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Special Delivery: Groceries at your Doorstep Re-evaluated

Photo from Flickr by katinthecupboard

What if you didn’t have to spend hours every week walking like a zombie through the grocery store? What if you could have groceries delivered right to your door? Or have you already discovered the world of online grocery shopping?

I’ve written off this idea in the past as lazy/privileged/silly, but without any analysis of the actual pros and cons. Once I did some research and looked at pricing and convenience I may be humming a different tune.

Here is the list of pros and cons I came up with. And I would love to hear how you feel about the grocery delivery service!

But first the practical: where do I find these services?

By searching online for “grocery delivery service” you can find out if there is a service like this in your area. The pros and cons in this post are based on Stop and Shop of New England’s Peapod delivery service.

Down sides

Minimum purchase amount: If you don’t normally buy $60 or more each week then you would have to place the order less than once a week. This may reduce the ability to get produce for the whole 2 weeks and you may need to pick up eggs/milk in between deliveries. Then you would need to not put anything else in your cart/basket on those in between grocery store runs.
Fix: You could just plan on getting produce at the local Farmer’s Market and not through the grocery store.

Extra cost: Peapod charges $6-10 per delivery depending on how much your grocery purchase cost. Currently there is also a small fuel surcharge (less than $2.00)

Up sides

Meal planning becomes easier: Pair delivery service together with allrecipes.com recipe list that you can turn into a shopping list in 1 click. I also like this list because it breaks up the ingredients into distinct categories.

Choose a “Green” delivery time: By consolidating your delivery time with other consumers’ delivery times for maximum gas efficiency.

Spend less money on gasoline: Goes along with the point above.

Double coupons and offer exclusive online savings offers: A special tab just for sale and special offers.
Easily compare nutrition and price on similar items.

Automatically totals your grocery bill before checkout: Your shopping cart updates the amount you’re spending so it’s easier to stay within budget without having to bust out the calculator on your phone.

Result

Obviously, spending about an extra $12 on groceries every week adds up to $24-$48 EXTRA dollars a month on groceries.

Do the savings through deals, gas savings, coupons and cost comparing make this worth while?

How does saving time in your day factor into the cost of delivery service?

Does not having to push around a crying child in the cart for 45 minutes make this worth while? Do you break even? Do you save money?

To help figure this out
:
You can look at your average grocery shopping receipt and compare it to how much it would cost through the website. You can also highlight on your grocery receipt the items you think were put into the cart on a whim.

How does the comparison look now?

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