I decided to try Amazon Prime Now over this past weekend to be able to share my thoughts and opinions about it! I know many of you are busy ladies whose schedules are already packed, and getting to the grocery store can sometimes be a pain. Using a service like Amazon Prime Now is convenient and can definitely save you time. I share all of the pros and cons in this post! Also, I completely did this review on my own! I was not compensated by Amazon in any way.
What is Amazon Prime Now?
Amazon Prime Now is a service through Amazon where you can get groceries, household supplies and even restaurant meals delivered right to your doorstep within a matter of hours. You just need an Amazon Prime account (which is $12.99/month and $99/year, or $49/year if you’re a student). Orders over $35 have free delivery, although there is also an additional fee option to tip your delivery driver.
They deliver all throughout the morning and evening, 7 days per week. I placed my order around 10am on Sunday and was able to select a 2-hour delivery window of 12pm-2pm. You can select a 1-hour delivery window for an additional $4.99 fee. They will leave the order on your doorstep unless you order alcohol, in which case you need to be home to sign for it.
Location: It seems like this service is only offered in the major big cities right now. You can visit the Prime Now website to check for your location (look in the upper left corner of the website and click on where it asks for your zip code).
I was primarily placing my order to test out the service for my clients, so I tried to order a variety of different items just to see how they would travel and hold. I made a chicken and mushroom dish for dinner last night and I’m also working on an oatmeal post for G&G, so many of my items were related to those two things. Here is what I ordered along with the pricing:
- Sliced mushrooms, 8-10oz. pack: $2.09
- Barefoot Pinot Grigio: $6.99 (um, I feel the need to note that this is for cooking, not drinking from the bottle)
- Bananas, 1 bunch: $1.49
- Yellow Onions, 3lb. bag: $1.89
- Philadelphia Cream Cheese, 8oz: $2.89
- Sea Salt (365 Everyday Value Brand), 26.5oz.: $1.69
- Thyme (365 Everyday Value Brand), 0.49oz.: $2.99
- Organic Pasta Sauce (365 Everyday Value Brand): $2.79
- Organic Instant Oatmeal Cup, Ginger Snap Oats and Flax (365 Everyday Value Brand): $1.99
- Instant Oatmeal Express Cup, Apple Cinnamon (Quaker): $1.26
- Real Medleys Instant Oatmeal Cup, Apple + Walnut (Quaker): $1.75
- Whole Foods Lavendar Vanilla Bath Bomb: $2.99
- Halo Top Ice Cream, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough: $4.99
- Reese’s Peanut Butter Puffs Cereal: $3.99
Amazon defaults the delivery driver’s tip to $5 on your order but you can go in and edit it. I left the tip at $5 on my order but ended up giving her an additional $5 in cash when she got to my house because it was pouring down rain and she was completely drenched.
My order was out for delivery right at 12:00pm and I received notification via text and email. Something cool was that I could track my delivery driver to see where she was as she was out delivering. It looked like she made 1 stop before me, and I could tell she was on my way to my house when she left her first stop. She got to my house at 12:10pm.
Because I had wine on my order, I had to be home to show my ID when my order was being delivered. Otherwise, the delivery driver would have left my bags on my doorstep. She scanned the bar code on the back of my ID and I also had to sign for my wine via an app on her phone. My driver was very nice and her car looked completely full of deliveries.
Once she left, I received a text message and email notification that the package had been delivered. This would be very helpful if the groceries had been dropped off when I was not at home.
A few things I wanted to note about my delivery based off of some things I purposely ordered…
The bananas were slightly green and a little bruised around the edges. I was curious to see how ripe they would be and I was pretty happy with the ones in my order.
The spaghetti sauce was obviously fragile and there were no issues with the glass jar.
The Halo Top ice cream came in a refrigerated bag. It was still completely frozen when it got to my house.
The cream cheese was in the same shopping bag as the Halo Top but it was not in the refrigerated bag. I’m not sure if that baggy was intended to chill things touching it on the outside but I wouldn’t consider the cream cheese as being refrigerated. It looked like it only took 10 minutes to get to my house and the cream cheese was still cold. This was no big deal to me since I was there to accept the order but I’m not sure I would have wanted it sitting outside if I wasn’t at home. I also don’t know if they would have put the item in a refrigerated bag had I not had to sign for the order.
Pros and Cons
There were so many pros and cons to using Amazon Prime Now! I think that your current schedule, shopping habits and financial situation would dictate how you feel about the pros and cons. I’ve tried to weigh some of them for you here:
Super convenient: This goes without saying but ordering your groceries online is way more convenient than going to the store. This is especially true if you have a hectic schedule or live in a city with crappy traffic (hey, Charlotte!). I think about me and my fiance where we easily work 12+ hour days at times, and the convenience factor suddenly becomes huge.
