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More and more retailers are jumping on the same-day grocery delivery bandwagon as consumers opt for the convenience of shopping from the comfort of home. And as soon as Costco grocery delivery to my home became available in my area, I knew I had to try it out. With no extra cost for grocery delivery for Costco members, the perks of not having to drive to the store, park, shop and return home was worth looking into to see if a better match for my grocery budget and schedule.
Quick Overview: How Does Costco Grocery Delivery Compare to Amazon and Walmart?
While Costco is a fan favorite for many shoppers, how does its grocery delivery service compare to the other giants, Walmart and Amazon Fresh? To find out, I placed orders from Costco, and Walmart and Amazon Fresh with the same items — or at least as close to the same as I could get. Here’s what I discovered.
Bulk packaging at Costco made items cheaper
With Costco’s bulk packaging, many similar products at Walmart and Amazon Fresh were more expensive. For example, I paid almost $4 more for carrots and $2 more for chicken pot pies because I had to buy multiple packages to get an amount comparable to what I purchased from Costco.
Walmart had cheaper meat prices
Surprisingly, my Walmart order was 46 cents cheaper. Ultimately, the price difference of cost for meat is what made the Walmart grocery order cheaper. Costco’s ground beef cost $3.59 per pound, versus Walmart priced ground beef at $2.48 per pound for the same 5-lb roll.
Walmart groceries are cheaper than Costco, but Walmart charges a grocery delivery fee
With Costco, prices of the items for delivery are slightly higher than in-store warehouse prices, but there is still no added delivery fee for home grocery delivery from Costco. There is also no charge for Amazon grocery delivery for those who sign up for grocery delivery with Amazon Fresh. However, while Walmart grocery prices are the same for in-store and delivery, and there is no fee to join, you will pay a delivery charge between $7.95 and $9.95 on each delivery depending on the day and time you want your items.
Amazon was more expensive overall
Amazon Fresh produce and dairy prices were decently priced, whereas meat prices were high and the selection was limited. Ultimately, my Amazon Fresh order cost $21.78 more than the Costco order, and that does not include the $14.99 per month charge to use Fresh or the $119 per year membership for Prime.
|Grocery Service||Costco Same-Day||Walmart Grocery||Amazon Fresh|
|Membership Fee||$60 for Gold Star;
$120 for Executive
|$0||$14.99 per month after 30-day free trial|
|Total Cost of My Grocery Items||$110.22||$109.76||$132.00|
|Delivery Fees||$0 — cost is built into delivery prices||40-cent bag fee
$7.95 delivery fee
|Delivery Time||As soon as 2 hours||As soon as 2 hours||As soon as 2 hours|
|Must Be Home?||Yes||Yes||Your choice|
|Available Areas||Most metropolitan areas||Most metropolitan areas||Select major cities|
|Total Cost||$115.22 after $5 tip||$114.76 after $5 tip||$137 after $5 tip|
- Membership fees:
- Costco Gold membership $60; Executive membership $120
- Walmart+ $98 per year; $12.95 per month
- Amazon Fresh $119 per year; $13 per month
- Delivery fees:
- Costco: No fees but item prices marked up
- Walmart+: $7.95 or $9.95, no minimum order
- Amazon: Free with Prime; $2.99 if under $35 minimum, $12.99 without Prime
- Delivery time:
- Costco offer next day, same day, or within 2 hours
- Walmart offers next day, same day, or within 2 hours
- Amazon offers next day, same day, or within 2 hours
1. Costco Grocery Delivery
Costco currently offers two grocery delivery services, Same-Day and 2-Day.
Same-Day grocery is powered by Instacart and allows shoppers to order fresh groceries, including perishables. For Same-Day delivery, you must be present for the food to get dropped off. This service is available in most metropolitan areas — in other words, if you live near a Costco, you probably have access to it. *You must check out with the Same-day delivery cart separately from the Costco.com cart.
Costco’s 2-Day service allows members to purchase only non-perishable items from the warehouse, including household items and toiletries. Members don’t have to be present at delivery. This service is not available in Hawaii, Alaska or Puerto Rico.
Does Costco Grocery Charge a Delivery Fee?
There is no delivery fee for Costco Groceries, but the prices of items are marked up to cover the delivery and service.
For Same-Day grocery delivery, orders must be $35 or more, and prices will be higher than your local warehouse prices. Same-Day groceries also cost more than 2-Day groceries. Some price differences are slight, while others are larger. For example, a rotisserie chicken costs $5.99 with Same-Day, only $1 more than if you shopped in the store. On the other hand, a package of ground beef that is just over $18 was $23.55 with Same-Day delivery — a $5 difference.
For Costco 2-Day Delivery, online prices are still higher than in-warehouse prices, but orders of $75+ do not have a separate delivery or handling fee.
Is a Costco Membership Required for Grocery Delivery?
Not a Costco member? All Costco grocery delivery is through Instacart; grocery is not available to non-members. You can still shop at Costco through Instacart. Shopping this way will incur an additional fee on top of the higher prices, plus the delivery and service fees. If you are new to Instacart, though, your first delivery is free.
Can you use EBT for Costco Grocery Delivery?
While EBT (or food stamp debit cards) is not currently available for Costco’s online grocery orders delivered to the home, Costco will accept EBT for in-warehouse shopping.
As per the Costo website, all stores locations accept EBT cards and adhere to all state laws regarding what can be purchased with EBT cards.
You can also review a complete list of products that qualify for purchase with the EBT card through each state agency.
2. Walmart Grocery Delivery
Walmart grocery delivery is easy to use through a desktop or phone app. The way Walmart grocery delivery works is, once the order is placed online a store associate will collect the items you’ve selected and a third party will deliver. A delivery time can be scheduled for up to a week in advance, and someone must be home to receive the order at the designated time. Walmart also offers an Express delivery service with orders arriving within 2-hours.
