If there is one thing I’ve learned from motherhood, it is that this job is not for the weak or fainthearted. We are BUSY. I laugh at the me who thought it was tough with one kid, now that I have two kids, only 20 months apart, shit got real. I am ALWAYS looking for shortcuts and mom hacks… not so much with my mothering, (okay, okay sometimes even with my mothering,) but mostly with my “chores.” One “mom hack”-if you want to call it that, I simply call it pure genius-that I’ve found I cannot live without is grocery services. Whether it be home delivery or curbside pick-up, having someone else do my grocery shopping has saved me hours of frustration and given me countless additional moments with my family. And if we are being honest, sometimes a trip to the grocery store is a mini vacation for us mamas, but I’d much rather “need to run to target” than the grocery store! So, here I have broken down the various grocery services that I’ve tried. I’ve included the pros and cons of each and provided the ultimate low down for each service.
Allow me to start with my first delivery service, Fresh Direct. Ah I was so cute when I first started Fresh Direct-kidless, husbandless, simply living in a beautiful one bedroom apartment and thought this would be “so helpful” so I “didn’t have to walk the three stories of steps with my groceries” …*barf.* While I can now chuckle at my younger self, if I am honest, I somewhat envy this naive version of me. So young, so caught up in myself that I didn’t feel I had time to make multiple trips to the car for groceries, times were simpler.
- No commitments
- Nice, big $25 referral bonus.
- Great customer service
- Good organic selection
- Competitive pricing-not the best but not the worst
- no substitutions-what you order is what you get
- You have to order at lease a day ahead-no next day delivery.
- delivery fees
- Based out of New York so a lot of the perks are NY based (ex/ wine delivery…HUGE perk for you New Yorkers)
The Low Down-if you’re looking for a door to door service with a good home town, customer service feel, this is the way to go.
Next, I moved on to shop rite from home, after having my first son and purchasing our house. There is a shop rite very local to me, so this was an excellent option. Now, a quick disclaimer-there was at least a year time difference from when I used Fresh Direct to when I did shop rite from home. The grocery services had/have really emerged from the time I used Fresh Direct to when I dove in to a new service. Here are the Shop Rite deets.
- No commitment
- Competitive pricing-not the best, not the worst
- Delivery or pick up options
- cold groceries are bagged together in color coded bags-i found this useful when I needed to get my cold/frozen items quickly unpacked in order to attend to “opinionated” tiny humans… the non-perishables can wait!
- Long wait time during pick up, especially with aforementioned “opinionated” tiny humans in the back seat
- Not the best organic selection
- Pick up and delivery fees ($5 for pick up, $10 for delivery)
- No loyality program
- hit or miss with substitutions
The Low Down-Not great, not horrible. A decent option if you’re starting out and not sure what is important to you.
While using Shop Rite from home, I cheated. I had a downright affair with Acme home delivery. I quickly fell in love… here are the reasons why.
- TWO HOUR home delivery service…. no joke, you can order your groceries and have them at your house in TWO HOURS.
- personal shoppers will text you regarding substitutions they are making or considering
Then, I somewhat fell out of love…
- Expensive delivery fees-$14.99 a month (there is also a yearly plan) along with a “service” charge and a shopper tip. While this might not seem like much, I’ve found services that are free, with same day pick up (see below).
- Lots of substitutions
- Inconsistency with personal shoppers-some are super attentive and communicate and others are duds.
The Low Down-With money to spare, this is as close as you’ll get to having a personal shopper.
Finally, allow me to introduce you to my current love, Walmart grocery pick up.
- No additional fees whatsoever
- Cheapest out of all the above mentioned
- Limited substitutions-you typically get what you order
- Good organic selection
- Additional products also available, aside from groceries
- Minimal wait time due to “check in” system-you “check in” via the Walmart Grocery App. when you are on your way to pick up your order and they ensure it is ready for you.
- Same day pick up is usually available
- Additional items aside from groceries-I’ve ordered things like plastic bins for clothing storage and the occasional home good.
- somewhat inconsistent quality with produce
The Low Down- Cheap, quick and easy-a mother’s true dream.
Use my referral to see for yourself: http://r.wmt.co/v/kate_204
In addition, while not a grocery delivery service, Door Dash is right in line with making motherhood easier by providing food to your family in a quick, timely manner. What I love most about Door Dash is that it opens up a variety of options when considering take out/delivery and allows you to branch out from your typical pizza place. I’ve been able to find a lot of different deals and coupons too, which help to work around the service/delivery fees associated with this service. So, if you’re looking for a quick, hot meal delivered right to your front door consider checking out Door Dash for fun, convenient options.
There are a few other things that I be remiss if I didn’t point out. Some additional points to consider when you’re looking in to making a life changing move such as grocery pick up/delivery.
- Online ordering platforms-most of the services I’ve used save your “favorites” or past grocery lists, making reordering super simple. If you come across a service of interest that does not possess this feature, keep looking, or else your entire reason for utilizing a service will be negated as you shop each week.
- Consider things that are important to you when you grocery shop. If you’re a stickler for certain brands make sure the service you choose allows for that. I like a store with a nice organic section-because that shit makes me feel good-so I was disappointed by stores that couldn’t accommodate that. Everyone has different wants and needs when it comes to fueling your family, so while keeping all of the above analysis’ in mind, be sure you’re picking a store and service that meets your personal requests and needs.
- A HUGE benefit to online grocery shopping is that you can easily budget your groceries and thus (ideally) save your family money. When you’re shopping in the store, you pick up the random box of fruits snacks, grab an extra case of La Croix, or throw the candy bar in the cart at the last minute. These things add up. When you’re shopping online, you only purchase what you need. You can create a weekly menu and order only what you need, without those last minute impulse buys. You see your total prior to checking out and can add or delete items to fit into your budget.
I’m certain that there are other services out there, so be sure to check with your regional grocery chain to see the offerings. My hope is that you use this list as a guide, providing you some insight as to the ins and outs of using a grocery service and that you’re able to compare and contrast the factors that are a priority to you. Parenting is the most exhaustingly beautiful journey on the planet, and if you’re with me, you’re going to take all the help you can get. So, bring on the groceries while keeping the screaming toddler at bay by seriously considering the help of a grocery service.