I love grocery delivery. I enjoy a car-free life here in San Francisco. Therefore, I take advantage of delivery for everything that I possibly can. Grocery delivery is definitely no exception.

Of course, I try to be smart when I get things delivered. It’s important to make sure that I’m not paying too much for those delivery fees. Ideally, I pay nothing at all.

Moreover, I try to make sure that I keep the cost of the groceries themselves low. I don’t want to pay extra per item just to get things delivered to my home.

Having used a variety of grocery delivery options over the years, here’s what I recommend:

Farm Fresh To You

I get fresh, local, organic farm food delivered straight to my door each week. In fact, they have a key to my building. Therefore, they can deliver it during the night, and it’s there when I wake up. This particular company offers a variety of plans to choose from, and I have the smallest plan since I live alone. I also get a variety of other items from them including faux meat, free range eggs, and fresh-baked bread. Here are some ways I keep costs down:

  • I pay in advance which gives me 5% off the regular rate.
  • Sticking to what’s currently ripest gives me the best prices.
  • I regularly monitor local prices to make sure I’m not paying excessively for the “extras” I add on.

There is no additional grocery delivery fee with this company.

Brandless Grocery Delivery for Pantry Staples

Every single item at Brandless costs $3. Occasionally, an item is worth a bit less than that. Therefore, I check carefully to make sure I’m getting my money’s worth. In most cases, I am. In fact, sometimes it’s a really good deal. For example, their Blueberry Flax granola is far cheaper than anything similar I could buy locally.

I use this option to get my pantry staples, from canned beans to packets of tuna. They emphasize organic, free-trade, non-toxic, sustainable items. I love that in my groceries.

Brandless typically offers free shipping if you spend $39 or more. Therefore, I wait until I’m ready to stock up before I shop. They also have an annual membership fee that’s only $36 each year, which gives you free shipping no matter how much you spend. Plus, they donate meals to the needy each time that you shop, so this is an easy way to give to charity without spending much.

Amazon Prime for Other Pantry Staples

I have an Amazon Prime membership, which means that I’m able to get good prices on groceries through Prime Pantry. If a pantry staple is too costly through Brandless, or not available there, then I turn to this option. There are many ways to save money on groceries at Amazon. Learn more about that here.

In addition to Amazon Prime, you can use AmazonFresh. This allows you to get local produce and other items. However, be aware that there’s a $14.99 monthly fee, so this is definitely not one of the cheapest grocery delivery options.

Free Delivery and Discounts with Safeway Grocery Delivery

Safeway is the largest grocery chain store near me. I hate the experience of shopping there, so I only get food from Safeway when I can get it delivered. Luckily, Safeway frequently offers free delivery. Typically, I’ll receive an email that includes free delivery plus a certain amount of discount if I spend over a specified amount. I think carefully about whether or not I need enough to spend that amount. If I do, then I take advantage of it.

Safeway has several options for its delivery window time frame. Often, you can use the free delivery deal for any of those delivery windows. Therefore, I’ll sign up for the one-hour window (instead of the four-hour window) without paying anything extra.

Other Options for Free or Cheap Grocery Delivery

The cheapest grocery delivery options vary depending on where you shop and what’s near you. Furthermore, there are a lot of online shopping options to consider. Always look for promo codes and “first time user” discounts. With that in mind, here are some to try.

Google Express

You don’t need to pay a membership fee. They allow you to select groceries from a variety of popular stores including Costco and Target. As long as you spend more than $35, delivery is free.


Instacart is one of the most convenient options for getting items delivered from your local grocery stores. However, you do trade a little bit of cost for that convenience. Your purchase must exceed $35. Then you either pay $6 per delivery or $149 annually for “free” delivery.


This is a subscription-based grocery delivery service that is very similar to Amazon Fresh. You’ll pay either a monthly or an annual fee. It’s not as cheap as some of the other options, but at $99 per year, it’s cheaper than Amazon Fresh. Therefore, if you’ve been using Amazon Fresh, you might want to try Shipt instead.

Task Rabbit

You can hire someone through Task Rabbit to just about anything, including your grocery shopping. Rates vary widely, but if you find someone you like at a good price, then this can be a smart option.

Thrive Market

I haven’t tried this grocery delivery service, yet, but it’s on my radar. Like Brandless, they emphasize organic and non-GMO foods. I also like that you can shop by diet, so if you’re keto, vegan, or gluten-free, then you can find just what you’re looking for. Shipping appears to be free.


If you like Walmart groceries then you’ll be happy to know that some places offer free delivery to your home. The service is limited, so check your local store for options. If your location doesn’t offer this service, you can still take advantage of the option to shop online and have your order ready for pickup when you arrive. It still saves you time even though you do have to trek there to get the food.

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