportation.

But there are several reasons why so many shoppers still spend a lot of time buying their groceries in person. Ordering online requires more foresight than popping into a store on the way home from work and demands somewhat more planning than wandering aisles and throwing what looks good into a cart. With most delivery services you must be home to greet your goods, which requires scheduling. Building a list of products you want to buy makes the online shopping part of the process a lot more efficient&mdashjust pull up your list and click the things you need&mdashbut that list-building is, at least at first, tedious. You must trust that delivery service personnel will select the best-quality produce and other products, and make the right call on substitutions when your choices aren&rsquot available. And most of the online options cost more than shopping yourself.

In theory, grocery delivery should benefit both retailers and consumers. Well-designed websites, along with high-tech warehouses and inventory control systems, would allow you to see a continually updated list of available items and prices, get organized by creating lists of things you buy, and bring it to you when you want it. They could send you special offers based on your purchase history, or even offer recipes and meal planning tips and ideas. But the big appeal for most shoppers is saving time.

Grocers could benefit from a shift to delivery because it would let them close stores and sell from just a few centralized distribution warehouses. That would save a lot on real estate and sharply consolidate their distribution networks, eliminating a lot of energy use. Fewer facilities would also let them combine bakery, meat cutting, and kitchens to make prepared-food items. Without retail stores, they wouldn&rsquot have to maintain attractive facilities, stock shelves, and display produce to appeal to customers. And in these specialized warehouses and distribution facilities, they could more efficiently keep perishables refrigerated or frozen.

But most delivery services haven&rsquot moved toward that type of centralized model. In this area, only Amazon, FreshDirect, and Peapod work out of warehouses the rest of the delivery services we looked at send their personnel to local retail grocery stores to walk up and down the aisles, select the items you order, and then bring them to you&mdashhardly an efficient operation. While their shoppers might move through stores faster than you can (it helps that they&rsquore working from a finite, organized list and don&rsquot bring along kids to herd), these services in effect have only transferred from you to their workers the labor of picking out items at a store and driving them home. So, a potential big time-saver for you? Yes. But you&rsquoll have to pay extra for it.

All the delivery services charge delivery fees, mark up stores&rsquo item pricing, or both. The price penalty depends on which service you use and what you sign up for. The figure below reports how local grocery delivery services we evaluated compare for price. To compare their prices for groceries, we shopped delivery services using our market basket of 154 items (the same list we used to compare prices at conventional grocery stores).

We started by comparing the prices we collected from delivery services to those offered in-store at Washington area brick-and-mortar stores we surveyed. The figure reports how much more or less you&rsquod spend with each delivery service, compared to the average prices we found at all surveyed local brick-and-mortar grocery stores. Click here to see how local grocery stores stack up for price and quality.

We calculated how much you&rsquod spend with each of the grocery delivery services per month for groceries that would cost $200 per week in-store at an &ldquoaverage&rdquo grocery store. Then we added in each delivery service&rsquos extra fees, assuming our hypothetical shopper would place orders once a week. Finally, we added a 10 percent tip for each order.

You can see that there are often big cost consequences to hiring someone to do your shopping. For groceries that would cost $867 a month at the &ldquoaverage&rdquo brick-and-mortar grocery store, our estimates for delivery services range from $858 at Walmart (which at the time of this writing served only Laurel) and $896 using Shipt from Target to more than $1,200 with a few other options.

Keep in mind that grocery delivery options are changing rapidly&mdasha few went online or disappeared while we were doing our price research and writing this. Notably, Walmart only very recently began delivering out of its Glen Burnie and Laurel stores, and says it plans further expansion. By the time you read this, more changes likely occurred.

We also report below some practical info on each service: Delivery area where it obtains groceries whether it offers unattended delivery and our shoppers' general experiences and impressions from our price collection and orders we received.

