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Walmart vs. Amazon Delivery Services Compared

Category: Financial and taxes in retirement

October 18, 2020 — We have had several members who posted about rival delivery services to another unrelated Blog. So we are publishing those comments here and taken them off the other one. That should keep things cleaner.

From Mary 11 – I signed up for the yearly unlimited Walmart Delivery service. I order once or twice per week. I paid $98 but you save alot of money in the long run. I haven’t been to a grocery store since January. We don’t do restaurant delivery because of Covid so we do alot of cooking at home….

From Clyde: To add to Mary11’s post, Walmart also has free pickup at most stores. Prices are identical to what you’d find inside the stores, and there are lots of other items available besides groceries. There is no human contact involved. You just wait in your car and have the items put in your trunk or storage area. You do need to set up their app on your smartphone. So if you happen to live near a Walmart with pickup, that can be helpful.

From Jennifer –-Mary 11, you do not need to justify yourself. We all have choices and make them based on our particular needs. I may skimp on some things, but not the quality of the food I eat.

I wish that Trader Joes had such a service–I spoke with the Manager of our local store and he said they want people to “experience” T.J.’s. They discourage personal shoppers at our store. In this pandemic I would have hoped this policy would change as they have good selections for less money overall.

From Maimi –-Mary11, I use Instacart and signed up for the yearly service, which is reasonable, but that does not include a 15-20% tip for every delivery. It would mot be fair or acceptable not to pay the delivery people who are working very hard in a pandemic. So the 98 dollars you pay Walmart is just the start. i assume you tip. You are actually paying the salary of the delivery people. It is expensive. I don’t use Walmart because they don’t have a good choice of healthy organic foods, which I must have. Instagram services many local grocery stores. No matter which service you use, having to have everything delivered is very expensive.

From Louise — Mary 11, why don’t you just order $35 worth of stuff from Walmart and get free shipping rather than spend the $98? I order from Walmart all the time, sometimes once or twice a week and always order at least $35 and always get free shipping. Am I missing something?

From Mary 11 — To be honest….I mainly use Walmart because only Amazon or Walmart accept EBT. If you order from Walmarts grocery delivery service you always pay a delivery fee. I also buy boxed and canned foods which do qualify for the free delivery through regular Walmart. I live in CA and orders are filled in 2 hours so that’s another convenience….

Comments? If you have something to add you can do so in the Comments section below.

Posted by Admin on October 18th, 2020


  1. I personally do not use Walmart as the food looks picked over and substandard. Whole Foods via Amazon does a super job and if you are a prime member deliver is free. They add a $5.00 tip but I throw on a few more dollars depending on the cost of my total order. I spend about $68.00 per week or so. I have to have organic fresh vegetables every day and I want the best quality. In DC that would be Whole Foods Market and sometimes I will go to Trader Joes for a very few items in fresh produce that I cannot get elsewhere for a reasonable price.

    by Jennifer — October 19, 2020

  2. Mary 11, I think what I missed is the fact that you can get fresh groceries like product, dairy, deli, meats.

    I only order shelf stable stuff from Walmart. Canned, boxed, packaged.

    Maimi, why don’t you check out Misfits Vegetable delivery. They are organic but the veggies can be a bit ugly or deformed but still edible. They claim you save money on organic veggies and fruits thru them. I subscribed for a while and the stuff was pretty good. However, at that time you couldn’t pick and choose what you got. They sent you a box and whatever was in it was the weekly veg and fruits. Now, a friend of mine says they can pick what they want each week.

    by Louise — October 19, 2020

  3. My husband and I have used Walmart pick up since Covid. Very easy to use, however, some items they say are out of stock are in the store so we have to go inside. Also, some times the fresh veggies aren’t so fresh, but Walmart will give you a refund for items you are not pleased with.

    by Carolyn E — October 19, 2020

  4. Two days ago I did curbside at my local Stop & Shop. It costs $2.95 and that is a bargain. I was pleased for the most part. I had ordered a few things but when I picked up, my receipt said they had none. That is one of the things that irks me. You would think they would have roast beef in the deli! They will make some substitutions but not always. Also, they have 8 parking spots with a sign that says CURBSIDE parking but no one pays attentions and parks there anyway. So those of us who are supposed to park in the designated area have no place to park. People just don’t care and are selfish.

