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Having groceries delivered

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Me and my SO are thinking about having our groceries delivered, I was wondering if anyone else has done this, and what their experience was?

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  1. I have been having my Organic veg, milk and butter delivered weekly. I love it but as spring time approached I crave roaming the markets. I say it is perfect for winter time as I haven't had to scrounge for high quality ingredients. I just plan dinner around them. I also like that the milk comes in bottles.

    This summer I think I will sign up for a micro and regular greens delivery from a local CSA but grow and or shop for anything else.

    As for other groceries. I get most of mine through work because I work for a organic dry goods wholesaler. It is pretty convenient.

    1. I have been using freshdirect in the city for the past 2 years or so. I like it for the convenience, but quality can be sporadic. It definitely works better for big/uniform items than for meat and vegetables. But I still prefer it to schlepping to the grocery store.

      1. I have groceries delivered from Fresh Direct in NYC every week. On occasion, something annoying happens, but for the most part, it's great. I have 2 small children and it's not so easy to do major shopping at the supermarket. It's especially great for things like milk (both my daughter and my husband drink a ton) and for soda.

        1. I was bedridden for an entire month with a knee injury last summer and ordered from my local ShopRite a couple of times. It went better than expected. They did have to make a couple of substitutions, but called me first to make sure it was ok with me. I did not purchase any meat products, because my freezer was well stocked, and I wasn't intending on cooking anything complicated anyway, given my circumstances. My husband is pretty much pathetic in the kitchen, so we were trying to keep things simple. So, the home delivery came very much in handy - it would have been to difficult for me to make a list for him, trying to remember everything and I it was very easy to navigate their site, and just click off what I needed. It arrived as promised, no complications.

          I wouldn't do this regularly, but in a pinch, it worked out great.

          1. DH & I have been using Peapod for years & years. We used dial up and a special diskette, if memory serves, so this is pre-Internet, even! I like it, and by now I know what works and what doesn't. The drivers are pretty punctual, and friendly enough. For staples and grocery basics the variety and availability are good. I'm not super fussy about produce, quality is good enough for me, but I know a lot of folks hate the idea of someone else picking out their lettuce or whatnot. They have a decent selection of international and organic items. I do shop elsewhere for special occasions, though, or when I'm in the mood to see what's out there.

            I've got 2 young 'uns and a lot on my plate <g>, so it's a real time saver. I tend to set my menus for the week just before I place my order (usually the night before), and I can be done in 15 minutes or so. Prices are a bit steep, but they run specials and do accept coupons. Now if I could only convince them to stock my favorite Chipotle Tabasco and recyle my plastic bags, I'd be set for life!

            4 Replies
            1. re: ErasmusBDragon

              I also plan out what we will eat for the week prior to ordering. But with Fresh Direct, you can make changes until late in the even prior to the order being delivered, so I'm always adding and changing the order.

              They don't carry everything that I want, but for those things I will just stop at the store during my lunch hour or on the weekend.

              With Fresh Direct, though, the prices are usually better than the supermarkets here in NYC. Don't know why this sticks in my mind, but a Hebrew National salami is $4.99 from Fresh Direct and $5.99 in my local neighborhood supermarket (Associated). They don't accept coupons, but I was never good at using them anyway.

              1. re: ErasmusBDragon

                how much would you suggest for a tip? We live outside Chicago in older, three story walk up (we're on the top). Do you tip by the item total? By the stairs? Or is it a deivery charge?

                1. re: stellamystar

                  I used safeway.com which doesn't allow tipping. The guy was great and hinted that it would be nice if I called his boss and put in a good word for him. You bet I did! Made sure the praise was for the delivery man personally - not just the service in general.

                  1. re: stellamystar

                    There is a delivery charge for Fresh Direct -- $4.95. I tip them $1 per box, which usually comes out to about $3 or $4. If the weather is really bad, I throw in an extra $1 or $2.

                2. I still mourn the long-departed Webvan in my area, although a number of markets do delivery.

                  I rarely bought produce, but the few times I did it was as decent as any supermarket produce. I didn't buy meat too much either. However, for everything else it is a great time-saver. Not to mention bags are delivered right to your kitchen.

                  If you are into using coupons though, most places don't accept them. Some services have a flakey delivery schedule and you have to order the day before and be available for a sometime erratic delivery. Safeway lost my business permantly one year when they didn't deliver my order the day before a major holiday because some sort of delivery person problem.

