I was invited to tour the Peapod Wareroom in North Smithfield Rhode Island today along with a few other Rhode Island bloggers. I was very excited to see exactly how it works and to learn more about it. I can say now, I am amazed at all the thought and hard work that is put into the process.
(If you don’t already know this, Peapod is a grocery delivery service that works with Stop & Shop and Giant food stores)
My first question was “Are the items priced the same as the weekly ad?” and the answer is yes. There are a few exceptions. The front page of each ad for each store may differ just a bit. The reason for this is if there is a competitor near by, they may price something a little different, but it’s still on sale. So those prices may not be exactly the same but it will still be a sale price. It’s also possible that they might not offer that item on Peapod and I’ll get back to that in just a bit. But they also have sales that are only available on Peapod so you may save on something not on sale that week just for using Peapod.
My next thought was “Do they take coupons”. My shopping trips are usually based on not only what’s on sale, but what coupons I have. They do take coupons and they do double them just like the store, up to $.99. However they don’t take store coupons or the ones you receive in the mail for dollars off dollars ($5 off $60). If you have coupons you give them to the driver when your order is delivered and then you will receive an adjusted total within a few days and your card will be charged.
Is there a delivery fee? Yes there is a delivery charge. The minimum order is $60 and the delivery fee for orders under $100 is $9.95, orders of $100 or more the delivery fee is $6.95. Right now they are running a special. As a new customer, you will receive free delivery (of an $100 or more) for the first 60 days after you place your first order (you do have to pay the delivery fee for the first order).
I don’t feel that’s such a bad deal. With the cost of gas depending on how far you have to drive it may wash it self out with you factor in your time.
You may also be able to earn more discounts on your order. They may send you a discount off your next order or they may offer you a discount if you choose a bigger delivery time window. And again, you may receive a sale on an item that is only offered online. All these discounts can add up to cover the cost of the delivery fee. You can receive $10 off your first order by using coupon code CJA2.
I mentioned above that not every single item will be offered on Peapod. They need to limit the quantity of items to make it more cost efficient otherwise with too many to choose from it would take more time to put the orders together, they would have to find space for all these items and so many other reasons.
What they did was research the most common items bought and the most common sizes and they tend to stick to that. Of course you may find some choices but not as many as in the store. I completely understand how they would have to limit something.
Now how does this all come together from when you place your order until it hits your doorway. Here is an overview of what happens:
- You place your order online. It’s usually next day delivery (in most places). If you place your order before 3 PM you can get it early in the day. Otherwise you can order up to 12am and it will come later in the day.
- Your order is sent to a handheld computer that the “shoppers” use to pack your items. All the meats and deli items are cut to order that morning and the best FRESH fruits and vegetables are choosen.
- The ‘shoppers’ will scan the items as they bag them and they are packed in totes. All the cold stuff is packed in Styrofoam inside the totes along with either gel packs or dry ice. Depending on the time of year more or less ice is used.
- The totes are then put in the delivery trucks ready to go.
- The drivers all carry phones with GPS so the main office always knows where they are and if they are running late, running behind or right on schedule. They also know if they go off track for whatever reason. Since a lot of the food is being kept cold, they want the drivers to be on schedule as best as they can.
- The driver will either bring your bags to the door, or if you’d like, they will carry them in the house for you!! I love that part. Everything is delivered in plastic bags so you can give the driver your bags back to recycle for you.
That’s about it!
They try their best to keep all items in stock, but at any time something may not get delivered and it may not be in-stock when they pack your order. You have the option of picking whether you want substitutes or not either for the entire order or per item. If they have to substitute something of a higher value then you will pay for the lower price item that you originally ordered. That is nice. Especially if you plan your meals around what you are ordering.
OK, that was very long but I wanted to explain the process and the perks of using Peapod because it may be something my readers would like. I never thought you could be frugal and have your groceries delivered but I believe you can. It’s also a great way to stock up on the bigger, bulkier items that are harder for you to transport to and from the store.
Peapod is not offered in my town but they recently added the towns around me so I am hoping to be able to try it out soon. When I do I will share my experience with you.
Have you used Peapod? If you have can you share your thoughts on it?