Posts Tagged ‘shopping


shopping update

The race to provide fresh food at your door is on..In our area  Aldi,  a global company have partnered with Instacart for shopping and delivery. So  all I have to compare Aldi to is my previous orders with PeaPod, from Stop and Shop.While both services do essentially the same thing, there are a few differences. But first let’s get this said, these are my own observations,  they may differ if you live in a different location, the platforms have have additional features or upgrades added since the last time I  used them and pricing may also differ by location. Or I could be incorrect.

Now just a few notations : (and these may also apply for none fresh food shopping services)

Ease of ordering

Lets face it we have probably started shopping on line years ago with Amazon, Ebay etc. So expectations are that the interface is clean and descriptions are accurate. Things that throw a wrench into the system is the vendor not having accurate and up to date info on items , here they may fall short , not having what you prefer, out of stock items that are never back in stock, or not offering substitutions. Instacart ordering does supply a substitution permission and the ability to select a substitution product. Instacart also connects feedback by text so you have instantaneous feed back when  the order is being shopped and the option to have the shopper call you before they check out . Your order items and cost will then vary from your original order.

Payment system:

If it doesn’t have a clear and concise payment checkout, itemized, and the ability to use either debit or credit, gift cards, and promotions , and possibly PayPal or another system then I’ts lacking. adding a tip is also favorable for a complete cashless checkout.

Customer Service

This should be a non issue if everything goes as planned, but in today’s world most online transactions beg for feedback on the shopping experience and tie in’s with social media sites.

Platforms of use

You could be considered old school if you use a desktop machine for shopping , some people may have only accesses to services  by smartphone, not to mention some companies don’t even support websites (per say) and only have an app for operation. (some apps may merely be an icon to a ULR address). Even so, the navigation and set up is usually different  for desktop browsers versions and could be different even if it’s a smartphone or tablet ! The point is it may be easier to use an app vs. a desktop.

Now the real world:

Transition from a brick and mortar to include e commerce doesn’t translate well at this time.on some points. For instance, getting a certain cut of meat, poultry etc. Do they offer items like Cornish hens, duck , turkey,  beef neck bones, liver, T bone steaks, lamb chops or shoulder chops,  etc. like you would find at the physical store. Meat and produce of course have short shelve life if it’s fresh, not frozen so changes are expected. But it’s a sacrifice made for the sake of not being at the store itself.  Futurist  would point out that virtually shopping could cure this.

Price consciousness:

If you yourself have been transitioning shopping from brick and mortar to online service, it’s easy to spot the price differences, I both have seen prices more than or less than what is considered fair. Some on line free shipping may hide the shipping in increased prices or quantity minimums to offset the free shipping..  Of course most vendors have a minimum order amount to prevent small costly orders

Difference delivery processes.

If a store offers in store pickup or drive up in addition to normal shipping, and either same day or next day shipping,  this further splits the decision on what you can get. To be accurate you can use filters  for searching by delivery type  , or wait, till your done filling your cart and go through your shopping cart to find out what you can’t get or have to pay a premium for. depending on the shipping method and certain trigger price  point for free shipping. Add to that, special offers and add-ons for subscribed members. !! WHEW  !

Aldi transaction 

  • Season’s Choice Frozen Brussels Sprouts

    $1.25 · 12 oz



    Replacement for 1x 1 lb Brussels Sprouts, Package (Limit 6)

  • Tri-Color Grapes (Limit 6)

    $6.59 · 3 lb



    Reason: out_of_stock

  • Boneless Half Pork Butt Roast

    $2.29 · ~ 4.85 lb

    4.85 lb


    Reason: out_of_stock



Stonemill Sea Salt Grinder

$2.55 · 3.15 oz



Broccoli, Package (Limit 6)

$1.89 · 1 lb



Cauliflower (Limit 6)

$2.85 · each



Black Angus Choice Top Round Steak

$5.99 · ~ 0.98 lb

1.1 lb



Black Angus Choice Beef Country Style Ribs

$4.89 · ~ 1.4 lb

2.18 lb


Kirkwood Fresh Young Chicken

$0.95 · ~ 6.22 lb

6.34 lb


Kirkwood Fresh Chicken Leg Quarters

$0.89 · ~ 5 lb

5.45 lb


Priano Prosciutto Italiano

$4.39 · 3 oz



Bone-In Center Cut Pork Chops

$2.99 · ~ 1.6 lb

1.6 lb



Baker’s Corner All Purpose Flour

$2.09 · 5 lb



Boulder Reclosable Sandwich Bags

$2.55 · 100 ct



Willow Facial Tissue

$1.25 · 160 ct



Countryside Creamery Pure Irish Butter Salted

$2.75 · 8 oz



Clancy’s Honey Wheat Pretzels

$4.39 · 24 oz



here the itemized from aldi

Without getting long winded, as long as there is one or two competing services, I may utilize either, until the penetration of either Jump bike or other transportation service to our area becomes available (in how many years?)  for those quick rides  to the store vs. Uber or Lyft.

recent order from Target:










Recent shopping,prices.