I decided to place an order in the morning and basically had all of my items on my doorstep in 2 hours. Fun fact is that I took a bubble bath in the middle of that.
Accurate: I received exactly what I ordered, including the same brands and flavors I was expecting. The time frame was also very accurate. I could see it being worth paying an extra $4.99 if you wanted a 1-hour window instead.
Not Crazy Expensive: So, I think pricing is relative to what you’re spending now on groceries, but I didn’t think the items that I ordered were outrageously expensive compared to what they would have cost in the grocery store.
You can order alcohol: The wine selection wasn’t too crazy but they did offer a lot of the popular lower end wines (Dark horse, Apothic, Menage a Trois, Columbia Crest, Carnivor, etc.). While this may not be ideal for a wine connoisseur, the idea of having wine delivered is super appealing for large get-togethers. The beer selection looked good, probably better than the wine!
Search Feature: It was really nice to have my grocery list and be able to type in exactly what I wanted! If you are big list shopper then you will love this.
Perfect for Big Parties and Last Minute Needs: Do you hate going to the grocery store to stock up on things for a big party or get-together? Picking out multiples of bulk items and then carrying all of those bags can be exhausting to me. It would be so much nicer to have these items delivered. I was also thinking of instances where I have gotten home and realized I forgot items. I loved that my delivery options included shorter windows where I could get something within 2 hours of my order.
Searching instead of browsing: If you are the type of person who doesn’t make a grocery list and just goes to the store to browse things then I could see how Amazon Prime Now may not be a good fit for you. You can select categories on the website and look through those but it really isn’t the same as browsing the grocery store shelves. Sometimes I like to compare different products, especially the nutrition labels, so not being able to do this in the store was a negative for me.
Less of a selection: The selection of some of the items is pretty small right now. I’m not sure if that will improve as this program grows. I was really having a craving for candy hearts (what? It’s Valentine’s Day soon) and I had brussels sprouts on the menu this week, and neither was available to order. I also wanted to order Fairlife milk and they only had it in chocolate. On the flip side of that, they had a lot of oatmeal options. So I guess it depends on the item (and if it’s a dry good vs. refrigerated).
Produce in bulk: something that I didn’t love was that there is no option to order individual produce items. Everything came in bulk, and some of the produce seemed super expensive for the bulk item. For example, a 3lb. bag of clementines was $6.49. This is something I could buy at Aldi or Trader Joe’s for much cheaper. On my specific order, I usually only buy individual onions but I ended up having to order a 3lb. bag instead. This may not be a problem for those with larger families, but buying in bulk usually leads to a lot of food waste for me and B.
No opportunity to shop sales: While I didn’t think most of the prices on Amazon Prime now were outrageous, you really miss out on shopping the sales that grocery stores offer. I personally shop sales all the time and then build my meal plan around that. I also shop meat sales and freeze the items until I’m ready to use them. If you’re that type of shopper then you will probably feel like Amazon Prime Now is super expensive.
The only store brand is 365 Everyday Value (Whole Foods): I’m not loyal to buying name brand, which meals I’m almost always buying the store brand of items in the grocery store. I noticed most of the store brand stuff from 365 Everyday Value, which makes sense since Amazon bought Whole Foods. However, this meant a lot of the stuff was organic and therefore a little more pricey than that regular version. I’m sure we could get into a debate all day about the benefits of buying organic items, but my nutrition opinion is that the benefits of organic are minimal and I usually don’t buy organic items. Therefore, I’d rather buy a store brand item that is not organic and is therefore cheaper.
Additional Fees: This is probably a given but tipping the driver and choosing a 1-hour delivery time are two additional fees that can be added on to your order. I paid an additional $10 for my groceries just from tipping the driver. This is a big increase in cost if you’re just ordering $35 of groceries. I guess you would have to decide for yourself if that extra cost is worth it for you. Traffic in my city is insane and I’m usually going to the grocery store at busy hours, so I would gladly pay an extra $5-$10
I wanted to mention that you can use Amazon Prime Now to order household goods, electronics and lots of other stuff- not just groceries.
I really liked Amazon Prime Now and while I don’t think I would use it for my primary form of grocery shopping, I could see scenarios when I would love having it available:
- When I have a super crazy week and would otherwise likely order takeout or go out to eat
- When I’m sick and don’t feel like going to the grocery store
- When I need to order large quantities or am overdue for a big shopping trip
I have a lot of female clients who eat out a ton and/or pick up sweets and snacks because they can’t find time to go to the grocery store. Those items are also pricey, and I like to encourage them to weigh the pros and cons of cost vs. convenience, time and mental health when they’re looking at the prices of meal delivery / prep services.
Have you used Amazon Prime Now?
How do you feel about the cost vs. convenience of these types of services?
Leave me a comment and let me know :)