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Close your eyes mama, and picture a world where you can get your groceries without ever stepping in the grocery store. No snack aisle meltdowns, no getting the kids in and out of their car seats, no checkout line stress, none of it! Wait no longer, that world is here! We bring you busy mom shopping, the online grocery service showdown!
There are actually quite a few services nowadays that make this dream a reality, so I wanted to review 3 of them to help you in deciding which might be a good fit for you and your family! I put together a list of basic items that I assume to be fairly common for most families, like eggs, almond milk, bread, coffee creamer, etc (full list below) – and set out to experience the difference in these three services.
Amazon Prime Now
Walmart Online Grocery Pickup
The Categories of Competition
Our Sample List
One Bunch Organic Bananas
Two Half Gallons of Silk Vanilla Almond Milk
Easy Mac, 6 pouches / 12.9 oz
French Vanilla CoffeeMate 32 oz
Plum Toddler Snack Bars 6 Count Box
Shredded Cheddar 8 oz (unable to purchase same brand from all 3 services due to product availability)
Premium Paper Plates 10 1/16 inch, 40 Count (unable to purchase same brand from all 3 services due to product availability)
Dave’s Killer Bread 21 Grains, 27 oz
One Dozen Organic Eggs
Walmart wins in this category, hands down. Aside from any delivery fees or tips, the totals just for the items listed was 18.5% lower at Walmart than at Raley’s or Amazon.
That being said, I wasn’t able to get the exact same brand or item with each vendor, so that can account for some fluctuation. And as I mention, this doesn’t take into account any fees or tips. Walmart is free as long as your order is over $30, Raley’s is $5 for order under $150 and free above that. Prime Now will automatically add in a recommended tip, in this case they recommended 45.
When we put in our whole grocery list, the prices for Raley’s and Prime Now were only 10 cents apart. Of course, if you have a larger order with (over $150) the cost would go down by $5 with Raley’s, but would go with Prime Now up due to a higher recommended tip. You also have to be a prime member, so you’d have to take that into account as well.
Total For Items Not Including Any Fees or Tips:
Walmart Grocery Pickup: $32.56
Raley’s e Cart: $39.87
Prime Now: $39.97
Walmart Grocery Pickup: No Change, Free over $30
Raley’s e Cart: $44.87
Prime Now: $44.97
The winner in this category will definitely depend on your area!
In some areas, Prime Now offers delivery from other vendors like Sprouts and Whole Foods, but that is only available in select markets. We have access to Sprout deliveries on our area, which is a personal favorite of mine for affordable options in specialty categories like organics and gluten or dairy free.
Walmart Grocery Pick Up availability will be specific to each store. For example, I found a much greater variety of items at the Walmart near my office than the one closest to my house. The items will vary based on the demographics of the neighborhood.
I would say Raley’s wins in this category strictly for consistency. Other than select regional items, you’ll generally have the same things available in all areas.
Raley’s and Walmart tie for second place, and Amazon Prime Now definitely takes the trophy here! Free delivery to your home usually within about two hours, and one hour delivery for a small charge! Doesn’t get much easier than that!
We’ve used Prime Now for all sorts of things outside of groceries, like having cold medicine delivered when our house came down with a nasty bug, or having a dress belt delivered for my husband at 10pm the night before a flight out of town because he realized he had lost his old one and we still had to pack!
Raley’s and Walmart are still pretty darn convenient since you don’t have to get out of your car, but sometimes the pickup windows can be limited based on the store. If you are in a rush this can be tough! They also give you a window of time after you place your order to add things you may have forgotten.
I would once again give Raley’s the gold sticker in this category. They are super consistent in the quality of their products and friendly, helpful staff. You can even request the Raley’s butcher to slice or trim your meat for you – for FREE! Saving even more time at time of cooking or prepping
Walmart and both Amazon programs get high marks here for always wanting to make it right, but errors in my order seem to be more frequent with these two. And I want to stress, they were quick to apologize and give refunds/credits when the wrong items were received so no sweat here, but if you are in need of very specific items this can leave you in a bind. We once received small tri tip steaks instead of a tri tip roast which didn’t work for our needs so we needed another trip to the store. Another time, we ordered blue cheese and received gorgonzola which we needed for this recipe. The recipe still turned out UBER delicious, but my blue cheese addicted husband was a little bummed out!
Based on points, the winner is definitely Raley’s eCart, but overall I’d say I cant count a single service out. They each have situations where one would be superior over the others. I have been really impressed each and every time I’ve placed an order with all of the services included and will definitely continue to use this method for shopping whenever I can!
Online Shopping is a serious game changer and definitely earned it’s spot on Laura’s Top 5 Busy Mom Kitchen Hacks List! Now that I’ve lived this life I don’t know that I can ever go back to shopping like they did in the olden days!
I’ll continue to try new services and report back as I do. Some other great ones I’ve heard about are Pea Pod and Instacart – they’ll even shop at Whole Foods for you! What grocery services have you tried and what did you think? I would love to hear more about your experience with this shopping hack in the comments below.
For more about each of these services
Amazon Prime Now: You do have to be a Prime Member to take advantage of this service, so you can Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial here. Amazon also offers a separate grocery service call Amazon Fresh (which I did not review since it is not available at home address at the time of publishing) which you can check out here.
Raley’s eCart: Shopping is easy at Raley’s eCart Website. Be sure to sign up for their Something Extra program to get cash back on your purchases!