Years ago when Netgrocer began their grocery delivery service, I was intrigued. I enjoyed shopping online, and the possibility of having time to peruse labels and brands and not even have to go the store was very appealing. Doing the weekly grocery shopping has never been one of my favorite activities; I just accepted it as one of life’s necessary evils. Could Netgrocer replace some of that? But they didn’t deliver fresh or frozen foods, and with the price and delivery fee it didn’t seem practical and would not have replaced my weekly in-person shopping anyway. I was envious of those who lived in cities with Peapod service and hoped that someday a local grocery shopping service would be available in my area.
Fast forward several years, and I had now moved from the Tampa area to Portland. Soon after I arrived I noticed both Safeway and New Seasons grocery delivery trucks in my neighborhood. New Seasons stopped delivering awhile after that, but I kept seeing the Safeway trucks. I shopped at Safeway from time to time, had gotten a “club card” to take advantage of the specials, and signed up for their email savings newsletter. They began sending me emails regarding their home delivery service, that I could try it for free the first time. I was tempted, but at that time I had access to a car on a regular basis and getting to the store to do the dreaded weekly shopping was no problem. I thought it might be a good idea to use the delivery service if I was ever sick and couldn’t get out to the store, but only if I was that sick; I couldn’t shake the feeling that it would be the height of laziness to have groceries brought to me.
As most who follow my blog know, a few months ago I lost regular access to a car and began using Zipcar to run most of my errands, including the weekly shopping. But the day finally came when I needed groceries THAT DAY and of course the Zipcar was unavailable. So I justified to myself that this would be the day to have groceries delivered and I ordered them online from Safeway. I had read the online reviews of the service and though most were positive, some were negative and I was keeping my fingers crossed. Would they mess up my order, would they be late, would they not have the items available? But I needn’t have worried; it was on time, the order was perfect, and everything was available. I was pleased with this first delivery. Would this be doable more often?
The deliveries, of course, wouldn’t be free after that, but I noticed if I picked a 4-hour delivery window (not a problem since I work from home) the delivery fee would be half as much. I noticed this was about the same price I was paying to rent the Zipcar for an hour, plus I noticed that because the “club card” specials were also good for online purchases, I could shop very reasonably indeed. In fact, I saw that using the Safeway delivery service twice a month would save me about $50 a month in groceries and car rental fees. So I began doing that, and have been extremely happy with it. My orders are always right, on time, and only rarely does a substitution have to be made when an item is out of stock. I worried that someone else shopping for me wouldn’t pick out the best fresh fruits and vegetables, but they’ve been excellent.
There are only two items I use regularly that I can NOT get from Safeway: Vegenaise vegan mayo (even if you’re not vegan or vegetarian, try this product; you won’t want to go back to regular mayonnaise) and Earth Balance buttery spread; these I get when I’m out and about for other reasons and/or my daughter picks them up. Most of the other stores in the area do carry these two products; if Safeway did, I’d never have to shop for groceries anywhere else at all.
Will I keep using this service? For now, yes, and as long as it’s saving me money. My daughter and I plan to move across town early next year and it may be more convenient then for me to walk (or bike, when I get one eventually) to the store a couple of times a week to get what I need. But it’s been a big help so far and I couldn’t be more pleased. What a great service!