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Inspecting Peapod Delivery:
Wonderful? or Worthless?

It's really tempting to sign up for Peapod delivery. Who wouldn't want to order groceries in your slippers and get them delivered the next morning?

With a new infant and little-sleep, I was desperate to see if my grocery-cloud actually had a silver lining. Here are the results of my plunge into the world of online grocery shopping.

Groceries
{Photo by Dan 4th}
In starting this review, I had several questions:
  • Would they deliver to me?
  • Would I find all my groceries there?
  • How were their prices?
  • How much was delivery?
  • Would they take my coupons?
  • And most importantly, how was the food? Was it high-quality? or back-bin trash?

Let me address each of these questions in turn before I share my resulting verdict. (Of course, if you're a "cut to the chase" kinda gal, feel free to skip straight to the verdict on Peapod.)


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Am I Eligible for Peapod Delivery?

Using the chart on their website (copied here below) I see that they deliver in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area. I am approximately 30 minutes from there. (Their website says they'll deliver up to 45 minutes away.) In just a few minutes I had signed up.

City/County State City/County State City/County StateCity/County State
Cromwell CT Boston MA Fairfield Co. CT Cape Cod MA
Hartford CT Watchung NJ New Haven CT Long Island NY
W. Danbury CT Mt. Vernon NY Chicago IL Medford NY
Montgomery Co. MD Rhode Island -- Baltimore MD Manhattan NY
Fairfax County VAWashington, D.C. -- Milwaukee WI Indianapolis IN
Philadelphia Co. PA Montgomery Co. PA Delaware Co. PA

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Picky Eaters, Unite!

My first impression of the Peapod website was surprise. Not only did it have a wide list of categories, it was simple to navigate. Here's what particularly stood out during this first visit.
  • I clicked on "Browse Aisles" to look around further, and found at the bottom of the page a list of a few specials for that week. My favorite bagels (Natural Ovens) were on sale! This further impressed me, since Natural Ovens is a local company that only services local grocery stores.

  • Further exploration discovered the "Express Shop" option that let me type my list completely - and then went through the list one by one, letting me choose the quantities I wanted. I found everything on my list - from soy milk and fresh basil, to a toothbrush for Lauren and BornFree baby bottles for Elena.

  • The "Nutra Filter" option let me customize the types of foods I was searching for (dairy-free, gluten-free, good fiber, etc). The site will bring only those qualified items up for my attention, speeding up my shopping.

  • Although they have the brand-name stuff, I was pleasantly surprised to find the "Our Family" off brand products available as well. There is a minimum order requirement of $50 in order for delivery, but I figured that with a family of four to feed, that would not be a problem.

Rather than re-invent the wheel, here's a list of the Peapod delivery categories, copied right off their website:

    With more than 10,000 products for shoppers to choose from, Peapod boasts not just the expected selection of grocery basics, but also farm-fresh produce; restaurant-quality meats and seafood; diverse prepared foods and party trays; deli meats and cheeses (sliced to order); Kosher, organic and specialty foods; a vast selection of produce; a variety of beer, wine and beverages (in select markets); pet supplies; baby products; videos; office and school supplies and private label products from supermarket partners.

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Watching My Wallet

In these troubled economic times, I can't afford to make "donations" to grocery stores. Naturally, I want it all. Fresh food and cheap food. and then there's that delivery charge... will convenience and pricing be able to make up for that?

Since it was my first order, I was already ahead. I had received a coupon code for $10 for my first order (use code CJN10 to get the same offer). That more than covered the delivery charge ($6.95 - $7.95).



As I added items to my cart, they showed up on the right side, showing me how much I had spent so far and cataloging my total savings. I LOVED being able to shop in real-time, allowing me to see when I had over-spent. In my opinion, this feature alone gives Peapod a shopping gold star. With that tool constantly available, frugal grocery shopping was a breeze. I easily kept within our budget, because I could see before I checked out how much my bill was going to be. If I was over, I simply "put back" a few items.