The 1,000-pound gorilla of grocery delivery, of course, is Amazon, which with its purchase of Whole Foods has accelerated its expansion into the supermarket scene. In many parts of the Washington area, it offers both its Fresh and Prime Now services. To use either, you have to first sign up for Amazon Prime ($119/year) to join Fresh, you also have to pay $14.99/month. All orders with Fresh are fulfilled at an Amazon facility. With Prime Now, you can choose Amazon or a nearby store (in this area, so far the local option is usually just Whole Foods). Our research finds Fresh offers lower prices than Prime Now, which will make up for its monthly fee if you buy a lot. As Amazon continues its take-over-all-retail strategy, we expect it will offer more options and features&mdashand possibly lower prices.

Walmart has tried out several delivery models in pilot cities, and its latest foray is a partnership with DoorDash, which is a restaurant delivery business. Walmart store employees assemble grocery orders and DoorDash drivers deliver them you pay Walmart&rsquos low in-store prices, plus a $9.95 delivery fee. While this arrangement offers low costs, so far, Walmart&rsquos delivery service area is small.

Instacart is listed several times in our price comparisons because it works somewhat differently than the others. Rather than procuring groceries from one store or warehouse, it lets customers choose among many different chains, where it will send a shopper-driver to find the items you ordered, check out, and bring them to you. So, you could make one order for Whole Foods and another for Wegmans and yet another for Costco (each trip would be treated as a separate order).

Instacart has partnerships with some of the grocery stores it uses store personnel at some stores do the shopping and Instacart handles only the delivery. But most grocery stores it uses just put up with Instacart&rsquos workers coming in and shopping for clients.

We found that Instacart and a few other delivery services add a big markup to the prices you&rsquod pay on your own in-store. For Instacart, that markup is typically smaller than the others at its partner stores. Sometimes the markup is significant: In our shopping, Instacart&rsquos markup at Harris Teeter was 36 percent at Costco it was 20 percent, enough to wipe out a lot of that warehouse club&rsquos price advantage. Instacart also adds a five percent service fee to each order that fee isn&rsquot a tip, it goes to Instacart.

Several of the services drive up your costs by charging high delivery fees some charge $10 per order. With many, you can pay a membership fee to get unlimited free deliveries&mdashfor example, with Instacart you can pay $6 to $12 per delivery or $149 per year. If you order often, you&rsquoll save a lot by joining. (In our cost comparisons, we assumed our shopper would choose the least expensive option for delivery fees.)

We also added a 10 percent tip to our hypothetical weekly orders. If that&rsquos more or less than you&rsquod tip, then adjust our estimates accordingly. Some services accommodate tipping better than others with some, there&rsquos no way to do it while ordering, so you have to tip with cash. Safeway told us its drivers are not allowed to accept tips, so we didn&rsquot include tips in our cost examples for it.

On the quality side, the table below reports results from our recent limited survey of Checkbook subscribers. We asked them to rate services they had used as &ldquosuperior&rdquo (as opposed to &ldquoadequate&rdquo or &ldquoinferior&rdquo) on several aspects of service. The table reports the percent who gave "superior" ratings. The scores are combined ratings from subscribers in all of the seven metro areas where we publish Checkbook we report ratings for the companies that received at least 10 ratings. Note that for Instacart we report all the ratings we obtained for it because it shops at several different chains, each with different buying standards, these scores for product quality issues aren&rsquot as meaningful as for the other services.

Surprisingly, none of the services were rated highly by their surveyed customers, but none of them received notably poor ratings, either. We&rsquoll update these ratings as we continue to collect survey results for grocery delivery services.

In addition to higher costs, we found other drawbacks when trying out grocery delivery:

