This Is the Cheapest Grocery Delivery Service in 2023 (We Brought Receipts) (2023)

Groceries have gotten mighty expensive and I'm not just talking about eggs. Even with inflation cooling, generally, high food prices remain sticky and many are looking for ways to soften that monthly food bill.

This Is the Cheapest Grocery Delivery Service in 2023 (We Brought Receipts) (1)

If you're after a cheaper option for buying groceries in person, we did the math to see how much you can save shopping at Trader Joe's or Costco. If it's grocery delivery you're after, there are excellent budget-friendly online grocery options, too. In this edition of We Do the Math, I've analyzedAmazon, Target and Walmart, three of the most budget-friendly grocery retailers in the US, to see which is cheapest for buying groceries online.

To find the web's best grocer for food deals, discounts and rock-bottom prices, I calculated the cost of a typical shopping list from all three stores and factored in any delivery or membership fees that apply. After tallying the tabs, Walmart grabbed the top (or is it bottom?) spot as the cheapest place to buy groceries online -- about 10% cheaper than Target and 18% cheaper than Amazon Fresh.

Amazon, Target and Walmart compared


Walmart Target Amazon Fresh
Total before extras $137.10 $153.34 $165.66
Monthly membership fee $13.00 $11.00 $15.00
Total: $150.10 $164.34 $180.66

While the bottom-line cost might not be the only factor you consider when choosing an online grocery service -- quality selection and freshness certainly count for something -- if you've been wondering which store has the cheapest online groceries, now you have an answer. Read on for a full breakdown of online grocery prices at Walmart, Target and Amazon Fresh including how I did the math and some key takeaways.

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How I did the math

To find the cost of buying groceries online at these three retailers, I first generated a list of 37 popular grocery items -- some name brands, some generic -- on the same day and in every grocery category including bread, snacks, dairy, produce, meat, fish, beverages and pantry staples. I mostly avoided specialty items and organic ingredients for this exercise. For each product, I chose the cheapest available option from all three retailers: Amazon Fresh, Target and Walmart.

If an item wasn't available at one retailer, I selected the next closest thing, since that's what a shopper would likely do. In some cases, a product was only available in a larger or smaller size. In those instances, I prorated the amount and price to ensure it was an even cost comparison.

Cheapest online grocery delivery services


Walmart Target (Shipt) Amazon Fresh
Eggs/dairy:


Brown eggs (12) $4.87 $5.19 $2.98
2% milk (1 gallon) $3.08 $3.89 $4.39
Almond milk (1/2 gallon) $2.44 $2.99 $4.00
Block Cabot cheddar cheese (8 oz) $2.98 $3.19 $4.29
Plain yogurt (32 oz) $2.36 $3.79 $3.29
Subtotal: $15.73 $19.05 $18.95




Bread and snacks:


Loaf of 7-grain bread $2.38 $3.99 $4.00
Thomas' English muffins (pack of 6) $3.48 $3.49 $4.69
Club crackers (13.7 oz) $3.38 $3.99 $4.79
Subtotal: $9.24 $11.47 $13.48




Produce:


Broccoli head (1 lb) $1.38 $4.11* $1.99
One pound bag red potatoes (1 lb) $1.18 $1.30 $1.00
Package of mixed greens (5 oz) $2.98 $3.69 $4.14
Hass avocado (1) $0.88 $0.99 $0.99
Bag of carrots (1 lb) $1.24 $1.29 $1.00
Bag of yellow onions (1 lb) $1.05 $1.30 $0.93
Subtotal: $8.71 $12.68 $10.05




Pantry:


Bottle of Heinz Ketchup (32 oz) $4.28 $4.99 $4.28
Jar Hellman's Mayo (20 oz) $5.48 $6.29 $7.49
White rice (2 lb) $1.62 $0.95 $1.99
Chicken stock (32 oz) $1.33 $1.99 $2.79
Ground Starbucks coffee (12 oz) $14.92 $10.00 $8.90
Peanut butter (16 oz) $1.84 $1.69 $3.19
Seltzer (8) $3.28 $3.99 $4.49
Barilla penne pasta (16 oz) $1.84 $2.19 $1.99
Prego pasta sauce (24 ounce) $2.24 $2.89 $3.69
Canned dog food (12.5 oz) $1.88 $1.79 $1.67
Subtotal: $38.71 $36.77 $40.48




Snacks:


