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Shopping for groceries can be really time-consuming. Luckily, more and more options for grocery delivery are popping up. Amazon Fresh first started in 2007, and since then it has grown into one of the most robust grocery delivery services on the web. The service now includes products from Whole Foods as well, which really helps Amazon Fresh live up to its name.
Amazon Prime members now get free access to its grocery delivery service Amazon Fresh. If you’re currently a Prime member, you can now order groceries without having to pay an additional $14.99 per month. Here are some basics to know about Amazon Fresh:
- Included with Prime (Prime costs $12.99/month, $119/year)
- Free delivery on purchases over $35
- Large selection of groceries, including items from Whole Foods
- Convenient delivery windows and scheduled delivery options
- Same-day delivery available
- Prices comparable to traditional grocery stores
- *Only available in select locations
Amazon Fresh currently delivers to shoppers in select parts of Las Vegas, Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, San Diego, San Francisco, London, Seattle and Washington, D.C.
Everything You Need to Know About Amazon Fresh
I decided to give Amazon Fresh a try recently, so I’m answering some frequently asked questions and breaking down the biggest takeaways from my time using the service.
How Much Does Amazon Fresh Cost?
- Subscription Price: Free with Prime ($12.99/month, $119/year)
- Delivery Fee: Free on orders over $35
To start, you’ll need an Amazon Prime membership to access Amazon Fresh, which costs $12.99 a month or $119 per year. Amazon Fresh has been included with Prime memberships since October 2019, and the service has expanded considerably since then.
As far as the cost of the groceries goes, produce through Amazon Fresh was comparable to, and sometimes cheaper than, my local Vons grocery store. A bundle of celery, for example, costs $1.99 through Amazon and $2.99 at Vons. When comparing organic celery options, however, Vons was slightly cheaper at $2.49 a bunch compared to Amazon’s $2.99 price tag.
On the other hand, packaged products like Doritos cost $3.99 at Vons and $4.39 on Amazon Fresh, while Philadelphia Cream Cheese was $3.99 at Vons and $3.39 on Amazon Fresh. On average, the price difference per item between Amazon Fresh and Vons was usually less than fifty cents. After comparing several orders, the average cost of goods on Amazon Fresh was less than 10% higher than that of a traditional grocery chain. That’s not too bad when you consider the fact that delivery is free on orders of $35 or more.
How Does Amazon Fresh Work?
If you’re familiar with browsing and shopping on Amazon, you should have no issues using Amazon Fresh. Items in the grocery delivery service are broken up into traditional store categories, such as “Breads & Bakery,” “Deli,” “Produce,” etc., and you can even narrow down food results based on things like “Kosher,” “Gluten-Free,” or “Organic.” Here in the Los Angeles area, they even had a section titled “Local Market,” with specialty items from local spots, such as The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills.
To order groceries on Amazon Fresh, you just have to follow these simple steps.
- Navigate to the Amazon Fresh store page.
- Search for the items you wish to order, then add them to your cart.
- When adding an item to your cart, check to see if there are any coupons available. There will be a checkbox directly beneath the price tag if a coupon is available.
- Proceed to checkout and choose a time frame from the listed delivery windows that works best for you.
- Select a payment method and complete your checkout process.
That’s all there is to it, and you’ll have groceries delivered to your doorstep in no time.
What is the Quality of Food and Delivery from Amazon Fresh?
I had no issues with delivery or with the quality of the products I ordered. Each Amazon Fresh bag is made of durable plastic and includes ice packs to help keep your produce fresh until you bring the order inside. You can leave delivery bags outside to be picked up during the next order as well.
The produce quality from Amazon’s food delivery was surprisingly good and packaged in individual plastic bags. I ordered an array of broccoli, tomatoes, carrots, celery, onions, ginger and more. Each and every one was without blemishes, and seemed to be hand-picked to make sure it was of the highest quality. Your mileage may vary depending on your location of course, but I had no problems with any produce delivered throughout the month.
The only inconvenience I experienced was a couple of items being unavailable at the time, including packaged broccoli florets and a bag of avocados. This first-world problem simply led me to get whole broccoli and abstain from guacamole for a bit. But for the most part, each packaged and produce item showed up without the damage or flaws one might be concerned about with a delivery service.
Does Amazon Fresh Accept Coupons?
One downside of Amazon Fresh is that they don’t accept traditional coupons like you’d use at most grocery or department stores. Amazon Fresh does have its own “Deals and Coupons” tab however, where you can search through their current discounts and offers. Some of these offers are even better than traditional coupons, so definitely browse through their deals and always check to see if you can apply a coupon to any item you purchase.
