Ding Dong- Did Someone Order Groceries?

Grocery deliveries have become very popular as people have become more & more busy. I know when I was working, the last thing that I wanted to do was brave the grocery store after a long day at work. Couple that with a few children in tow, and I don’t know if I would ever make it to the store at all!

One of my working friends has had that dilemma and recently ran across a grocery delivery program which has finally become an option in our area. Not being from a big city, we often don’t have the luxuries of services like Peapod or other grocery delivery programs. Recently though, IndianaGroceries.com recently was added as a service to our small town and I am hearing the praises of how wonderful this option is.

Today I browsed some of the pricing that was available on the grocery items. Like a grocery flier, the delivery programs do offer sale items. If you can focus your grocery shopping in that direction, you can come away with some surprisingly good deals. Here are some from this week’s flier:

Jiff Creamy Peanut Butter- $.99
Eggs- $.99
1 gallon Skim Milk- $1.99
Secret Deodorant- $.99
Colgate Toothpaste- $.99
Broccoli Crowns (1#)- $1.89

Of course, when you browse many of the other items, they are not as good of prices. While some items are offered as a store-brand, other items are brand-name only so the pricing can be higher than making a trip the store yourself.

Here are a few tips for shopping grocery delivery websites:

1. Make sure you understand the fees that are involved with your shopping. Some may offer free grocery delivery, but they might charge something called a “bagging fee.” The website for our area states that they charge a $3.99 fee for each delivery. Other sites do charge a service fee of $10 or more so acquaint yourself with all the fees before jumping in with your shopping.

2. When you receive your groceries, tips are appreciated and encouraged. This is another one of those small fees that needs to be considered when factoring in the costs of grocery delivery.

3. When you have totaled up all of your fees for grocery delivery, figure out how much you would actually save by using this. There are many fees that are involved with you going out and getting your own groceries too- time, gas, mileage on your car, and all of the extra browsing you might be suckered into at the superstores. If you are having a hard time being disciplined at the grocery store (or always forget your grocery list!) there might be some savings by using a service like this.

4. Coupon moms would not benefit from a service like this because coupons can’t be factored in. Cherry-picking from various stores could not be done either, but grocery delivery services do offer sale items that shoppers can take advantage of.

5. Grocery delivery services are usually only offered with a minimum order. Read the fine print on how much you have to spend. If you are spending money just to get the delivery, it might not be worth the trouble.

6. Some grocery delivery programs offer perks to their loyal customers. The website for our area, for example, offers a $5 credit for every 5 orders (of $50 or more) you place with their site. With 5 orders of $100 or more, you can get a $10 credit.

7. A true advantage to online ordering is the ability to save your grocery lists. If you typically get the same things every single week, your grocery shopping can be done in a matter of minutes!

8. Check on the company’s page if there are membership fees involved and the ability to cancel your membership. Some companies do charge a membership fee for their services so factor this into your cost too! Once you have factored in all the costs, see if the $1.99 milk is still $1.99- maybe it is $6, when it is all said and done.

9. Each state is different on this, but check and see if there is an additional fee involved for liquor delivery. One page I visited contained a $7 fee. That $4 wine might be a $20 bottle when the fees are all factored. Ouch!

10. Remember that you need to be home to receive the groceries or be subjected to a hefty fee. While there is flexibility with ordering, there is not flexibility with being home for delivery. Be sure you understand when you need to be home to accept your order.

11. If you want to try online grocery shopping, most sites offer a nice credit to get you started on your first shopping experience with them. They are trying to hook you in with their services, so maybe take advantage of it once and then see if it is worth the money and your experience with it. If it isn’t positive or you can’t justify the cost, at least you got a smoking deal on your first attempt!

12. Find out about referral programs. Friend referrals are big with companies and they need the business. You can often get a $5 (or more) credit on future orders if you refer your friends. Name dropping is definitely a good thing when it comes to your grocery budget!

Here are a listing of Grocery Delivery Sites:

Peapod (Connecticut, New York, Rhode island, Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia, Massachusetts, the rest of the New England coast, Chicago and Milwaukee)
Amazon Grocery (free delivery and savings for repeat ordering)
Sam’s Club Click N Pull (not technically a delivery, but they do put together all of your groceries for you for free)
Schwan’s (Frozen Food Shopping)
Simon Delivers (Twin Cities Shoppers)
Grocery Run, LLC (Michigan Shoppers)
Food Express (Florida Shoppers)
Roche Brothers (Massachusetts Shoppers)
Small Potatoes Urban Delivery (Seattle Shoppers for organic foods)
Indiana Groceries (Indiana Shoppers)

If you are an online grocer and would like to be added, just leave your web address and the area(s) you are available to in the comment box. I know this would help our readers out greatly.

Sound Off: Have you used a grocery delivery service before? What has been your experience?

Published December 18, 2007 by:

Amy Allen Clark is the founder of MomAdvice.com. You can read all about her here.

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