    The young fellow who brought my groceries out and placed in my trunk was very nice. I gave him a tip and he asked if I was sure! I don’t think they are supposed to take tips.

    by Louise — October 20, 2020

  5. Miami,

    I live across the bay from you and just began, a
    month or two into COVID, to use Imperfect Foods. Initially I was placed on a waiting list, but within a couple weeks I was accepted. They deliver to your door and pricing is very competitive with local stores (Shaw’s, Stop and Shop, Dave’s (maybe only on the west bay) Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s). It’s all on line and availability changes weekly. I have gotten some beautiful produce and quality meat. In my area, delivery is on Wednesday. They carefully pack everything in a box and there is ice wrapped in a foil bubble wrap in the event you are not home for delivery. In all honesty, I was a bit skeptical at first, but I do a weekly order now. And I don’t get everything from them, but what I do get is usually very nice quality.

    by Barb — October 20, 2020

  6. Walmart delivery, pickup, and quality is going to vary a lot from store to store. You need to actually check it out to know. Our Chapel Hill store has had consistently good produce quality, but the store shopper may not know or care how to properly select. We now only order packaged items and go in to select our own produce. (Other area groceries are really no better.). Fortunately, the Chapel Hill area is notably better with Covid-19 management than many other places. We have tried shop/deliver from a number of stores with not great results, so this pickup/self-select works best for us. (I actually had one local store delivery person tell me that my $10 tip was not enough — she says she gets $125 tips! We don’t use that service any more at all.)

    by RichPB — October 20, 2020

  7. Schwans is also an excellent option. Their food is excellent even though it’s all frozen. Very good delivery service and if you’re an AARP member you get 10 percent off the next order too.

    by Mary11 — October 20, 2020

  8. I have also ordered from Imperfect foods and have not had quite the experience Barb mentions. I started using them this summer and had ordered some meat. The company they chose to deliver did not deliver on the designated day. This summer was hellish hot and the meat was warm. I threw it out and got a refund. The ice was melted and everything was warm. It was okay for some things but not for meat. The delivery company seems to be the real problem, not Imperfect foods. They seem organized. however, last week I had ordered 2 bottles of salad dressing and got two bottles of soy sauce. I got refunded on that too. The veggies are mostly very good. Sometimes a little wrinkly. Still okay to eat but you might have to use them up fairly quickly. I paused my order this week because I have a lot of vegetables to use up.

    I have also used Schwans and been pleased with everything I have ordered.

    Besides grocery stores, does anyone have any experience in ordering dairy products thru the mail? Such as sour cream, cream cheese, cheeses?

    by Louise — October 21, 2020

  9. I have ordered from Schwans for over 20 years, in two states, and love it. Some things we love others we don’t. You have to read the reviews and try for yourself. One nice thing is there are many single serve items. They may not be listed that way, read the instructions. The bag meals for instance are easy to make just half of. Other things may be packaged individually.

    Also, check your small local markets. One of mine has been doing order on line with curbside pickup. They don’t advertise it much but it has been a big help.

    by Margaux — October 21, 2020

  10. Anybody have any luck getting wipes from one of these services? Or anywhere else? Seems like a treasure hunt with no booty to me these days!

    by Admin — October 21, 2020

  11. Thanks for the tip, Barb. I never heard of it. I didn’t know you lived near me. Some places don’t serve the East Bay, including Whole Foods.
    Rich B, a 15-20% tip is customary.
    Admin, can’t get wipes of Lyslol anywhere. We are in a big spike here and I fear necessities will get hard to find again.