  • Selecting produce and meat&mdashYou might not like having someone else select your produce and meat. This is where the delivery service&rsquos quality standards are key. When we tried out multiple services, we were often disappointed at the quality of produce we received: About half the time, they bought several items that were rotten, squashed, or frozen.
  • Missing items&mdashIf you&rsquore shopping and the store is out of an item, you can usually find a substitute. With most delivery services you tell it whether to pick a substitute or bring your order without that item some even let you leave a note for each item for your shopper. But ratings we receive for delivery services and our staff&rsquos experience is that in general orders are too often brought with missing items. Using a delivery service is no time-saver if you have to trek to a store anyway.
  • You must make a list&mdashIt&rsquos really inefficient to shop online without setting up a list of items you want to buy. Making a list&mdashand sticking to it&mdashis something you should do to avoid forgetting items and to minimize impulse purchases even if you shop in-store. But if you don&rsquot have it in you to make even a sketchy list, delivery services probably aren&rsquot for you.
  • You have to schedule&mdashSome of the services can leave shipments in coolers if you&rsquore not home, and most will deliver at night or on weekends. That&rsquos not so bad if the service offers wide choices regarding delivery time, short delivery windows, and prompt service, but not all are so accommodating. When scheduling, our shoppers sometimes found the most convenient delivery times (nights, weekends) weren&rsquot available for several days out.

On the other hand, one thing we really liked about shopping online is that it drastically cut back on impulse buys. And, again, delivery services give the gift of time.

Some stores offer online ordering with at-store pickup. You still have to be able to stomach the planning and list-making process, but you don&rsquot have to be home for deliveries, and you can check the quality of produce and meat before leaving the store. We didn&rsquot price out these types of arrangements&mdashwe just didn&rsquot have time to do everything&mdashbut several Checkbook staffers love this hybrid option.


Grocery Delivery: How Much Extra Will You Pay to Skip the Store?

For 20 years and counting, dot-com pundits have predicted grocery delivery would be one of the next big online retail phenoms. Nonetheless, most of us still regularly schlep to the grocery store, wander up and down dozens of aisles, peer at every pint of strawberries and thump a dozen melons to find the best, forget something and backtrack six aisles, tell our kids &ldquono&rdquo 200 times, wait in line to check out, load the car, unload the car.

Several companies, including Amazon and some venture-capital-well-funded companies are still betting that, just as the internet has taken over so many other consumer services, lots of us finally will start using computers and smartphones to buy our apples and zucchini. There are now more grocery delivery options than ever.

There for sure is a (so far slowly) growing market for grocery delivery. Some consumers view going to the grocery store as a chore and hassle, and delivery services can definitely save you a lot of time. And these services can greatly help those who can&rsquot get to local markets due to physical impairments or who lack transportation.

But there are several reasons why so many shoppers still spend a lot of time buying their groceries in person. Ordering online requires more foresight than popping into a store on the way home from work and demands somewhat more planning than wandering aisles and throwing what looks good into a cart. With most delivery services you must be home to greet your goods, which requires scheduling. Building a list of products you want to buy makes the online shopping part of the process a lot more efficient&mdashjust pull up your list and click the things you need&mdashbut that list-building is, at least at first, tedious. You must trust that delivery service personnel will select the best-quality produce and other products, and make the right call on substitutions when your choices aren&rsquot available. And most of the online options cost more than shopping yourself.

In theory, grocery delivery should benefit both retailers and consumers. Well-designed websites, along with high-tech warehouses and inventory control systems, would allow you to see a continually updated list of available items and prices, get organized by creating lists of things you buy, and bring it to you when you want it. They could send you special offers based on your purchase history, or even offer recipes and meal planning tips and ideas. But the big appeal for most shoppers is saving time.

Grocers could benefit from a shift to delivery because it would let them close stores and sell from just a few centralized distribution warehouses. That would save a lot on real estate and sharply consolidate their distribution networks, eliminating a lot of energy use. Fewer facilities would also let them combine bakery, meat cutting, and kitchens to make prepared-food items. Without retail stores, they wouldn&rsquot have to maintain attractive facilities, stock shelves, and display produce to appeal to customers. And in these specialized warehouses and distribution facilities, they could more efficiently keep perishables refrigerated or frozen.

But most delivery services haven&rsquot moved toward that type of centralized model. In this area, only Amazon, FreshDirect, and Peapod work out of warehouses the rest of the delivery services we looked at send their personnel to local retail grocery stores to walk up and down the aisles, select the items you order, and then bring them to you&mdashhardly an efficient operation. While their shoppers might move through stores faster than you can (it helps that they&rsquore working from a finite, organized list and don&rsquot bring along kids to herd), these services in effect have only transferred from you to their workers the labor of picking out items at a store and driving them home. So, a potential big time-saver for you? Yes. But you&rsquoll have to pay extra for it.

