With shoppers looking to avoid spending time in stores, grocery delivery and curbside pickup are on the rise. However, the prices you see online don’t always match what you’ll see in the grocery aisle, with some stores marking up their online prices. Let’s take a look at the grocery stores that won’t charge more online.
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Keep an eye out for inflated online grocery shopping prices.
This is why I wrote this article. Most stores, such as Publix and Food Lion, use Instacart exclusively for their delivery. In order to offset what Instacart charges them for their service, Publix, like many stores, increases their online prices. When I checked prices online vs. in store for three separate items at Publix, here were my results:
- A 2-liter bottle of Coca-Cola was $2.19 in store and $2.45 online
- A 30-ounce jar of Hellmann’s Mayonnaise was $5.35 in store and $5.95 online
- A 15.4-ounce box of Honey Nut Cheerios was $4.86 in store and $5.39 online
Interestingly, Food Lion, who also uses Instacart for their online delivery, does not charge more for groceries purchased online. But, they charge fees. More on that below.
Watch out for service fees, delivery or pickup fees, and tips.
Both Instacart and the stores themselves can charge fees for online grocery orders, whether you order delivery or pickup. Here’s the breakdown for Publix and Food Lion on a $35 minimum grocery delivery order:
Instacart grocery delivery fee: $3.99
Instacart shopper 5% tip: $1.75
Store Service Fee: $5.74
Total fees for $35 grocery delivery: $11.48 (That’s over 30% markup!)
When it comes to grocery pickup, you won’t see an Instacart fee or a tip added on for these two stores. But Food Lion charges a $1.99 service fee while Publix doesn’t charge at all for grocery pickup.
Still, as Publix inflates their online groceries by at least 10%, on a $35 order you’d save more by choosing Food Lion for grocery pickup and paying the $1.99.
1. Shop Target grocery online and pay the same prices as in store.
Target’s prices are identical online and in the store, and if they aren’t, they price match with themselves if you ask at the register or call customer service. Additionally, they don’t charge extra for grocery pickup.
A few years ago, Target acquired Shipt, which it uses for same-day grocery delivery. The service costs $9.99 per delivery or $99 annually with a four-week free trial.
2. Order groceries online at Giant Eagle for the same prices in store.
Giant Eagle keeps its prices the same whether you shop online or in store. Grocery delivery orders have a minimum of $35 and cost $12.95 per order, with your first delivery free. Curbside grocery pickup is also free. So yay Giant Eagle!
3. Whole Foods prices are the same online, with extra off for Prime members.
Whole Foods uses the Amazon Prime Now service for all their grocery pickup and delivery. Both are free for Prime members, with grocery prices the same whether you shop through Amazon or step into a Whole Foods. Additionally, anyone ordering online can take advantage of Prime Member Deals on select groceries.
4. Use the Walmart website or app and pay the same as in store.
Walmart prides itself on keeping its prices the same online and in store. If you’re planning on getting your groceries delivered online through Walmart, there is a $30 minimum and you should expect to pay $9.95 on your order. Walmart also offers Walmart Delivery Unlimited for $98 a year or $12.95 a month. Curbside pickup is free.
5. Shop Kroger.com for in-store prices and use your coupons.
Kroger stores won’t charge differently whether you shop online or in store. But grocery delivery will cost you a $5.95 – $11.95 delivery fee with a $6.00 service charge and a 5% tip to the driver.
If you opt for curbside pickup, it would cost you $4.95, normally, but they are waiving that fee right now. And even better news: whether you opt for pickup or delivery, you can still stack manufacturer and in-store coupons and use paper coupons with your online order.
6. Meijer grocery pickup costs $5 (but they won’t inflate prices online).
The online grocery prices at Meijer will match what you’d see during an in-store grocery run. Meijer curbside grocery pickup costs $4.95 while home delivery costs $9.95.
7. Don’t expect inflated online prices at Safeway or Albertsons.
Both Safeway and Albertsons keep their grocery prices consistent online and in store. Keep in mind that the stores have a $30 minimum for both delivery and pickup. However, both stores don’t accept physical or digital coupons if you opt for delivery or pickup. You’ll pay a fee of $9.95 for grocery delivery in most cases, although that number may be lower on orders over $150. Neither store charges for grocery pickup.
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