As the temperatures drop, it’s harder to muster up the motivation to bundle up and get to the grocery store… especially when you add in bringing your children along. Grocery delivery and pick-up services let you restock your pantry without setting foot in the store. They’re money well spent for some families, especially in these cold, winter months. Our family hasn’t tried any of these personally yet, but with our third child on the way, I’d love to hear your recommendations about the services below.
Grocery Delivery and Pick-Up Services in Chicago’s Suburbs
Grocery Delivery Services
Prime members in select cities can purchase groceries and everyday items through Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods Market. After a 30-day free trial, customers pay $14.99 per month, in addition to their Prime membership. Shipping is free with a minimum order cost. You can select a one-hour in-person delivery, or a three-hour doorstep delivery window with perishables left in temperature-controlled containers.
Amazon Prime Now App (or click here for the website)
Prime members in certain zip codes can take advantage of same-day grocery delivery services. Unlike Amazon Fresh, there is no additional fee on top of your Prime membership. Two-hour delivery is free (with minimum orders of $35), while one-hour delivery costs $7.99. Unlike Amazon Fresh, there is no option for doorstop deliveries if you have perishable items. Both Amazon Fresh and Prime Now are available in Chicago, and may be available in surrounding suburbs. (Neither are offered out here in Naperville yet!)
With Google Express, you have the choice of purchasing from a wide variety of stores. You’ll restock your pantry, but fresh produce and refrigerated items cannot be purchased through Google Express. Delivery is free with a minimum purchase order, usually between $25-35 for most stores. When purchasing, you’ll select a delivery date, which also fluctuates according to store.
Imperfect Produce fights food waste by selling items that are misshaped or have an unnecessary surplus, giving shoppers the opportunity to buy fresh produce at a discounted price. With organic or conventional choices and a variety of box size options, there is something for a family of any size at any price. You can pick specific items, or opt for a general variety.
Select from a variety of stores, including ALDI, Costco, Meijer, Mariano’s, Jewel, Fresh Thyme, Tony’s, and Whole Foods. Instacart groceries can be delivered in as little as one hour. Shoppers handpick everything from the store and will verify any substitutions necessary with you. In addition to the delivery fees and occasional peak shopping fees, note that prices sometimes vary from what you’d pay in store. The minimum order is $10. If you opt for an Instacart Express subscription, you’ll get free delivery for orders over $35 and free orders from multiple stores.
Jewel-Osco offers its own drive-up or delivery services and also has a partnership with Instacart. Orders placed by 1:00 pm are available for same-day service, with a minimum order of $30. If your delivery window is flexible, select a 4-hour window to receive free delivery; otherwise the order size and delivery window determine the delivery charge. (Your first delivery order is free, as is any curb-side pick-up!)
Peapod is a grocery delivery service where items come from Peapod’s local warehouses. Delivery fees depend on order size and the minimum order is $30. Certain delivery windows may have a lower or higher service fee, and items can be delivered attended or unattended. You’ll find national brands, store brands, farm-fresh produce, and restaurant-quality meats and seafood, just like at a brick-and-mortar store.
Shipt is a grocery-delivery service that connects buyers with shoppers at Meijer and Target. Once you select your items, your shopper can contact you to ask about substitutions or give updates. The shopper will deliver everything and even unpack it in your kitchen! A Shipt membership is $99 for a yearly subscription, or $14 per month. Avoid the $7 delivery fee by ordering at least $35 worth of groceries to score free delivery.
Grocery Drive-Up and Pick-Up Services
ClickList is a drive-up service that lets you choose items online and pay when you pick up at Mariano’s. They’ll waive the $4.95 service fee for your first order. You can still use coupons, as well as include notes or substitution requests. To request same-day pickup, you’ll have to give at least 4 hours notice, with the last orders submitted by 3:00 pm.
As if Target needed another reason to be our favorites, many locations now offer Drive Up services. Place your order in the app, and you’ll be notified when it’s ready. Rather than having to go inside (and risk spending another $100) you can let them know you’re on the way and a Target team member will bring your order out to the car. There’s no minimum purchase and no membership fee.
Walmart offers free curb-side pick-up on grocery orders of $30 or more, with same-day service on orders placed by 1:00 pm. Employees shop and call when your order is ready. Select stores offer delivery, too! Check your local store for availability.
A lot of these companies offer free trials or have referral codes for discounts from existing customers. Ask your friends if they’ve tried any of these; by using their codes, you may both get a bonus! You’ll also find tons of other resources for families on our site.