Amazon gets me. They know I hate driving, that I’m terrible at dealing with cashier small talk, and that I’m terrified of store associates asking “is there something I can help you with?” They’re more than happy to coddle me by delivering pretty much anything I want, straight to my door. And now, that even includes groceries!
But grocery delivery has always been a difficult pitch for me. I live in a heavily suburban area, and there have always been online grocery delivery options available to me here. But, there’s something else here: the greatest grocery store in the history of grocery stores, Wegmans. If I have a Wegmans, I need no other grocery store. Except, Wegmans won’t yet deliver to me. So, is there room for Amazon to move in on Wegmans’ territory and steal my heart by allowing me to shop for groceries in my PJs?
Grocery delivery isn’t just about laziness for me. I actually have good reasons to look into such a service these days: my husband and I have just one car, so I can’t just pop out to the grocery store any time I want to. And now I’m transitioning into being a work-from-home mom, so it’s even harder to get to the grocery store.
Can grocery delivery save my household time and/or money? When it’s Amazon offering the service, I’m willing to give it a whirl and find out!
Amazon actually has three different grocery delivery services, and they are all only available to Prime members. I’ll review Amazon Fresh and Amazon Prime Pantry separately later – for now, we’ll just focus on the first of the three that I tried: Prime Now.
What is Prime Now?
According to Amazon:
Prime Now offers household items and essentials you need every day plus the best of Amazon, with FREE 2-hour delivery.
If you ask me, I’d say “It’s a smaller selection of Amazon items, plus some food, delivered today, and you have to tip the driver.” As the name implies, you have to be an Amazon Prime member to use the service, and it’s only available in certain areas.
I discovered the existence of Prime Now in my “market” (Northern Virginia) when I was on Amazon shopping for a cutting board. The particular cutting board I found said that I could have it the same day… with Prime Now.
With a baby on the way (at the time) and Amazon offering $10 off the first purchase with promo code 10PRIMENOW, I figured I’d go ahead and give it a shot. Since Amazon Prime Now requires a minimum order of $20, and the cutting board didn’t quite cost that much (thank goodness), I decided to try and accomplish as much of the week’s grocery shopping as possible on Prime Now.
Prime Now has a decent selection of groceries, including some fresh produce (I got baby carrots) and a limited selection of meats. The lack of meats is really what keeps it from being a viable complete grocery replacement for me. I’m just not a vegetarian by any means (and with my husband’s allergies to nuts, eggs, and legumes, we will never be a vegetarian family). But, I was still able to get a decent amount of what I would have gotten at the store, without leaving my apartment.
My Haul from Amazon Prime Now:
Here’s what I got:
And here’s how the order compares to my usual Wegmans prices for what I would have bought at Wegmans if I had gone there (you’ll see, I usually stick to the Wegmans brand products):
|Prime Now Item||Price||Wegmans Item||Price|
|Applegate, Natural Mini Pork Pepperoni||$5.09||Wegmans Sliced Pepperoni, Italian Style||$2.39|
|Applegate, Natural Good Morning Bacon||$4.99||Wegmans Uncured Bacon, Applewood Smoked||$6.99|
|Organic Valley, Organic Whole Milk||$4.99||Wegmans Organic Vitamin D Milk||$3.99|
|Wild Planet Sardines, Wild, in Water||$2.69||Wild Planet Sardines, Wild, in Water||$2.69|
|Mission, 10 Inch Wraps Garden Spinach Herb||$2.69||Wegmans Spinach, Garlic & Pesto Tortillas||$2.79|
|Red Baron, Classic Pepperoni Pizza||$4.19||Red Baron, Classic Pepperoni Pizza||$3.99|
|Roland Roasted Edamame Light Salt||$2.29||Seapoint Farms Edamame, Dry Roasted, Sea Salt||$1.79|
|Microban Antimicrobial Cutting Board||$8.99||*Would have still ordered this product from Amazon||$8.99|
|California Pizza Kitchen, Thin Crust Pizza||$6.79||Wegmans Organic Thin Crust Spinach & Feta Pizza||$5.49|
|Organic Baby Carrots, 1 lb||$1.49||Wegmans Organic Carrots||$1.29|
|Aunt Jemima Pancake Mix, Buttermilk Complete||$3.09||Aunt Jemima Pancake Mix, Buttermilk Complete||$2.99|
|Arm & Hammer Baking Soda, 16 Oz||$0.79||Arm & Hammer Baking Soda, 16 Oz||$0.89|
|Horizon Organic Butter, Salted, 4 sticks||$6.09||Wegmans Organic Salted Butter Sweet Cream||$4.99|
|Total (excluding tax):||$59.47||Total (excluding tax):||$49.27|
These prices don’t reflect the $10 off coupon code, 10PRIMENOW.