To apply an Amazon coupon, you must select the checkbox under the products price tag.
Amazon Fresh coupons require you to apply them to your order in order to receive the discount, so be sure to check the “Coupon” box before you add an item to your cart. You can find this checkbox directly under the price tag of the item you’re purchasing. If you don’t see a checkbox, it’s likely that there are no coupons available for the selected product at the time.
You can also sign up for the weekly Fresh Newsletter that shares the latest deals.
Can I Order Products from Whole Foods on Amazon Fresh?
Somewhere around 1,000 Whole Foods products are available to order through Amazon Fresh, with more on the way. Most of them seem to be Whole Foods’ “low cost” 365 Everyday brand. You’ll find that product selection varies quite a lot by category. And luckily, Amazon has added a feature that lets you shop the specific Whole Foods that’s closest to your house, so you don’t need to guess about what’s actually available.
Does Amazon Fresh Accept SNAP EBT?
Yes, you can use SNAP EBT and P-EBT to pay for products on Amazon Fresh. This option is available in every state except Alaska, Hawaii, Louisiana, and Montana. You can also add your SNAP EBT card to your Amazon account to make payments quick and easy.
Not every item on Amazon Fresh is eligible for this program, so be sure to double-check whether or not the items you’re adding to your cart are eligible. You can find a list of eligible items and learn more about this program at the link below.
What are the Pros and Cons of Amazon Fresh?
After my time with Amazon Fresh, here are some quick breakdowns of the pros and cons.
- Included with Amazon Prime
- Free delivery on purchases over $35
- Convenient delivery windows and same-day delivery available
- Quality products and reliable delivery, even on perishable items like produce
- No-contact service options
- In-store pickup options
- Saves time on grocery shopping
- Slightly more expensive than a regular trip to the grocery store
- Certain items can be unavailable at times
- Service not available in all locations
- More expensive without an Amazon Prime membership
What’s the Best Grocery Delivery Service?
|Annual Fee||$119 (included with Prime)||$99||Free ($99 for Instacart Express)|
|Delivery Fee||Free over $35||Free over $35||Free over $35|
The above table is a price comparison for Amazon Fresh and two other prominent online retailers. While costs and fees are important factors, convenience and availability are crucial aspects you should take into account when deciding which service to use.
Instacart vs Amazon Fresh
Instacart is a popular same-day delivery service operating in an expanding list of cities across the country. There is no annual fee to use the basic tier Instacart, but delivery options are limited unless you spring for a subscription for Instacart Express. This service costs $99 a year and guarantees you unlimited free deliveries on purchases over $35, plus other perks and benefits.
The annual pricing for Instacart Express is a little cheaper than Amazon Prime, but obviously it does not include the mountain of other benefits that come with a Prime membership. You should also keep in mind that Instacart has an atypically high markup on products compared to other services, and more service fees.
Shipt vs Amazon Fresh
You could also check out the Shipt app, which is growing on the East Coast and in Texas, and offers similar features to Amazon Fresh with a yearly membership for $99 or a monthly membership for $14.
Shipping is free for orders of at least $35, but the company mentions an average product price increase of around 15%. Shipt continues to expand, but with limited stores and the increased cost of groceries, this program may not be the best option for you.
How Do I Cancel Amazon Fresh?
You no longer need to cancel Amazon Fresh because it’s included for free in your Prime Membership. That said, if for some reason you ever need to cancel the grocery delivery service, simply follow these steps to cancel your Amazon Fresh account:
- Sign in to Amazon and select “Your Account” under the “Accounts & Lists” section
- Check the box that says “Prime – View benefits and payment settings”
- Under the Fresh icon, click “Manage Fresh Add-on”
- Finally, hit “End Membership” and confirm your decision.
You can follow the same steps to cancel a free trial, all you have to do is hit “Do Not Continue” during step five.
Is Amazon Fresh Worth It?
Amazon Fresh is worth it if you’re already a Prime member and want to save time on grocery shopping. It’s certainly a solid reason to join Prime if you’ve been on the fence for a while. It’s great for convenient and reliable grocery delivery, especially for orders over $35 that qualify for free shipping.
With reasonable membership fees and one of the biggest available markets, including Whole Foods brands, Amazon Fresh beats out other grocery delivery services where it’s available. If you are a current Prime member and can get Amazon Fresh in your area, it’s definitely worth a try.
Photos courtesy of Nolan Browning and Amazon.