04/18/12

Grocery Home Delivery

Here at hautemealz.com, our favorite thing is to test new recipes, plan weekly menus, and assemble aisle-by-aisle shopping lists for you. Heck, we do pretty much everything but the shopping and cooking!

So…how about if we help you with that pesky grocery shopping, too?

For the past month or so, we’ve been testing some “grocery home delivery” options, and it looks like the best balance we’ve found between cost, food quality, and ease of use is Safeway.com. (Note: we are not affiliated or in any type of partnership with Safeway or any store, and we tested these services without any discounts or incentives that are not available to any other user of these services.)

We were a little skeptical at first, but we found that between the time and fuel savings, and the lesser temptation to “impulse buy”, the cost was pretty comparable with our regular trips to our local Winco. Impulse buying, by the way, doesn’t just mean Twinkies and Cheeze Doodles…that 6lb pork roast that was on a great sale, but wasn’t part of your menu plan (and then sits in the freezer for three months) is also an impulse buy, as it’s not part of your budgeted, pre-planned shopping.

It’s not hard to walk out of a well-stocked grocery store with a $20, $40, even $60 in unplanned “too-good-to-pass-up” deals…trust me, I know!

(Oh, and if, like me, you tend to get twitchy in crowded places…well, you can decide what that’s worth to you, as well, lol!)

One thing that we like about this particular service is the “Express List” feature. Instead of manually entering each ingredient on your shopping list, you can “copy and paste” a single column list directly into the Express List window, and the software will bring up each item in order, so you can choose the brand and/or quantity you want!

“But wait!” You say, “My hautemealz.com grocery list doesn’t come in a single column!”

No worries! From now on, you’re going to notice another page immediately following your regular grocery list. This page will be a single column list of the ingredients you’ll need to order that week, that you can…wait for it…cut and paste into the “Express List” window!

Once you’ve done that, you can use the standard hautemealz.com grocery list as a reference for entering the quantities you need to order.

If you don’t have an account already, you can search your zip-code, and create an account at this link. (If Safeway doesn’t deliver to your area, check out the list of alternative vendors at the bottom of this post.) 

Don’t worry about memorizing these instructions, the beginning of each Express List will include the following:

Safeway.com Express List

Once you have set up an online account:

  1. http://www.safeway.com
  2. Grocery Delivery
  3. Click on the “Express List” Tab
  4. Paste this list into the box
  5. Click “Save and Find”
  6. Select your quantities.

Here are some additional notes that we pulled from the Safeway Delivery page:

A $49.00 minimum purchase amount is required on your final receipt to process and deliver your order.

Fees range from $3.95 to $12.95 depending on time slot (1-Hour, 2-Hour, or 4-Hour delivery windows) and order size (>$150 or <$150) as detailed below.

There are three main ways to shop at Safeway.com:

1) Shop by Aisle: You can browse our entire online store through the virtual “aisles”, which are organized similar to the aisles in your local store.

2) Shopping History: All the items that you have purchased using your Club Card, whether in-store or online are saved in your Shopping History. You can easily add the items that you want from your Shopping History to your cart.

3) Express List: Enter the names of the products that you want to buy into the express shopping list. Our search feature will find the best matching products for you.

You can indicate product specifications (such as “green bananas”, “firm tomatoes”, “thick cut deli meat” etc.) using the “Request to your Personal Shopper” feature. We will make every possible effort to meet your expectation.

The site states, “Customer Satisfaction is our top priority. If you are not completely satisfied with a product you have purchased, we will refund or credit its full value.”

Home delivery is typically free with your first order, and there’s often a “free delivery” offer for the purchase of specific grocery items.

As always, if you have any questions, just let us know, and we’ll do our best to track down an answer for you!

– Perry

PS – If you don’t live in a Safeway.com delivery area…or you just want to shop around, here’s a list of grocery delivery services that cover additional cities and states:

AcmeMarkets.com – Delivers to areas of New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania. Also offers pick-up at their facilities.

Albertsons.com – Currently only offers delivery in eight areas, with home delivery for $9.95 or the option to shop online and then pick-up at a store for $4.95.

Amazon Fresh – For those of you in the Seattle-area, Amazon will delivery a full-range of groceries, including bakery items, frozen goods and more.

BigAppleGrocer.net – Delivers groceries to Manhattan and Hudson county, New Jersey.

BlueRibbonFoods.com – Delivers by truck to the southeast United States, specializing in beef, pork, seafood and more.

Citarella.com – Well-known seller of gourmet foods in New York City, now offering home delivery in the region.

FreshDirect.com – Serves the New York City metro area, focusing heavily on fresh foods like seafood and meats, as well as general items. Delivers and also allows you to pick-up from their facility.

GopherGrocery.com – Home delivery of groceries to certain zip codes in Minnesota.

HomeShop – Operated by Kroger’s, HomeShop delivers to several cities in Colorado.

MaxDelivery.com – Delivery to a large portion of Manhattan, most deliveries within an hour and they will also bring you DVDs as well as groceries.

OneClickGrocery.com – Delivers to universities in New York and Connecticut. Delivery is free, but if you miss your window, there is a $15 re-delivery fee.

Peapod.com – One of the oldest online grocery stores, offers services in eleven metropolitan areas of the USA.

RocheBros.com – A full-line grocery store servicing the Boston, MA area.

