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In the Bag: Tips for Ordering Groceries Online

Shopping for food from home and ordering groceries online can be a piece of cake. Find helpful tips here.

By Clover Health

This past year has changed many aspects of our daily routines, including the way we shop for food. Online grocery shopping increased by 300 percent in the U.S. in the early months of 2020, according to the Food Industry Association, and experts predict the trend will continue even after the pandemic subsides.

Fortunately, ordering groceries online and getting them delivered is quick and simple once you know how to do it. It saves you the trouble of waiting in line and lugging heavy bags. It can even help you save money because it makes finding discounts and comparing prices easier.

All the companies listed here offer their services nationwide and stock fresh produce as well as frozen and refrigerated foods. To start shopping, go to the company’s website or download the app on your mobile phone, create an account, and place your order.

1. Walmart Grocery
The prices on Walmart’s app and website are the same prices you would see in stores. Minimum Order: $35
Delivery Fee: Up to $10
Membership: Optional (Walmart+), unlimited free delivery with a $35 minimum order for $12.95/month or $98/year

2. Amazon Fresh
If you are an Amazon Prime member, Amazon Fresh is the service for you. They Get their groceries from local stores around you. (In most states, you can also use a SNAP EBT card to pay for SNAP EBT eligible food items on Amazon Fresh, without a Prime membership.)
Minimum Order: $35 inmost locations
Delivery Fee: Up to $10 for orders of less than $35
Membership: Free for Amazon Prime members

3. Target
Target lets you shop thousands of items in grocery, apparel, accessories, cleaning supplies, baby, pet, beauty, and more departments.
Minimum Order: $35 minimum for free delivery in most locations
Delivery Fee: $9.99 for orders of less than $35
Membership: There is no Target membership, but you can also use Instacart or Shipt (below) to shop here.

4. Shipt
Shipt lets you change delivery addresses or send groceries to friends and family. You get personalized service from a shopper who selects each item and provides updates by text message. Deliveries usually arrive within an hour.
Minimum Order: $35
Delivery Fee: $10
Membership: Free delivery with $99/year annual membership, or purchase Shipt Passes for one-time free delivery

5. Instacart
This service lets you order from local grocers or chain stores. You can also order from warehouse clubs like Costco, Sam’s Club, and BJ’s Wholesale Club without a club membership.
Minimum Order: Orders must be at least $10 before being eligible for delivery.
Delivery Fee: Starts at $3.99 for same-day orders over $35
Membership: Optional, includes lower service fees and free delivery on all orders over $35 for $99/year or $10/month

Editor’s Note: Rates and fees are subject to change.

Smart Shopping Basics: Tips For Ordering Groceries Online

  1. Helpful Hint: Double-check the quantity of each item you’re buying to make sure you haven’t accidentally ordered too many.
  2. Minimum Purchase: Some sites have a minimum order amount. If you need only a few items, consider combining your order with a neighbor’s and splitting the delivery fee. Many grocers also offer free curbside pickup if you order directly from their website.
  3. For Your Convenience: Most online grocery services keep track of your past orders. To speed up your shopping experience even more, find where you can “reorder” past purchases with just the click of a button.
  4. Tipping: While tips aren’t required, drivers greatly appreciate them. Typically, you can choose to tip on the service’s app or website—or simply give a cash tip to the delivery person.

This article was originally published in the Summer 2021 issue of Clover Living magazine.