What Is Amazon Fresh and Is It Worth It?

If you pay for Amazon Prime, you could be missing out on one of the largest perks of the membership – Amazon Fresh delivery.

If you live in an eligible area, you could have groceries delivered to your doorstep on the day you order them. Is Amazon Fresh worth it or should you stick to standing in the long grocery store lines?

Check out our review of the service below. 

What is Amazon Fresh?

Amazon Fresh is a grocery delivery service run by Amazon, meant to rival delivery services like Instacart and Shipt. Some of the groceries come from Whole Foods if you’re in the United States, but they work with other grocery stores too and also sell private labels.

Amazon Fresh isn’t available in all areas of the United States, you can check availability in your area by clicking here and entering your zip code. It will tell you if Amazon Fresh is available in your area. If it’s not available, they may give you the option to pick up your order at the closest available locations rather than have it delivered but it may not be convenient.

How Does Amazon Fresh Work?

Amazon Fresh is a part of your Amazon Prime membership (if you have one). If you don’t, you can sign up for $12.99/month or $119/year. Your Amazon Fresh membership may not immediately be available, new members often have to wait for an invitation from Amazon.

If you don’t have access to Amazon Fresh, you can request access here. Amazon will email you when they receive your request and again when they grant you access. 

Once you are a member, you can shop for groceries online through Amazon, much as you’d shop for anything else on Amazon. The brands they offer include Whole Foods’ brand ‘Whole 365,’ some Amazon brands, and other name brands you’d find at your local grocery store.

You can search for individual items in the Amazon Fresh search bar or shop by category, browsing much like you would in the grocery store. When you find items you want, just click ‘Add to Cart.’ You can modify what’s in your cart at any time before checkout.

On your cart page, you can see your running total as well as how much more you must spend to get free shipping. Delivery is free on orders of $35 or more in most areas, but a few select areas require $50+ before you get free shipping.

How to Place an Amazon Fresh Order?

It’s easy to place an Amazon Fresh order using these steps:

  1. Sign into your Amazon Prime account or sign up for Amazon Prime
  2. Make sure Amazon Fresh is available in your area and on your account
  3. If not, request access
  4. Use Amazon.com or the Amazon app to shop for your groceries
  5. Add your items to the cart
  6. Make sure you add enough to get the free shipping or check the shipping charges
  7. Confirm your delivery address
  8. Choose your delivery date and time
  9. Review your order and add any special instructions you have for the driver
  10. Pay for your order and wait for your groceries

What can you get with Amazon Fresh?

Shopping Amazon Fresh is much like shopping at your local grocery store. They have the following categories:

  • Fresh Produce
  • Meat & Seafood
  • Dairy & Eggs
  • Frozen Food
  • Beer, Wine, & Spirits
  • Household

What are the Benefits of Amazon Fresh?

  • You can shop for groceries from home any time of day or night
  • You don’t have to be home to receive the groceries and if you have special instructions where to leave them, you can state it at checkout
  • You may be able to get same day delivery if you order early in the day
  • Most customers are happy with the quality of the meat and produce
  • You can shop the ‘Deals and Coupons’ page to save money
  • You can ‘reshop’ previous purchases by clicking on the ‘Past Purchases’ section in your account
  • You can see your running total which may make it easier to stick to your intended grocery budget
  • The checkout is separate from ‘regular Amazon’ so you can create a running cart throughout the week and still make regular Amazon purchases

What are the Downsides?

  • There’s no option to make decisions about substitutions like most online grocery stores offer. Amazon states they may substitute items at their discretion, but you typically aren’t charged for the item if it’s not exactly what you ordered.
  • Before you check out, you’re taken to a ‘candy aisle’ checkout much like you find at your local grocery store. They try to hit you with impulse buys before you checkout. It’s rather easy to click ‘Add to Cart’ without thinking about the purchase.
  • You must be a Prime member, at a cost of $12.99/month or $119 a year if you want to save a little money.
  • Delivery is only free if you spend at least $35. If you’re using it as a fill-in grocery service and not your main grocery shopping, you may have a tougher time hitting the threshold. 
  • Amazon Fresh has a hard time keeping items in stock. When something goes out of stock, it usually takes a day or two for them to restock which could delay your grocery buying process.

Amazon Fresh vs Whole Foods

Many people wonder what’s the difference between Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods since Amazon Fresh offers ‘some’ Whole Foods’ products.

The main difference is the brand selection. Whole Foods focuses on organic products at higher prices than your typical grocery store. Amazon Fresh offers a variety of traditional and organic foods at lower prices.

Amazon Fresh is for a much broader audience than Whole Foods. Customers of Whole Foods typically only consume whole and organic foods versus private label and store brand foods of both processed and organic nature.

Amazon Fresh FAQs

Is Amazon Fresh free with Prime?

Yes, Amazon Fresh is free with Prime. It’s another benefit of having a Prime membership aside from the free and fast shipping, Amazon Prime Video and Music.W

Can anyone shop at Amazon Fresh?

If you don’t have a Prime membership but receive an invitation from a Prime member, you may shop Amazon Fresh. You can do this by ‘sharing’ your Amazon Prime membership

Is Amazon Fresh still delivering to homes?

Yes, Amazon Fresh delivers to homes if you are within their delivery radius. Visiting the Amazon Fresh page and entering your zip code will tell you if you live within the boundaries. As long as you don’t purchase any age restricted items (such as alcohol), they can leave the delivery on your porch or where you specify in the special instructions.

Where does Amazon Prime get their groceries?

Many of the grocery items are from Whole Foods, but Amazon also gets some of their groceries from their own warehouse and other private labels.

Is Amazon Fresh expensive?

Like any grocery store, Amazon Fresh has prices lower than some grocery stores and higher than others. On average, their produce is more expensive than a local grocery store, but their dry goods are often less expensive than traditional grocery stores. They also have a great coupons and deals section where you can shop sale items and save some money.

Should you tip Amazon Fresh drivers?

According to Amazon, tipping Amazon Fresh drivers is completely optional. The service is a part of your Prime membership and if you spend at least $35 (in most areas) delivery is free, but you can tip the driver if you wish.

Are Amazon Fresh deliveries able to sit outside?

Yes, if your delivery will be unattended, Amazon Fresh delivers them in green totes that include ice packs or dry ice to keep your groceries fresh.

How do you cancel Amazon Fresh?

Since Amazon Fresh is a part of your Prime membership, you don’t have to do anything to cancel it. If you want to cancel your Prime membership, though, click here

Amazon Fresh – Is It Worth It?

If you despise grocery shopping every week and love the thought of having groceries delivered to your doorstep, Amazon Fresh could be worth it. Since it doesn’t cost anything extra IF you’re already an Amazon Prime member, it’s almost a no-brainer.

If you aren’t an Amazon Prime member, though, think about whether it’s worth it. When you pay for Amazon Prime, you pay for fast and free shipping on most Amazon products, Amazon Video/Music, and Amazon Fresh (in most areas). If you don’t see yourself using the service at least a few times a month, it may not be worth it.

Kim Pinnelli is a personal finance freelance writer and koopy.com contributor. She lives in the Chicago suburbs, writing from home for the last 13 years. Kim enjoys helping people understand personal finances and writes on topics about saving money, investing, planning for retirement, and ways to increase income. In her free time, Kim enjoys hanging out with her 3 children, reading, crocheting, and spending time outdoors.

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