While I was giving my sweet children a bath on Friday afternoon, a mysterious blue bin showed up outside my front door. I brought it inside, and lo and behold, discovered that someone had gone grocery shopping for me! Even better, everything inside was organic, fresh, sprouted or sourdough, and toxin-free. What luck!
Well, not quite. :) In actuality, I had done the grocery shopping myself... on my computer, while my children played happily behind me. Two days later it showed up at my door.
I didn't have to brave the snowy roads. I didn't have to find a time when my husband could let me use the car. I didn't have to put both kids in their car seats, get them arranged in the shopping cart (or remember to bring a quarter with me), feed them snacks intermittently to keep them happy, say no to their requests for half a dozen items or lug them back into the car and then out again, while juggling bags of groceries and keeping Caden from falling down on the wet, slippery driveway.
This was Week 1 of my spud! organic grocery delivery service trial and here's my loot:
My order was a bit on the small side, as I had already done a big shop at the beginning of the month (we had been away for over a week and the fridge was barren, let me tell ya!). So I just ordered a few things that either sounded tasty or would add to some meals I was thinking of making (breads and bagels, unsulphured dried apricots, some produce, cottage cheese, much-needed dishwasher detergent). I've been a bit under the weather, so you'll notice a few convenience items I don't normally purchase (salad dressing and store-bought soup broth), but they'll make a couple of meals just a little bit easier, just this once.
Here are a few thoughts on my spud! experience thus far:
** My order arrived on schedule, placed neatly beside my front door. I missed it while I was bathing the kids, but no matter. The cold items are placed in an ice pack, off to the side from my fresh items, so everything is just as it should be.
** The organic produce looked really nice. The pears are beautiful and not quite ripe, the avacados big and firm, the fresh ginger fragrant, the grapefruits plump and juicy (the baby carrots were nice, too, though I've barely ever seen bad baby carrots).
** The dishwasher soap was packaged in a bag, so it couldn't spill onto my lovely food
** My order came with a great little newsletter on back of my order summary. I loved the recipe for mock souffle, and can't wait to try it!
**The bread... oh the bread. I chose some real European style, slow-risen sourdough rye. It's intense and delicious. I was thrilled beyond words to discover so many properly prepared breads among their baking section! Can't wait to try something else next week!
** Highlights from their website so far:
- Local items are specifically labeled, and if you click on the word "Local" you can find out exactly how far that item traveled to get to their warehouse
- Each product has a detailed ingredient listing, as well as a link to more information about the company that makes it
- There is this great thing called a Standing Order. What this means is that you can choose the items that your family regularly uses, such as a dozen eggs, 1 gallon of milk, and a cluster of bananas per week. These items will automatically be on your weekly order, and then you can add anything else that you want on top of those items. Standing Orders can be weekly, every second week or monthly, and can easily be edited to add or remove products. As a great bonus, you automatically get 5% off of each item in your Standing Order.
- It was so easy to revise my order the day after I had already submitted it (of course, you can only revise up until the cutoff date for your delivery day). I realized that I really wanted more avocados, because the two I had bought had only made me crave them more. I logged in, added my avocados, updated my order and submitted it, and received my new order statement. Piece of cake.
- In general, the website is just well done. It's appealing to look at, simple to navigate and I found everything I needed without a problem. There's much more on the website that I want to explore in more detail, and will share with you next week!
- They carry more Nourishing Traditions styled bread products (old-fashion sourdough and sprouted grains) than I would have imagined! In my suburb of Vancouver, I don't know of any bakeries making bread of this caliber, but having their warehouse near downtown Vancouver, they have access to some fantastic bakeries, and I can't wait to sample some more of their wonderful offerings!
A few cons (it wouldn't be a true review without at least a couple, right?),
** I wanted to buy more Stevia, but they didn't carry it. I was a bit surprised, as I thought it had become such a standard item in health food stores.
**Naturally, it's a bit more expensive than much of my regular shopping. My produce market, though it doesn't carry 100% organics, is particularly well priced, so I found some of the produce prices a bit tough to swallow. Some of them were just fine, though, especially when I consider how hard it is to find many of those items organic (ie. pears, bell peppers, etc.). I think it's important to realize that there is somewhat of a price for a service like this, for 100% organics, for the convenience and ease, for the gas saved, etc.
For the order pictured above (plus my dried apricots, which I forgot to put in the picture), I paid $53.83, although $4.00 of that was just a deposit on the freezer pack that came with my order, so really it came to $49.83. When you consider I had a few convenience foods in there, a specialty bread, plus the dishwasher detergent, and that every single item was organic, that's not too bad. Also, Americans, you have to consider that those are Canadian prices, which are definitely a good 10-30% more expensive than what most of you pay.
Next week, I'll dive into the prices a little bit more. There are some other aspects of the service that could definitely help to make shopping there more affordable, including the standing order system, bulk products, buying multiples of an item to receive further discounts, a points reward system, weekly specials, etc. I'll try to compare it to my regular shopping and see how it adds up!
(And just a little food for thought- next week I will be letting you know about an a special deal that spud! is offering specifically to my readers, so that you can also give them a try and see how their service works for you!)
Have you ever used a grocery delivery service like this? What about it appeals to you (or doesn't appeal to you)? What things would you like me to explore about the sevice and report to you on next week?