Box of Cheerios (18 oz) $4.78 $5.49 $4.78
Bag of cape cod potato chips (8 oz) $3.68 $3.99 $4.59
Corn chips (11 oz) $2.48 $2.29 $2.49
Chewy granola bars (box of 8) $2.44 $2.99 $3.98
Breyer's ice cream (1 quart) $4.97 $5.79 $5.99
Simply Orange juice (52 oz) $3.98 $4.59* $5.29
Subtotal: $22.33 $25.14 $27.12




Meats/fish:


Ground beef (1 lb) $3.98 $6.29* $4.66
Atlantic salmon (1 lb) $10.98 $10* $12.00
Bone-in chicken (3 lb) $3.96 $5.07 $6.96
Organic chicken breast (1 lb) $6.68 7.49* $13.79
Bacon (16 oz) $4.24 $4.89 $5.99
Plant-based beef (1 lb) $7.96 $9* $6.79
Morningstar Veggie burgers (4 pack) $4.58 $5.49 $5.39
Subtotal: $42.38 $48.23 $55.58




Total before extras: $137.10 $153.34 $165.66
Monthly membership fee: $13.00 $11.00 $15.00
Total: $150.10 $164.34 $180.66




*Denotes item not available for shipping


Why I chose these retailers

This Is the Cheapest Grocery Delivery Service in 2023 (We Brought Receipts) (3)

While there are other places to order groceries online, Amazon Fresh, Target (via Shipt) and Walmart are three of the most popular US grocers with a national presence and the option for online delivery. Other discount grocery chains like Costco and Aldi can be delivered using third-party apps such as Instacart, but Instacart marks groceries up about 10% so it's not typically going to be your best budget option. (That said, shopping in bulk and in person at Costco can save you as much as $1,000 over the course of the year, potentially more if you become a Costco Executive member.)

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What are the membership fees for Amazon, Walmart and Target?

All three retailers offer cost-effective monthly memberships that include unlimited free deliveries on orders of about $35 or more. Amazon Prime is $15 per month and includes free delivery for all Amazon products as well as Amazon Prime Video and some other perks. Walmart Plus is $13 per month or $98 for the year for unlimited free deliveries. Target's Shipt is the cheapest of three memberships at $11 a month with no minimum delivery total to hit. All three offer free in-store pickup in some form, although Amazon has fewer locations than Walmart and Target.

Walmart was the cheapest in every category except one

This Is the Cheapest Grocery Delivery Service in 2023 (We Brought Receipts) (4)

Walmart is known for having the lowest prices of just about any national retail chain, and its reputation proved true in this analysis of online grocery costs. Walmart pretty much swept the field with the lowest total cost in every grocery subcategory except for one -- pantry staples -- where Target was cheaper by about $2. Many of Walmart's cheapest items were courtesy of its in-house brand, Great Value. Target has an in-house brand of its own called Good & Gather, while Amazon sports a few generic brands including Amazon-branded groceries along with Happy Belly and 365 by Whole Foods, which is owned by Jeff Bezos' Amazon.

Target doesn't deliver all categories of groceries

This Is the Cheapest Grocery Delivery Service in 2023 (We Brought Receipts) (5)

While I tried to use only items that were available for delivery, it wasn't always possible. Target and its national shipping partner Shipt don't have every grocery staple available for shipping, particularly fresh meats and some produce. If you want to shop for your full list of groceries at Target, you're likely going to have to visit a brick-and-mortar location.

Are online grocery prices the same as in the store?

In general, Walmart and Target offer the same prices online as they do in brick-and-mortar locations, but not always. Sales items, in particular, are not always coordinated between online and in-store. Amazon Fresh is mostly online-only save for a few locations, although many products on Amazon Fresh can also be found at Whole Foods.

This Is the Cheapest Grocery Delivery Service in 2023 (We Brought Receipts) (6)

Other options for buying groceries online

Instacart is a popular national delivery service and functions as a third-party shopper and delivery outfit that allows you to order groceries from a selection of local supermarkets. You'll essentially be paying the same prices as if you visited the store yourself, plus a $4 delivery fee and tip.

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Fresh Direct is another popular grocery delivery service and one of my favorites. It's currently only available in the Northeast. The prices here are a bit higher than the three retailers I analyzed above, but the grocery selection and customer service are both excellent.

Hungryroot is a quirky grocery delivery operation that functions differently than the others. With a subscription, you'll get weekly deliveries of curated groceries based on your preferences and eating habits. Hungryroot givesmeal kitsuggestions and will send you the ingredients to make them if you so choose.

