Note: Peapod has put together a special offer for Suddenly Frugal readers–Get $20 Off Your First Order of $90+ at Peapod.com with code SFRUGAL20. So I’ve updated this review post to reflect this unique offer.
I first tried out Peapod, the grocery delivery service–and then became a repeat customer–after hearing about it from others who were like me–busy moms who needed to get the grocery shopping done but wanted a way to do that conveniently. Oh and still be able to use their coupons to save money.
While Peapod may have started to serve one area of the country, that is no longer true. Peapod was founded in 1989 and is America’s largest online internet grocery shopping and delivery service. Peapod works in two ways–home delivery (my preferred method) or pick up at the store.
Currently Peapod serves the following markets:
- S.E. Wisconsin
- Rhode Island
- New York
- New Jersey
- Southern New Hampshire
- Washington, DC
- S.E. Pennsylvania
- Central Pennsylvania (Peapod.com now offers grocery delivery service to more than 60 new ZIP codes in the Harrisburg, Mechanicsburg, and Carlisle PA area!)
As Peapod continues to add service areas, it adds on savings incentives for new customers to use. Again, Peapod has put together a special offer for Suddenly Frugal readers only–Get $20 Off Your First Order of $90+ at Peapod.com with code SFRUGAL20.
Peapod partners with local grocery stores to bring groceries to your door, literally. So when I lived in the Philadelphia area, Peapod’s partner was Giant Food Stores. Now that I live in New Jersey, I shop Peapod through my local Stop & Shop. Speaking of local Peapod also offers an option to pick up your groceries at your local Stop & Shop or whichever store is its partner. More about that in a bit.
What convinced me to give Peapod a try was this: I learned 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. Also, I learned that Peapod doubles coupons. When you shop Peapod.com, Peapod will double up to $.99 per coupon (unless otherwise specified on coupon)–the same as Giant and Stop and Shop.
I originally tried Peapod in 2013 when I lived in Pennsylvania. Since I’ve continued to use the service after moving to New Jersey (and hurting my back so this service has been a real lifesaver and, frankly, a pain saver since I don’t have to lift the groceries into and out of my cart and into and out of my car), I’ll add in some up to date thoughts on Peapod as well.
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. But maybe the fact that I wasn’t buying stuff to use up coupons helped me to spend less money overall.
However, on my next order I was able to be a bit more savvy about how many coupons I had and were able to use. This time around it added up to $10.50 saved on an order of about $100. That’s 10%–sure, not Extreme Couponing savings but I don’t believe those are real anyway.
As far as the cons go, there aren’t many with Peapod. One frustration though: certain products are not advertised by their brand name, so matching with coupons was harder to do. For example, last week I used Peapod again and chose to buy clementines. On the Peapod site, it just said “clementines mandarin oranges.” But when my order arrived later on, the clementines were actually Halos Clementines, and I had a $2 off coupon for them that I could have used. So with my next order, I made sure to hand the driver my Halos Clementines coupon, even though, again, the site did not include the brand. But sure enough, they were Halos again.
Another con: the products available via the Peapod site were not as extensive as what I might find at my normal grocery store. My kids love V8 fruit juice in a punch flavor. I could only find the orange flavor on Peapod.
Finally, Peapod doesn’t seem to have same-day delivery. Of course, if you need to do last-minute grocery shopping, like right now, Peapod is probably not your best option as there is usually a 24-hour turnaround time for placing and receiving an order. So if you’re a last-minute shopper, Peapod is probably not right for you. But if you’re a list making planner, I would definitely suggest giving Peapod a try.
After the first time I used Peapod, 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.
Best of all I saved $20 on my first order. You can save money on your first order, too. Get $20 Off Your First Order of $90+ at Peapod.com with code SFRUGAL20.
Another way I saved: because I chose a delivery time that was convenient for Peapod versus what was convenient for me, I saved $2 more dollars. Every time I’ve used Peapod since, I’ve always chosen the less convenient time for delivery, if it will shave $2 or $3 off my order.
So in the end I’ve saved money AND I’ve saved time, in that I don’t have to go to grocery store to get my groceris. Plus, I feel like I can do a better job of keeping my grocery spending in check by shopping via a website.
Even better at the holiday time, such as the crazy days before Thanksgiving or Christmas or Super Bowl Sunday, or on weekends when most people grocery shop, I can avoid the crowded supermarket all together by using Peapod. Now that’s worth more than money can buy.