A couple of years ago, AmazonFresh delivered in the Washington, DC service area. This has since been phased out, but for a long time this was how I got groceries on my college campus. Here is my review of AmazonFresh and how I used it as a college student.
How it works
AmazonFresh allows users to have unlimited grocery deliveries for $15 a month in addition to their Prime membership (Prime Student also counts). Users can choose from thousands of different products to add to their order- things like yogurt, fresh strawberries, dried pasta, ice cream, and pantry staples, all at prices comparable to what they would be at the store.
After items are selected, the user can reserve a two-hour window in which the groceries will be delivered to their door in special insulated bags. While there is an option to just leave the packages by the door, I’m on a college campus and use the attended delivery option, meeting the courier outside my building. I then bring the items inside using a hand cart and put them away. The courier is happy to help bring in items if needed.
Having low vision, I often rely on public transportation in order to get where I need to go. However, it’s very difficult to schedule a grocery trip when the bus only stops at the grocery store every 45 minutes. Plus, carrying groceries back on the bus, along with a blindness cane, is not a pleasant experience. Walking a mile to the grocery store and attempting to carry back groceries, even with a human guide, is more frustrating. With AmazonFresh, I can shop anytime and schedule deliveries for as soon as the next day. For my most recent order, I ordered items at 11 PM and I had them in my hands by 10 AM the next morning.
No expired food
I can’t always read expiration dates very well, so I often buy food that expires quickly by mistake. All of the food from AmazonFresh has been well within its expiration date. Cold food arrives cold, no issues with thawing while they are in the coolers.
Nothing gets crushed
In my rush to pack groceries at the store, I’ve often squished food,. I’ve even managed to explode coconut water all over my other items. Everything is packed in the coolers carefully, and they use extra coolers if needed to keep food that is easily crushed separate. In my order today, I received three coolers, with one cooler dedicated to coconut water and juice boxes that could be crushed under the weight of other items.
No getting lost in the store
My friend and I were at the store when we realized we had to find something in another aisle. For some reason, we didn’t communicate which aisle we thought it was. Next thing we knew, we were far apart and I couldn’t find them. As a bonus, I also couldn’t find the item we were looking for to begin with. After that experience, my friend found a balloon and tied it to my wrist so they could see me over the aisles.
With AmazonFresh, there is no store to get lost in, as everything is online. Everything is organized easily by category, and users can search for items easily using the search bar. I was able to find most of the brands I enjoy, while trying new things at the same time. Some people have complained about the limited section, but I’ve never had a problem with it.
Less risk of injury
Since I have limited peripheral vision, the amount of times I’ve run feet over with shopping carts is very high. So is the number of times I’ve crashed the cart into edges of the aisle. For people with chronic illness, AmazonFresh can allow them to shop safely from home and not have to worry about navigating a store.
While I don’t have one of these yet, I have seen them used by others. The Amazon Dash allows users to say or scan items that they need. The device will add the items to the Amazon cart. While it does not automatically purchase items, it is a great way to make sure you never run out of essential items. Users can also add items to AmazonFresh using the Amazon Echo/Amazon Alexa.
It saves money
Instead of buying whatever I see first or what is easiest to reach, I am able to compare prices by ounce or unit of identical products and determine what size best meets my needs. I also don’t worry as much about impulse purchases. I order items about three times a month from AmazonFresh.
I cancelled my AmazonFresh subscription in July 2017 after my order did not show up and I did not get my groceries until the next day. I ended up going hungry and was very frustrated, and I found out that they were cancelling the service anyway. However, I have had very positive experiences with Amazon’s PrimeNow service, which does not charge a monthly fee, and I recommend using that service instead of Amazon Fresh.