Goodbye Store, Hello Peapod!
UPDATE: 8 days after delivery, I received an email saying that $9.40 would be credited back to my method of payment (credit card) for the coupons that I handed my delivery man. That means that not only did they accept, and double, every coupon I gave them, but it was done within the 10 day window that they guarantee. It’ll also be back in my bank account as opposed to a credit towards my next order which I’m impressed by. Now that’s some good service! The only regret I have is not tipping my delivery guy. It’s optional but in my opinion, well deserved. Next time! And in case you’re wondering, my produce held up well. Over a week after delivery and nothing that remains unused has spoiled.
I live on the 2nd floor of an apartment building, am a stay at home mom to an almost 2 year old and am now 9 months pregnant. I think you can imagine why my once beloved days of food shopping and couponing have gone down the “oh crap, I need food again” road. A few weeks ago my husband took us shopping and it was fine, but still a lot of time and work for all of us. So we decided it was time to try one of those home delivery programs. Personally, I like Shop Rite for food shopping but their delivery service was more expensive and inconvenient than Stop & Shop’s Peapod Program…so Peapod it was. A few people have asked me about it so I thought I’d write up a post/review and share with you!
The first thing you must do is log in to your Stop & Shop account or input your savings card number. This will link all of the sales and savings to your account and help you save your unfinished order (it has a very short time it keeps you signed in without activity – beware, I had to sign back in a few times due to interruptions). Once in, the first thing I did was browse through the weekly specials section by department. Peapod does not have the full inventory the physical Stop & Shop stores do and therefore they don’t carry everything you may see in your weekly store circular – don’t even bother with looking there first. The system is super easy to use. A little red tag indicates a sale item and it even provides you with price/unit for easy comparison. When you click on an item you can see it’s nutritional facts, ingredients and even icons indicating if it’s gluten-free, dairy-free etc. You enter the quantity you want of an item and it pops up on your list/cart to the right of your screen. You can easily change this quantity while shopping, without clicking on another screen which I found super helpful.
After shopping the sale items I took out my shopping list, coupons, and recipes and went on searches for the products I needed. You have the option of browsing “aisles” or doing a search – I did a little of both. To be honest, it took a good amount of time to find everything I needed (and still came up short on a few items) but the great thing about Peapod is that my order is now in the system and it’ll be very easy to reorder next time. So really, if you can make it through your first session, you’ll probably end up loving Peapod.
Now for those of you that have read my other shopping posts, you’ll know that my family is on a pretty strict gluten-free diet. I’m happy to report that Peapod did have a decent selection of gluten-free products and even had a few of them on sale. Now granted, it wasn’t as great as going to a speciality food store but it was very comparable to the physical Stop & Shop store in my area. I was able to order gluten-free pastas and cookies, diapers, cooking ingredients, organic milk, organic yogurt, ice cream, meat, frozen foods, produce and more. Peapod even has a few special discounts that you won’t find in the store.
Once I finished adding items to my cart I made sure to take advantage of the 1st time use discount ($15 off! – check RetailMeNot.com for the current codes available). I then was able to select a delivery window to have my groceries delivered the next day! I selected a larger window (4 hours as opposed to 2) to save $1 off my order. After putting in my credit card to hold the order and putting in my shipping address I was able to set up alerts to go to my cell phone as a text message and to my email so that I would know the status of my order. I received an email confirmation of my order as well as confirmation of the delivery window I selected. I then received an email the next morning telling me the 2 hour window my delivery would arrive in, a message when I was the next order to be delivered and even a message when the truck arrived at my door.
Wondering how much this cost me? Obviously the cost of groceries. Delivery is $6.95 for orders of $100+ and $9.95 for orders $60-$100 (service is a $60 minimum). There was a fuel surcharge of $1.28 (it’ll vary depending on where you live), plus the sales tax, bottle return amount and tax on the delivery charge. Manufacturer coupons are accepted but will be applied as credits to your account seeing as they get processed after your items are delivered (I’ll update this post with how that works out). Note that in-store Stop & Shop coupons are not accepted, nor are competitor’s coupons.
The day of delivery my order arrived 30 minutes into the delivery window I was given and the Peapod delivery guy was very quick and professional. He brought the groceries up stairs and into my kitchen and immediately asked me to check the eggs for cracks. There was a cracked egg and he had no problem filling out a form that gave me the eggs for free which I was incredibly impressed with. Also, one of the items I ordered was out of stock so he had me sign a form indicating that he told me about this and I wouldn’t be charged for the item. Since everything was done online I was able to log in to my invoice and see that I wasn’t charged for either item. My ice cream arrived colder than it would if I went shopping myself, the produce I ordered was fresh and tasty and everything was accounted for. I handed my coupons to the delivery guy and he was on his way within minutes. I also received a code that provides me with free delivery of $100+ groceries for the next 60 days.
Overall, I was incredibly impressed with the ease of use of their system and definitely the quality of service I received. As I said, I’ll report back on how the coupons worked out but I have high hopes seeing as everything else went smoothly. Honestly, if you can get past the idea of having a delivery charge and fuel charge for your groceries and maybe having to compromise here and there on the brand you’re used to buying – Peapod is a totally viable option for grocery shopping, especially when it’s easier to pick 2 hours to stay home and wait rather than time to physically get to the store, shop, and bring all of the groceries in to your house.