5 things to know before you sign up for AmazonFresh grocery delivery

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5 things to know before you sign up for AmazonFresh grocery delivery
Image Credit: Flickr/simone.brunozzi
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Is having groceries delivered to your front door worth the extra cost? That’s a question millions of Americans ask themselves when they see those sign-up offers from services like Instacart, Shipt and AmazonFresh.

I finally decided to take AmazonFresh up on its free trial offer and tested it out. Here’s what I learned…

RELATED: How I cut my food bill by nearly $1,200 in one year

AmazonFresh: 5 things you need to know about the grocery delivery service

1. How much does an AmazonFresh membership cost?

There have been some changes to AmazonFresh over the years. The $299 annual membership option no longer exists, but Prime members can pay $14.99 per month for Fresh, which works out to $179.88 a year.

AmazonFresh is available in select cities to Prime members only, though it’s billed separately.

2. What’s there to choose from with AmazonFresh? 

What products can you buy with an AmazonFresh membership? There are groceries, of course, but there’s a lot more to it than that!

This is how Amazon categorizes its Fresh merchandise:

Groceries: Whole Foods products, produce, prepared foods, deli, dairy, frozen foods, meat & seafood, meal kits, beverages, breads, snacks, etc.

Household, Health & Beauty: Cleaning supplies, over-the-counter essentials, personal care items, baby products and pet supplies

Local Market: Local products, such as prepared meals, pressed juice and baked goods, delivered right to your door with the rest of your AmazonFresh order

AmazonFresh grocery selection
AmazonFresh grocery selection

3. How are AmazonFresh’s food prices?

If you’re used to paying Aldi or Costco prices, you may have a difficult time shopping with AmazonFresh. I found the prices were more comparable to Whole Foods, which Amazon now owns.

Check out some of AmazonFresh’s prices for delivery in Atlanta, as of December 18:

  • Bananas, 1 bunch (min. 5 ct.): $1.58
  • Blackberries, 6 oz: $2.50
  • Russet Potatoes, 5 lb: $2.19
  • 365 Everyday Value, Organic Baby Spinach, 5 oz: $1.99
  • 85% Lean Ground Beef, 1 lb: $3.99
  • Tyson, Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts with Rib Meat, 0.94 lb: $3.40
  • Nature’s Own, 100% Whole Wheat Bread, 20 oz: $2.49
  • Happy Belly Cage-Free, Large, White Eggs, 1 Dozen: $2.91
  • 365 Everyday Value, Unsalted Butter, 16 oz: $3.49
  • 365 Everyday Value, Organic Almondmilk Unsweetened, 64 fl oz: $2.99
  • Sara Lee Butter Pound Cake, 10.75 oz (Frozen): $3.99
  • Talenti Gelato, Vanilla Bean 1 pint (Frozen):$3.99

To save money, browse the sale items on the “Fresh Deals” page and look for the orange icons that highlight coupons.

They weren’t on sale, but I really enjoyed these soups from Wickedly Prime, Amazon’s private label. The line also features chips, sweet spreads, teas and other items exclusively for Prime members.

Wickedly Prime soups
Wickedly Prime soups for $3.29/box

4. How does AmazonFresh delivery work? 

Although AmazonFresh has pickup options in some cities, having groceries delivered to your home is what most people prefer because it’s much more convenient.

You can choose to be present at the time of the delivery or have Amazon leave the items at your doorstep.

Amazon says you can place an order in the morning for same-day service or order your groceries at night and have them delivered in the morning.

For example, these are the delivery options for an order placed at 5 p.m.:

Select a date, time and delivery option

I had Amazon leave my first grocery delivery at my doorstep. This is what I came home to…

AmazonFresh delivery
AmazonFresh unattended delivery

I was really impressed with how carefully Amazon packed my groceries. Refrigerated items had multiple ice packs and there was dry ice to keep frozen items at the proper temperature.

The packaging did seem a bit excessive at times, as with these tortillas that got their own large bag!

Tortillas on ice
Lonely tortillas

Note that Amazon will automatically add a tip ($5 for my $75 order), but you can adjust it up or down before checkout. There’s also an additional $9.99 fee for orders under $50.

5. Does AmazonFresh offer a free trial?

Like Amazon Prime, there’s a 30-day free trial of AmazonFresh. You’ll automatically be upgraded to a paid membership at the end of your trial period.

Don’t want to continue AmazonFresh? Here’s how to cancel it:

  1. Go to Your Account.
  2. Select “Manage Prime Membership.”
  3. Select “Manage Fresh Add-on” under the Fresh section. To end a paid membership, select End Membership on the left side. To cancel a free trial, select Do not continue.
How to cancel AmazonFresh
How to cancel AmazonFresh

In addition to the free trial, you can use promo code 25FRESH for $25 off your first AmazonFresh order after spending $100 or more. This offer is only for a limited time!

Final thought

I’ve been doing my own grocery shopping for so long that I wasn’t sure if I could give up control to AmazonFresh, but everything turned out great — selection, ordering, delivery and food quality.

Still, it would take a lot for me to justify the membership fee and food prices that are higher than I’m paying now.

I do think there’s a need for AmazonFresh and other grocery delivery services like it, particularly for people who can’t make it to the store because they’re too busy, lack transportation or are unable to leave the home.

Do you think AmazonFresh is worth it? Share your thoughts on Facebook, Twitter or in the comments below.

RELATED: Amazon delivery late again? Use this sample email to request compensation

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Michael Timmermann paid off his mortgage in two years. Now, he shares his money-saving tips on his blog, Save on Almost Everything.
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