Anycart is an online shopping platform that allows users to search for recipes, add the necessary ingredients to their cart, select for groceries and non-grocery items, and have everything delivered from a local store without paying price markups or subscription fees.
I signed up for the service to test its platform, pricing and recipe quality. In this Anycart review, I’ll explain how well it works and whether it can help you save time and money.
- No markups (prices are the same as in the store).
- Has integrated, time-saving meal planning features.
- Features chef-curated recipes that are easy to prepare and taste great.
- Get $15 off your order when you sign up with the link below.
- You can't choose exact substitutions for out-of-stock items (just whether or not you will accept a substitution).
- Most stores charge a delivery fee.
- No nutritional information is provided for recipes.
What Is Anycart?
Anycart is primarily an online grocery shopping platform, but it has additional features that differentiate it from competitors like Instacart. As with other platforms, users can search for groceries and schedule deliveries. But what sets Anycart apart is that it combines shopping, delivery, recipes and meal planning.
Additionally, Anycart links directly to the inventory of partnered grocers, which means you can see actual stock availability while shopping — a feature that greatly reduces missing items and substitutions.
We’ll talk more about the details of how it works throughout this review. But first, let’s deal with the key question: can using Anycart help you save money on groceries?
When you get groceries delivered, you reduce the opportunity for spur of the moment purchases that bust your budget. We’re fans of services like Imperfect Foods and Misfits Market for that reason.
At the same time, we think an even more important part of saving money on groceries is meal planning, because it allows you to see your cost-per-meal and adjust it if necessary. Not every budget requires that granular level of attention to food costs, but it’s an approach that can produce substantial savings.
Learn how to plan healthy meals on a budget.
Anycart’s built-in meal planning tools make this easy. Not only can you search for recipes and easily add ingredients to your online cart, each recipe indicates the total cost of the meal. Want to try blueberry lemon ricotta pancakes? I did, and I was able to quickly see that it would only cost me $10.77 to purchase the ingredients to necessary to feed six people.
Clicking on a recipe also allows you to see the cost per serving — $1.50 for my pancakes, as shown in the screenshot below:
Note that the default cost is based on Anycart’s assumption of which ingredients you need to purchase and those that are staple items that you likely have at home (like salt). To see the actual cost, you’ll need to select all the ingredients; when you do, the meal cost updates accordingly.
For example, to make these pancakes following the recipe, I needed to buy sugar, whipped cream and maple syrup, which were not included in the original cost:
Five Key Things to Know About Anycart
- There are no price markups. Anycart’s prices are the same as you’d pay in the store. In contrast, most other grocery delivery services (including Instacart), charge more than the store.
- There may be fees. Anycart does not charge a fee for the service, but most grocers charge delivery fees. For example, I was charged $7.95 for delivery with the promise of free delivery for orders made in the next 30 days. Also, there is an (optional) tip for the driver.
- Loyalty card savings are applied. If your store has a loyalty card program, Anycart applies their card to your purchase so you receive discounts on your items (whether you belong to the program or not). This means you’ll get any promotional pricing, but not any associated rewards points or status progress.
- There are order minimums. Each grocery store has a minimum purchase required to use the service. I tested the Safeway-Albertsons network of stores, which has an order minimum of $30.
- Nutritional info is not available. Recipes do not provide nutritional information, which complicates tracking your meals in fitness apps
How Does Anycart Work?
Anycart integrates directly with the inventory management software of partnering grocery stores, which means that if Anycart indicates a product is in stock, you should receive that product in your delivery.
That said, inventory management is a tricky business. If you click the button to purchase the last 30 oz. tub of ricotta cheese, there may be a customer in the store who is walking towards the checkout with that container in their cart. When the order picker goes to grab the product, the shelf may be empty. However, this system is much more reliable than competing alternatives.
Concerned about how you’re going to make your blueberry lemon ricotta pancakes without ricotta? That’s where substitutions come in. During the online checkout process, you indicate whether or not you want to receive replacements for out-of-stock items.
If you select “Yes,” the order picker will choose a comparable item (e.g., a different brand or size) so you can move forward with Sunday brunch as planned. Keep in mind that if you indicate you do not want substitutions, the rest of your items will still be delivered — even if that means you’re missing an ingredient for your planned meals.
Unlike Instacart, Anycart does not allow you to specify the exact item of substitution — only whether you want to allow the shopper to choose a different item on your behalf.
