Yesterday I grocery shopped from my outdoor patio while my 1 yr old slept. This morning, I received my order at my doorstep by 9 AM and we went on with our day. Pretty magical to say the least!
I posted a photo of my delivery this morning on my Instagram (@belowthefork) and Facebook pages, and have since received several messages from friends asking more information about my experience with FreshDirect, so here goes!
When my best friend first ordered from FreshDirect, I jealously looked at her delivery after having endured a scene-making meltdown and subsequent throwing of groceries out of the cart from my 1 year old in Trader Joe’s that very same morning. Why are those carts so small?! Equipped with my receipt from said shopping trip, I plugged in all the same items I had purchased, or as close to replica as possible, to see the comparison in price…$53.03 more at FreshDirect! Granted, I am able to afford more organic at TJs than I am at Wegman’s, and TJs has so many awesome store brand items, but still. Over 50 dollars!! I’m more in a position where I need to reduce my grocery bill by $50, so adding even $30 to my bill is not remotely an option.
FreshDirect must be reading my mind or texts, because fast forward to a month later, I received a coupon in the mail to receive $50 off my first TWO orders—a total of $100 of free groceries! This was the exact amount I needed to break even and try out this amazing, time-saving service.
I have now ordered twice and can share my thoughts with you! Let’s do good news first…
- Convenience. There’s absolutely no denying that this is a huge time-saver and a major life-changer. Particularly for a family with two working parents, I would have killed for this service back when I was working 50+ hours a week. Whether you’re creating your order from their website or app, you can add items as you empty your fridge throughout the week, or in one sitting. You can also make and save lists, or go back to a previous delivery to easily re-order.
- Fresh. Their produce selections have been perfect. Truth be told, with my first order I limited my produce order to simply bananas, strawberries, and apples since I didn’t trust anyone else to pick out my produce for me. This time I ordered bananas, strawberries, blueberries, apples, kiwis, bell peppers, lettuce, grapes, canteloupe, and watermelon. I am not disappointed!
- Variety. They offer many organic, grass-fed, no-antibiotics, conventional options and levels of quality. They have everything I buy at the grocery store including non-food items such as tin foil and bath/beauty products. They also have a very nice selection of gluten-free items like pretzels, bread, and cookies. There are many common brands and FreshDirect also has it’s own label brand.
- Budgeting. I know that my above statements and initial impression may seem contradictory to this, BUT at the same point, as you’re filling your online cart, you are constantly aware of what the final price will be and can add/delete as necessary to meet your budgeted amount. Although I’m getting better, I can’t tell you how many times I have stood at the checkout line in the grocery store, shocked by the final price, but with the food already packed in my reusable bags I am completely powerless and defeated.
- Alcohol! Unfortunately I live in stupid PA where the alcohol laws are outrageously frustrating and outdated; however, if you live in a “real” state (instead of a commonwealth like PA) then you can get your wine and beer delivered! WHAT WHAT!
- Price. There is a delivery fee of $7.99, a gas surcharge (mine was only 0.30 cents though) and they also recommend tipping your delivery person. While I feel like most of the items are comparable to Wegman’s, Giant, or Acme prices, there are several that are $1 or more, and that can add up fast. For example, coconut milk is $3.99 whereas I typically pay $2.99.
- Excessive packaging. Everything is put in big cardboard boxes. Although packed efficiently for most part, I did receive 4 kiwis in a bag in a big box by itself. The apples also had unnecessary plastic containers. (see photos below.)
- Disappointing product sizes. I am so bummed some of the snack items I purchased are in tiny bags. I guess that’s my fault for having no concept of size if I don’t see it in person, but what was supposed to be a week’s worth of snacks is now like 2-3 servings and I realize that I totally overpaid for these items.
- Not exact. It’s annoying enough when you’re standing at the deli and they go over the amount you requested, but it’s usually only by a few ounces. Both orders now I have requested .75 lb of deli meat only to receive 1 lb of it, with the appropriate increase in price. In today’s order, I requested 1 lb of cheese and they gave me 1.20 lbs!
- Mistakes or missing items. To be expected, and not a huge deal, but they left out my grape tomatoes. I’d be very annoyed though if it was a key ingredient I was planning on having on hand though. (On a positive note, I contacted FreshDirect and they responded within a few hours that they would refund me the price of the tomatoes.)
- Availability. Fortunately not an issue for me, but FreshDirect is NY-based and so only delivers to NY, NJ, CT, DE and the greater Philadelphia area so be sure to check your zip code at the top of their website to see if your town is included.
While I think FreshDirect is an AWESOME concept, I simply cannot afford to use it on a regular basis. I wish that weren’t the case, but I also understand why they price it the way they do. If I were still working full-time though, with the income that we once had, I would be their number 1 fan and signed up for their DeliveryPass ($69/6 months; frequent user program. Similar to Amazon Prime where you pay an annual fee and get free, quicker delivery.)
That’s not to say I won’t use it again though but only if I have coupons or a really hectic week.
Have you used a grocery delivery service? What are you thoughts? Please let me know in the comments section below!