Our UT student living community is conveniently located to some of West Campus’s best shops and has easy access to convenience stores, markets, and major retailers like Target. But sometimes, when you just don’t have the time or energy to do your grocery shopping yourself between classes, homework, and get-togethers with friends, it’s nice to have the option of grocery delivery. Luckily, there are several excellent grocery delivery services to choose from in Austin. Today we’re discussing some of the top options and the pros and cons of each.
Know a friend or neighbor at our UT student apartments who would like their grocery buying to be more convenient? Pass this post along to them once you’re done reading! Now let’s get into Austin’s best grocery delivery services, shall we?
Regardless of how you feel about Amazon’s presence in Austin, there’s no denying that Prime Now grocery delivery is more convenient than ever since Amazon acquired Whole Foods. With Prime Now, Prime users get free 2-hour delivery on grocery orders over $35 from either Amazon’s warehouse or Whole Foods stores.
This option is best for folks who already have Prime accounts and use Amazon for many day-to-day purchases. That said, free 2-hour delivery doesn’t always guarantee your groceries can be delivered within 2 hours; depending on how busy the service is when you order, you may need to select a delivery window further out from your order time. If you need quick delivery, you may have to pay a delivery fee, or you may need to use another service. On the bright side, the availability of products is usually pretty accurately updated online, so you can expect to get what you ordered most of the time, unlike Instacart orders, for example, which often require your shopper to choose substitutions for you due to out-of-stock items.
Instacart offers delivery from a wider variety of grocery stores than Prime Now, including H-E-B, Central Market, Wheatsville Co-op, Spec’s and more. The delivery times are similar to those of Prime Now, with delivery within 1-hour available for a higher delivery fee and 2-hour delivery for a standard delivery fee, which can be waived for those who choose to pay for a premium membership.
Instacart is pretty reliable, with responsive customer service available to help if something goes wrong. It’s a great option if you’re looking for a wider selection of grocery stores to choose from, all under the same service. However, as we mentioned above, it does suffer from less accurate inventory updating, meaning there are items available in stores that won’t show up on the online ordering platform, and items that have sold out that Instacart shows as available. This means you’ll want to watch your order like a hawk if possible while your shopper is shopping, in case they contact you to discuss replacement options for out-of-stock items.
H-E-B Home Delivery through Favor
If H-E-B is all you need, you’ll be glad to know they offer both Curbside Pick-Up and Home Delivery services. The online ordering and tracking process is not as robust as Prime Now or Instacart, but you can use H-E-B coupons, unlike some other services, and you’ll pay about $10 for a 1-hour delivery window, which is less than Instacart unless you have a premium account. The mark-up for delivery orders is also less than what you’ll find at other top grocery delivery services—only a few cents per item, compared to the 30-50 cent mark-up you might find at a service like Instacart. Unfortunately, there is a 4-hour turn-around time for orders (i.e. you can’t select a 1-hour delivery window that is less than 4 hours from the time of your order), so this isn’t a good option if you need groceries quickly.
Imperfect Produce is an excellent option if all you need is fresh fruits and vegetables. It’s a subscription service that allows you to customize a box of available produce that is perfectly good for consumption, but just not as pretty or uniform as what you’ll find in a traditional grocery store. This service doesn’t allow you as much flexibility as a service like Instacart, of course—it only carries produce, and availability is subject to change each week, so you’ll have to plan your meals around what you get in your box and not the other way around. Still, this option is excellent for anyone who wants to help reduce food waste and prefers regular subscription boxes over individual delivery scheduling.
Have you ever used a grocery delivery service? We hope this post has helped you decide whether grocery delivery is for you, and which service best suits your needs! If you’d like to see any future tips and recommendations from us in the future, make sure you bookmark our blog page for easy access to upcoming posts. Finally, if you don’t want to miss out on special promotions, community updates, and events at our apartments near UT Austin, follow us on Instagram!
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