Thrive Market is yet another members-only grocery service. Thrive has lots of high-quality and organic meats but no produce or dairy products.

Boxed.comis a good place to find dry goods, pantry items and paper products at low prices but it's not a full substitute for a grocery store since it lacks the fresh foods you would typically buy at a market.

If you don't mind getting your various groceries from different vendors, we've tested to find thebest produce delivery services,best meat delivery servicesand even thebest online fish and seafood marketsfor 2023.

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FAQs

Is Instacart cheaper than grocery shopping? ›

If you only use grocery delivery occasionally, the regular Instacart service should be sufficient for your needs. However, expect to pay at least $10–15 more than you would at the store after factoring in delivery and service fees, higher prices, and a tip for the delivery person.

Are grocery subscription services worth it? ›

Yes, grocery delivery services can be worth the money you pay for them. They're worthwhile expenses if you need to buy groceries but can't get to a store for whatever reason. In addition, they're a sensible monthly expense granted that you're in a financial position to choose convenience over saving money.

Is Amazon Fresh Free? ›

Amazon Fresh - Unscheduled Deliveries:

You can get FREE delivery for orders above ₹300 for Prime members and ₹799 for Non-Prime members. For Non-Prime members, a minimum order value of ₹300 is required to place an order and a flat delivery fee of ₹59 will be charged for orders below ₹799.

What is the fastest grocery delivery service? ›

6 Best Grocery Delivery Apps for you
  1. Bigbasket: The best grocery delivery app. Bigbasket has to be on the list when we mention the grocery delivery apps. ...
  2. Grofers: Grocery delivery app. ...
  3. Flipkart Supermart: ...
  4. Dunzo: ...
  5. Spencer's: ...
  6. Nature's Basket:
Jan 9, 2023

Is Instacart a monthly fee? ›

How much does Instacart+ cost? For a flat standard fee of $99/year or $9.99/month, members enjoy unlimited free delivery on orders of $35 or more (per retailer), and other benefits.

How do I avoid Instacart service fees? ›

By signing up for Instacart Express, you can avoid paying delivery fees on orders of $35 or more, be exempt from service fees, never pay for busy pricing, and order from multiple stores in one delivery.

Which food subscription box is cheapest? ›

Best Cheap Meal Delivery Service in 2023
  • EveryPlate. Starts at $5 a serving. See at Everyplate.
  • Dinnerly. Starts at $6 a serving. See at Dinnerly.
  • Mosaic Foods. Plans start at $5 a serving. See at Mosaic Foods.
  • HelloFresh. $8 a serving (if you order meals for four) ...
  • Home Chef. Starts at $9 a serving.
Jan 14, 2023

What is the most affordable food subscription? ›

Cheapest Meal Delivery Services of 2023
  • Starts at $4.99: Dinnerly.
  • Starts at $4.99: EveryPlate.
  • Starts at $6.79: Daily Harvest.
  • Starts at $6.99: Revive Superfoods.
  • Starts at $7.99: HelloFresh.
  • Starts at $7.99: Home Chef.
  • Starts at $7.99: Blue Apron.
  • Starts at $7.99: Mom's Meals.

How much is Walmart grocery subscription? ›

Monthly: $12.95/month. Annual: $98/year. Plus applicable taxes.

Is Amazon Fresh cheaper than Aldi? ›

As a result, if you typically shop at stores like Aldi or Costco, Amazon Fresh will be a more expensive option. However, for those who are used to shopping at specialty grocery stores, such as Whole Foods Market, using Amazon Fresh may save you money on groceries.

Is Amazon Fresh more expensive than Walmart? ›

At a glance, the two services are almost identical: You pick a time slot, you order online, and you receive your groceries at your doorstep. They even have similar costs; Walmart Plus is $98 per year and Amazon Prime is $119 per year.
...
Pricing.
Walmart Plus GroceryAmazon Fresh
13-Gallon Trash Bags (80 ct.)$10.47$10.45
4 more rows
Mar 26, 2021

How much is Amazon grocery delivery? ›

What's the Best Grocery Delivery Service?
Amazon FreshShipt
Annual Fee$119 (included with Prime)$99
Delivery FeeFree over $35Free over $35

What are the top 3 food delivery apps? ›

Best Food Delivery Apps: Top 10 Food Delivery Apps (2023)
  • DoorDash.
  • ChowNow.
  • Grub Hub.
  • Caviar.
  • Seamless.
  • Postmates.
  • Delivery.com.
  • ASAP: Delivery Dudes, Waitr, & BiteSquad.

