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Amazon Prime expands grocery delivery — will it save you money?

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Amazon Prime will begin delivering Whole Foods’ 365 branded products. That includes more than 3,500 items, most of them pantry staples. The company boasts, “365 products that go the extra mile when it comes to sourcing, worker and animal welfare and supply chain transparency.”

As you can see from the chart below, the prices aren’t going to beat Walmart, but they are competitive against Publix. And if you include the cost of Publix delivery via Instacart, you’ll come out way ahead, even including the $139-a-year cost of Amazon Prime. Taking advantage of an extra 10% off on sale items will help.

This expansion follows the announcement of expanded Amazon Fresh delivery to non-Prime members in selected Zip codes including many in South Florida. See if yours is included.

Here’s how it works:

Amazon Fresh, offering more than 500,000 products, allows customers to schedule a 1- or 2-hour delivery window. It notifies you when your order is on its way. You can check progress and see how many stops remain. Your order will arrive in brown paper bags, insulated envelopes and special produce bags.

You have the option for drop-off delivery, but being home to accept the groceries is the best approach. While they will arrive in appropriate packaging that help control temperature, summer in South Florida isn’t kind to refrigerated or frozen products.

It can pay to read the small print:

  • Small deliveries aren’t eligible for prime, so you’ll pay a small delivery fee for orders under $35 and under $50.
  • If you are a SNAP/EBT customer, Prime membership isn’t required for Amazon Fresh delivery.
  • Sign up for “Prime Subscribe and Save” to save a bundle on things like paper goods and soap that you use regularly. Save 15% when you receive 5 or more products in one auto-delivery to one address. Choose from once every two weeks to once every six months.

Comparing costs of basic groceries 

Item Amazon Walmart Aldi Winn-Dixie Publix Target
1 lb. carrots $1.49 $.98 $.95 $1.50 $1.97 $1.29
5 lb. potatoes $1.69 $4.77 $4.79 $4.99 $6.63 $4.89
1 gal. milk $7.29 $2.93 $2.92 $4.19 $5.09 $3.19
Dozen eggs $4.19 $1.24 $1.44 $1.44 $2.19 $1.19
White bread $2.79 $1.32 $1.29 $2.41 $3.05 $1.39
1 lb. hot dogs $6.99 $1.48 $1.35 $2 $4.65 $2.99
8 buns $2.65 $1.38 $1.29 $2 $2.11 $1.49
1 lb. salad mix $5.99 $4.98 $2.99 $2.50 $3.32 $3.29
1 lb. coffee $6.35 $5.28 $3.89 $3.99 $10.99 $6.99
Oat cereal $5.49 $1.67 $1.65 $3.50 $3.09 $3.99
TOTAL: $44.92 $26.03 $22.56 $28.52 $43.09 $30.70

Aldi buying Winn-Dixie

This sounds like good news for grocery shoppers looking for low prices. Aldi announced Wednesday that it has agreed to acquire Winn-Dixie and Harvey's Supermarket from Southeastern Grocers. The sale includes more than 400 Winn-Dixie and Harvey’s locations in Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi. The deal is likely to close in the first half of 2024.

Not all locations will be rebranded. “For those stores we do not convert, our intention is that these continue to operate as Winn-Dixie and Harvey's Supermarket stores,” Aldi CEO Jason Hart said in a statement.

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Living on the CheapMiami on the Cheap is a member of Living on the Cheap, a network of websites published by frugalistas, journalists and consumer advocates. Find practical advice on saving money on groceries, travel and shopping, plus tips from our experts on how to live the good life for less at Living on the Cheap.

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