I don't want to be perfect, just better...

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Guest Post Review: Peapod.com – Can having your groceries delivered save you money?

I hate going to the grocery store. I don’t mind the actual grocery shopping that much—it’s the time it takes that bugs me. I get around by either bike or train; either way I can only carry so much, which means I can’t buy very much at a time. And that means 1) I have to make way more trips to the grocery than I’d like and 2) I have to miss out on “stock up” deals. Even though I’m a quick shopper, each trip takes up at least an hour of my time, door-to-door. This is no fun—which is why I tend to be one of those people who waits until they’re down to the last veggie burger/can of soup/bag of pasta to buy more food.

I’ve seen the Peapod posters on the train a few times, but I always just assumed it’d be super expensive, so I never checked it out. Then last week a friend sent me a referral coupon for $10 off my first order. Naturally, that perked my interest. I went to their website, and it turns out they’re really not all that expensive. The items are sometimes a few cents more than at the store, but the delivery service is surprisingly affordable. My cupboard had been (literally) bare for a while—I was living off a pot of beans and rice I’d made a few days before. (I wasn’t kidding about hating to shop.) So I went for it. Here are the results:

I followed my usual grocery shopping guidelines—only buy what’s on sale (unless it’s crucial), enhance sales with coupons (accepted upon delivery), stock up on regular items when they’re on sale (with Peapod I can actually do this! )

I was planning to do some baking, so I got some items I don’t usually get: flour, yeast, milk, chocolate chips, baking cups, parchment paper. These all cost about what they do at the store, but weren’t on sale. The milk might have been a bit more—I don’t often buy milk, so I’m not sure. I had coupons for several things, and the one for the yeast packets was $.99, which Peapod doubled, so I pretty much got those free.

The little red flags next to items means they were on sale—these are all things I get anyway, so as per the rules, I stocked up where it was practical. (I can only fit so many loaves of bread in my freezer.) The cans and frozen veggies I bought were all on sale for $1 a piece, which is good in itself, but I used a coupon on the vegetables (end result: 3 boxes for $2).

I only feed my cats food without animal by-products, so I have to be picky about what brands I can get. Peapod lists the ingredients of every item online, so it’s easy to check. But, luckily, they have the kinds I usually get, so I didn’t need to. Plus, they were both way cheaper than at the pet store or CVS, where I normally get them. The wet cat food cost exactly half what CVS charges and the dry costs less than half (on sale). Even the litter was a steal. CVS charges the same price for 7 lbs of litter (nearly a third of what’s in the bulk jug I bought through Peapod), and the quality of the two brands they carry is inferior (in my opinion).

My total, including delivery (there are cheaper options than the one I chose), minus my $10 referral discount (see below) came to roughly $62. But I had $9 worth of manufacturer’s coupons, which I gave to the delivery person, bringing the grand total down to about $51 plus a $2 tip for the delivery guy. Estimated total savings (if I’d bought the same items at the stores I usually shop at): $44.

All in all, a really good experience. It comes with my high recommendation. Perhaps the best part was that I didn’t have to lug 3 bags of cat food, a sack of flour, and a huge tub of cat litter all the way home. (Not that I could physically do that anyway.) Seriously, I’m so happy about being able to buy in bulk now.

If you live in their service area and want to give grocery delivery a try, here’s a coupon for $10 off at Peapod, courtesy of True Adventures in Money Hacking. Just enter Wren’s e-mail address (wren@tiredofbeingpoor.net) under “How Did You Hear About Us?” and select “friend/relative” during checkout. Then, after you’ve entered your delivery address and come to the “Place Order” page, enter the promo code FRGT76GTD. Note: This code will only work if you complete the “How Did You Hear About Us?” section as detailed above. You will also qualify for 90 days of free delivery. Not a bad deal.

If anybody has used Peapod or another grocery delivery service, tell us about it. Leave a comment below.


  1. Hi Shai, Thanks for asking me to guest blog! I look forward to hosting one of your guest posts in the near future! Let me know when.

  2. This will also save you a trip to the chiropractor.

  3. A $2 tip on a $60 order seems pretty harsh, especially given the 20 pounds of cat litter. (I generally give the Peapod drivers 10% of the total or $5 per box on the hand truck, whichever is less, and I'd feel guilty about that if I didn't haul half of it up the two flights of stairs myself.)

  4. Is 10% the going rate? Good to know. Obviously, this was my first time using the service, so I'm uninitiated about the standard tipping procedure for grocery truck drivers. But considering I helped carry everything inside, I don't feel too awful about the missing $4. Next time I'll know. I've heard around the PF blogosphere, though, that some people don't tip the drivers at all because they're already being charged so much for delivery. Now, I don't know how much pay the drivers are getting from Peapod, so I can't say whether I think that's fair or not.