Stuck-at-Home Guide

Stuck at Home Guide: Online Grocery Shopping

If you want to order groceries online, know that supermarket policies for delivery and pickup vary – wildly! Here are current policies for some major chains; pay on their website by credit or debit card. We chose to use a gallon of whole milk to use for price comparisons. 


  • Type your zipcode to see if delivery in your area is available; if so, click delivery.
  • Search by category (meat and seafood etc.), price, most popular, deals or brand, or type the item you want. 
  • Pick your delivery time. Delivery fees range from $3.95-$5.95, based on a 4-hour or 2-hour delivery window.
  • Members of Unlimited Delivery Club get free delivery for orders of $30 or more (join at $99/year or $14.99/month). 
  • Safeway Club Card members get discounts on many items (join free). In-house brands like Signature Farms and Signature Select also offer cheaper prices.
  • For free pickup, expect an email saying your order is ready. Curbside pickup is in the parking area.  
  • Gallon of whole milk (128 oz.): $4.18
  • Tip: To view more items in a horizontal row, click the arrow (puzzlingly) located in the middle of the item furthest to your right 


  • Membership is required, starting at $60/year.
  • Type your zipcode – product availability by area varies for same-day or 2-day delivery, normally. But lately, same-day means 5 or more days, and 2-day means 14 or more days, Costco warns. Expect an email with your delivery date. To cancel, click customer service. For faster delivery, use Instacart for Costco.
  • Search by category, like organic, canned and packaged, gourmet foods.
  • Free delivery for orders of $75 or more ($3/item if less).
  • In-house brand Kirkland Signature offers cheaper prices.
  • Whole milk (144 oz.) is $18.49 (18 cartons 8 oz. each, organic)
  • Tip: Calling results in “try your call later” or 50-minute wait times.

Trader Joe’s

  • No delivery or pickup.

Whole Foods Market

  • Membership in Amazon Prime is required (join at $119/year or $12.99/month).
  • Type your zipcode here to see if delivery in your area is available from Whole Foods or Amazon Fresh. Fresh offers brands not sold by Whole Foods, like Tyson, Nabisco etc., in addition to many grocery items.
  • If this is your first online order from Whole Foods, you need to sign up to request an invitation. If it comes, you can order. The wait time is unknown: Amazon says it invites new customers each week, and has scrapped the invitation in “many” cities. See here. 
  • Free 2-hour delivery for orders of over $35 ($4.99 if less). Lately, 2-hour may mean next-day.
  • Search by category, popular near you, deals or past purchases. “Hot bar” food isn’t available.
  • Whole Foods is known for high-quality organic and natural foods, but in-house brand 365 Everyday Value offers cheaper prices, and includes soups, stews, prepared foods and salads. 
  • Curbside pickup (or in-store if no dedicated parking lot).
  • Gallon of whole milk is $5.49 ($3.79 for 365).


  • This independent service offers delivery from over 350 retailers in 50 states, from Costco, Publix, Food Lion to Safeway, from an army of shoppers.
  • Free same-day delivery for orders $35 or more if you join Instacart Express ($99/year or $9.99/month, plus a 1.9% service fee). Non-members pay $3.99 plus a 5% service fee.
  • Some prices may be higher than in-store prices. 
  • Lately, same-day may mean next-day. To speed up delivery, pick “Fast and Flexible” to get the first available shopper.
  • Drivers are not allowed to bring groceries inside customers’ homes. 
  • Tip: To view more items in a horizontal row, click on the item furthest to your right, then click the arrow that appears.



8 responses to “Stuck at Home Guide: Online Grocery Shopping

  1. I’ve used Instacart many times and they have been great. My shopper texts me with suggestions if my item is out of stock. I live in Georgia and have used instacart at Kroger and Publix. My shopper always has a mask on when they deliver my items You can give delivery instructions as to where to leave groceries or aski them questions. Instacart also tracks the progress of your shopper. Give it a try. Stay safe everyone. God bless.

  2. Walmart does free curbside pickup. No added charges or mark up in prices, like Wegmans does in our area, with curbside pickup. ( when I picked up from Wegmans over the weekend the person looked at me they the window and said this is mostly for senior citizens and those who are disabled. I told him I was 67

  3. Instacart charges $5.99 for delivery in Manhattan if you do not have a membership. The delivery now can be within 2 hours depending on the store, or longer if the day is busy. You just have to check before you place an order to get a time slot you want. As for what you get delivered, the stores are often out of things and the web site doesn’t reflect this. So you should be available when they shop your order so the shopper can chat with you and provide substitutions if you like. They contact you when they begin to shop but if you don’t have the app or are not online at the time you won’t know and could get things you didn’t order. It’s the stores, not Instacart, that are the problem when it comes to not getting what you want.

    As for Peapod, their delivery in Manhattan is either very limited or nonexistent right now. I haven’t been able to place an order in months with them.

    1. Agreed! They said delivery available in 1 day, then after we put in the order they said “that’ll come in 3 weeks”. Then we cancelled order (very hard to do) but received no confirmation. Unable to reach by phone. Groceries came in three weeks, to our complete surprise. Never again, never again!

    2. At the beginning of COVID-19, I offered a $10 tip to have groceries delivered to a distant family member recovering from surgery, and the delivery date moved up from 1 week to 3 hours. I don’t know if that was a fluke or if shoppers can scan orders and decide which they want to pick. I liked how I could view notes on what items the shopper couldn’t find, and they maintained social distancing at delivery. They’re not all bad. Probably depends on the shopper.

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