I’m a total foodie so the grocery store is more fun to me than going to the mall (don’t worry, my sisters think I’m crazy too!), so I was never sold on buying groceries online. That all changed when my grandmother had a stroke and lost the ability to drive. She hated to rely on us for groceries, so we set her up with Peapod and it was a real godsend. Ever since, I’ve been hooked on online grocery shopping. For this reason, I was intrigued by the new Amazon Pantry. (See how Pantry’s prices compare to a grocery store, below.)
Is Amazon Pantry a good deal?
Pros of Amazon Pantry
Convenient – Amazon Pantry ships to 48 states (sorry, Alaska and Hawaii) and allows you to digitally clip coupons (if available). This makes scoring extra savings really easy…which I love.
Variety – There are 1,668 pantry items to choose from including snacks, beverages, household cleaning supplies and more.
User Friendly – Each Pantry box can weigh up to 45 pounds and take up to four cubic feet of space. As you add items to your box, Amazon shows you how full your box is. Under each item, Amazon lists the percentage of the box that it will fill. For example, a 100 oz. bottle of Tide detergent will take up 16.8% of a Pantry box, a 24-pack of Arrowhead water will take up 62.2%, and a bag of potato chips will take up 3%. You can put items into a box and take them out as you like.
Easy Cost Comparison – Amazon includes the price per ounce and price per count so customers can compare to prices at a typical grocery store and other online grocery delivery services.
Regular Sizes at Discount Prices – The new service allows customers to buy single size items that were previously offered in bulk. This is an especially nice feature for singles who don’t need a huge quantity, or for those who live in small apartments and lack storage for bulky items.
Cons of Amazon Pantry
Joiner Fee – Pantry is only available to Amazon Prime members, and membership recently jumped from $79 per year to $99. Ouch! There is also a $6 delivery fee per box. Since Amazon prime recently changed for the worse…I’m not sure I’d be willing to pay this fee.
Weight Liimit – Each box can only hold 45 pounds of items. If you are purchasing heavier items like sauces, oil, or canned goods, you will hit this weight limit quickly!
Shipping Delay – Amazon Pantry is currently offering 4-day delivery. That is a long time to wait for household items that you usually shop for weekly – and that you can buy from your local grocer in a few minutes. This is especially true when comparing Amazon to grocery services such as Instacart that offer same day delivery or Peapod, which offers next day delivery.
Brand Names – Currently, Amazon is focused on brand names, which means it may not be the best place for frugal shoppers. Buying store or no-name brands will usually be less expensive, unless you are coupon stacking.
Nothing Fresh – Amazon Pantry is only for non-perishable items, so no fresh food can be purchased. Most grocery delivery services offer fresh produce, so this is definitely a negative for those looking to do all their grocery shopping with a single online service. However, if you live in the San Francisco Area, Seattle Area, and Southern California, you can use Amazon Fresh.
Coupons – While Amazon allows coupons and takes the work out of coupon cutting for you, they might not always have the best deal. For example, Peapod allows you to double manufacturer coupons up to $.99. With Amazon you can only use the coupons they offer, so the deals might not be as sweet.
USA Today shared a quick video sharing their opinion on Amazon Pantry. Check it out below!
Price is a huge factor when we decide where to buy our groceries, just as convenience is. So how does Amazon Pantry compare to Peapod and a typical grocery store? We compared the numbers so you don’t have to.
Grocery Price Comparison
Amazon Pantry only offers name brand items. When the same items were available on Peapod or ShopRite in generic forms we used the lowest priced item/brand. This is designated by a (G) next to the price.
|Loaf of Bread||Not Available||$1.69 (G)||$1.00 (G)|
|Honey Nut Cheerios (17 oz.)||$2.97||$4.99||$4.00|
|Raisin Bran (23.5 oz.)||$3.68||$3.00||$3.99 (18.7 oz.)|
|Flour (5 lbs.)||$3.99||$3.19 (G)||$1.99 (G)|
|Angel Soft Double Roll Toilet Paper (12 ct.)||$5.97||$4.99||$7.59|
|Olive Oil (51 oz.)||Not Available||$13.49 (G)||$12.99|
|Chips Ahoy! (13 oz.)||$2.50||$2.50||$2.99|
|Pasta (16 oz.)||$1.59||$1.00 (G)||$1.19 (G)|
|Can of Progresso Chicken Soup (19 oz.)||$1.88||$2.99||$2.49|
|Detergent (50 oz.)||$4.50||$3.00||$1.99|
|Potato Chips (8.5 oz.)||$2.53||$2.50||$3.69|
|Dish Soap (25 oz.)||$2.37||$2.50||$2.99|
|Garbage Bags (4 ct.)||$3.41||$2.79 (G)||$3.19|
|Bottled Water (24 ct.)||$3.98||$3.99||$2.99|
|12 cans of Coke-A-Cola||$3.99||$5.49||$4.79|
|Apple Juice (64 oz.)||$2.48||$2.39 (G)||$1.49 (G)|
|Paper Towels||$5.97 (6 ct.)||$4.99 (G – 8ct.)||$4.99 (G -8 ct.)|
|Progresso Breadcrumbs (15 oz.)||$1.50||$2.29||$1.99|
|Ketchup (32 oz.)||$2.54||$3.59||$1.79 (G)|
|Velveeta Mac & Cheese (12.oz)||$2.55||$2.50||$2.99|
While the idea behind Amazon Pantry is great, I’m not sure I’m willing to try it out just yet. The convenience just doesn’t seem to be worth the cost, especially with the lack of fresh food. What do you think?