Sometimes you just don't have time to drive to the grocery store, peruse the aisles, and haul home your food. Fortunately, online grocery stores have become wildly popular, especially among time-strapped urbanites, but also across the country. Along with East Coast standbys like Peapod and FreshDirect, a new crop of online grocers has popped up, each offering different perks and parameters to suit various needs and lifestyles.
Best in a Pinch
If you want to do an impromptu gathering at your place but don't have time to hit the grocery store – or if you've totally spaced that your in-laws are arriving that evening – try out InstaCart. This crowdsourced service uses a network of personal shoppers who'll grab your order from Whole Foods, Costco, Safeway, and other local retailers and deliver the goods to your door pronto.
Two-hour delivery costs just $3.99, one-hour costs $14.99, and if you become an InstaCart Express member for an annual $99 fee, there's no delivery charge on orders over $35. Right now, InstaCard operates in New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, D.C., Chicago, and the San Francisco Bay Area. It also just launched in Los Angeles this month and plans to expand to other cities very soon. [instacart.com]