Researching who offers the best deals and provides the best grocery service. Anyone have thoughts on this? Oh, and guessing nobody offers Trader Joes?
The two delivery services that I've tried are Peapod and Fresh Direct. I found Peapod to be just kind of OK. The produce wasn't necessarily that great. Their deliveries were on time. Fresh Direct however was terrific. Great produce, great meats, nice prepared food and only once was a delivery late (by a few minutes) and pleasant drivers. The drawback to Fresh Direct (at least for me) is that it is pricey. If you can afford it it's worth it.
I've tried a bunch of them.
Basic / full grocery store replacement:
*Fresh Direct - I adore these guys. The prices aren't cheap but the produce is fantastic. Lots of local options. Drivers are extremely reliable and courteous and I've only had missing or damaged items a handful of times. Top-notch customer service when these things happen - usually they'll drop a replacement by the next day or even later the same day. You see the trucks around all the time so clearly I'm not the only one who loves it.
I mostly just buy perishable stuff from them & get my non-perishables from Thrive Market, and I think I come out about even compared to buying at Whole Foods. There is a $129 annual fee to get "free" delivery. Otherwise it's $7.99 for a delivery.
Amazon Fresh - avoid. To be fair it's been a couple/few years since I used them, but my experience with them was so terrible that I won't give them another chance. Something was missing in nearly every single delivery, and while they always refunded the money it was a real nuisance. I also had stuff improperly packed & squashed, and the worst was when I got some obviously spoiled food that had an expiration date about a month prior to the date I received it.
InstaCart - like Uber for groceries. You can shop from a bunch of different places, but I've only ever used for Whole Foods. They can usually shop for you right away (delivery is a little higher if you want stuff now), whereas the other services usually have a 24 hr turn-around time. Basically it is the same price as WF (or whichever store you have them shop from) but add on a delivery fee and some specials don't work. If you are in a pinch and need something right away and really can't leave the house, it can be a life saver but I wouldn't use them as a routine thing.
Door to Door Organics - now re-opened under the name Bodhi Market. I used the "old" D2D for a while and had a mixed experience with them. Bodhi works the same way as the old D2D - you sign up for a produce box each week, they fill it up with stuff but that's just a starting point. You can customize it and add other stuff as well (full range of groceries). The produce was very good. They were often out of things and like Amazon often made mistakes (less ruined food though).
Since they re-opened I haven't tried them. It isn't "really" re-opened - they belonged to a parent company that went bust, and it is the local (ish - upper Bucks County. PA) outfit that re-opened. Big plus: Lancaster area meats. That would be the only reason I'd go back.
*Thrive Market - national, there is a membership fee. They sell the natural / organic brands of non-perishable foods at a big discount from Whole Foods, and they have lots of free promotions if you spend at least $49 (which you need to spend anyway to get free shipping). I track the prices of things I buy routinely and Thrive is always a lot less, and the free things are a nice bonus. They also have a house brand that is usually pretty good.
They also sell wine - avoid - it's terrible. And now they sell frozen meat and seafood - I got one delivery and thought it is a rip-off compared to the options below. But for the non-perishable stuff, they're the best.
There is a free trial period, and I can send a referral code for 25% off your first order (max discount $25) if anybody wants it. It's the usual deal, I get $25 if five people join.
Target - not sure if this really belongs here, but you can get a lot of groceries from them so why not. They only deliver non-perishables of course, but they have a surprising range of stuff available and it's free delivery if your order is at least $35.
Frozen meat & seafood:
*Walden meats - amazing. This is more like a subscription club than groceries, along the lines of Butcher Box. They bring their own truck from the Boston area to our area a few times a month, and the meat is delivered frozen to your front door in an insulated bag that you return to them the next time. You have some (limited) choice in how your box is set up, but you can't pick individual items. They recently added a local, sustainably caught seafood option too. The meats are VERY good and the price is reasonable for pastured meats from small farms.
*Moinkbox - Another meat subscription. Also very good, though they just had a national re-launch and as a result they are experiencing some shortages. You can customize your box, which I like a lot. All of their meats are from small family farms "local to them" in the Missouri area, and they ship frozen via UPS with dry ice. You can also get salmon from Alaska from them (their only seafood choice). The quality is absolutely top-notch. It is very difficult to do a one-to-one comparison with Walden but I think Walden may be a tad less (the tradeoff is less choice).
Butcher Box - This one most people seem to have heard of. I tried this just once. The meat was very tasty but it is sourced all over the world, which is an issue for me.
Two River Dairy: I used them for a little while but stopped mainly for price reasons. If you want glass bottled milk, they're great. They have plastic bottles too but clearly their main selling point is the returnable glass bottles. They also have other local dairy stuff like butter, yogurt, eggs, etc. They also have a changing selection of local meat, prepared foods, etc. and you can do a sort of deal with a local CSA to have it delivered rather than pick it up (I never tried that though). Most of their stuff is gasp-worthy expensive but if you can afford it and want to support a local company it's worth checking out. The website is weird and hard to figure out but the lady who runs it is really nice.
If you simply need full-service basic delivery of a full range of grocery items, Shoprite's Shop from Home might be an option. I have never used it, but when I am in my local Shoprite there are always lots of Shoprite employees selecting items for their grocery carts and clearly putting together Shop from Home orders. Not exactly Trader Joe's, but something to be aware of.
We've used Amazon Fresh for 2+ years now. At first, the execution in term of fulfillment (stuff missing / wrong stuff) and delivery/packing (eggs, even glass jars broken) was hit or miss but it seems like for the past year, they've fixed it. Plus, whenever they would screw up, they would give a credit with no hassle. The one caveat is that in order to qualify for free delivery, each order must be over $50.
I use and like Costco two day delivery for staples, paper products, and cleaning products etc. Have not tried it’s one day service as yet. I also buy kitty litter and cat food from Amazon. Very satisfied with both.
Thanks everyone for all your responses. Super super helpful!
I’m wondering if any of these services can be used with food stamps. Nah, probably not. Why give poor people any advantages?
annielou said:I’m wondering if any of these services can be used with food stamps. Nah, probably not. Why give poor people any advantages?
I'm no expert on this, but if you can pay with a credit/debit card, shouldn't you be able to use the SNAP (?) card?
not all stores accept SNAP..although shoprite/stop and shop do. and most delivery services (store direct like shoprite or app based errand services) are expensive...for someone who qualifies for SNAP. I've seen offers for things like $20 off 1st order (over a certain amount) which may essentially eliminate the deliver fee.
and for people with actual severe disabilities/elderly a delivery service could be a life line...if they could afford it...
I am disabled....sometime people have offered to help...but never follow through....and people paid to help have been passive aggressive even committing criminal acts against me when I insisted they do their jobs...
i had a friend nearby that I helped out a lot....when I just needed her to take out the garbage for me because I could barely stand up, she said she would and didn't show up..
its sad people in need can't depend on the kindness of others for things like picking up groceries.
Or delivery services that dismiss the most vulnerable people. Heaven forbid you should get poor or old or sick in this society.
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