                  Nice features on some web sites are grocery lists where you can submit repeating products with one stroke. Sort of an advantage and disadvantage is that it cuts down on impulse buying. Nice because it saves money ... however, I like splurging on some impulse item.

                  1. We're in the Bay Area and we've been mostly happy with Planet Organics. The produce is usually very good and their selection of other products is fairly broad. Their customer service has been responsive when there have been issues, which is probably better than having fewer problems but horrible service. We wouldn't give it up, ultimately, so I'd say give it a try.

                    1. It's been SO great for heavy things like dog food, soda and puffy staples like paper towels. Depending on the provider, the fresh veggies might be good too.

                      One thing I tend to do is always check 'no substitutions' because some don't put a price limit on what they'll substitute or the substitutions (when they're out of something) are just not useful at all. That means once in awhile you might place an order and not everything you wanted gets delivered.

                      It's still way worth the nominal charge, for large orders, in my opinion. Some stores also have a search feature where you can search by unit price. I find with that and other features it's actually easier to be price-conscious when shopping online vs. when in the store. Also great if you're buying for recipes.. you can have the recipe open in one screen and the store in the other and voila.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Cinnamon

                        I agree about the charge being worth it and the databases being budget friendly. I spend more on impulse purchases when I am in a grocery store than most I do on delivery fees. Also, places like Safeway will not allow their drivers to accept tips. I think doing the shopping without the usual pressures I face in the store really helps with the budget as well.

                      2. Thanks so much for all of your responses, think I am going to try it out! wish me luck!

                        1. I used safeway.com for the first time this week. Broken ankle. Before now, I couldn't even have hobbled to the door to have let them in.
                          Really successful and I'll use them again. The driver was on time and carried things right into my kitchen, cheerfully stacking my order where I asked. The delivery charge was about the same as what I would have happily tipped for such good service. I did call his boss afterwards to compliments his work.
                          Most of my order was for heavy and bulky things that I won't be able to handle on crutches for awhile: soft drinks, toilet paper, Kleenex, flour, sugar, cleaning supplies, canned goods, etc. I gambled and tried some salmon and produce and the quality was just fine.
                          I generally "Euro-shop" at specialty markets on a daily basis but the crutches will limit my mobility for awhile. This is going to give me a good backbone for staples and supplies and I'll manage with friends picking up things for me as I have been doing. I still have a lot of stuff in the freezer so there's no danger of starvation or even boredom.

                          I probably will use safeway.com again fairly regularly for large bulky, heavy orders. Having somebody get all that boring stuff and carry it into my house is more than worth the delivery price.
                          For wonderful fresh produce and meats, I still prefer the experience of going to the market to see what's there and what's the best and freshest that day.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: MakingSense

                            sorry to hear you're laid up; get well soon

                            to the OP it seems like the quality of home shopping services gets higher each day. you can request local companies' products or local farms' produce. many CSAs split shares between members, to everyone's advantage. check out your local scene or split a share with a friend/family you trust, they might not mind dropping off at your home.

                          2. My experience is very probably atypical, but a couple of days after getting my second delivery from one of the providers my house had cockroaches for the first time ever. Spraying and boric acid wiped them out--but I haven't gotten deliveries since, and I've had no roaches.

                            1. Not something I would try, I enjoy my visits to my local butcher shop, grocery stores, farmers market, and produce stands. I get to hand select the items I want to my high standards, and have social interaction with the people who own these businesses/farms.

                              1. I have used Peapod and loved it. I used to work 13 hour days and really didn't have time to shop. I also had the extra money to spend. They didn't allow tipping, but I always made sure to call and let them know how their service was. (It was always very good.)

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: othervoice

                                  When the now defunct Homeruns.com was in business I used them faithfully. I would have them deliver the a lot of the non-food items and other heavy stuff like sodas, laundry soaps. I would get some frozen foods like veggies, fruits and once I even dared to have them deliver some chicken just to see what I would be delivered. It was great to be able to just do my "fresh foods" shopping for veggies/meats/cheeses once or twice a week and have homeruns do the rest for me...
                                  I tried peapods but think their prices are a bit higher for my tastes so I have gone back to the "old fashion" way of shopping- driving to the store myself....