Walking the aisles of Costco is magical. There are always new products to explore, and the end has free samples.
Unfortunately, we don’t always have time to wander the warehouse. Instead, we peruse the aisles from the comforts of home. Costco online grocery is an excellent time-saving benefit for members.
But, making a Costco order online is not straightforward. There are several delivery options, and product availability varies for each. Even shopping mavens may find it tricky.
Let’s walk through the ins and out of Costco online food shopping.
Does Costco Offer Online Shopping — Can You Order Costco Groceries Online?
Costco offers online shopping, although the items may be different from what’s in your local warehouse.
You can also order Costco groceries online. There are several ways to do it, and each service has varying products, prices, and shipping times.
Same-day Instacart has shoppers employed by their company walk the Costco aisles and assemble your order. It comes with a price as products are marked up, and the bill includes several fees.
The warehouse giant also offers two-day delivery for pantry items and non-perishables. Some things are marked up, but there is no shipping fee once you reach the minimum non-perishable frozen and cold items like meats and dairy. FedEx delivers these orders, while UPS delivers nonperishables.
How Does Costco Online Food Shopping Work?
There are three ways to order groceries-perishables Costco, same-day through Instacart, 2-Day, and cold delivery. The differences are the product offerings and shipping. You must be a member to shop online for any method.
We will go into more detail for each, but here’s a quick breakdown.
|2-Day||Items stocked in the local warehouse||Two days if the order is placed before noon.||Free with a $75 minimum. Prices may be marked up slightly versus in the warehouse.|
|Same Day||Items stocked in the local warehouse||Day of order via Instacart||Products are marked up, and delivery and service fees added|
|Cold and Frozen||Dairy, meats, and other items, some different from the local warehouse||Two days if the order is placed before noon.||Free with a minimum $100 purchase prices may be marked up slightly versus in the warehouse|
Costco 2-Day Delivery
Available nationwide, this service is for members only to order pantry items and non-perishable goods.
The offerings are likely found in your non-perishable, and prices may be slightly marked up.
Orders placed before noon arrive within two business days, and orders on holidays are delivered two days later.
Costco 2-Day Delivery Schedule
|Day Order Placed(Before Noon)||Delivery Date|
Costco 2-Day Delivery Fee
Delivery fees vary based on the items ordered, and all fees are waived once the $75 minimum order is met.
Costco 2-Day Delivery 2022 Review
Costco’s 2-Day delivery is an excellent addition to trips to the warehouse, but it won’t completely replace trips to the store. Products vary from in-person shopping, and it’s more expensive.
If you are buying bulky items that take up a lot of trunk space, online grocery ordering from Costco is a great option. Add toilet paper, paper towels, and a few other products, and you quickly meet the free shipping minimum. This frees up cart space and saves you from lugging those items through the store and to your home.
Costco 2-Day Delivery is a great way to try new items that your local warehouse may not carry. But you won’t be able to find everything in the warehouse since orders are shipped from regional fulfillment centers. Popular items are often out of stock, and you can’t get cold items or prepared foods like the cult favorite rotisserie chicken.
If you are on a fixed budget, you want to visit the warehouse since items are marked up by a few dollars to offset the cost of preparing orders.
Costco Same Day — Instacart
If you’ve ever wished for someone to do Costco shopping for you, it exists! The warehouse giant offers same-day grocery delivery via Instacart.
Here’s how it works. You place an online order, and then Instacart shoppers walk the aisles to fulfill your order. If shoppers have questions while gathering your order, they will text you. After they checkout, the Instacart worker delivers the order to your home.
This service comes at a cost. In addition to higher product prices, delivery fees and driver tips are added to the final bill. These costs add up!
Costco Same Day — Instacart Review
Instacart is a solid option if you need groceries immediately and aren’t concerned about extra fees. It is very expensive, which defeats the purpose of saving money by buying in bulk.
It is nice to have groceries from Costco delivered, BUT it’s expensive. If you have more money than time, this may work for you. However, if you are on a budget, head to the warehouse to save cash.
Costco Online Grocery Shopping — Cold and Frozen Delivery
Costco quietly rolled out a cold and frozen delivery service in 2021. Members can now purchase meats, cheese, and some prepared foods online, and orders are shipped via FedEx. There is no shipping fee once the $100 minimum is met.
You won’t find the entire cold and frozen food section online. Notably, missing items include milk, frozen appetizers, and desserts. Although new items are added constantly.
Cold and frozen delivery is great if you need to stock your deep freezer but don’t have time for a trip to the warehouse. The markups aren’t too high, and they often carry products not found at your local store.
Since the service began, I’ve placed several orders, and items have always arrived cold. Initial orders had lots of extra packaging, but it seems as though the company is trying to streamline the process. Recent orders aren’t as bulky, and most packing materials are recyclable.
A 2022 Costco Online Grocery Shopping Review
If you need to restock your deep freezer or pantry, Costco online grocery shopping is a solid option. While items are priced higher than at the warehouse, you save money if you meet the order minimums. Make sure you meet the minimum, as shipping fees sometimes are outrageous.
I would stay away from Same-Day Orders via Instacart. The fees are very high, and since they are calculated based on your final order (which may include substitutions or exclude out-of-stock items), final bill totals are difficult to determine. This is not ideal if you are on a budget.
Costco Online Grocery FAQs
Does Costco Offer Online Shopping
Yes! Costco allows you to shop online for many of its products. Not everything stocked at the warehouse is available, and prices are marked up.
Costco online grocery shopping is available for perishables and nonperishables through Instacart and their 2-Day Grocery program. Prices and offerings vary.
You won’t likely be able to cross every item off of your grocery list by shopping online. Prices are also marked up to cover additional packing costs.
Is Grocery Delivery From Costco Free?
Grocery delivery from Costco is NOT free. While shipping fees are waived once minimums are met, prices are marked up to cover expenses.
You will pay more if you shop online at Costco.
These additional fees vary based on how you place your online order. Two-day shipping is the cheapest, with the lowest markups, while Same-Day Shipping via Instacart has higher prices and more fees. The company charges service fees and adds tips for their workers to your final bill.
Costco Online Grocery Shopping — Is Costco More Expensive If You Order Online?
Costco groceries are more expensive if you order online. The company charges more per item to cover the costs associated with packing and shipping.
It’s worth noting that the company does not mark up products much. In fact, the company has promised not to charge more than 15% over cost for items they sell. Other retailers charge consumers 30-60%.
The exact amount of product price increases online is not widely known, but we have found prices about $1-3 more online than in warehouses.
Is Instacart Costco Expensive?
Everyone has a different notion of expensive based on their budgets, but Instacart Costco will cost you much more than a trip to the warehouse.
Prices for each item you buy are higher, plus you are paying Instacart fees. Your final bill will include a delivery fee, service fee, and tip for the driver. These all add up!
If you are on a budget or trying to save money, it’s best to go to the store to do your shopping. Even if you include the cost of gas, it will still be cheaper than using Instacart.
Does Costco Offer Grocery Pickup?
There are several ways to Costco Online Grocery shop, but none of them allow for pickup at the store. This information is current as of November 2022.
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