We Compared Prices for 15 Items on Instacart and AmazonFresh — Here’s What We Learned

updated Nov 4, 2019
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Credit: Instacart & AmazonFresh

Call me late to the game or in need of some help (both would be true), but I have finally decided to start embracing technology and the grocery-delivery services that are available to me. Because lately I feel like I’ve been running myself ragged trying to juggle work, chores, social obligations, exercise, and general adulting. While I can’t exactly pay someone else to do my job or go on my morning runs, I can, at the very least, enlist a helper to do my grocery shopping.

Unsure of which service I should try, I decided to do a quick price comparison between Instacart and AmazonFresh. I looked into the basic membership and delivery fees for both sites and then I looked up the prices for 15 items that I almost always buy on every grocery run. Here’s what I learned.

Note: Product prices may have changed since the original reporting. Instacart prices will vary based on your store selection and where you live. These are merely the numbers I found for my preferred store in New York City, which, by default, would be on the more expensive side. Also: Prices are set by the store you’re shopping at, not by Instacart. Look on each store’s Instacart home page to learn more about their pricing policy.

Membership Information for Instacart Express and AmazonFresh

You do not need to be a member to shop with Instacart. However, if you sign up for Instacart Express (for as little as $99 for the year or $9.99 if you do it by the month) you’ll get free delivery for orders that are more than $35. (Same-day delivery for non-Express members starts at $3.99 for orders more than $35.) For AmazonFresh, you have to be a Prime member ($119 for the year or $12.99 by the month), When I first started reporting this story, you ALSO had to pay an additional monthly membership fee of $14.99, but the company announced just this last Tuesday that all Prime members would get AmazonFresh for free. (I signed up for an invitation and am waiting to hear back!) Delivery is also now free and takes one to two hours, depending on where you live.

Now, let’s see how the prices compare. I bolded the winner for each item. The only tie was the LaCroix.

LaCroix Sparkling Water Grapefruit

Siggi’s Vanilla Yogurt

Hass Avocados


Credit: Lauren Volo

Brussels Sprouts

Pirate’s Booty Aged White Cheddar Puffs

Ancient Harvest Organic Quinoa

Credit: Leela Cyd

Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts

House Foods Organic Firm Tofu

Credit: Joe Lingeman

Applegate Natural Sunday Bacon

Haagen-Dazs Butter Pecan Ice Cream

Credit: Joe Lingeman

Goya Chick Peas

Justin’s Classic Almond Butter

Wild Planet Albacore Wild Tuna

Rao’s Homemade Tomato Basil Sauce

Instacart Prices Versus AmazonFresh Prices

This shopping list of 15 items would cost me $90.11 with Instacart and $66.58 with AmazonFresh. I’m already a Prime member and while that additional $14.99 per month was initially a turn-off, the company just did away with that and now AmazonFresh is a lot more appealing to me.

The thing is, though, I don’t have to pick one over the other. I CAN USE THEM BOTH! I can skip the $99 fee with Instacart and I can use my preexisting Prime membership to shop AmazonFresh. Why shop both when Amazon is clearly cheaper (in this little experiment)? Because Instacart gives me access to all sorts of stores — including my favorite local cheese shop, CVS, and Costco (even though I don’t have a membership to the warehouse club). So I’m thinking I’ll use AmazonFresh (once my invitation request gets approved) for regular grocery shopping and Instacart for items from specialty stores and household supplies.

Do you prefer one of these services over the other? Discuss in the comments below!