As one over-committed dude, I’ve got all sorts of obligations demanding my time. So, I’m always looking for ways to make myself more efficient and get more done in less time and for less money. On that track, one of my favorite time-savers is getting my groceries delivered, and so I’m constantly on the lookout for the best online grocery delivery service. To that end, my wife Lily and I have been using Shipt, which is pretty good but can get expensive (because they charge a yearly fee of $99, plus tips, and they apparently jack up the prices of the items you’re buying).
Recently, though, Amazon bought Whole Foods, and now they’re doing Prime Now for Whole Foods, meaning you can get a lot of Whole Foods products delivered to your door via the Prime Now same-day delivery service. I recently placed an order to my Miami house; let’s see how they did, and whether the prices are competitive.
Placing a Prime Now for Whole Foods Order
To place an order, you first have to be a Prime member, which now will cost $119 annually. Next, you can either use the dedicated Prime Now app (not the regular Amazon app), or head on over to the Prime Now website. There, I think the easiest way to shop is to click “Amazon” under “Shop by Store”:
Next, you can simply scroll down to the “Grocery” category:
You can fill up your virtual shopping cart just like at any other online store, and check out. You can even combine non-grocery items with your groceries, and have it delivered all at once, on the same day you ordered.
What is the Prime Now Delivery Fee?
For two-hour delivery, the Prime Now delivery fee is $0, so long as you’re a Prime Member and have an order of $35 or more. One-hour delivery costs $7.99.
However, you can tip. Check out this recent order I placed:
How Are the Prices?
Let’s do some price comparisons, especially since Whole Foods used to be nicknamed Whole Paycheck. To get the lowest prices possible, I’ll compare prices from the cheaper Whole Foods 365 Everyday Value brand with Walmart, which I’ve generally found to have the cheapest groceries. So, let’s take a look at three comparable items (which I chose because I could find descriptions that matched almost word-for-word):
Item 1: Whole Foods 365 Everyday Value Grated Parmesan Cheese vs. Walmart Great Value, 8 oz
Prime Now Price: $3.29
Price at Walmart (for free pickup or delivery in about five days): $3.18
So, Prime Now is 11 cents more expensive.
Item 2: Whole Foods 365 Everyday Value Organic Broccoli Florets vs Walmart Great Value
Prime Now Price: $2.79 for 16 oz (about 17.4 cents per ounce)
Walmart Price (in-store purchase only): $2.28 for 10 oz (about 22.8 cents per ounce)
So, Prime Now is about 5.4 cents per ounce cheaper.
Item 3: Whole Foods 365 Everyday Value Organic Coconut Milk vs Thai Kitchen Brand at Walmart
Prime Now Price: $1.99 for 13.5 oz (about 14.7 cents per ounce)
Walmart Price: $2.12 for 13.66 oz (about 15.5 cents per ounce) (not available in-store, but delivered in about four days)
So, Prime Now is about .8 cents per ounce cheaper.
Price Comparison Results
Wow; that was unexpected. Honestly, I was really surprised to find that two of the three items were cheaper via Prime Now same-day delivery. However, there are two important caveats.
First, you’re paying $119 per year for the Prime Now service. So, if you wouldn’t have Prime Now if it weren’t to get grocery delivery, you should take those $119 into account. Also, if you tip your driver (I do) that’s an added cost for Prime Now (but you save on the gas you’d burn to drive to Walmart, so that might be a wash). So, while I would not call it free grocery delivery, it comes close (if you already pay for Prime Now).
Second, this is not a comprehensive price comparison – I picked items for which I could find descriptions that were substantially identical. Depending on your shopping patterns, your results could be different.
That said, I was still very pleasantly surprised with Prime Now, since Whole Foods has such a reputation for being expensive. Really, I was expecting every item to cost a lot more than at Walmart.
Is Prime Now for Whole Foods the Best Online Grocery Delivery Service?
From what I’ve seen so far, yes! For one, if you already pay for Prime, the prices seem super competitive. Second, it’s very convenient. I’ve ordered Prime Now a handful of times (though groceries only once), and everything’s gone off without a hitch. I’ve been able to track my order, and all items have been delivered. The only thing that could really make me change my mind at this point would be to get a mis-delivered item (either a wrong item or a missing item), and for Amazon to not address it properly (refund the money).
The last time I placed an order, I did so at 6:07 PM, for delivery from 8:00 to 10:00 PM. It arrived at my doorstep at 8:34, on the early side of the delivery window – color me impressed!
In sum, I’ve got no complaints thus far, either about the service or about the price. So, I’m now a Prime Now convert!
Do you use Prime Now for Whole Foods? If you’re a Prime Member, do you consider it to be basically free grocery delivery?