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©2017 by Optimal RD: Registered Dietitian Nutritionists

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Comparing Grocery and Meal Delivery Services

September 16, 2017

 

Life can be busy. And sometimes, it’s hard to make time to go to the grocery store, especially if you work long hours, have several children, or lack a reliable source of transportation. This can really hinder access to fresh healthy foods. Luckily, there are several grocery delivery companies that understand this, so why not let them bring healthy foods and recipes to your door?

 

Instacart

This company seems to be growing in popularity, and with good reason. Through Instacart, you can order all of your groceries online from HEB, Whole Foods, or Central Market. There is no sign-up or registration fee but there is a delivery fee that usually comes to $6, but varies depending on the desired delivery time and the amount of groceries. Through Instacart, you can order your groceries to be delivered within an hour or two, or schedule a later date and time to have them delivered.

 

Amazon Prime Now

If you have a prime account, you can now have groceries and other items delivered to you within about 2 hours. You can find a decent variety of fresh, frozen, and packaged foods that are delivered to you quickly and with no extra shipping or delivery costs. The best part is that you can get all sorts of other items with your groceries: pet products, books, electronics, and more.

 Thrive Market

Thrive Market doesn’t offer same-day delivery, but it does allow you to order your groceries online, which are delivered in about two days. The registration fee is $60 and shipping is free on orders of $50 or more. Otherwise shipping costs can vary. Thrive is great for getting those expensive natural and organic products, but mostly those that are canned, dried, or processed. There isn’t an option for fresh produce yet, since delivery takes a few days, but it’s a great option for getting organic snacks and munchies.

 

Blue Apron

This company sends the ingredients to your kitchen, and you do the cooking. Blue Apron costs about $9/serving, so it’s not the cheapest option out there. But the recipes are delicious and include items like ancho chile tacos, spiced freekeh and tempeh bowls, and fresh gnocchi and summer squash. This is a great option for those looking to up their cooking game. For a 2 person plan that includes 2 recipes per week, expect to pay $48 total.

 

Purple Carrot

Like Blue Apron, this company sends the ingredients to your door. However, all the dishes from Purple Carrot are plant-based, so it’s a great option for vegans or those looking to avoid animal products. For a two-person plan, expect to pay $68. Delicious dishes range from butternut barley bowls with pickled peppers and pistachios to cashew korma with cauliflower rice.

 

HelloFresh

As another plan that sends you the ingredients, HelloFresh helps you cook up delicious meals without having to go out and buy all the ingredients. The cost is roughly $10 per serving and they offer customized plans for individuals, couples, and families. They also offer a vegetarian plan. Therefore, for about 3 meals for 2 people, expect to pay about $60 a week. Make dishes like quick sausage Bolognese and butternut squash agnolotti.

 

Final Word

Using grocery and meal delivery programs can be a great way to stay healthy for those with busy lifestyles. There are many options catered towards different budgets and desires. Perhaps you only need help getting the groceries home. In that case, a grocery delivery program would probably work great. Or perhaps you want to start making more home-cooked healthy meals but just don’t have the time. Perhaps a recipe and ingredient delivery program would fit your needs best. In both cases, compare the price options and choose the best one for your budget. Happy shopping!

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