The 5 Best Ways to Grocery Shop In Bulk Online

Get cases of water (and lots of other goods!) delivered to your doorstep instead of lugging them to the car first.

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September 05, 2019

The benefits of buying in bulk are aplenty — you’re getting more literal bang for your buck, you don’t have to worry about purchasing non-perishable products frequently and, based on the nature of packaging and shipping bulk items, you’re also lessening your environmental impact. All bonuses, in our book. But there are some situations that make buying in bulk a challenge; most commonly, living in a city sans car or owning a car too small to bring your haul home. If these are your only options, purchasing a two-liter jug of olive oil probably isn’t practical. And, depending on how often you shop, maybe a membership fee isn’t worth it.

But, believe it or not, you have options — online. We found five retailers that offer all the benefits of buying in bulk with the added bonus of groceries delivered straight to your door. Some of these brands don't even require a monthly membership fee, so you can shop to your heart's content without spending an extra $60-plus a year.

Plus, grocery shopping online means you can shop from anywhere — many of these brands have apps. Order hand soap while watching your kid's soccer game or add 24 yogurt cups to your cart in between meetings. And with scheduled delivery, you never have to worry about how long you can leave those dairy product unrefrigerated. Just pick a time when you know you'll be home and you can unpack and store everything in a matter of minutes.

Buying in bulk has never been easier.

Membership: Free

You know and love Costco as a go-to option for buying in bulk. But if you don't live near a store or live in a city (where getting large amounts of groceries back to your apartment is impossible) using your prized Goldstar Member card isn't an option. Luckily, you can have the products you love delivered to your home thanks to InstaCart.

Here's the best part: You don't need a Costco membership to shop via Instascart. However, you do have to live close enough to a Costco warehouse to place an order. While not everything from Costco is available on Instacart, you can still find many of your favorite products. There is a delivery free, but we think getting that seven-pound tub of Nutella is worth it.

By this point, you're probably familiar with the benefits of signing up for an Amazon Prime membership (free, expidited delivery and shipping and a multitude of Prime member deals). But one often overlooked benefit is the opportunity to have large quantities of non-perishable groceries delivered to your door in record time. Never worry about schlepping home cans of soda or worrying about running out of pasta again. That said, don't be surprised if your average order price is higher than usual!

Membership: Free

Along with the bonuses of delivery and a free membership, Boxed has a lot of little perks. For example, since there's nothing worse than realizing you’re out of paper towel the moment you desperately need it, Boxed has incorporated the “Smart Stock-Up/Reorder” feature, which prompts you to reorder when enough time has passed and you’re most-likely running low. And the group ordering feature means grocery shopping with roommates is a breeze — with the option to pay through Venmo, you never have to worry about owing your friends for grocery money again.

Membership: $59.95 per year

If you’re looking to save money while giving back to your community, Thrive Market is a great option. With a yearly membership, Thrive Market promises access to more than 6,000 groceries and kitchen products at 25-50% off retail prices. According to their site, that percentage discount roughly averages $30 per order, “which means most members make back the membership fee in savings in just two purchases.” The brand is so confident in this savings that the company has promised to give back the difference in credit when you renew, if you don’t make back that $59.95 membership fee.

Better yet, with every membership purchased, Thrive Gives will give a free membership to someone in need. Last year, this included families separated at the Mexican border and those affected by natural disasters.


Membership: Free

A huge benefit to shopping through is the ability to get most of your shopping done in one spot — and have it delivered to your door. The site boasts an impressive selection of grocery, home, fashion, beauty and electronic products. So if you’re in the market for a weekend outfit but also want to cook chicken for dinner, you can schedule same-day or next-day delivery for both in one convenient shopping experience.

As for groceries, Jet has a whole section dedicated to wholesale grocery, which is where you can find some of your favorite products at great prices. Some top-rated products include condiments, spices and snacks that you can never have too much of. The downside? It's exclusive to New York, at the moment.

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