When I attended the BlogHer13 conference in Chicago this past July, one of the largest conferences for female bloggers nationwide, I had the chance to meet with dozen of brands in the conference’s Expo hall. Once such brand was Peapod, the grocery delivery service. I’ve know about Peapod for the longest time, but never thought it was available in my area (Pennsylvania) and with my local grocery store (Giant). I was wrong on both fronts.
During my extensive chat with the Peapod representative, I learned that as a BlogHer participant, I could save money on my first Peapod order. (Normally, delivery costs $7.95.) And that I would be able to help my blog readers save money, too. You’ll notice that the ad here says that you can save $15 off your first order. (Note: this includes affiliate links.)
What really convinced me to give Peapod a try was this: the representative told me that Peapod prices items based on the average for your area. I was always under the impression that the Giant in my town was more expensive than Giant supermarkets in other nearby towns–perhaps those who had more competition or attracted a different kind of shopper. So I was excited to see how much cheaper my groceries might be.
It took me a few weeks to finally find the time to try Peapod, and on Tuesday my first order was delivered. I thought I’d share my review of the service with you so you can see if Peapod is worth giving a try, too. I’ll tell you this: There were definitely pros and cons to using Peapod.
The pros were that I didn’t have to go to the grocery store at all, and I could shop when it was convenient for me right from my computer (or my Smartphone since there is a Peapod app, too). What I especially liked is that I didn’t have to go through that awful exercise at the supermarket of putting everything in a cart, then taking everything out for checkout, then bagging everything up and putting in my car, then taking everything out of my car into the house to put my groceries away. No, earlier this week the bright green Peapod truck showed up in my driveway, and the driver delivered my groceries right into my kitchen.
Another pro: as I was placing my order on the computer, I was able to toggle over to my favorite online couponing sites like Coupons.com, Redplum and Smartsource to see if I could find any coupons that matched what I had on my list. I found only one, which was kind of a con. Usually, when I food shop, I cash in dozens of coupons.
As far as the cons go, not being able to use as many coupons frustrated me. But it also got me thinking that perhaps when I shop in the physical supermarket with coupons, I’m letting coupons dictate my shopping more than the items on my grocery list. That is still up for consideration.
Another con: the products available via the Peapod site were not as extensive as what I might find at my normal grocery store. There were some items I couldn’t find at all–Arm & Hammer Washing Soda being one of them. And others only came in sizes I didn’t want. On the plus side these limitations did help me keep my spending down!
To be honest it felt like a lot of the items on Peapod were actually more expensive than my local Giant. For example, 30 Mule Borax, a 76 ounce box, was $4.69. I know I spend less when I buy it in person. In fact, I went to Giant the next day so I could compare costs in person. Sure enough, Borax there was $4.25.
I brought my Peapod order with me to Giant so I could compare all of the prices. Of the 22 items I ended up buying via Peapod 13, were the exact same price. Of course that means that 9 weren’t–but not all of them were more expensive.
Where I noticed the biggest savings via Peapod was with meat. For example, I bought Top Round London Broil, about 2.5 pounds of it, and paid $6.24. In the Giant store that same meat was priced at $3.99 per pound. That means I would have spent $9.98 at the store.
Another meat savings was with ground sirloin 90 percent lean. On Peapod I paid $3.99 per pound, for only a pound. At the Giant store, that same meat was priced $5.44 per pound.
In meat alone I saved $5.19.
As far as the seven remaining items that were actually more expensive on Peapod, the price difference added up $5.92, meaning with my savings, I spent only $.80 more with Peapod. Plus, I had to tip the driver–I gave him $5.
So right now it looks like I’m in the hole $5.80 for using Peapod. But wait.
Because this was my first order, I saved $20–that was the special they offered to BlogHer attendees. And because I chose a delivery time that was convenient for Peapod versus what was convenient for me, I saved $2 more dollars. In the end I came out $16.20 ahead.
Add to that I got a brochure with my order that offers me free delivery for the next 60 days, on orders of $100 or more. (My order totaled $114.96.) So if I shop Peapod every other week for the next eight weeks, I’ll save $31.80 ($7.95 delivery X 4 deliveries.) However, with tipping the driver $5 each time, that’s $20, leaving me with a savings of only $11.80.
So what it comes down to is my time. Is my time worth $11.80? Probably. Plus, I feel like I can do a better job of keeping my grocery spending in check by shopping via a website. But we’ll see.
What do you think? Are these small savings worth your time? I can tell you that I didn’t make any impulse purchases like I might at the store.
Remember: you can try your first order with a $15 discount by clicking through this link. This special offer is good through August 31, 2013 only. If you do end up using Peapod, let me know what you think.
One additional way I can save with Peapod: they provide a “refer a friend” link that pays $10 per person who signs up. I guess every little bit helps.
Currently, Peapod works primarily with Giant Food Stores and Stop & Shop locations in the following markets:
- Chicagoland, Milwaukee, S.E. Wisconsin, Indianapolis
- Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Southern New Hampshire
- New York, New Jersey
- Maryland, Virginia, Washington D.C.
- Philadelphia, S.E. Pennsylvania