Buy Discount Groceries Online
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Buy Discount Groceries Online
If it's gourmet goods you seek, we found the best places to buy specialty items online. For budget basics and staples at affordable prices, this full breakdown of online grocery costs at Walmart, Target and Amazon Fresh.
Walmart is well-known for having some of the lowest prices of any national retail chain. In this analysis of the cheapest online grocery delivery operations, its budget-friendly reputation held up. Walmart pretty much swept the field with the lowest total cost in every grocery subcategory except one -- pantry staples -- for which Target has the lowest total by about $2. Many of Walmart's cheapest items come courtesy of its in-house brand, Great Value. Target has an in-house brand of its own called Good & Gather, while Amazon sports a number of generic brands including Amazon-branded groceries along with Happy Belly and 365 by Whole Foods, which is owned by Amazon.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
Instacartis 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.
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 also populates recipe ideas when ordering and will send you the ingredients to make them if you so choose.
If you don't mind getting your various groceries from different vendors, we've tested to find the best produce delivery services, best meat delivery services and even the best online fish and seafood markets for 2023.
That said, while price-wise, not every single item may be cheaper than at the local supermarket, as you are about to discover, there are a few factors that indeed make the internet the cheapest place to buy groceries.
With lots of features that make shopping online easier, like Order Genius, which will auto-fill your cart with the products you most often buy and remember your shopping history from Stop & Shop and Giant loyalty reward cards to Expres