Saturday, May 24, 2008

Review: Peapod by Stop and Shop

Checking the stop and shop website for the weekly specials, their 'peapod' service caught my eye. I'd looked at grocery services like fresh direct before, but no one covered my area. With the opening of the new local 'super' stop and shop they just opened, they seem to have expanded their coverage area.

I'm a little ocd at times about picking out my groceries. Usually its an afternoon consuming process of checking the sale circulars, making up a detailed list, sorting coupons, then going to the store where I pick through produce with a discerning eye.

I worried, if I send my order off to a faceless computer system, will they use the same discerning eye? I decided it was worth giving it least one try to see.Picking out the food was pretty easy. I entered my shopper card, and it automatically gave me the ability to view my past shopping trips to quickly add my staples of milk, yogurt, eggs, etc. Next, I went through the sale section and added the things we needed that were on sale. Finally, with a mental recipe inventory of what I wanted to cook this week, I filled in any gaps of what I still needed.

Because we're trying to keep meals healthy, a good chunk of my basket was fresh fruits and veggies. This would be the true test. With a quite full list, the total came in at $117.42 plus 2.25 in tax. Add in $6.95 for shipping, plus $1.28 fuel charge, Then subtracting a 10$ discount for being a first time customer, my total came in at $117.90. Pretty good. If I had picked items that I had coupons for, I could give them to the delivery man, and they would be credited to me as well.

Checking out, I was given a choice of delivery times. Some of the 'prime' slots come with an up charge, and the more flexible spots come with a discount. I opted for a middle of the road slot of 10am-1pm.

Right on schedule, the truck pulled up around 11 am. The guy took some time sorting things out in the back before carrying everything in, and by everything, I mean he made one trip to carry in every single bag of my order, minus the 20lb sack of dog food. I don't blame the second trip for that, I have trouble even lifting them.

Overall, everything was pretty top notch. The only downside, I would say, is the bagging. I usually shop with reusable cotton bags. So this was a bit of letting go to let them do the bagging in plastic of all things. To top it off, some bags, they only put one item in. After everything was said and done, they used well over 15 plastic bags to deliver my stuff. Far to many for someone trying to cut down on waste. I saved the bags and will drop them off in the recycling bin at my next store trip, but this is supposed to make my life easier, not add more work.

As for the produce, it can out pretty well. While the avocados were a little on the small side, they picked some of the largest plum tomatos I've ever seen. Everything was fresh and unblemished looking.

Overall, I'd give them 1.5 thumbs up - good marks on quality and ease of use, but definatly lost ponts with the plethora of plastic they delivered with my groceries.

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