Fellow thriftster and TTG reader, Allison, sent us a note asking if we would review/evaluate grocery delivery services. This is something I've been considering for some time – but didn't know the best angle to go at ‘er. Since there are so many different grocery deliver services out there, I thought it would be interesting to do some cost comparison shopping of online grocery delivery services vs. buying your groceries in-store.
I selected 14 random items (that were the same size/brand – or as close as possible) we could find at both stores. Obviously prices can fluctuate and can be lowered by using coupons. I made sure I did the comparison on the same day.
For the sake of this “comparison shop” I decided against using coupons for either. I selected an online grocery delivery service here in Minneapolis and then a nearby reputable grocery store.
I have to admit. I was a little biased. I was expecting to see a big difference in the grocery delivery service vs. going to pick up groceries in-store.
Here are the results – based on the identical product OR as close to that product (size) as possible.
|Bananas (3 lb)||$0.83/lb||$0.65/lb|
|Progresso Minestrone 19oz Soup||$2.75||$2.29|
|Brownberry 100% Whole Wheat Bread||$3.29||$2.99|
|Fat Free Skim Milk 32oz||$2.09||$1.79|
|Large Eggs Grade A (dozen)||$1.99||$1.89|
|Rice Dream Rice Milk 64oz||$4.99||$4.99|
|Crystal Farms Natural Sharp Cheddar Cheese 8oz||$3.59||$3.59|
|Coke 12/12oz cans||$5.29||$4.00 (on sale)|
|Lays Classic Chips 10oz||$4.29||$2.50 (on sale)|
|USDA 85% Lean Ground Beef - 1 lb.||$2.99||$5.65|
|Oreos Double-Stuf Cookies||$3.99||$3.99|
|Annies Mac & Cheese||$2.19||$2.19|
|New York Garlic Texas Toast 11.25oz||$3.29||$3.29|
|+ Delivery||$5.00 (next day / $50 or more)|
$9.95 (next day / $49.99 or less)
$9.95 (same day / $50 or more)
$14.90 (same day / $49.99 or less)
Comparing grocery delivery and the neighborhood grocery
While the prices at both groceries are very comparable, things get a little more interesting when trying to access their value. Here are the pros and cons of each:
|Similar costs||Most require someone at home to receive|
|Save gas||May not deliver in your area|
|Saves time||Can't pick out your own produce|
|Convenience||Have to commute to|
|Can get what you want/when you want it||Takes time|
|Less expensive||Items may not be in stock|
Obviously, each grocer has pros/cons AND (on the whole) going up the street to the nearby grocery store is going to be cheaper and more “immediate”.
But there is something to say about online grocery delivery. I can see how they may be of great benefit to the elderly or busy folks.
And, isn't our time worth money – as well as factoring in commuter costs?
I'd be interested to know if you've used a grocery delivery service and the value it adds to your life.For disclosure purposes, I used Coborns Delivers (as the online grocery store) and Byerly's (as the in-store grocery store) on 1/3/14