Checkout was also easy. I signed up for "Peapod Direct Check", authorizing them to take the money directly from my checking account. This gave me a credit of $1 on my order. I also choose to receive my order between 8 and 3 (I'm a stay at home mom), so I received an additional $2 off for that. So, even if I hadn't already had the coupon, I still would have only spent $4.95 for delivery.


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Houston...We Have a Peapod Delivery

peapod delivery
The next day I heard a very excited Lauren (who was 3 at the time) yelling about a green truck in our driveway. She wasn't exaggerating. It was a bright, lime-green delivery truck. (One I'd like to follow during a Wisconsin snowstorm.) In fact, it was the "Papa version" of the little Peapod delivery baby bug pictured here.

The delivery man brought in all my groceries. I handed him my manufacturer's coupons, and he discounted my order immediately. And yes, I did tip the delivery man, because I'm nice.smiley

I signed the receipt, he left, and my oldest, Lauren, excitedly helped open all our "packages". (She was particularly excited about the "pink cereal", a.k.a. Strawberry-Yogurt Cheerios, I had purchased for her.)

Everything was fresh and crisp. In fact, several items looked higher-quality than my local grocery store. It was like I had my own personal shopper picking out my food! (I had a "celebrity" moment of specialness...and then had to change a poopy diaper...)


    Update: A few weeks after this, I placed an order for Sunday morning Peapod delivery. We're gone at church in the morning, so I was a little nervous to choose the "unattended" option. When we pulled up to the house, stacked by the back door were several large sturdy containers.

    Inside were all my groceries. Frozen items were packed tightly in dry ice - still frozen after several hours in the July sun! The produce and dairy items were also packed in dry ice, nice and cold. I kept the bins in my garage until the next order when they took them away (or you could call them for pick up). All of that was at no extra cost. I'm telling you, this is a mom's dream. (Especially a working mom's dream!)


What Was Perfect in My Peapod Delivery

First of all, I love the lazy-factor. I love ordering and having someone else do the shopping. I also have no complaints about the quality of the food. The prices seemed pretty similar to my local Piggly Wiggly (I'm not making that up, I actually do shop at a store called "Piggly Wiggly".)

As for price, I could chose off-brand, they accept manufacturer coupons, AND I'm still getting offers in the mail for "free delivery", so I've not had to pay for delivery in weeks.

What Wasn't...

After a few months of ordering, I did run into some issues. First of all, I tried to order alcohol. Evidently, Wisconsin does not permit the sale of alcohol online. A minor hangup, but worth mentioning. Peapod will let you know of your state's policy before you checkout.

Secondly, there was one occasion where they did not have an item I had purchased in stock. However, this didn't bother me, since they substituted with an "upgraded" item. I was able to make the recipe, and with something of better quality than I originally ordered.

peapod delivery
Finally, one of my orders had a bag of onions that looked fine on the outside, but after cutting into them I discovered they were bad. I called customer service and they credited my account immediately for the onions. This quality issue has only happened once.

Do I Recommend Peapod Delivery?

Although I don't order Peapod delivery every week, I like to place an order every month or so. There are just some weeks where I feel like if I have to make ONE more stop, ONE more errand, I'm going to burst.

Those are the weeks where I break out my little coupon insert (from the mail) and look forward to being served. (In fact, I'm expecting a delivery this very afternoon.)

If you live in their delivery area, I recommend giving Peapod delivery a try. At worst, you'll enjoy at least one stress-free shopping experience, and at best you'll start day-dreaming about how to spend your newly-found free time! (I think your baby may have a few ideas for you there...)

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Coupons!

Philadelphia Area Residents ~ Save $20 off your first order at Peapod.com with code AFFL20

Manhattan Area Residents ~ Get $15 off your first order at Peapod.com with code NYCJ15

Not in those areas? Save $10 off your first order at Peapod.com with code PPOD10

You will also receive 2 months of free delivery (60 days) after your first order when you use any of the codes above.



Photos used on this page were found at www.flickr.com and were used with permission and according to guidelines.

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