With the coupon code, I ended up spending only 20 cents more than I would have at Wegmans for the same items, and everything was delivered right to my door by a friendly delivery woman! Since I was quite pregnant at the time, I was happy not to have to waddle around the store and lug the groceries in from my car!
I used Amazon Prime Now again a few weeks later, when suddenly both the HVAC unit and the living room blinds in my apartment broke at the same time. I had to work from home in order to be there to let contractors in to fix them. But of course, we were experiencing a weird heat wave at the time, and I couldn’t turn on the AC or adjust the blinds to keep the sun out of the window right next to my computer! I tried to swing by Lowe’s to buy a fan… but apparently they don’t sell those in October, even if there’s a heat wave. So what’s a sweaty pregnant woman who has to work from home to do?
For my second Prime Now order, I of course bought myself a little fan, and some regular groceries that we were out of (including a monster package of Charmin toilet paper, for my upcoming postpartum needs), and again, it was delivered within 2 hours. Ah, the sweet relief of a fan and soft toilet paper!
What I Loved About Amazon Prime Now
- Prices were decent. With the tip, it only worked out to $10.20 more than getting mostly generics from my favorite grocery store, and $10 probably covers the time saved, and the gas saved.
- Groceries brought directly to my door – no unloading from the car!
- Fast – the orders really are delivered within 2 hours (or at the time you specify)!
- Everything arrived intact and fresh.
- Surprised me with the decent selection. They’ve got everything from frozen pizza to Advil to PlayStation controllers!
- “Shop Past Purchases” function makes it really easy to get your “usual” stuff ordered fast.
- You can adjust your tip amount any time during the 48 hours after delivery. So you can tip more for great friendly service, or adjust it down if you were disappointed.
What I Didn’t Like / Thought Could Be Better
- Selection could be wider – where’s the meat? They also lacked a certain drugstore item that I would have liked to get within 2 hours.
- It’s a separate website and app from Amazon. Who needs this many apps? My phone came with like 4 Amazon apps preinstalled (Shopping, Kindle, Audible, Amazon App Store…), who needs another Amazon app on their phone?
- The $20 minimum and the tip encourage you to spend more (to get a better deal)
Would I Shop Prime Now Again?
Sure! The “pros” definitely outweigh the “cons,” and the price is right. It can’t completely replace my Wegmans trips (because of the lack of meat), but it could potentially reduce my number of grocery trips to once or twice a month, just to stock up on meats and things.
The biggest problem is that because it’s a separate website, I kinda forget about Amazon Prime Now. We just end up going to the grocery store when we need stuff, instead of remembering to check and see if something’s available on Prime Now.
I’ve also been checking out Amazon’s other grocery delivery options: Amazon Fresh and Prime Pantry. I’m going to review those shortly, but it’s worth mentioning now that having the three different services compounds the “I kinda forget Prime Now even exists” and “too many apps!” problems.
This is Part 1 of a 3-part series on Amazon’s grocery delivery services. Be sure to also check out the Amazon Fresh review and the Prime Pantry review!
What do you think of 2-hour delivery of groceries and goodies from Amazon? Is Prime Now available in your area? If so, have you tried it? Leave your thoughts and questions in the comments below!
I haven’t tried Prime Now even thought it has been in our area for a while. They just launched ‘AmazonFresh’ in my area which would address your complaints at the end (includes meats and can be done on a regular computer, not in a dedicated app), but it’s an extra $14.99/mo on top of the normal Prime cost. Ignoring monthly costs, I found it to be not very competitive since I don’t generally buy organic but I do buy a lot of produce. We don’t have Wegman’s in our area but Publix is a close second.
Sorry if I gave off the wrong impression about Prime Now – it’s not app-only, it can be accessed on a computer. But it’s a completely different website from regular Amazon (though your Amazon account works on it, so it has all your payment and address info), and if you do want the app, it’s a different app from other Amazon services, too.
At this point I’ve tried out Amazon Fresh – my review is coming very soon! Keep an eye out for it!
Sorry to hear you don’t have a Wegmans near you. I lived in Los Angeles for a short time – no Wegmans there. I hated LA for various reasons, but not having a Wegmans was definitely a real downer. I pledged after that to never live in an area without one! I’ve only been to one Publix, one time. It was a city Publix in Miami, and I didn’t think it was that great, but I recognize that a city grocery store is usually a lot different than, say, a suburban one. The city Wegmans locations in Rochester, NY are kinda cramped and weird, too!
