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Cost of Convenience August 16, 2022

The ease and convenience of home grocery delivery and meal delivery services can be a lifesaver as people continue to manage through COVID. Food delivery is also essential for households without transportation and helpful to anyone who decides that home grocery and meal delivery are services that meet their needs.

However, as inflation continues to rise and budgets are tightened, it’s good to consider these top key cost considerations of home grocery deliveries, restaurant deliveries, and home-delivered meal subscription boxes. 

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Home Deliveries of Groceries


A considerable number of households turned to home delivery of groceries in the last two years. As noted, while grocery delivery services are critical for many, they can have an added impact on budgets.

Delivery and ordering fees vary from store-to-store and include factors like discounts for first-time orders, minimum dollar amounts per order, and promotions.

Apps that provide delivery from multiple different grocery stores also offer convenience that comes at a price. Instacart charges $3.99 for same-day orders of $35 or more. Researchers suggest looking closely at what it would cost to pick up items on your own versus home delivery.  

Home Deliveries from Restaurants


Whether using restaurant delivery apps, ordering online from a restaurant chain, or calling to order directly from a local restaurant, meal delivery is convenient and helpful for busy households.

Expect Service Fees. Again, it is best to understand the total out-of-pocket costs. Online restaurant delivery apps like DoorDash come with a cost.

Beyond paying for the restaurant meal, expect to pay an annual fee or a per-order delivery fee to the service as well as service fees with every order. Tips should also be factored in. The same fees hold true for Grubhub and similar apps such as Uber Eats. With an increase in gas prices, food delivery apps are passing those cost increases to consumers, and you may see a fuel surcharge.

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Meal Subscription Boxes


An attractive option to get fast, healthy meals to the table is to use food subscription boxes like Blue Apron, HelloFresh, and Plated. These services are popular with those learning to cook, busy families, or seniors looking for meal preparation ease and convenience. After paying an annual subscription, the boxes arrive at a household with a meal recipe and the complete ingredients to make at-home meals.

Again, it’s smart to look at the true costs involved. Even with introductory offers or other incentives, meal subscription box kits can be pricey. Generally, meal-subscription boxes cost about $10-15 per person, per meal. That per meal price might go up once an introduction or promotional pricing expires.

Depending on the amount of food received each month and the subscription service provider, households could be paying a few dollars to a few hundred dollars every month for the service.

Final Thoughts


Home delivery services might make sense for households looking for convenience or who may have limited ability to leave the house. Home delivery may not make sense for your wallet due to the added costs that will be incurred.

GreenPath Financial Wellness, a partner of Nymeo, suggests carefully balancing the cost of convenience against other household expenses. By understanding the true costs of these options, you can make the best choices for your household.

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Category: Credit & Budgeting

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