Comparing Grocery Delivery Services

RBB grocery delivery comparison

I had tried grocery delivery and pick up a few times but towards the end of my last pregnancy, it became our regular grocery shopping experience. We regularly used PeaPod because at the time, it was pretty much the only available option in the area. Over time, a lot more options have popped up and I have wanted to explore them to decide the best option for my family. I tried the Amazon 30 day trial at the end of 2017 and enjoyed the service, but ultimately canceled because our PodPass (PeaPod) is good through the end of March. We flew to visit my grandparents in California right after Christmas. At that time I used Instacart for the first time to have groceries delivered to their house the day before we arrived to make things a little smoother while traveling across the country with little ones. I have not yet tried the Jewel App, Shipt, or Marianos.

I decided to compare PeaPod, Instacart (at Jewel), Jewel itself, Marianos, Shipt (Meijer) and AmazonFresh because those are the ones currently available in my area. Instacart can deliver from Binny’s, Mariano’s, Jewel, Tony’s, Costco, CVS, and PetCo in my area. I chose to do Jewel so I could do a side by side comparison with the Jewel app itself.

I chose to compare 14 items that I have purchased before from PeaPod and AmazonFresh. I typically purchase organic options (which tend to be a bit pricier) and store brand whenever possible. When the same item was not available, I indicated if it was a different size or not organic so you could take the price difference reason into consideration. Interestingly, Instacart Jewel had different items available than the Jewel App.

*Marianos is not currently available in my area but it appears their services are spreading. The Mariano’s prices are for pick up at a store about 30 minutes away. 

PeaPod Instacart Jewel Jewel App Marianos Meijer Shipt Amazon Fresh
Organic Avocados Bag (3-4) $6.99 $9.27 (*not organic)
$6.87 (4 count) $5.79 $7.50
Organic Bananas (4-7) $2.99 $1.80 $1.40 $1.50 $3.29 (min 5) $2.99
Organic Spinach 5 oz $3.99 $3.69 $3.49 $2.99 $3.89 (50/50 mix) $3.65
Organic Pears Anjou $1.39 $1.48 (Bartlett Pears)
$0.86 $1.39 $1.39
Tyson Breaded chicken nuggets (25 oz) $8.99 $7.39 (20 oz) $6.99 (20 oz) $12.58 $9.09 $10.99
Organic Chicken $13.46
*sale price
$18.59 (*not organic)
$16.45 $21.45 $13.08
Organic Greek Yogurt 32 oz $3.99 $8.59 $3.50 $7.99 $4.69 $6.75
Organic Almond Milk $3.49 $4.38 (*not organic)
$4.99 (*not oraganic)
Organic Yogurt Squeeze $4.99 $3.69 (*not organic)
$4.29 $4.09 $3.99
Breyers Ice Cream $4.99 $6.09 $3.50 $4.00 $4.69 $4.49
Annie’s Mac andCheese Cups $2.99 none $3.99 $3.29 $3.19 $2.44
Pancake Sausages $8.99 $10.69 $8.99 $7.99 $8.69 $7.99
Kerrygold Butter $4.99 $4.29 $2.50 $3.99 $4.39 $3.29
Free Range Organic Eggs $4.39 $6.09 $4.99 $4.49 $6.29 $4.69
$76.63 $86.04* $58.52** $82.28 $84.22*** $75.83
*Instacart prices are NOT in store prices
**prices are in store prices
***Shipt says you will pay about $5 total more for your groceries than in store

Based on this comparison of 14 items, the price ranking from lowest to highest is:

Jewel app (though far fewer organic options were available)
Shipt (Meijer)
Instacart (Jewel)

After considering pricing of individual items, we need to consider the fees associated with each option. Those fees and fine print details are listed here:

(click to see the chart at a size your eyes can see if you are older than 10 years old)Capture3

So what do those boil down to?

If you bought groceries every other week for 26 total weeks and the total was over $100 each time the yearly service fee cost would be:

PeaPod: $119 membership plus tips
Instacart: $149 memberships plus tip and service fee if you don’t waive it
Jewel: $206 (plus no tip)
Marianos: TBD
Shipt: $99 membership plus tip
Amazon: $299 membership plus tip

If you tip 15% on each $100 order ($15) at 26 orders for these 14 items* that is $390 in tips for the year.

*These 14 items don’t total $100, but for the sake of the math, let’s pretend they do. 

So what is the final price for each per order?

Yearly: If we divide the yearly fee* into 26 orders, have $100 per order, and tip 15% per order, the total every other week would be:

PeaPod: $96.21
Instacart: $106.77
Jewel: $66.47 (does not accept tips)
Marianos: TBD
Shipt: $103.03
AmazonFresh: $102.33

*If you sign up for the yearly plan for each one that offers it

Occasionally: If we do occasional orders (once a month), have $100 per order, and tip 15% per order, and do NOT do the yearly subscription the totals would be:

PeaPod: $98.58
Instacart: $107.03
Jewel: $66.47 (does not accept tips)
Marianos: TBD
Shipt: requires yearly membership
AmazonFresh: requires yearly membership

Jewel is the clear winner here for least expensive when you include delivery fees and tips, ordering occasionally or doing the yearly subscription. PeaPod is the runner up. For my family, I prefer to buy organic options for much of our groceries and especially produce and meat whenever possible; therefore, I may continue to do a good chunk of our shopping at PeaPod. I may, however, look into splitting up orders between Jewel and PeaPod or Jewel and Instacart at another store for the organic items alone. If you join Instacart and pay the yearly fee, you also have access to other stores; however, you will be paying considerably more than in store pricing for all of those stores.

**Added 2/13
I have since learned that with InstaCart, not all stories have increased prices. When you open the app, you can click on the store to see more information. Some say increased prices and some are the same as store prices. Make sure to check this out when decided which store to order from!

If you decide to try InstaCart, I would love if you considered starting with my referral link! We will both receive $10.

Was this helpful? Do you have any other pieces of these delivery services you would like to compare? Let me know what you decide!