    by Maimi — October 21, 2020

  12. I agree with Mary about Schwan’s. I received a 50% off coupon for new customers before the pandemic. I probably wouldn’t have used it, but once the pandemic hit I placed an order. Wish I could remember where I got the coupon from. I’ve placed a couple of orders with them since (I think they sent me a 25% off deal) and have always been pleased with the food and delivery.

    by Tess — October 21, 2020

  13. Concerning the wipes question…..I make my own disinfectant. You can use hydrogen peroxide. I also bought a regular liquid bottle of Lysol and saturate paper towels and it does the trick.

    by Mary11 — October 21, 2020

  14. Concerning the wipes question…..I make my own disinfectant. You can use hydrogen peroxide. I also bought a regular liquid bottle of Lysol and saturate paper towels and it does the trick. Also, Schwan’s doesn’t accept tips…

    by Mary11 — October 21, 2020

  15. Maimi and Louise,

    I just want to mention that I have not had any experience even close to what Louise reports with regard to Imperfect foods. Summer in Rhode Island was unusually hot this year, but the produce I received was gorgeous and very fresh and I have ordered apples, mandarin oranges, pears, peaches, red and green peppers, cherry tomatoes, broccoli, Boston lettuce, cucumbers, avocado , and carrots. Some of the carrots were very large and somewhat misshapen but they were very fresh and never wrinkled at all. As well I have ordered cheeses and those have been wonderful. The meat I have requested has been limited to pork chops and chicken and those items have always arrived completely frozen and positioned inside of the foil, bubble wrapped bag on a large, bagged block of ice. They have been of excellent quality and I am picky about fresh food. My particular delivery comes from Boston and generally arrives at my door mid to late
    afternoon. I have been very pleased with both content and service. As I previously indicated, I was skeptical at first, but this place does a remarkable job in my humble opinion.

    by Barb — October 22, 2020

  16. Thanks Barb, I went to their website and entered my zip code and they don’t deliver to my town. I don’t know why so many delivery services don’t come to the East Bay! Whole Foods doesn’t come either. So, I am stuck with Stop and Shop, which is a disaster or Shaw’s. I paid for the annual fee for S&S Peapod and twice they arrived with about 1/4 of my order and very little food. I called and they said the warehouse was empty. So, I signed up and paid the annual fee for Instacart at Shaw’s. So, far so good, but it is expensive. Instacart is like virtual shopping. The shopper communicates with you via app while they are shopping, so if the store is out of something they can ask about replacements. They send pictures of produce or anything they have a question about. It has been great. Not really a time saver, as you stay online with them the whole time they are shopping, but heck, I am housebound during this pandemic. So, I try to order 2 weeks worth at a time and tip them about 55 dollars each time. It is usually college kids who are working hard during the pandemic and I admire that. If it is a bigger order, I tip more. It is expensive. Also, the sales price in the store does not apply. I don’t have many choices here for some reason.

    by Maimi — October 22, 2020

  17. In my next move after Covid…..will only move to an area that offers grocery delivery services especially from large grocery stores.

    by Mary11 — October 22, 2020

  18. Maimi-

    I am sorry to hear that Imperfect Foods doesn’t deliver to the East Bay. What a shame. I did Instacart with Whole Foods early on in the pandemic (prior to discovering Imperfect Foods) and the quality was excellent but the price was exorbitant- and, like you, I tipped generously. Imperfect Foods just leaves the chilled box on my doorstep if I am not here, so I am not so worried about tipping as it is more the way Amazon delivers things in this area. I am wondering about Seabra in Bristol/ Warren area and whether they might deliver for you? I am aware that services can be very different depending on which side of the bay you reside and there are a lot of businesses (contractors, plumbing, electrical, etc.) who limit their clientele to the side of the bay they operate from. It does seem rather provincial for a state as tiny as ours, but sometimes that “swamp yankee”mentality does prevail! My best wishes to you as we all navigate these challenges together.