After order submission, Anycart places a temporary authorization on your payment card. Be aware that there is a 15-20% overage applied to cover potential costs of substitutions and weight differences (for measured items like produce, deli items and bulk candy).
Recipes Are Built Into the Platform’s DNA
Anycart’s in-house chefs create recipes along with step-by-step instructions, photos and videos. The recipes use simple, affordable ingredients, and can typically be made in 30 minutes or less.
If you want to make a specific food type, Anycart allows you to search by name or by entering an external recipe URL.
I tried both options. When entering “banana bread,” I received a few recipe options from Anycart. The one I chose provided a detailed recipe with pre-selected ingredients that I could adjust (to choose a different brand/size, or to deselect entirely since I already had some of the items in my pantry).
When I tried a second search — this time entering a link to an external recipe — my results weren’t quite as useful. Rather than showing an accurate list of all the ingredients with pre-selected products, I was shown a list with four key ingredients missing and seven different butter options:
The ability to pull in recipe data from external sources would be incredibly valuable, but it seems like Anycart’s technology isn’t quite at the place where this is a reliable option.
In addition to searching for individual food items, Anycart offers the ability to search by meals. You can explore by diet (e.g., vegan, paleo, keto, etc.), “categories” (e.g., American, Asian, Mexican, etc.), or a specific meal (breakfast, lunch or dinner).
One interesting aspect of Anycart’s technology is that it allows one purchased ingredient to be utilized across multiple recipes and takes package size into account.
I tried this out while testing. The blueberry lemon ricotta pancakes I mentioned earlier, along with a spinach lasagna that I also made using an Anycart recipe, both called for 15 oz. of ricotta.
Anycart identified the shared ingredient and highlighted the overlap in my cart. Because my store didn’t have a 30 oz. container in stock, I still needed to purchase two 15 oz. options.
However, the algorithm worked as expected:
Selection and Pricing
Unlike other grocery delivery services, Anycart does not mark-up the price of the foods you purchase. However, Anycart only works with select partners. If your go-to discount store is not “in-network,” you may end up paying more by using an Anycart grocer.
Anycart does apply their store loyalty card to your purchase, which will likely result in some savings. However, because the service doesn’t link to your account you may lose out on program discounts such as redeeming rewards at partnering gas stations.
Additionally, you can’t use coupons or other cash-back apps (like Upside), which further limits your savings opportunities.
My Experience Ordering Through Anycart
I focused my test on my nemesis: meal planning.
Thinking up new dinner ideas and compiling the required ingredients is among my least favorite pastimes. As a result, I decided to try four new dinner ideas along with a weekend breakfast option.
I used the suggested brands and sizes, but I did remove a few items that I had at home (eggs, cheese, pancake mix, blueberries, etc.). The costs below are lower than they would have been had I needed to purchase all of the ingredients.
This is what I tried:
|Meal||Price||Price Per Serving|
|Hawaiian Spam Fried Rice (Serves 4)||$11.67||$2.92|
|Shallot Pasta (Serves 6)||$14.69||$2.45|
|Blueberry Lemon Ricotta Pancakes (Serves 6)||$3.98||$0.66|
|No-Boil Lazy Spinach Lasagna (Serves 8)||$13.06||$1.63|
|Quesadilla Tacos (Serves 6)||$16.31||$2.72|
To make these meals I purchased the following:
|Item Purchased||Estimated Price||Price w/ Loyalty Card|
|Basil, Fresh (1 bunch)||$1.49||$1.49|
|Capers (3.55 oz.)||$2.49||$2.49|
|Farfalle (12 oz.)||$2.66||$2.66|
|Garlic (1 head)||$0.75||$0.75|
|Green Onions (1 bunch)||$1.49||$1.49|
|Ground Beef (1.35 lbs.)||$6.74||$7.73|
|Iceberg Lettuce (1 head)||$2.49||$2.49|
|Jasmine Rice, Organic (Three 10 oz. packs)||$5.49||$5.49|
|Lasagna Noodles (12 oz.)||$2.49||$2.49|
|Lemon (1 ct.)||$0.69||$0.69|
|Pasta Sauce (25 oz.)||$1.79||$1.79|
|Pesto (6.7 oz.)||$2.50||$2.50|
|Red Bell Pepper (1 ct.)||$1.00||$1.00|
|Ricotta Cheese (Two 15 oz. packs)||$6.58||$6.58|
|Shallots (6 ct.)||$6.00||$3.75|
|SPAM (3 oz.)||$1.69||$1.69|
|Spinach, Frozen Organic (16 oz.)||$2.99||$2.99|
|Teriyaki Marinade (12 oz. bottle)||$2.00||$2.00|
|Tomato Paste (6 oz.)||$1.29||$1.29|
|White Corn Taco Shells (12 ct.)||$1.79||$1.79|
|Yellow Corn Taco Shells (24 ct.)||$2.29||$2.29|
|Zima Tomatoes (10 oz.)||$3.00||$3.00|
And here’s a summary of my overall final costs:
The price I paid varied slightly from the original estimate. The ground beef was more expensive and the shallots were less expensive (both due to weight variances).
