In modern life, convenience is the name of the game. Surf the web, click a few buttons, and everything from books to electronics now arrives at your doorstep.
Grocery stores are the latest retailers to use technology to deliver goods right to your home — or to your car trunk — with a minimum of effort on your part.
Whether you have a mobility issue or simply hate fighting the crowds, following are five ways to get your groceries without ever having to step foot inside a store.
Take advantage of Walmart’s free pickup service
With the free Walmart service, you simply order online, and the retailer’s shoppers gather your items. When your groceries order is ready, you drive up to your Walmart and it will be loaded into your car.
Try Amazon Prime Pantry or Amazon Fresh
If you are a member of Amazon Prime — and a huge percentage of American households are — take advantage of the Amazon Prime Pantry service to get groceries and other essentials delivered right to your door.
You’ll get free shipping if you purchase at least five qualifying items. Or, you can pay a flat fee of $5.99 per box. The boxes vary in size and hold up to 45 pounds. Amazon Prime typically costs $99 for 12 months.
One thing to note: Due to the size and weight of the boxes, they will be sent to you via ground shipping, not Prime’s two-day delivery service. Also, the service is not available if you live in Hawaii or Alaska.
Amazon Fresh is another option for shopping from home for groceries. For $14.99 each month, Amazon Prime members get to browse a selection of grocery items and have them delivered.
The service is not available in all areas, so use the locator tool to find out if you are eligible. New areas are being added to the roster all the time — including my hometown of Denver recently. Hooray!
Load up your Instacart
For example, in Denver, Instacart delivers thousands of grocery items from nine retailers, including Costco, Whole Foods, King Soopers and Safeway. And if my dog is running low on toys or shampoo, I can even get deliveries from Petco.
Orders are delivered in as little as an hour, and participants get access to exclusive savings. The cost depends on both the size of your order and the delivery time you choose.
With Instacart Express you get free delivery on one-hour, two-hour and scheduled deliveries over $35.
If you prefer to avoid all delivery fees, you can sign up for Instacart for $149.99 per year, or $14.99 per month.
Set sail with Shipt
Shipt provides unlimited same-day grocery deliveries for an annual fee of $99. Orders under $35 are charged an additional fee of $7. The service is available in nearly a dozen states, with more on the way.
In March, Shipt announced it was partnering with Costco to provide deliveries from the warehouse giant to customers in the Tampa, Florida, area. Plans are to roll out similar services in 50 markets by the end of the year.
Grab groceries with Google Express
Google Express bills itself as an “online marketplace that connects shoppers with popular stores.” The service delivers items – including groceries – free to members, and is available nationwide, except in Alaska and Hawaii.
Depending on the delivery area and other factors, you receive goods anywhere from the same day up to three days later.
Membership costs $10 per month, or $95 per year. Sign up right now, and you’ll get delivery free for three months. Nonmembers can shop for a fee that begins at $4.99 per store.
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