All the delivery services charge delivery fees, mark up stores&rsquo item pricing, or both. The price penalty depends on which service you use and what you sign up for. The figure below reports how local grocery delivery services we evaluated compare for price. To compare their prices for groceries, we shopped delivery services using our market basket of 154 items (the same list we used to compare prices at conventional grocery stores).

We started by comparing the prices we collected from delivery services to those offered in-store at Washington area brick-and-mortar stores we surveyed. The figure reports how much more or less you&rsquod spend with each delivery service, compared to the average prices we found at all surveyed local brick-and-mortar grocery stores. Click here to see how local grocery stores stack up for price and quality.

We calculated how much you&rsquod spend with each of the grocery delivery services per month for groceries that would cost $200 per week in-store at an &ldquoaverage&rdquo grocery store. Then we added in each delivery service&rsquos extra fees, assuming our hypothetical shopper would place orders once a week. Finally, we added a 10 percent tip for each order.

You can see that there are often big cost consequences to hiring someone to do your shopping. For groceries that would cost $867 a month at the &ldquoaverage&rdquo brick-and-mortar grocery store, our estimates for delivery services range from $858 at Walmart (which at the time of this writing served only Laurel) and $896 using Shipt from Target to more than $1,200 with a few other options.

Keep in mind that grocery delivery options are changing rapidly&mdasha few went online or disappeared while we were doing our price research and writing this. Notably, Walmart only very recently began delivering out of its Glen Burnie and Laurel stores, and says it plans further expansion. By the time you read this, more changes likely occurred.

We also report below some practical info on each service: Delivery area where it obtains groceries whether it offers unattended delivery and our shoppers' general experiences and impressions from our price collection and orders we received.

The 1,000-pound gorilla of grocery delivery, of course, is Amazon, which with its purchase of Whole Foods has accelerated its expansion into the supermarket scene. In many parts of the Washington area, it offers both its Fresh and Prime Now services. To use either, you have to first sign up for Amazon Prime ($119/year) to join Fresh, you also have to pay $14.99/month. All orders with Fresh are fulfilled at an Amazon facility. With Prime Now, you can choose Amazon or a nearby store (in this area, so far the local option is usually just Whole Foods). Our research finds Fresh offers lower prices than Prime Now, which will make up for its monthly fee if you buy a lot. As Amazon continues its take-over-all-retail strategy, we expect it will offer more options and features&mdashand possibly lower prices.

Walmart has tried out several delivery models in pilot cities, and its latest foray is a partnership with DoorDash, which is a restaurant delivery business. Walmart store employees assemble grocery orders and DoorDash drivers deliver them you pay Walmart&rsquos low in-store prices, plus a $9.95 delivery fee. While this arrangement offers low costs, so far, Walmart&rsquos delivery service area is small.

Instacart is listed several times in our price comparisons because it works somewhat differently than the others. Rather than procuring groceries from one store or warehouse, it lets customers choose among many different chains, where it will send a shopper-driver to find the items you ordered, check out, and bring them to you. So, you could make one order for Whole Foods and another for Wegmans and yet another for Costco (each trip would be treated as a separate order).

Instacart has partnerships with some of the grocery stores it uses store personnel at some stores do the shopping and Instacart handles only the delivery. But most grocery stores it uses just put up with Instacart&rsquos workers coming in and shopping for clients.

We found that Instacart and a few other delivery services add a big markup to the prices you&rsquod pay on your own in-store. For Instacart, that markup is typically smaller than the others at its partner stores. Sometimes the markup is significant: In our shopping, Instacart&rsquos markup at Harris Teeter was 36 percent at Costco it was 20 percent, enough to wipe out a lot of that warehouse club&rsquos price advantage. Instacart also adds a five percent service fee to each order that fee isn&rsquot a tip, it goes to Instacart.