I find Peapod useful, mostly for meat,chicken and seafood and other perishables. Usually only need to order every 6 months or so.



A recent delivery


Those who follow the business news may know the the grocery business (and other household goods) is getting very competitive.

Having been ordering online for some time now, it’s good to have more than one player in the game. For some reason one of the retailers seems to switch products and it’s shipping arrangements. No longer offering shipping on products it formerly did, or requiring more of a bulk or multiple quantity of  one item.

Shipping also is competitive, most offering a free two day window (once order has been handled which may add a day) for a minimum purchase amount.







It’s been since January since I last posted on this topic and there is evolution in the grocery procurement task as always. One family member shops weekly with transportation  provided by the city for a small fee. Other staple items are ordered online and delivered, for some this is a huge savings not only in labor and transportation but freeing up leisure time. As people have looked forward in the past for the latest and greatest labor and time saving devices, now picking up your smart device or logging in to the online purveyor yields the service sector  economy at your whim to provide more leisure time, a filled predication of the past. (if that’s what you accept)











BTW if you go to the  grocery store, meet the new supervisor.

Another prediction fulfillment ?





Since most non refrigerated groceries can be shipped (ie Amazon,Wal-Mart or Target etc.) most  retailers offer grocery pick up service, and all of this is done  either through an online website or app or both.

As once though of as a luxury, a personal shopper and delivery is now in the reach of many consumers.  The savvy consumer has done their homework and figured their own labor cost and time, vehicle and travel cost. The price of convenience should be factored in, traveling in inclement weather, safety of travel, parking and carrying groceries.

Not to mention that most restaurants who cater to the stay at home or office employee sign on with one of the many gig tech services , Uber eats, Postmates or Door Dash for delivery service.

Online shopping and delivery, now many years old, is adapted to about any type of retail operation and the next logical step is to apply this to the grocery shopping experience. Persons with no access to personal transportation or unable to operate a vehicle, could compare grocery delivery service option to using public transportation. (Note: some low-cost transportation may be available through your city’s own local bus senior services that provide door to store and return service for person meeting certain requirements and the participant would be subject to the providers schedule).

Persons relying on other than an owned vehicle for mobility, such as walking/biking to the nearest market,  grocers may offer delivery services provided you are within their service radius. One factor that may limit the use of grocery delivery is that some consumers may like to select their groceries in person. As more items are packaged, choices can be graphically represented on-line for ordering. Produce and fruit though,  can be fickle as consumers like to select their own fruit and vegetables relying on their senses as for instance one might select a fruit less ripe depending on the time line of their menu or use.

One popular grocer delivery service is Peapod, in this location, tied to the Stop and Shop retailer/grocer. Trying this service is a no brainer, an email and password register the user to the site or app. You can also browse the site without registration. If you already shop at Stop and Shop, and use the loyalty card, the option to add that card is available to track all your purchases.

It should be noted that the Peapod service (to my knowledge and online research) does not rely on gig tech employees but full-time employees of the retailer . Most groceries delivery services have split the process into 2 operations, the personal shopper and delivery driver. Wether or not one person does both or two separate persons split the transaction is unclear. In locations offering grocery pickup a picker is already in place.

As the competition increases the retail delivery services are doing their best to sign up users to their platform. With Peapod, an up front discount is offered which resulted in 1/2 off of the delivery cost. Most of the prices for items I shopped for are inline or slightly above what is at the store itself. Stop and Shop may be considered higher priced by some standards but from what I assume is that it may have a higher percentage of union full-time employees that provide many employee benefits, but that discussion is beyond the scope of this article.

For now, I wanted to purchase  mostly refrigerated items like meat and fish etc.

After submitting the Peapod order, I received the usual expected email confirmation. Navigating the online site is no different that other online shopping sites. The discount can be gained by utilizing discounted delivery time windows available shown when the order is placed.  No problem if one of your family members is home during that time slot. They do promise notification before 30 minutes either by text or email but no a big factor if someone is already at the residence. There is an option for unattended delivery, but I believe a storage container is required and with the safety of food temperatures involved, person to person delivery is preferred . An email lets you know the order is on the way with confirmed items and final total as this will vary from the original order as stated by the website. I suppose there is some thought as with the delivery of the items some consumers would reject some items  on inspection and have the order modified but I didn’t have the cause to reject anything as all was in order. This is paramount to the online shopping and delivery process. GETTING THE ORDER CORRECT! No problemo

I did research tipping for this service from other online sources, as I don’t think is was plainly stated on the Peapod website wondering if the drivers are able to accept a cash or electronic payment transaction for a tip.

