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Jan 8, 2009 11:00 AM

Ordering groceries over the internet?

We happen to live in an area (Hoboken NJ) where we can order groceries over the internet (Fresh Direct where we are). Lately I have been so frustrated by the stores in our areas (narrow isles, sorry looking produce, impossible to find anything, rude staff, thoughtless shoppers, overcrowded) that I started to order over the internet.

The prices don't seem out of line with what's in the store and the delivery charge is fairly small (then add in the tip). I was a bit nervous about not being able to see the actual item I was buying, but I'm getting over that too.

Anyone else do this on a regular basis? I am really liking not having to schlep to the stores here.

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  1. i use fresh direct all the time

    i have no problems - occasionally i will get a piece of fruit i would not have picked myself because it isn't perfectly ripe, but it is rare. once or twice they sliced the pastrami with the grain . other than that, it's all good.

    1. I've been using them weekly for about 6 months now (with the exception of a few weeks). Their fruits and vegetables tend to be of pretty good quality - generally better than my regular grocery stores nearby - probably not as good as the Korean grocery store, but their prices are also super-expensive. I've occasionally had some things I wasn't the happiest with - but I didn't try to rectify it. They claim to fix whatever they mess up.

      One of the benefits of them for me is that you can get the meat in vacuum-sealed plastic bags, so it's ready to be frozen and freezes nicely that way. Their meat is more expensive than what my grocery store has, but it's also much higher quality.

      I still go to my grocery stores, though - FD doesn't have everything I eat, or I don't like some of the things they have. As an example, today I was putting my order together, and was looking at the soups, there's a cambell's soup I've been getting at my grocery store and enjoying. FD only has the 'basic' soups from them - chicken noodle, tomato and clam chowder (Probably 1 or 2 other I'm not remembering, but you get my point). But, generally, this means a trip or two to the grocery store every few weeks for a small bag of items instead of buying everything.

      3 Replies
      1. re: mortini

        You mention that 'their prices are super expensive'; Maybe I need to check their prices more closely, but they didn't seem that out of line to me, at least for the basic stuff I've ordered up to this point. I suspect I will do more and more of my shopping from them. I've discovered a small fresh product store less than a block from my apt., so will probably get most of my produce from them anyway. The thought of never going into another A&P or Shoprite in Hoboken is extremely appealing to me.

        1. re: bnemes3343

          I meant my local korean grocery store prices are super expensive. They have things like boxes of Frosted Flakes for $9. Their fruit is high quality, but also super expensive.

          The only thing I've noticed that was consistently higher with FD was the meat prices, but, again, it's also much higher quality meat than what my grocery store carries.

          1. re: bnemes3343

            & certainly try out their produce at least - it's been generally good for me. Given my average, I'm just as likely to not be paying as much attention at the grocery store as I should and pick up an apple or whatever that I'd rather not.

        2. I don't do Fresh Direct on a regular basis because I actually like shopping for food. But it's really helpful when I'm away for the weekend, come back on Sunday or Monday and don't have time to go to the grocery store.

          I also was apprehensive about not being able to see the actual item. Overall, the stuff is OK -- probably not as great as if you shopped at a bunch of markets looking for the freshest stuff, but decent enough. I can see why a lot of people in my building do Fresh Direct very frequently, especially since the closest supermarket is .7 miles away and a lot of NYers don't have a car.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Miss Needle

            If you actually like shopping for food, you must live somewhere with nicer stores than I do. I used to like it when we were on the UWS in NYC and would frequent the smaller non-chain stores with great fruit and produce. The typical 'supermarket' in Hoboken is not a fun experience (although Garden of Eden is nice albeit pricey).

            1. re: bnemes3343

              There's really nothing nice in my immediate vicinity. But I enjoy walking (well, not as much as in this cold weather). So I get some exercise and my shopping done at the same time.

          2. I used to do that years ago, and I loved it. Unfortunately, the my grocery store stopped the service. It was wonderful.

            1. A bit off-topic, but along the same lines.
              On vacation a few years ago in Mexico. Having a few drinks in the pool and strike up a conversation with a couple from Resolute, Nunavit (north northern Canada). We started talking about life in general above the arctic circle.
              Turns out the lady of the house orders her drygoods for the YEAR in one shot. Comes in cheapest by barge that way.
              I was dumbfounded - its one thing to stock up for the week, but to plan your needs for a year?

              2 Replies
              1. re: porker

                when i was growing up, my folks did some business with a guy who was an obsessive coupon nut. He had a room in his basement *filled* with every sort of canned food imaginable. When the coupons came out on Sunday, he'd visit 2-3 different grocery stores buying the maximum available of the items he wanted.

                Not quite the same as buying a year in advance, but, still, long-range buying.

                1. re: mortini

                  Do we know the same person?? :) My friends parents used to do that. Their whole basement was literally a grocery store. They had a basket where you would just fill up on what you needed for that nights dinner etc. Crazy. A lot of the stuff was circa 1980 though.