Is Walmart+ the best way to order groceries online?
Is Walmart+ just as good as Instacart or Shipt?
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Normally, I love grocery shopping—there's something calming about walking through the aisles and browsing for my weekly meals. However, with long lines and the threat of the COVID pandemic, grocery shopping isn’t quite the same. Most of us are rushing through aisles with our masks on, hoping for a self-checkout to be open to reduce contact, and washing all our produce as soon as we get home. Others are ordering groceries online and paying $7–$9 in delivery fees.
Walmart recently unveiled its new membership service, Walmart+, which claims to offer a time-saving and safe way to stock your pantry and keep your fridge full of your favorite items. Walmart+ is a membership-based service that offers free shipping and grocery delivery, fuel perks, and mobile checkout for in-store shoppers. It's on its way to becoming an Amazon Prime competitor, but when it comes to grocery delivery, it has a pretty big leg up on popular grocery delivery services like Instacart and Shipt, namely because delivery is free (when your order is over $35).
Here are a few things to keep in mind if you're considering ordering groceries from the new service.
Walmart+ offers free, unlimited delivery
For starters, Walmart+ is an addition to its 5,000-plus stores across the nation. Over half of Walmart stores offer same-day service, so Walmart+ is great if you need essentials ASAP or you just love receiving things on-demand (don’t we all?). There is also a one-hour delivery window in some zip codes.
But Walmart+ doesn't deliver everywhere
Even though Walmart+ makes a great delivery option for those who live next to a Walmart, the service is unavailable in many metropolitan areas without participating Walmart stores. People living in big cities like New York City or Boston can't use the service yet, but those living in smaller towns and rural areas can. Check your availability by entering your zip code on the site and seeing if you're eligible for delivery perks.
Walmart+ is easy to use
Buying groceries is so simple with Walmart+. Browse Walmart’s selection of groceries—snacks, meat, even household cleaners and paper products—and add to your cart. You’ll get Walmart's signature low prices, and once you hit the minimum of $35, you can select free delivery to your home or a one-hour window for contactless, curbside pickup. You can also shop directly from the Walmart app, if you prefer.
Walmart+ may be cheaper than Instacart
The price of your grocery delivery will vary depending on what you purchase, but Walmart+ has an advantage over its competition—namely Instacart—because it doesn't charge for delivery. Instacart will charge $3.99 per delivery for orders over $35, plus it may charge additional fees depending on what you order, including heavy fees for bulky items, service fees for changes to your order, bag fees where necessary, and any additional fees required by your state. You also have the option to tip your driver, which you should be doing if using a delivery service like Instacart.
While Walmart+ won't charge for deliveries over $35, you do need to pay the monthly or yearly fee ($12.95 per month or $98 per year). This equates to about three grocery delivery fees from Instacart, so if you purchase groceries three or more times each month, it may be worth investing in Walmart+.
You can order more than groceries on Walmart+
Walmart+ offers a great option for grocery delivery if you live within its range, but the service will deliver much more than just groceries. Essentially, you can order anything that would be in stock at your local Walmart store, so you can add household supplies, like cleaning products and paper towels, or you can stock up on notebooks and school supplies for at-home learning. And, Walmart has a wide selection of games, toys, and electronics that are eligible for delivery with Walmart+, too.
Should you sign up for Walmart+?
If you live in an area eligible for Walmart+ perks, and you purchase groceries multiple times a month, the service may make a great addition to your lifestyle. Its selection of groceries and goods is huge, so if you're near an eligible Walmart, it's worth giving the service a try (especially since you can sign up for a free 15-day trial). If you don't live near a participating Walmart, we recommend waiting to sign up for the service until it expands to more zip codes in the future.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.