Our Guide to Buying Groceries Online: 10 Places to Shop

Updated: Mar. 06, 2024

If a busy schedule makes it hard for you to get to the store, it might be time to start buying groceries online.

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It’s hard to make it to the grocery store some weeks—maybe you’re busy with work and family obligations, or the car is in the shop. (Or maybe you just don’t feel like going!) Whatever the reason, you’ll be glad to know there are still ways to buy your family’s groceries. One popular option is to use a grocery delivery service, but buying groceries online is another convenient option. A few taps on your keyboard and food shows up at your door—it’s like magic!

Keep a couple things in mind about online grocery shopping. Some online grocery stores deliver from nationwide warehouses, while others pull items from local stores. Some sites require membership fees, but the cost is often worth it if you order groceries regularly. No matter what you’re looking for, we found the best places for buying groceries online.

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Thrive Market Box
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Thrive Market

Thrive Market is one of the most popular online grocery stores and it specializes in organic and non-GMO foods. Shop for pantry staples, meat and seafood, as well as personal care products and cleaning supplies. A membership to Thrive costs $5 per month, billed annually. They offer price matching, so rest assured you’re always getting the best prices. Thrive delivers to the 48 contiguous U.S. states. Plus, because the brand prides itself on sustainability, it uses carbon-neutral shipping and 100% recyclable packaging. Read our full review.

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Imperfect Foods
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Imperfect Foods

Believe it or not, you can have fresh produce delivered to your door! Imperfect Foods offers an impressive collection of produce, pantry staples, animal and plant-based proteins, dairy and alternatives, beverages and snacks. The brand’s goal is to help reduce food waste by selling products that might be cosmetically imperfect—hence, the name. There are no subscription or service fees to shop through the website, but they don’t currently ship to all locations. Most of the existing delivery areas are located in the Northeast and along the West Coast, plus metro areas in the Midwest.

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Misfits Market

Misfits Market actually owns Imperfect Foods, but it delivers to a much larger area, including the majority of the 48 contiguous states. It sells organic produce, meat, seafood, dairy products, bakery items and even wine. And while it uses a subscription model, there’s no monthly fee—you only pay for what you order (plus shipping). Just keep in mind that Misfits Market automatically puts together a delivery for you each week based on what you usually order. It’s up to you to alter the contents or skip it.

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Instacart is one of the most popular online grocery services. It’s available in thousands of cities around the country and through it, you can shop at local stores, including grocery stores like Stop & Shop and Aldi, as well as retailers such as CVS, Target and more.

When you shop online through Instacart (or via its grocery delivery app), a personal shopper in your area will be assigned your order. They’ll do all the shopping for you and deliver the food to your house. There are a variety of delivery and service fees associated with Instacart—that’s how the shoppers get paid—but you don’t need a membership to use the service. However, you’ll want to keep in mind that retailers are allowed to set their own prices in the Instacart marketplace, so the cost of certain goods may be different than in-store prices.

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Looking for hard-to-find international grocery items? Weee! is an online grocery service that offers Hispanic and Asian specialty products—in fact, it’s the largest Asian and Latino grocery store in America. It carries everything from fruits and vegetables to tofu, frozen foods and snacks, but fresh items are only available in select locations. Delivery is free for orders over $49 and you can also sign up for a Weee! membership for free shipping on two orders per week.

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Amazon Fresh insulated grocery delivery bags on front porch closeup
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Amazon Fresh

Believer it or not, Amazon has its own chain of grocery stores. Amazon Fresh has dozens of locations in nine different states (with more in the works) and Prime members can shop online and receive same-day delivery from their local store. Amazon Fresh carries all the same grocery brands as your local supermarket, allowing you to order food, beverages, household supplies and even pet items. There is a fee for delivery and it will vary depending on your order total, as well as the delivery window you choose.

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While it doesn’t have the largest selection of standard grocery items, Vitacost is a convenient way to order vitamins, supplements and specialty health foods online. There are thousands of products to choose from and the brand caters to those with dietary restrictions, offering a comprehensive selection of gluten-free, keto, vegan and non-GMO foods.

Everything Vitacost sells is shelf-stable, so you won’t find fresh foods among its selection. But shipping is free to the 48 contiguous states if you spend more than $49. The brand can often ship to Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, as well as select international locations, though shipping prices will vary.

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Shipt Grocery Delivery
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Shipt is similar to Instacart, using personal shoppers to fill orders at local stores. You can use Shipt for buying groceries online, but the app can also be used to shop at home improvement, electronics and even makeup stores. Place one-time orders through Shipt for a $10 delivery fee, or sign up for a membership for $99 per year for access to unlimited same-day deliveries. When you’re a member, you can even create a list of “preferred shoppers” who you’d like to shop for you again in the future.

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Hive Grocery Delivery
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Shop sustainably with the help of Hive, an online grocery store and marketplace that carries thousands of sustainable products. You can shop for pantry items, snacks, beverages and household products through the website. Every brand is carefully vetted by the Hive team, who look at ingredient quality, packaging, carbon footprint and more. The order minimum is $35 and purchases over $65 always ship free in the contiguous United States. For deliveries to Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories, there’s a $30 flat shipping fee.

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Umami Cart
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If you’re having trouble finding Asian cooking ingredients, Umamicart can help. The online grocery store specializes in Asian products and ingredients, including everything from fruits and vegetables to fresh cuts of meat, pantry staples, rice, noodles and more. The brand delivers to most of the United States and shipping is free on orders over $49.