Grocery store shopping once you have kids is not easy. Especially once they are old enough to stop giving the elderly people smiles and goggly eyes, they transition into reaching for items off the shelf, climbing from the front seat into the back, opening packages that you’ve put in the cart for a snack, or tantruming over some new kind of cookie because it happens to have Scooby Doo or Lightning McQueen on the box.
Many times at 5 p.m. I’ve decided to run quickly (yeah right) into the store for a few items, instead of making a better choice at the time, which sadly is probably better to find a drive-thru, and Gavin has had epic meltdowns, because he too is hungry and tired. I only have 1 child and it’s a struggle at times, I never understand how my friends with more than 1 child or multiples survive in the grocery store.
When I was asked to try out Stop and Shop’s new PeaPod Pick-up service- I couldn’t wait. The mere fact I could shop online, schedule a 1 hour window to receive my groceries, and never have to take my son out of the car was heavenly.
Now we aren’t consistently Stop and Shop consumers because they are generally a little more costly than other grocery stores in the area, but with all of the drama around the Market Basket boycott, like many shoppers in New England, we have been considering alternatives.
Here’s How PeaPod Pick-Up Works
This is different than the delivery service which brings groceries to your home. With Peapod Pick-up you choose your groceries online, pay, then select a 1 hour time window to pick up your groceries at the store which at the earliest is the next day. During that timeframe you arrive at the store, park in the designed area, call the number on the sign and the attendant brings your groceries right to your car. Load them up and be on your way. Your sleeping infant, sick child, twins, or tribe of children never even need to get out of their car seats.
What I Loved About Shopping Online
- I honestly thought it would be hard to acclimate to online grocery shopping. Though it’s much faster, easier and organized than roaming store aisles – that’s for sure! Once I entered my Stop and Shop rewards card number, all of the groceries I purchased on my last trip magically appeared in a list. So if you shop in the store already and use your rewards card, you won’t have to go virtually shopping through all the categories if you consistently purchase the same brand of items weekly.
- I could stick to a budget. I had an idea of what I wanted to spend and could easily add and subtract items into my virtual shopping cart to stay within my allotted budget.
- You can still shop sales. All of the sale items are listed online, separated by categories so I could slowly and carefully peruse these sections and didn’t miss out on items I may not have noticed in-store.
- I didn’t buy as much junk food. You know when you go into the store starving and buy the entire cookie aisle? I could put items in my cart then when my healthy conscience got the best of me, I removed them.
- I could add to the list throughout the week. If I remembered I needed something I logged in quickly and added it.
- If you have recipes, you can double check the list and the cart before you purchase, so you hopefully don’t get distracted and forget that 1 crucial ingredient
- The categories are comprehensive and easy to search through. One click puts them in the cart, and another click lets you change the quantity. Items like ground meat and other produce items could be purchased in different weights (1 lb. vs. value packs).
- I didn’t use manufacturer’s coupons, but if you give them to the attendant they can apply them to your account after the fact
What I Loved About the Pick Up Service
- FREE for a limited time – Certainly it takes time to input the info into your computer or app, but you can do that any time of day when the kids are asleep, in the school pick-up line, in the waiting room at dance class, which will maximize your time, try out the service while it’s currently free!
- A friendly clerk at our location answered the phone immediately and within 3 minutes the groceries were in the trunk of my car
- All of the cold items were still cold. Items were bagged, then packed in green styrofoam lined coolers with ice packs. The attendant said the items could stay cold for several hours that way.
- There was a substitution noted when I arrived. Instead of a bunch of regular kale, they substituted it for organic kale at the same price. Fine by me!
- No Tipping. These days there are tip jars everywhere and it frustrates me to no end, no tips are allowed.
Ideas for Improvement
- I’m a picky produce person and many people are. The lemons were half the size of ones I purchased in another store the previous week. The kale we received, even though organic, was a little droopy instead of crispy and crunchy. While I love this service, the produce was okay, but think I’ll continue to pick out my own at the local farm stand if I can.
- I wish there was same day delivery. With a sick child the day before I would have loved to order by a certain timeframe in the morning then pick those necessities up several hours later. Especially if I had needed more Tylenol there’s a huge bonus to being able to shop for groceries, over-the-counter pharmacy items, as well as formula, diapers and wipes! However, there’s nothing worse than dragging your germy, sick kid or baby into a grocery store or pharmacy especially in the middle of winter. Same-day pick-up would be amazing.
- The meat I was delivered had a sell by date of the same day we picked up. Generally I search for sell by dates that are a few days away if possible when I’m in the store. Just be mindful to check the dates and cook it or freeze it immediately.
I received a $50 gift card to facilitate this Stop and Shop PeaPod Pick-Up Review. Any opinions included are my own, no other compensation was received.