One thing I noticed is that a written signature (pen on paper) is required at the time of delivery as for one, the final price of the order may be different from original order as stated on the paper printed receipt that delivery person brings with the order , and two, it allows one to add a gratuity  by writing, a smart device is not required at delivery, as I have gotten accustomed to receiving an email or notification that the delivery (or in the case of a ride hailing service) that I have completed the transaction and the option of adding the tip electronically is available after  the service/delivery is complete. It also should be noted that a smart mobile device or app IS NOT required to place an order. I don’t know if an order can be initiated by voice phone call.

The Peapod delivery person is more than happy to enter your residence to carry the groceries, that may or may  not be an advantage to the consumer. I was happy to assist the person and carry in several bags. The delivery person is attentive to the quality of the delivered items verifying that, for instance, a carton of eggs was complete and not damaged. (the grocery items were delivered in the plastic type bags that you would bring home from the store.)

So what’s the bottom line ?

As with other services there are many options to consider whether a service will fit your budget and lifestyle. Budget conscience persons will factor in all the variables. More retailers have bridged technology with the brick and motar shopping experience  to customers who expect different levels of services.


Here’s the order figures:

Broccoli Organic
1 HEAD Qty: 1 @ $3.49 $3.49
Peapod Chicken Thighs Boneless Skinless Value Pack Fresh
APX 2.5 LB Qty: 1 @ $4.98 $4.98
Peapod Premium Cut Bacon Maple Sliced
16 OZ PKG Qty: 1 @ $5.99 $5.99
Peapod Premium Italian Sausage Hot Fresh
APX 2.75 LB Qty: 1 @ $9.87 $9.87
Peapod Turkey Thighs Fresh
APX 1.8 LB Qty: 1 @ $5.38 $5.38
Perdue Oven Ready Chicken Whole Seasoned Roaster in Cooking Bag Fresh
6 LB PKG Qty: 1 @ $2.57 $2.57
Pork Rib End Roast Bone-In Fresh
APX 2 LBS Qty: 1 @ $4.98 $4.98
USDA Choice Beef Shank Center Cut Bone-In Fresh
APX 1 LB Qty: 1 @ $3.49 $3.49
USDA Choice Bottom Round Beef Roast Boneless Fresh
APX 3 LB Qty: 1 @ $14.97 $14.97
Peapod Raw Shrimp Simple Peel Extra Large – 26-30 ct per lb Frozen
2 LB BAG Qty: 1 @ $13.98 $13.98
Land O Lakes Deli American Cheese Product White (Thin Sliced)
APX 1/2 LB Qty: 1 @ $3.00 $3.00
Peapod Greek Yogurt Plain Nonfat
5.3 OZ CUP Qty: 1 @ $.79 $.79
Peapod Sweet Cream Butter Salted Sticks – 4 qrtrs
1 LB BOX Qty: 1 @ $2.99 $2.99
Peapod White Eggs Grade A Large
1 DOZ Qty: 1 @ $1.69 $1.69
Peapod by Stop & Shop Welcome Brochure
1 EA Qty: 1 @ $.00 $.00

 Here is the final delivery:

Amount charged:

Customer Care: 1-800-5-PEAPOD Get unlimited FREE deliveries with PodPass! Search “PodPass” on to learn more Order Information Delivery Date 01/11/2019 Standard Substitution Peapod Savings Weekly Specials 1925 You Saved $19.25

Grocery Total Grocery Sale 85.94

Delivery Fee 9.95

Delivery Discount (5.00)

Fuel Surcharge 0.22

Grocery Total Due $91.11

In Stock Size Delivered Item Price Total Price

Product Information/Offers Peapod by Stop & Shop Welcome Brochure 1 EA 1 0.00 0.00 Dairy

Peapod Greek Yogurt Plain Nonfat 5.3 OZ CUP 1 0.79 0.79

Peapod Sweet Cream Butter Salted Sticks – 4 qrtrs 1 LB BOX 1 2.99 2.99

Peapod White Eggs Grade A Large 1 DOZ 1 1.69 1.69


Land O Lakes Deli American Cheese Product White (Thin Sliced) APX 1/2 LB 0.52 LB 5.99/LB SALE 3.11