    by Barb — October 23, 2020

  19. Barb, just to let you know, my Imperfect delivery does not come from Boston which would make more sense because I live in CT. Mine comes from Maryland I believe. Yes, I have had many mishaps with Imperfect foods. My delivery day is supposed to be Friday’s but would arrive on Saturday. Imperfect Foods did everything right, it was the delivery company that decided that perishable foods were not important enough to deliver on the appointed day. This delivery company is careless and I urged them to change to another more dependable company but I am guessing they have a contract with this loser company. I have also had other mistakes with my orders and have had to call to get refunded. I think they are a growing company and are experiencing growing pains. They had an advertising blitz on TV recently which thru everything out of whack for them for not having enough personnel to pack up the orders. I spoke to the customer service person and that is what they told me. I got two Friday orders on the following Tuesdays. I have been very patient with them because I do not always want to go to the store for veggies during this pandemic and this is at least an alternative to fill in the gaps. The customer service people are very helpful and are trying to correct issues. The wrinkly vegetables were green and red peppers. Barb, if you have always gotten perfect vegetables in your box, consider yourself very lucky. Most of mine are fine but some are not what I would choose if I went to the store. During these times I am just lowering my standards and dealing with it.

    by Louise — October 23, 2020

  20. Thanks Barb, Seabra doesn’t carry the food I eat, which is mostly organic vegetables. I grew up on your side of the bay, but haven’t been there for many years. You have so many choices in grocery stores there. How are things going over there? I hear Trader Joe’s is great, not sure if they deliver.

    by Maimi — October 23, 2020

  21. Maimi and Louise-

    Sorry I have not been able to be more helpful. Louise- I had no idea of delivery company issues with Imperfect Foods- sorry to hear and hope they are able to fix it!

    Maimi- we are doing ok over on the west bay. I am near to Pawtuxet Village and people have been very respectful for the most part. I hope you find someplace to get your veggies. The only other places I can think of that might offer some options are Clement’s in Portsmouth ( quite a nice market and they do have delivery) or Four Town Farm which is technically in Seekonk ( their indoor market has beautiful produce and it’s a lovely place. Best wishes
    to you both! Keep safe and well!

    by Barb — October 23, 2020

  22. I am chuckling about grocery delivery because I remember, as a kid, watching “Leave it to Beaver” and other similar shows where some teenager would drop off the Cleaver’s grocery delivery and I always found that odd. I grew up in Chicago and my folks walked the block and a half to the grocer pulling a metal cart. They’d load up for the week and trudge home.

    by Lara — October 25, 2020

  23. Lara, needing to have groceries delivered in a pandemic is not a luxury and is no joke. Nothing to chuckle about, really! Your parents did not live through the worst global pandemic in over 100 years. Some of us cannot go into a store because we are at very high risk. Before this pandemic, I never needed any help getting groceries or anything else! I am a cancer patient who worked full time, was completely independent, and never needed help getting groceries. Because eating is a necessity and some of us cannot go into a store, it is an added expense. When this pandemic first started, getting food and necessities delivered was a challenge, because the warehouses were not prepared for the increased demand. This pandemic is a real hardship for many of us and It is not going away anytime soon, thanks to the total mismanagement from the beginning.

    by Maimi — October 26, 2020

  24. As in all crises, we all need a little humor day-to-day. I found Lara story intriguing as well as memory provoking and a lift to my spirits. In no way did it diminish the Covid-19 situation. As an Army brat, I have similar local shopping memories all over the US and Germany. Taking us back in these times preserves the future hopes.

    by RichPB — October 26, 2020

  25. Lara,

    I loved your story and it brought back memories to me of my childhood. My grandmother in the 1950’s and early 60’s had her groceries delivered from the neighborhood market weekly. I also had a pediatrician who made house calls most of my childhood. The milkman delivered bottles of milk every morning and we had fresh mild in a little insulated milk box to wake up to. I was born in 1954 and this was a blast from the past.

