I’ve become addicted to Amazon. Living in SF, without a car, is not a problem most of the time. However, there are times when not having a car is a royal pain in the ass. Grocery shopping and dropping off/picking up laundry can both be a huge hassle. Luckily, the laundry problem is solved by a short walk. We are just over a block from the place we take it. We have a fee based small washer/dryer in our garage but they are expensive and rarely dry a regular load of clothes in one cycle.
Grocery shopping comes with 3 options. Option 1 is to purchase a small enough amount you can trek on MUNI with them. Hell no. Option 2, rent a car-share or Uber/Lyft home. Not a bad option but still a hassle. Option 3, order online and have them delivered. Here is where Amazon has really filled a niche. I had used Instacart for a while but their services is so hit & miss I got fed up and switched to Amazon Fresh. Being a prime member, I also get access to Prime Now, which does limited groceries as well. Between the two services, I find no reason to shop in person anymore.1
Amazon originally only offered a yearly fee. I still use this option but they also offer a monthly fee now. The latter is in line with the several services out there that offer this service. The saving grace for Amazon is if you order an item, you always get it. There are a few very rare exceptions. With Instacart, you were always at the whim of what the store actually had and whether the shopper was diligent enough to actually care to get your order right. The only caveat for Fresh is the order has to be at least $50.00.2 For Prime Now, the minimum delivery is $30.00. As long as you meet the minimum amount, there is no delivery fee and you can order as often as you like. And boy do I ever.
Between work and home, I order a lot. And best of all, I end up saving money! Instacart up-charges for many of the places I shopped. Amazon is pretty much on point with retail prices. And while I realize they are still over charging me since they don’t have the overhead a traditional store would have, I am saving money over the alternative options. I order food at least 2 times a week, usually more. I order for both work and home. The monthly (or yearly in my case) fee is easily worth it compared to what I would spend on Uber/Lyft or car-share.
Prime Now has the added benefit of being same day. And while they have now added all of Whole Foods to the options, WF is still quite a bit pricey. You also run into the problem I had with Instacart when ordering from your local WF. But for the staples, it is just lovely. I order from the app while I’m at work and it’s there when I get home. Fresh only offers next day service but that is still pretty damn convenient.
These are first world problems of course. I am fortunate enough to be able to use these services vs having to pinch every penny and trek my ass in person. If you are thinking of using it, especially if you are already a Prime member, it is worth it.
- I stopped by Safeway recently and I was annoyed I ended up just leaving with 2 items [↩]
- This has caused me some consternation as it started as $25.00 and has slowly gone up [↩]