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Discount Diva: Here's the lowdown on grocery delivery

Samantha Christmann

Well, how do you like them apples? Online grocery shopping is finally hitting its stride in Western New York. It’s offered by Dash’s, Walmart and now Wegmans.

Yes, it costs more (except at Walmart), but many busy families, elderly, handicapped and people without transportation say the added cost is worth it. And when you factor in how many impulse purchases you’ll avoid by bypassing the store, you might actually end up saving money – even after tipping the delivery driver!

Wegman’s will begin offering grocery delivery in partnership with Instacart on Tuesday. (John Hickey/Buffalo News file photo)

• Dash’s Markets was the first to bring us online grocery shopping, using technology from third-party app and website Rosie. It was way ahead of the game, throwing down the gauntlet in 2014. It offers in-store pickup during select hours at all locations.

Home delivery is available during the week and can be delivered within the same day if they’re ordered four hours ahead of time. The delivery area goes by ZIP code, available in 14031, 14051, 14068, 14072, 14150, 14214, 14216, 14217, 14221, 14222, 14223, 14226, 14260 and 14261. By popular demand, the store now delivers to Grand Island.

In-store pickup costs $3.99, delivery costs $6.99. Store sales and discounts are honored through the app, but items may cost more online than they do in the store.

Walmart began offering click-and-collect grocery at two local stores in May, at 1540 Military Road in Niagara Falls and 886 Niagara Falls Blvd. in North Tonawanda. It doesn’t offer delivery.

The big-box discounter is unique in that it doesn’t charge extra for pick-up and it doesn’t add any kind of markup on retail prices.

Items purchased online cost the same as in-store purchases, with individual items priced identically as they are on the shelves. The service is free. You don’t even have to go inside, which is a big deal for those with kids asleep in car seats. Just pull up to the curb and they’ll load your trunk for you.

Wegmans began piloting its “personal shopper” curbside pickup program in Pittsford in 2013. In June, it partnered with Instacart to deliver from its stores in other states, and just announced it would expand grocery delivery to Western New York starting Tuesday.

Wegmans expanding grocery delivery service to Buffalo Aug. 1

Wegmans said it will deliver to most households within a 20- to 30-minute drive from a Wegmans store. There’s a delivery fee of $5.99 on orders of $35 or more, plus tip and an additional retail price increase on the items ordered. We won’t know how much more expensive online prices will be until they go live on the app Tuesday.

Instacart is offering a free year of Express membership through Aug. 15. An Instacart Express membership usually costs from $99 to $149, or $14.99 per month, and will get you free, same-day deliveries all year.

You can also enter the promo code “HIBUFFALO20” for your free first delivery and $20 off an order of $35 or more.

Whole Foods will also offer delivery via Instacart when it opens on Sheridan Drive in Amherst this fall, Instacart said. It will deliver for PetCo, CVS and PriceRite, too.

Tops has been working on online grocery delivery and pickup since 2014. It says the services will be available “in the not too distant future” but has declined to share details about the program or when it might start.

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