I Tried Amazon Prime Now, Instacart & CobornsDelivers

This is not a sponsored post. I was not approached by any of these grocery delivery services and paid for all of my orders, using new customer promotions advertised on their sites.

Also, two edits: The minimum purchase for Amazon Prime Now is $20 and you DO need to be home to receive a CobornsDelivers order if you live in an apt. or condo. 

Grocery delivery is not something I would have considered before.

Now that we’re back in the Twin Cities, we both work during weekdays. We can only visit the grocery stores after work or on weekends when they’re the busiest, unless one of us feels like going in the morning. Since we wake-up early during the week, we also crash early, leading us to concentrate socializing to the weekends. This has all led me to try grocery delivery.

Within the past month, I’ve tried Amazon Prime Now, Instacart, and CobornsDelivers, all of which offer a discount for new customers. Even without the intro promotions, I plan to continue using grocery delivery services. This does not mean I won’t shop for my own groceries again. I can’t wait to shop at the farmers markets and still want to support our local butchers, co-ops, seafood shop, and international markets. But, when I anticipate having an especially busy weekend, I’ll consider utilizing grocery delivery. I also found that I spent less on groceries because I could easily track my total as I shopped and made less impulse purchases.

Here’s what I’ve experienced so far:

Amazon Prime Now:
Whether or not you have access depends on your zip code. My cousin lives in Savage (located near the Amazon distribution center in Shakopee  ) and can’t even get Prime Now. This service offers free same-day delivery for orders $20+ and includes grocery staples like dairy and produce. There is an optional tip line with a suggested amount (mine was $5).

If you are placing your first Prime Now order, Amazon might still be running the same $10 off promotion.

Amazon offers the smallest selection of products compared to the other services. Prices are fairly typical to what you’d see in a Target or Cub, but some seemed slightly higher. Unless you want deli meat or kielbasa, your meat options are limited.

There were no issues with my grocery delivery.

Would I use it again? Yes, occasionally. 

If you don’t have access to Amazon Prime Now and want your groceries delivered within the next few hours, there’s Instacart. Instacart is running a promotion for free delivery on your first order. Where you can order from also depends on your zip code. I could choose from Cub Foods or Whole Foods. I chose Cub. Prices seemed pretty typical and I was satisfied with the selection of products.

But two caveats! 

First, Instacart adds a 10% service charge with an option to waive it, plus an additional tip line. I don’t exactly understand where the service fee goes. The description mentions it helps pay fair income to all shoppers while the tip goes to your specific shopper. You can waive the service fee, but you can not adjust it from the 10%. However, you can only input a specific tip amount. Honestly, I’m not sure I completely understand. If you are not a first time user, add a $6 delivery fee, unless you subscribe to Instacart Express, which costs $99 a year or $14.99 a month.

Second, be careful when finalizing your order. Instacart really wants you to subscribe to their Express option. It could be fairly easy to accidentally select this option. I remember some point of the ordering process where I had to check or uncheck a box that would have signed me up for this process.

There were no issues with my grocery delivery. My shopper texted me to double-check that I wanted whole bean coffee and picked out the perfect avocados.

Instacart offers a referral program where whoever you refer gets $10 off their first purchase and you get $10 too.

Would I use it again? Probably not. I’ve already submitted a request to delete my account.

CobornsDelivers is a local company. I like the variety of groceries and feel the prices are fair. Produce tends to run higher. You can buy brand name, Coborns brand, and Food Club. The delivery fees are also straightforward. There are no recurring monthly fees. Delivery fees depend on whether your order is above or below $50 and whether you want same day or next day delivery.

My weekly grocery order is always at least $50. Therefore, my delivery fee would typically be $5 if I placed it online before 11 p.m. the night before. However, Coborns waives new customers’ delivery fees for the first 60 days. I placed my order Saturday evening and was given a delivery window of Sunday between 1-5 p.m. You do not need to be home to receive the delivery if you live in a house. If you live in an apartment or condo, you do. The groceries arrive in the green insulated totes lined with ice packs pictured above in the featured image.

Two other things I like about CobornsDelivers is that they offer many local products. For example, you can buy local craft beer and wine, Heggies pizza, Breadsmith bread, Izzy’s ice cream, and Key’s Cafe caramel rolls. Meal kits are all the rage, and Coborns offers a small selection. Read Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl’s review here. They’re not fancy, but relatively affordable at $20-$28 for four servings. I added one for the week and will update with my thoughts. Coborns offers cooked Let’s Dish meals, too.

Finally, Coborns offers a refer-a-friend program. If someone uses the service for the first time using your email invitation and places an order of $75+, he or she receives a $20 code to apply towards this first order (and you get one too!). I am more than happy to send you a referral email.

There were no issues with my grocery delivery.

Would I use it again? Yes! 

Have you tried grocery delivery or meal kits? What are your thoughts? 


  1. Katie

    I did one free trial of a meal kit, and it was fine, but right now I don’t mind cooking. I haven’t done delivery groceries yet (or even had pizza delivered) but I’m sure that day will come.

    • Jeni

      Jake wants to try Blue Apron. I’m not opposed to trying it, but it seems expensive for the portions. Which one did you try?

  2. Feisty Eats

    They deliver be & wine? Life changer! I used to get delivered groceries when I lived in Fargo & loved it. I also like the idea for elderly when the weather is bad so they don’t have to drive. I’ve done meal kits & they are ok. I think if you are newer to cooking it would be ideal. I think it’s a bit $$.

    • Jeni

      They do! I think you have to sign for those deliveries. That’s a good point that the delivery service can really help people who have trouble going to the store. Jake wants to try meal kits. They seem kind of expensive for single portions. We love leftovers to bring for lunch the next day.

  3. Docrailgun

    Do you have to tip the Amazon driver?

    • Jeni

      Thanks for reminding me I totally forgot to add that part to the post – Amazon just suggests a tip amount but it’s up to the customer.

  4. Amy Rea

    Coborn’s has good fried chicken, FYI. Not Revival-quality, for the price, pretty darned good, and if you reheat it in the oven/toaster oven, it stays crispy.

    • Jeni

      Great to know, thank Amy!

  5. Curious Joe

    Jeni, thanks for the information. Which service is the picture at the top, looks like insulated plastic totes? Did they unpack and take them, or leave them with you until the next order? Thanks!

    • Jeni

      The green containers are from Coburn’s. They pack everything in them with ice. If you are home and can intercept the groceries, they can take away the containers. Otherwise, they leave them until your next order. They do tend to under pack them so you’ll end up with more than you might expect.

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