Does Walmart Grocery Have a Delivery Fee?
Since March 2021, Walmart has removed the minimum order amount but there is a delivery fee of $7.95 to $9.95. This service saves from the hassle of having to go back to the store when that important ingredient for dinner was forgotten. Express delivery, within 2-hours, carries an additional $10 fee.
A free 15-day trial of a Walmart+ membership will remove the regular delivery fee, but the Express delivery fee remains regardless of membership status.
Can you use EBT for Walmart Grocery Delivery?
In select States, EBT is available for the purchase of grocery delivery from Walmart stores.
3. Amazon Prime Grocery Delivery
Amazon grocery delivery allows shoppers to order a broad variety of fresh and high-quality foods from Amazon Fresh, Whole Foods and other select grocery retailers in your area. For example in my zip code, Bristol Farms is also an option.
An Amazon Prime membership offers free next-day delivery with no minimum purchase and Same-Day delivery for prime members with a $35 minimum order. If Same-Day orders are below the minimum, a $2.99 fee is applied per order. Non-Prime members can order for the price of $12.99 per order.
Same-day orders are available in different time blocks by city and range from 5-hour windows, four delivery times per day, or orders placed in the morning are delivered by 9 pm.
Check the Prime delivery page for availability in your area.
Amazon Prime Now Offers 2-Hour Grocery Delivery
Prime Now offers 2-hour delivery for free for Prime members and $12.99 for non-members (after initially only offering a longer 5-hour window). Shop for items available for Prime Now on primenow.amazon.com or in the Prime Now app.
Where Does Amazon Grocery Deliver?
Availability of the Same-Day store by area can be checked here.
Does Amazon Accept EBT for Grocery Delivery?
In many participating areas, customers with a SNAP EBT card have access to the Amazon Fresh selection without having to have a Prime membership. You can receive free delivery as well with a minimum order.
So Who Has the Best Online Grocery Delivery?
What is the value in grocery delivery options from Costco, Walmart, and Amazon? Comparing the options considers your membership preferences, shopping trends, and planning.
Is Costco Grocery Delivery Worth It?
For those who enjoy entertaining and fine food then Costco delivery is a great choice. The bulk packaging is less expensive and the 2-hour delivery saves in a pinch. As a member, why not save time driving to the warehouse and order the Same-Day service?
- Available for Same-Day delivery
- Overall cheaper due to bulk packaging
- Delivery fee included in prices
- Additional fees may apply for non-members
- Availability may be limited if you don’t live near Costco
- Must be home at time of delivery
Is Amazon Grocery Delivery Worth It?
If you are a Prime member, then Amazon grocery delivery is an added convenience to an already broad range of services included in the membership. Just discovered that tonight’s dinner guest has a special diet? That’s no problem with Prime. A Prime membership of $119 per year, or $13 per month, pays for itself in just one grocery order a month by skipping the $12.99 per order delivery fee.
- No delivery fee
- Orders deliver within two hours (one-hour delivery is also available for an added fee)
- Selection can include Whole Foods and other grocers in your area
- Do not need to be home at time of delivery
- Requires Prime membership
- Overall more expensive compared to Costco and Walmart
Is Walmart+ Grocery Delivery Worth It?
Families who find themselves at Walmart many times a day will save a lot of time with Walmart delivery. Without the minimum purchase requirement, it makes running out of milk or a last-minute dinner plan much more manageable.
The annual membership dues of $98 break down to $12.95 per month. So, if deliveries are ordered twice a month, the membership can offer additional savings in cost. The Walmart+ membership is a great option that saves time and money through free unlimited delivery. With the high cost of gas right now, you can even save a trip and reduce your monthly gas expenses.
- Same-day delivery available
- No membership required
- No order minimum
- Delivery fees apply (but is waived with Walmart paid membership)
- Must be home at the time of delivery
There is no argument that you will save money (per item) by shopping at a physical at Costco warehouses since item prices are cheaper in the store. However, when you calculate in time in the car and such, home delivery for groceries is still a better deal if you love Costco’s inventory and offerings.
As a mom of three kids ages seven and under, shopping at Costco warehouse takes an average of two hours to drive to the store, settle the kids, shop, drive home, load the car and put all the groceries away. Also, I usually buy something I did not originally plan for — #goodbyebudget.
At the risk of sounding lame and out of shape, a Costco trip wipes me out. I usually come home tired, grumpy and bloated from the Costco hot dog deal I had to buy because the children were starving to death.
Comparing that time and the energy needed to shop indoors versus Costco grocery delivery that places the bags that right on my front porch, shopping Costco online took me 20 minutes, with only an additional 10 minutes to put away the groceries from my front door.
So was Costco Same-Day worth the extra cost per item? Yes. It’s probably especially worth it if you:
A) Have more children than arms.
B) Have a busy work/life schedule with very little downtime to attempt a Costco trip.
C) Live in a large city with only one Costco. Read: It’s always crowded.
D) All of the above.
Costco Same-Day is also very convenient when you want to shop on busy holidays or if you need extra help when prepping for a party. As far as service and price go, Costco and Walmart were neck and neck. And both grocery delivery services also outranked Amazon Fresh in terms of both price and selection.
While I would ultimately choose Costco grocery delivery over Walmart’s due to the quality of produce and meat, if price is your deciding factor, Walmart is certainly worth a look — especially when you consider that they do not require an annual fee.
Looking for more ways to save on groceries? Check out our Grocery Store Coupons and Deals page for the latest offers on all your food and household essentials.