Early in January a little surprise arrived in our mailbox:
60 days of free grocery delivery and $20 off my groceries!? For those of you who don't know, Peapod is a grocery delivery service that is part of Stop and Shop. Eric and I have considered using it before but decided we didn't want to pay the delivery fee when we are perfectly capable of going to the grocery store on our own. Enter free delivery and we are sold on trying it!
I thought I'd blog about the pros and cons of my experience in case any of you are considering the world of grocery delivery. I was not asked to do this by Peapod or compensated in any way, just FYI.
Time Saved. It probably goes without saying that grocery delivery will save you time. Eric and I always create a list every week, so we use that time to create our order. Since we have a Stop and Shop card our order is saved from week to week so unless we are buying something completely new, it's a pretty quick process to order. Eric can do it on his phone so we don't even have to be at a computer to do it. We usually have our order delivered on Sunday in a 2 hour window. You can actually save money by choosing a large time window but we haven't done that yet because we are still on free delivery. We have now had groceries delivered 4 times, and 3/4 times they have come in the first hour of the two hour window, once they were late because of snow but we were called ahead of time.
Grocery Dread Gone. Oh, so I'm the only one who dreads the grocery store? Well, I do! When Eric and I can manage to get there after dinner on a Friday or Saturday it's not too terrible, but otherwise we basically always have to go at prime time and that means navigating your cart around just about everyone else in the world. I am just not a fan of this hour of my week and I'm happy to have it back.
Money Saved. Even if we were paying the delivery fee, Eric and I have saved a lot of money ordering online. There are two major reasons why Peadpod can actually save you money. The first is that it completely eliminates any impulse purchases since you really have no choice but to stick to the list! The other reason is that you can actually see how much you are spending before you buy it. This means you could potentially notice you are way over budget and get rid of things you don't really need. I haven't had to do this yet but I have had many trips to the actual grocery store where I probably would've done this if given the option. Eric and I have probably saved about an average of $15-20 per trip, depending on how much we needed that week. Even this week we got Olive Oil which is probably the most expensive thing we buy, and our order was still cheaper than usual.
Coupons. You can still use coupons when you order with Peapod and I personally think it is easier. I am usually shuffling through my purse frantically looking for coupons during the trip so that I can see if I need to buy 3 boxes of Cheerios or 4 and then again at the register so I can actually use the coupons. So much easier to do in the comforts of my home and then I can just give the coupons at delivery and they credit your account.
Gas Points: One of the major reasons Eric and I stop at Stop and Shop is because we get gas points that allow Eric to get really good deals at Shell gas stations. Peapod orders count for gas points, so it's another easy way to save money.
Produce Risk: One of our fears about Peapod was that we would not be able to pick out our own produce. Our first experience with Peapod left us with a pretty ridiculous red pepper that made us think our fears were right on target! Luckily since then, most of our produce has been great. Still there is something to be said for picking out your own produce, since no one will ever care quite as much as you do.
Delivery Fee: When you don't have free delivery, it does cost $6.95 for delivery. Plus I always feel obligated to give the guy some sort of tip...
Selection: During our first order we ordered a couple of things that we buy weekly in our local Stop and Shop but they did not have in the Peapod warehouse including low sodium taco seasoning and low sodium chicken broth. For the taco seasoning they gave us a different brand with regular sodium and for the chicken broth we were given no replacement. We later learned that you can set up your preferences for out of stock items, but regardless you are still ending up without what you need, or with something different you may or may not want. Like many of the glitches this is something Eric and I have basically solved by ordering different brands or having a replacement selection available that we like as much. Still though, it can be annoying if it comes as a surprise and you were planning to make tacos that night and bam, there is no taco seasoning. Of course if you are at the grocery store they also may be out of stock but since you are there you can either decide to change your meal completely or choose a replacement you actually want. I personally think that they should tell you at the time of your order if it's an item they don't typically stock, or send you a text message while you can still make updates to your order. That's probably a lot to ask though :)
So, will Eric and I continue to use Peapod after our free delivery runs out?
I actually think we probably will. Even with the delivery fee and tip, we are still saving a couple of dollars a week and we are saving time, which of course equals money. Plus, Eric and I are exposed to a lot of germs in the winter as it is, so not going to the grocery store is probably appreciated by our immune system. Plus, sometimes I just feel like my life is taken over by errands and it's nice to have one done for me.
We do have a grocery store near us that sells many items for cheaper than Stop and Shop. I always avoid it because it is a CRAZY busy place that puts me in an immediate bad mood. However, I am hoping if I can avoid a weekly trip, I can maybe do a monthly trip to the dreaded grocery store for a few items like paper towels, greek yogurt etc that are significantly cheaper there. This will hopefully save us even more on our weekly orders.
Have you ever tried grocery delivery? Would you?