Safeway.com – The Safeway grocery store chain offers delivery from their physical retail shops.

Schnucks.com – Delivery to a large portion of the state of Missouri.

SimonDelivers.com – Offers full grocery shopping to areas surrounding Minneapolis, MN.

UrbanGrocery.com – Deliveries of goods from Magruder’s to the Washington D.C. area.

YourGrocer.com – Is warehouse style shopping delivered to your house in portions of New York City and Connecticut.

04/16/12

Coupons – Easy – Easier – Easiest!

Today, we’re privileged to have as our guest blogger, Marlyn Ferguson, Founder/Creator of the Strategic Shopping Network!

Coupons – Easy – Easier – Easiest!

Using Coupons Is Easy

We are all busy.  And we all want to save money.  But we want to save time too.  Many people commit to using coupons as a New Year’s Resolution and stop soon after as life begins to happen.  The Strategic Shopping Network wants to make your life easier while saving by using coupons.

Here are some ways to make using coupons – easy – easier and easiest for you and your family.

Easy

1. Take Baby Steps.  We don’t have to do it all at once.  Every saving is a small victory.  If we try to do it all at once AND maintain all of our other responsibilities, using coupons can become overwhelming.

2. We recommend beginning to use coupons in one store.  I personally started with CVS.  I found the CVS staff to be very helpful and their promotions were clear and simple to use.  Some people like to start with one grocery store.  That’s a good idea as well.  The decision on how to get started will be based on what works best for you and your family.

3. Pick and choose the sales you want to focus on.  It’s not a race.  Or in this case, perhaps slow and steady wins the race.  Because it’s easy to ‘burn out’ and not use coupons at all.  We don’t have to  take advantage of EVERY sale in the store.  Just choose one or two and then shop normally for the rest.  We can build our savings over time – it’s all good!

Easier

1.  Invest in an Accordion File.  They sell for about $10.   This is the most important step toward realizing big savings at the grocery and drug stores.  And it can’t get any easier to use.  You will probably save whatever you spend on the accordion file after one shopping trip.

2.  Each week, save the weekly inserts from your local newspaper by date in your accordion file.    And now you’re done for the week if you’d like.  That’s really all you need to do.  You can clip, sort and file coupons in a notebook, but I have found the notebook method for organizing coupons to be too time consuming.  If it works for you – that’s great.  But I have trouble keeping up with it.  So, I just sort the coupons in my accordion file by week, and they are ready for me when I prepare for my shopping trips.

3.  Someday in the not too distant future this process may all be digital.  You’ll be able to go online and load the coupons you want to your phone and/or your store card.  That will simplify things even further.

Easiest

1. Choose a web site with match ups to follow.  Of course we hope your choice will be the Strategic Shopping Network, but let’s face it, we can’t possibly cover every store, so if you find that your favorite store is covered elsewhere, follow the site that works for you.  (If we don’t cover your store, we hope you’ll visit us for entertainment, retail, travel savings and lots of freebies/free events that are featured on the SSNW.)

2. Preparing in advance makes a shopping trip easiest.  Before you shop – check out the web site you follow.  It will tell you what’s on sale and break down the coupons for you. Use the site to make your shopping list and pull the coupons you need for that week.  This process will take about 15 – 30 minutes, but will save time and money in the store.

3. Spend less time in the store.  When you’ve prepared your list and coupons in advance, a shopping trip takes less time.  We have shopped a store sale in 15 minutes.  Once you are familiar with the store and you know what you will be buying, the rest is easy.

Today, Everyone Needs to Shop Strategically – We’re Here to Help!

Everything has changed. Most of us learned how to shop and budget in times of great prosperity but the world as we knew it looks completely different today.

Many people have faced periods of unemployment in the past several years.  Those who kept their jobs found that they were required to work twice as hard for less money AND face the daily fear of losing their jobs as layoffs plague businesses.

So many organizations have changed as they struggle to stay afloat.  In many cases it has become increasingly dehumanizing to work in our corporate culture today, knowing that – as they say on one of my favorite shows, Dance Moms ’everyone is replaceable!’

And we found that we wanted to find a way to help.  So we created the Strategic Shopping Network, a platform to help our readers become more strategic about how they shop.  After all, we work a lot harder for our money, today – we should be more  strategic about how we spend it, don’t you think?

We help sharp shoppers stay on point…here’s how:

  • We help our readers save money at the grocery stores, drug stores, restaurants, retail stores, on travel, entertainment and even at the gas station.  And our site is FREE and always will be!
  • We showcase opportunities to have fun – in many cases for free. (With an emphasis on the Baltimore, MD and Washington, D.C. Markets)
  • We stay on top of current trends and information and keep our readers in the know – especially as related to shopping and saving money.
  • When you become a Strategic Shopping Network Reader (Did we mention that it’s free?), you are not alone anymore! We are creating a community of Strategic Shoppers who share information and help one another.

Visit us often at www.strategicshoppingnetwork.com!

About Me

What to write about Marlyn…hmmm. I’ve been described by many as a little bit larger than life, and I love to learn new things. One of my most recent projects has been to learn to shop strategically, so that we can stretch our dollars. I’m happy to be able to share this with you!

My background is in marketing and entrepreneurship, so I’m combining all of my skills and background to bring you the best of Strategic Shopping! Have no fear – we will take the Baby Steps to Big Savings, together!