    These days the delivery services are needed by many of us, and we can choose to use them or not. I feel it is safer to do so and order each week through my Amazon app from Whole Foods Market. I am thankful for this service, it is not more expensive here and I am a Prime Member. One day I went into Whole Foods just to pick up food for the week since I was banking nearby and it was inundated with personal shoppers! I felt I did not belong there, too much hustle and bustle–the next week I safely stayed home and had my groceries delivered.

    by Jennifer — October 26, 2020

  26. We had some comments on another Blog that we are moving over here.

    From Louise:
    Thank you Roland! I hope it helps anyone that may not be as mobile as they used to be and still be able to enjoy things they love.

    Other good places to consider ordering from is QVC and Schwan’s. I have ordered food items from both. The food comes frozen and packed well. I ordered my Tomato plants from a place called Roberta’s and they usually sell plants on QVC too. This year I ordered directly from them and the plants came in perfect condition the exact time for my zone. I have also ordered seeds from sellers on Etsy. Basil, lettuce, cucumbers. This is my second year in a row with excellent results from the seeds! I received an offer to buy wine thru the mail with no membership involved. I ordered a case and no broken bottles.

    One more thing I will mention as not to bore all to death is that I always order pet friendly salt from Home Depot in August. I usually buy about ten 50# bags and have it delivered. It is cheap to buy in August but is pricey when the real cold weather hits! I had one bag that busted open during shipment and we lost about 1/4 bag. I called HD and they asked if I would be okay if they only charged me half price for that bag and I accepted the offer.

    I would love to hear what others are ordering and from where!

    From Louise
    Yes, regarding having things delivered to the house! Due to this pandemic I became, and still am, the ‘purchasing agent’ in our household. Husband is the warehouse manager/coordinator and stores all the supplies on shelves and freezers. I use a variety of places to order things. Walmart, Target, Amazon, Costco, but other websites too. I have joined Misfits for organic veggies and fruits. I get some meat from Butcher Box shipped once a month and some frozen meat from Costco. I have had the liquor store deliver for a small fee and I do curbside grocery shopping about once a month. I stock up on frozen vegetables, breads, things in glass jars, sometimes meats. Whatever I need. In more than a years time I probably went inside the grocery store 6 times. I even ordered a small freezer that was delivered to the house! If you put your mind to it, most things can be ordered. I try to always get free shipping. Walmart is only $35 minimum and there is always something you can buy to avoid shipping charges. I also learned that if I need $70 worth of items from Walmart, to order two $35 orders. Otherwise they tend to overload the boxes and make them too heavy. Forget buying anything in glass jars. Learned the hard way with lots of broken glass with no attempt to protect it with bubble wrap. Everything comes broken. Target is about the same for min. purchases. I am not a Prime member and don’t order from Amazon much unless it is a last resort. They wait almost a week for shipping if you are not a Prime member. If you don’t need something fast it is okay. The only drawback of ordering stuff on line is dealing with the cardboard boxes and breaking them down for recycling. Husband, the warehouse manager does that!
    We have a local landscaping company in town and a month ago had them deliver a truckload of bagged mulch, potting mix, peat moss and other stuff. The delivery fee was a little high but it still worked out good. I have also ordered things from Home Depot. They now have some household goods to decorate your house, not just lumber, nails and paint. Oh, and of course the option of ordering your drugs thru the mail with your Medicare drug plan. Even my dog is on prescription drugs/food and I order those from Chewy and another pharmacy for animal medicines. My Walmart is not a super Walmart but a few times this year I have placed an order and they will deliver part of the order on my doorstep within hours! My only suggestion is that if you get into ordering stuff like I do, keep a notebook of where, what and date you ordered the stuff. I have so much incoming items, it is hard to keep track without a notebook. Also, remember to put dates on your frozen items and rotate the inventory in your ‘warehouse’. First in, first out! I also forgot to mention in my area there is Peapod (associated with Stop & Shop grocery store) and a truck will deliver your groceries right to your door at a specified day and window of time. I kind of prefer curbside only because I don’t have to wait for the driver to appear and while out I can stop and do an errand on the way back home.

    by Admin — June 9, 2021

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