What is the easiest food delivery service? ›

Best Food Delivery Service: DoorDash, Grubhub, Uber Eats and More
  • DoorDash. Best for consistency. See at DoorDash.
  • Uber Eats. Best for fast delivery. See at Uber Eats.
  • Postmates. Best for delivery deals. See at Postmates.
  • Grubhub/Seamless. Best for easy payment. See at Grubhub.
  • Delivery.com. Best for more than just food.
Sep 28, 2022

Is Walmart grocery delivery worth it? ›

The bottom line

It may be worth a try if you purchase most of your groceries from Walmart and are looking for a quick and convenient way to stock up on your favorite foods. While it allows you to purchase products only from Walmart, the service boasts a wide selection of groceries and is simple to use.

Can I use Instacart without a membership? ›

You don't need a membership to shop with Instacart. However, Instacart+, previously known as Instacart Express, is a membership option for customers who want to save more and get other exclusive benefits. For a flat annual cost or a low monthly fee, you can enjoy unlimited free deliveries on all orders of $35 or more.

What is the minimum charge for Instacart? ›

Delivery fee

As always, Instacart+ members get free delivery on orders over $35 or more per retailer. All orders must be at least $10 to be eligible for delivery.

How much does Instacart cost per day? ›

The average earning of an Instacart driver in the United States is $13.88 per hour, and the range may vary from $7.25 to $25.59 depending on the area and city of delivery operations. This means for an 8-hour shift, you can expect to earn a minimum of $111 per day shopping for Instacart.

What is the $99 Instacart fee? ›

Instacart membership for $9.99/month or $99/year for free delivery and reduced service fees on orders over $35. Safeway FreshPass membership for $12.99/month or $99/year for free delivery on orders over $30 (which you choose depends on who handles delivery for Safeway at your local store)

Why are Instacart fees so high? ›

Instacart's service fee is much different from grocery stores' operational costs. Instacart charges these fees to cover expenses on their end. This includes customer support, employee background checks, and payment processing. Non-members' service fee is around 5% while Instacart members' service fee is about 1.9%.

Is Instacart worth using? ›

Instacart is worth it if you want a flexible side hustle that lets you make money on your own time. It pays around $15 to $20 per hour in many markets, and you don't need any prior experience to apply. However, it's highly unlikely you can do Instacart full-time or replace your primary source of income with this gig.

Which food delivery plan is best? ›

The Best Meal Delivery Services, According to Bon Appétit Editors
  • Home Chef. Home Chef has a nice variety of meals, and if you've got dietary restrictions, the customization opportunities here are many. ...
  • Sunbasket. ...
  • Dinnerly. ...
  • Green Chef. ...
  • Hungryroot. ...
  • Territory. ...
  • EveryPlate. ...
  • Purple Carrot.
Jan 14, 2023

Which food delivery subscription is the best? ›

The 22 Best Meal Subscription Boxes of 2023 – Readers' Choice...
  • HelloFresh. Best Overall Meal Kit Subscription Box. ...
  • Home Chef. The Best Customizable Meal Subscription Box. ...
  • Tovala. The Best Innovative Meal Kit Subscription. ...
  • Blue Apron. The Best OG Meal Kit Delivery Service. ...
  • EveryPlate.

How can I cheaply pay my food bill? ›

8 Tips to Reduce Your Food Bill
  1. Limit Eating Out. It's probably obvious, but takeout, that delicious ramen place, and even quick "cheap" burgers add up quickly. ...
  2. Plan Your Grocery Shopping. ...
  3. Reduce Food Waste. ...
  4. Buy in Bulk. ...
  5. Set a Food Budget. ...
  6. Plan for Leftovers. ...
  7. Meal Prep. ...
  8. Brew Your Own Coffee.
Jun 13, 2022

How can I spend $100 a month on food? ›

To stick to a budget of $100 a month, or $25 a week, you'll have to eat for less than $4 each day. For breakfast, try a bowl of oatmeal with half a banana and a scrambled egg, which should cost less than a dollar. Get into the habit of repackaging ingredients from dinner for lunches the next day.

Does Walmart have free delivery over $35? ›

Walmart delivery fees

If you are a member, you don't pay for delivery if you spend over $35. If you spend less than $35, you pay the below order minimum fee of $5.99. Additional fees may apply for Express delivery if you want Walmart same-day delivery.