Peapod Chicken Thighs Boneless Skinless Value Pack Fresh APX 2.5 LB 3.17 LB 1.99/LB SALE 6.31

Peapod Premium Cut Bacon Maple Sliced 16 OZ PKG 1 5.99 5.99

Peapod Premium Italian Sausage Hot Fresh APX 2.75 LB 2.75 LB 3.59/LB 9.87

Peapod Turkey Thighs Fresh APX 1.8 LB 3.04 LB 2.99/LB 9.09

Perdue Oven Ready Chicken Whole Seasoned Roaster in Cooking Bag Fresh 6 LB PKG 1 2.57 SALE 2.57

Pork Rib End Roast Bone-In Fresh APX 2 LBS 2.69 LB 2.49/LB 6.70

USDA Choice Beef Shank Center Cut Bone-In Fresh APX 1 LB 1.13 LB 3.49/LB 3.94

USDA Choice Bottom Round Beef Roast Boneless Fresh APX 3 LB 3.09 LB 4.99/LB 15.42

Produce Broccoli Organic 1 HEAD 1 3.49 3.49


Peapod Raw Shrimp Simple Peel Extra Large – 26-30 ct per lb Frozen 2 LB BAG 1 13.98 SALE 13.98

Amount charged may be lower after any valid coupons and credits are applied.







revamping the grocery purchasing method. Almost all non perishables are bought on line and delivered to door.


  • no transportation cost
  • no driving to store, parking, picking groceries, loading to from vehicle.
  • virtually 24 hour shopping
  • easy reordering of frequently used items
  • free shipping*


  • limited availability of some items
  • pricing more expensive on some items
  • no in store shopping experience
  • no fresh food items**

The biggest advantage is the convenience and reduced time and labor of having staple items delivered. It may become monotonous to constantly buy household items like toilet tissue, Kleenex, dish washing and laundry  detergent and lugging them home. The list expands to kitchen staple items , baking goods and bathroom items, tooth paste, hygiene needs, hair care products.

Retailers offer delivery services like the well know Pea Pod service of the Stop & Shop retailer. Target has also jumped on the bandwagon expanding into the grocery online and delivery sector. Others like Amazon may offer cost effective solutions to grocery delivery under their Prime subscription service.  Not to mention others like Jet and Boxed are also worth a look. You might do better on some direct to consumer sites that some food purveyors offer if their brands are  competitively priced and the brands you use.

*free shipping: currently most of the online big box retailers offer free shipping, to an extent. A minimum purchase amount is needed, usually $25.00 or $35.00 to get the free shipping. Not all of the items qualify, usually if an item is offered by a reseller on the site then shipping cost for that item(s) may be added on. Lately, some of the big box online retailers have curtailed shipping some single items, now, to qualify for shipping  multi packs must be ordered.  The pricing of these multi packs may be more than the unit price of the single item only offered for store pick up.

Limited availability: Some items previously purchased are out of stock or no longer offered by the retailer but available through a much inflated cost by a reseller. A specific brand of microwave popcorn is no longer offered but a reseller on the site charges an exorbitant price for the same item. Why a retailer cannot ship an item that is stocked and put on the shelve in the brick and mortar is a mystery, possibly an algorithm is at work to minimize cost of the free shipping offered by the retailer.

** While fresh food usually is not offered, it depends on location, Walmart for instance has a grocery shopping site within their main site. Here all the kitchen items are offered from items like celery, fruit and vegetables, to all the other items usually found in the pantry. The catch is only certain locations are available for the service and shipping , my address not available. If you want to pre-shop online and drive in a pickup the items, no problem. Some  third party delivery services may be available but you have to factor in the cost.


An example of an item offered with only shipping offered on the 4 pack


“best value”appears the same price as 4 of the singles


Shipping not available for the 10 lb bag .55 cent per lb


shipping not available for the single 4 lb bag at 56 cents per lb


Shipping available for either 2 or 4  of the 4 lb bags at 87 or 86 cents per lb versus the 55 cent price per lb of the 10 lb bag  or the 56 cents per lb of the single 4 lb bag  not available for shipping. May not be a big deal to some but staple items frequently used can add up and cost comparisons by percentages can give a better overall analysis when figuring per unit cost if this item is constantly purchased.

Lets face it, if the new consumer is introduced to grocery shopping via online rather than spending time at the brick and mortar and is also enamored with delivery, then the retailer has to be competitive in it’s execution and pricing. There will be some that still value the in store experience but find other ways of social interactions. They may eventually relegate the duty of shopping to their mobile device smart assistant and have those items appear at the home.



recent prices / purchases

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