Online shopping has been a thing for awhile now, but who knew that online grocery shopping would become a thing? With Costco all the way in Emeryville and grocery stores a 10-20 minute bus ride away, I was happy to find 3 new online marketplaces that would cater to my grocery needs: AmazonFresh, Google Shopping Express and InstaCart.
With so many products already on Amazon, it’s no big surprise that the online giant spread its wings and enveloped produce. Now in addition to buying last minute birthday gifts and ebooks, you can also buy fresh vegetables, pork chops and even wine. If you’re not up for cooking, you can simply order a meal from a local restaurant or bakery such as Marcella’s Lasagneria and Batter Bakery.
AmazonFresh is a new level of Amazon Prime with an annual membership fee of $299. As a Prime Fresh member, you can get same-day or early morning deliveries (depending on when you order) straight to your doorstep. Deliveries are free for orders over $35. If you’re not sure if you want to dish out a few hundred for this service, try out the free 30-day trial of Amazon Prime Fresh.
Google Shopping Express
Hopping on the online shopping bandwagon, Google Shopping Express offers more than just produce. Google has partnered with big name stores like Costco (you must have a membership to order), Whole Foods and Office Depot to provide products ranging from toilet paper to watermelon to reams of paper. Since Google Shopping Express is in its opening stages, the service is only available in certain metropolitan areas such as San Francisco (includes Berkeley), West Los Angeles and Manhattan. However, they are expanding across the nation so be sure to check if your college town is included later on.
If Google Shopping Express intrigues you, sign up to be a member before August 15 and get a free 6-month trial and get $10 off your first purchase.
Instacart is to online grocery shopping as Uber and Lyft are to taxis. It’s a lot more personable since you can speak directly to your Personal Shopper. Cal students, Instacart even has Berkeley Bowl as a grocery store. Now you don’t have to trek there, but can still get their amazing produce. In addition, Instacart’s Personal Shoppers will get your groceries to you in an hour or two (their fastest was 12 minutes) for $3.99 a delivery.
If you fall in love with Instacart, you can become an Instacart Express member and get deliveries over $35 free for $99 a year. If you’re not sure it’s for you, try out Instacart Express with their free 14-day trial.
Luckily for us Cal students, all three online grocery markets deliver to the Berkeley area. If you live elsewhere, check to see if they deliver to you buy inputting your zip code on their respective websites.