Do I have to tip Walmart delivery? ›

Tipping your Walmart delivery driver is always optional, but it's highly encouraged and made super easy by Walmart. You can tip online, in person, or even after your order has already been delivered. Walmart provides customers a full two weeks to add a tip to their delivery order if they choose.

How to get free delivery from Walmart? ›

How it works
  1. Add eligible Walmart.com products to your cart. Look for "shipped by Walmart" on the product's page.
  2. Shipping fee waived at checkout. Even if your order total is under $35, the shipping fee will be waived at checkout on Walmart.com.
  3. Get your items. Your order will be shipped to you by Walmart.

Are groceries on Instacart more expensive? ›

How Much are Prices Marked Up on Instacart? According to the company's co-founder, Instacart charges more than at stores, with an average markup of around 15%. While the average is around 15%, the markups differ across the various stores that use Instacart, as well as vary by product.

Are Instacart prices more expensive than in-store? ›

Instacart is a popular national delivery service and functions as a third-party shopper and delivery outfit that allows you to order groceries from a selection of local supermarkets. You'll essentially be paying the same prices as if you visited the store yourself, plus a $4 delivery fee and tip.

Do items cost more on Instacart than in-store? ›

It's a 24% markup. "The prices you see on Instacart are often not the same prices you see in the store," said consumer advocate Kevin Brasler. Brasler, with Consumers Checkbook, said he first noticed product markups on Instacart two years ago.

Is everything more expensive on Instacart? ›

While many retailers offer everyday store prices* on Instacart, some retailers may set prices on the Instacart platform that are different than in-store prices. *Some in-store sales/promotions may not apply.

How much does Costco charge for delivery of groceries? ›

When we're able to ship a full box of items, it allows us to cut down on delivery costs. We'll return those savings to you by waiving the delivery fee! 2-Day Delivery - Our non-perishable pantry items have a $3 per-item delivery fee which is waived when you spend $75 or more, tax not included.

How much does Costco Instacart cost? ›

Here's the breakdown on Costco delivery cost via Instacart: Delivery fees start at $3.99 for same-day orders over $35. Fees vary for one-hour deliveries, club store deliveries, and deliveries under $35.

Why does Instacart charge more than receipt? ›

We place a temporary authorization hold for a slightly higher amount than your estimated order total. Authorization hold amounts vary but are typically calculated at about 115% of the order total and rounded to the nearest $5 increment.

Is Instacart cheaper with a Costco membership? ›

If you're not a member, you can shop directly from Instacart.com, but you'll pay a higher price than members shopping on Costco Same-Day Delivery.

Who gets the heavy order fee on Instacart? ›

Instacart customers pay a “heavy item fee” for heavy items, since they're more difficult for workers to handle. This fee is ranges from $1.50 to $10, and is supposed to be passed on to the shopper.

How much do you tip on Instacart? ›

The default tip is 5% or the percentage you chose for your most recent order, whichever is higher. There is a minimum suggested tip of $2 per individual store delivery. You can modify the tip while placing an order or after delivery.

Are Aldi prices higher on Instacart? ›

Customers can always count on ALDI for the lowest prices on groceries, every day. However, prices on Instacart may vary slightly from in-store prices in your area. In some instances, prices of items on Instacart may be higher to cover the cost of personal shopping for delivery.

Is Instacart worth it for customers? ›

With an Instacart Express membership, you get free delivery on orders over $35 and can waive the service fees. This makes Instacart Express well worth the up-front cost if online shopping is the primary method you have of getting groceries.

How much do Instacart shoppers make? ›

How much does Instacart Shoppers in the United States pay? Average Instacart Shoppers hourly pay ranges from approximately $10.50 per hour for Crew Member to $25.04 per hour for Driver. The average Instacart Shoppers salary ranges from approximately $20,000 per year for Buyer to $38,000 per year for Order Picker.

Are Walmart prices same on Instacart? ›

Shop our grocery aisles

Enjoy the same great prices as in store with the convenience of groceries delivered to your door.

How much does it cost to start Instacart? ›

You do not need to be a member to shop with Instacart. However, if you sign up for Instacart Express (starting at $99 for the year or $9.99 if you do it by the month) you'll get free delivery for orders that are more than $35. Same-day delivery for non-Express members starts at $3.99 for orders more than $35.

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