I scheduled my delivery window for between 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. on the following day.
Upon ordering, I immediately received two confirmation emails. I received a third email first thing the following day, reminding me about my delivery. And then I received a fourth email at 8:00 a.m., letting me know my driver was on the way.
My driver arrived at 8:10, rang the doorbell, knocked on the door, and left all my grocery bags neatly placed on the doormat.
I was a little concerned about the state the veggies would be in, and whether my lasagna noodles and taco shells would be in 1,000 little pieces. However, my groceries were delivered by a driver who may have been moonlighting from his Uber Black side hustle, as everything I ordered arrived in perfect condition.
The one difference from my original order is that I received two (different brands of) teriyaki marinade, even though I only ordered one bottle.
I navigated to my receipt in Anycart’s “Orders” section, and confirmed I wasn’t charged for this extra item.
I cook dinner almost every night, but I am far from a creative master chef. I rely heavily on bagged salad and pre-cooked meat. Here’s what I tried and how my results compared to the original objectives.
Below, I’ve included a screenshot of the finished dish as shown on the Anycart recipe, as well as a picture of the dish I actually produced using that recipe.
First, a few observations…
All three recipes used only a handful of ingredients, were easy to make, aligned with the recipes’ time predictions, and were tasty.
The three notable drawbacks were:
- I’m currently tracking my food intake in a fitness app, and the recipes did not contain nutrition information, which made tracking fairly difficult.
- The instructions did not specify the pan size for the lasagna, and I think I chose poorly. The noodles didn’t line up well in my large pan, which made the whole thing a little sloppy and difficult to cut and serve.
- My kids and husband felt that the spinach lasagna was a little heavy on the spinach (all three of them have the pallets of a toddler, so take that feedback with a grain of salt).
Recipe #1: No-Boil Spinach Lasagna
Recipe #2: Blueberry Lemon Ricotta Pancakes
Recipe #3: Quesadilla Tacos
Bottom line: Do my photos look as appetizing as the Anycart glamor shots? Definitely not. Will I make each of these dishes again in the future? Absolutely.
Amazon is an investor in Anycart, but it does not own the company outright.
No. Anycart does not currently accept EBT, SNAP, or food stamps.
Yes. If you refer someone who makes an Anycart purchase, your friend will receive $15 off their first purchase, you get $5 off your next purchase and $1 credit for every subsequent purchase your friend makes. To access your code, click on your account profile or “Orders.”
No. Grocery stores are responsible for delivery; some have employees while others use contractors. Here’s a list of other gig economy food delivery apps to try.
Yes. If you sign up using our link, you’ll get $15 off your first order. Other promo codes I’ve seen were for $10 off an order and 10% off an order.
No. You are currently unable to use online, personalized, or physical coupons.
Yes. You can purchase household items, medicine, baby products, holiday items, and even tobacco and alcohol. The selection varies by store and any items with an age requirement will require ID verification at the time of delivery.
Anycart receives a referral fee for each order sent to participating grocery stores.
Anycart Review: Closing Thoughts and Final Verdict
In addition to simplifying meal planning, Anycart offers the ability to add on additional products and have everything delivered straight to your doorstep. The only significant drawback I experienced was the added difficulty of tracking nutrition information in my fitness app.
All things considered, I am officially an Anycart convert. I personally prefer to cook at home but despise meal planning and grocery shopping. I tried (and abandoned) other meal kit delivery plans, as I found them to be expensive, a little too refined for the taste of my family, and heavier on the packaging than I would like. Anycart seems to be the perfect alternative.