My First Peapod Experience

This review describes my own personal experience, in my own words. I did not receive any payment or discount for this review, and have no affiliation with Peapod or Stop & Shop (other than being a loyal customer!).

After my experience at Trader Joe’s when I first got the crutches & boot, which involved leaving one crutch in the car so I could push the cart with one hand, not getting any offers for help until the cashier offered to bring my groceries to my car for me (what a saint!) and the carrying the groceries into my apartment in a backpack, I decided I could not do that again.

I finally decided to give Peapod a try. For those of you not in the Northeast, Peapod is the delivery service of Stop & Shop (or Giant – the name varies based on where you’re located), the grocery store chain. I usually do my shopping at both Trader Joe’s and Stop & Shop. There are plenty of “errand” services in Boston that charge a fee to do your shopping for you and have been known to have quality control issues, but this one doesn’t involve a third party.

There is a $60 minimum, which isn’t all that easy to accomplish for most single people, but I usually cook all my own meals and really want to eat clean for the next week before vacation, so my total was close to $90. However, I used a coupon code for $20 off my first order (as long as I spent at least $75) AND free delivery for 60 days. Um hello? That’s perfect! I hope to not be on crutches for 2 months but if for some reason I am, I don’t have to worry about going grocery shopping! And even after those 60 days, this is great for those Sundays after being away for a weekend when the last thing I feel like doing is going grocery shopping. The delivery fee is only $9.95 (or $6.95 if your order is $100+) and you can get a discount on that if you choose a wider delivery window or off-peak times.

The catch for some people is that you do have to be home for delivery. For me, that’s a bonus because it means the driver can bring the groceries right into my kitchen for me! No need to go meet them down 3 flights of stairs. With Amazon Fresh, they offer either attended or unattended delivery, but they only meet you at the front door and you’re then stuck with the giant delivery totes (but they are insulated, so it’s OK if they sit on the front steps all day while you’re at work).

I ordered a ton of fresh produce, almond milk, one pint of ice cream, some protein bars, almond butter, chicken, fish, eggs, etc.

I placed the order on Monday and scheduled delivery for 11am-1pm on Friday, but I had the option to update my order up until 3pm on Thursday. I actually updated my order twice (and still somehow forgot to order seltzer and avocados). Your card doesn’t get charged until your order is delivered, but you’re given a total so you know what you expect. It can vary slightly based on items that are priced by weight, like a lot of my produce and the meat. If items are on sale, you get those discounts, too!

I got a reminder email around 1pm on Thursday, letting me know I still had 2 hours to make any changes.

At 5am on Friday, I got an email letting me know an item was out of stock and I would not be charged for it because no substitution was available. Turns out that item was a Peapod Welcome Brochure. Ha! I think I’ll manage. With Amazon Fresh, stock availability was a huge issue but since this whole order was coming from my local Stop & Shop, that wasn’t a factor on a single item I had ordered.

I opted to sign up for text message updates, but that proved to be both redundant and ineffective. I got an email at 10:38am saying my delivery was next. At 10:47am, I got an email saying the driver had arrived and about 2 seconds later, he rang my apartment. I buzzed him in and he (THANK GOD) came all the way up to the 3rd floor. I asked if he minded bringing the bags into my kitchen and he was happy to. He handed me an invoice to sign, and the total matched what I was anticipating, so I signed it and handed him a $10 tip. He wished me a speedy recovery, so that was nice, too.

I used Peapod a million years ago (or, 5 years ago), when I lived in Woburn. Back then, it was free to have someone to do your shopping for you and then keep your order in an insulated storage unit outside the store. I’d swing by after a long day of work in the city and a very long commute home, and grab all my stuff without ever going inside. My complaint back then unfortunately still rings true today – they put about 3 items in every plastic bag so you end up with a dozen bags for one order. It’s so wasteful and unnecessary. Starting in December, plastic bags will no longer be free in Boston, so I’m hopeful they’ll switch to a more environmentally friendly bag or have an option to get reusable bags that you return the next time you order or at a store.

As I put away all the groceries, I made sure to check the quality of each item and ensure everything I had ordered was there. Everything was delivered and looked great! Within a few minutes, I had dug into one of the new protein bars and a few hours later, I made myself a delicious salad of spinach, arugula, watermelon, feta, olive oil & lime juice – all from the order. They even sent a nice response to my tweet!

About an hour after my order arrived, I received a text that my delivery was next. Uh what? Fortunately, no second order arrived. Then around 3pm, I got another text saying the driver was arriving. Again, no second order arrived. Obviously there are some technical difficulties with the text updates!

My only complaint, other than the excessive amount of plastic bags and the text issues, is the delivery being 13 minutes earlier than the window I had selected, which was totally fine but some people may plan their day and arrive home right when their delivery window begins. Honestly, that’s not a dealbreaker for me as I’m not going anywhere these days and would rather an early delivery than a late one!

It’s safe to say that if I am still on crutches by the Friday or so before my vacation ends, I’ll place another Peapod order to be delivered on Sunday evening after I get home from a long drive from the Adirondacks.

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