Several of the services drive up your costs by charging high delivery fees some charge $10 per order. With many, you can pay a membership fee to get unlimited free deliveries&mdashfor example, with Instacart you can pay $6 to $12 per delivery or $149 per year. If you order often, you&rsquoll save a lot by joining. (In our cost comparisons, we assumed our shopper would choose the least expensive option for delivery fees.)

We also added a 10 percent tip to our hypothetical weekly orders. If that&rsquos more or less than you&rsquod tip, then adjust our estimates accordingly. Some services accommodate tipping better than others with some, there&rsquos no way to do it while ordering, so you have to tip with cash. Safeway told us its drivers are not allowed to accept tips, so we didn&rsquot include tips in our cost examples for it.

On the quality side, the table below reports results from our recent limited survey of Checkbook subscribers. We asked them to rate services they had used as &ldquosuperior&rdquo (as opposed to &ldquoadequate&rdquo or &ldquoinferior&rdquo) on several aspects of service. The table reports the percent who gave "superior" ratings. The scores are combined ratings from subscribers in all of the seven metro areas where we publish Checkbook we report ratings for the companies that received at least 10 ratings. Note that for Instacart we report all the ratings we obtained for it because it shops at several different chains, each with different buying standards, these scores for product quality issues aren&rsquot as meaningful as for the other services.

Surprisingly, none of the services were rated highly by their surveyed customers, but none of them received notably poor ratings, either. We&rsquoll update these ratings as we continue to collect survey results for grocery delivery services.

In addition to higher costs, we found other drawbacks when trying out grocery delivery:

  • Selecting produce and meat&mdashYou might not like having someone else select your produce and meat. This is where the delivery service&rsquos quality standards are key. When we tried out multiple services, we were often disappointed at the quality of produce we received: About half the time, they bought several items that were rotten, squashed, or frozen.
  • Missing items&mdashIf you&rsquore shopping and the store is out of an item, you can usually find a substitute. With most delivery services you tell it whether to pick a substitute or bring your order without that item some even let you leave a note for each item for your shopper. But ratings we receive for delivery services and our staff&rsquos experience is that in general orders are too often brought with missing items. Using a delivery service is no time-saver if you have to trek to a store anyway.
  • You must make a list&mdashIt&rsquos really inefficient to shop online without setting up a list of items you want to buy. Making a list&mdashand sticking to it&mdashis something you should do to avoid forgetting items and to minimize impulse purchases even if you shop in-store. But if you don&rsquot have it in you to make even a sketchy list, delivery services probably aren&rsquot for you.
  • You have to schedule&mdashSome of the services can leave shipments in coolers if you&rsquore not home, and most will deliver at night or on weekends. That&rsquos not so bad if the service offers wide choices regarding delivery time, short delivery windows, and prompt service, but not all are so accommodating. When scheduling, our shoppers sometimes found the most convenient delivery times (nights, weekends) weren&rsquot available for several days out.

On the other hand, one thing we really liked about shopping online is that it drastically cut back on impulse buys. And, again, delivery services give the gift of time.

Some stores offer online ordering with at-store pickup. You still have to be able to stomach the planning and list-making process, but you don&rsquot have to be home for deliveries, and you can check the quality of produce and meat before leaving the store. We didn&rsquot price out these types of arrangements&mdashwe just didn&rsquot have time to do everything&mdashbut several Checkbook staffers love this hybrid option.


Watch the video: Master Of None Season 2 Trailer. Netflix (June 2022).


Comments:

  1. Osrid

    Did not hear such

  2. Ceard

    You are funny.

  3. Tung

    Bravo, a brilliant idea and in a timely manner

  4. Azriel

    Sorry to interrupt you, but could you please describe in a little more detail.

  5. Jubar

    It is a pity that I cannot speak now - there is no free time. I'll be back - I will definitely express my opinion.

  6. Aethelmaere

    They are well versed in this. They can help solve the problem. Together we can find a solution.



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