Thanks for the thorough reviews. We have a very busy schedule and live in NOVA. Wegmans is a bit out of the way, but is cheaper than most grocery stores around. It’s good to see that this is a viable option for super busy weeks.
In Phoenix, if you order fresh veggies they are consistently rotten. You’d do better at the dollar store. Products like toys and appliances are usually broken returns. I’ve been disappointed in everything except frozen or shelf foods. It is quite a bit more expensive but there are days I can’t get out of the house. .
I’m sorry to hear the produce hasn’t been so fresh in Phoenix! Have you given them feedback on the orders? I’ve found that Amazon has refunded us for absolutely everything we’ve complained on (thankfully, we’ve only had a few complaints, usually crushed chips or something like that – nothing like rotten produce). I definitely think they need to hear that feedback from you, if nothing else!
I tried it for the first time today. I have the flu and just couldn’t drag myself to the grocery store. Limited selection. Delivery was on time. I’ll admit Ididnt check the order until I got ready to cook, my bad. The ground beef smelled bad and my finger went right through the extremely mushy red onion. I contacted CS and they were apologetic and credited my account. But won’t use them again for grocery delivery.
Ooof, bad meat and produce is no good! Would you mind sharing what area you’re in? Might help other folks to know, since this sort of thing tends to vary by location.
My experience with prime now has been less than stellar. There has been a problem
With every order. Today, a heavy bottle of juice was sitting on top of my bag of mixed greens, bruising them.
And instead of prepackaged chia seed, I received an unlabeled bulk item that resembled bird seed. Don’t know what it is because whoever packed this didn’t label it a substitution.
I once was upset that amazon didn’t put frozen items in an insulated bag as it has done every other time, and the customer service was quite rude to me and ended up hanging up on me. I was told that items “are not returnable”, even when amazon fails to meet it promised delivery time.
Fortunately, the app is good about refunding me when I complain. But I’ve had issues with humans in the chain of delivery at every level. And their customer service is a joke—I feel like they’re too big for their breeches.
Lejla Hadzikadic Gusic says
This is the worst grocery delivery service I have ever used. Cancelled my order without telling me. Shopper didn’t respond to anything I sent. The links they sent didn’t work. I called customer service, was told “i’m gonna be honest with you, I cannot help you.” Asked for a manager to call me, they emailed with no apology and no recourse to help the situation. Will never order again. This will be their downfall.
A bit older than your post but I’ve recently started using PrimeNow with Whole Foods. I just placed my fourth order for groceries and I have to say it’s amazingly awesome! The delivery person/shopper has been nothing but stellar and I’m always sure to tip at least 20 bucks based on our location and annoyance of traffic. Tip well everyone! The delivery humans are literally risking their lives driving on the roads to bring you food and goods! Around these parts, that means something. It’s scary out there, but I digress.
I work crazy hours and on my few days off, I don’t want to shop for food or I have way too much of everything else to do and I do want to relax at some point! PrimeNow takes the burden of running out to the grocery store off my shoulders. I choose my items (pick stuff from my past orders for a faster process) and set the time for my ‘free’ delivery. I place the order first thing in the morning, between 6 and 8. I pick the 10-12 delivery and have always gotten my order by 10:30 – basically the first stop of the day – even on a Sunday. (pays to tip well!)
Most of the grocery stores in the area offer delivery services and I’ve tried them all. They’re fine but with PrimeNow, I can order the same day I get my delivery. With the local grocery stores, I have to put my order in at least 2-5 days in advance. I don’t know about everyone else but for me, some grocery items can’t be planned that far out. The delivery fee can also get costly (and the tip!) where as I’d rather just tip someone and call it a day because I’m a Prime member. Getting full use out of my Prime account annual fee!
If the item isn’t in stock, you don’t get charged for it as you get charged for your order after it’s been completed. You can also choose to sub. items or not. They text you if there needs to be a swap for any items you do choose to be subbed. I opted for the ‘leave at door’ delivery. They text me when it’s been dropped off so you know you need to be home or get home to put your perishables away. No freezer totes (how would they get them back if you never order again?!) Everything arrives in paper bags so if you buy ice-cream, someone needs to be around so it doesn’t melt. You can choose to have it handed to you by the shopper/driver as well if that’s your preference.
I would recommend this service for sure to everyone who has a Prime account and other things to do. This is a little luxury for us really, having someone do your grocery shopping and delivering it to you. You know all the neighbors are like, whoa, look at Mr and Mrs fancy pants having their groceries delivered! Ooooo… Living life like a boss.