Here’s How a Grocery-Delivery Service Can Actually Save You Money

Peapod worker delivers food.
Photo courtesy of Peapod
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Maybe I hate grocery shopping because I don’t like to cook.

When I go grocery shopping, it’s like I’m burdening myself with tedious work. I grab food off the shelf and put it in my cart like, “Here’s some work for you. Oh, and here’s more work for you. Look! There’s more work here, too.”

Groceries aren’t cheap, and it doesn’t help that I have at least one thing in my cart that seemed like a good idea in the store, but winds up being a waste of money as it sits in my pantry collecting dust. (Hello, fig jam!)

And then there are the sugar cravings. The whole store is filled with goodies I shouldn’t eat if I want to lose weight. The cookie aisle might as well be a dark alley where a guy in a trench coat whispers, “Psst! Want some birthday cake Oreos? C’mon, everyone’s doing it!”

That’s why I was thrilled when Peapod became available in my area. Peapod is a service that works with my local grocery store. I order groceries using Peapod’s app or their website. Then I can choose to pick up my groceries or have them delivered to my home.

Peapod has helped me save money, time and my waistline.

Here’s my honest Peapod review.

How to Save Money With Peapod

Detail of a woman paying for groceries with a credit card
GeorgeRudy/Getty Images

If I went to the store, I’d be tempted to buy food I don’t need from seasonal displays or attractive end caps.

Sticking to my grocery list is so easy when I use Peapod. I check my fridge and my shelves to see which staples I need to buy, then add them to my Peapod cart.

Next, I plan my lunch and dinner recipes for the week and add those ingredients, too.

I also save money because Peapod always shows sale items first in my search results. For instance, when I search for “butter lettuce,” the first item that comes up is the store brand’s bagged butter lettuce, which is on sale for $2 Compare that to the brand name, which is $2.59.

I just saved 59 cents without having to spend time in the grocery looking at bagged salads.

Peapod Helps You Save Calories

Saving calories is just as important to me as saving money. Peapod has been tremendously helpful when it comes to my health goals.

I’ve been working with a health coach for six months. We set 1,600 calories as my daily limit so I could lose weight slowly and safely. I researched foods to have on hand when terrible cravings strike. I also started planning weekday dinners to make sure I stayed within my calorie range.

With just a tap, Peapod shows me the item’s nutrition label so I can decide whether or not it’s worth the calories.

I don’t know about your area, but every grocery store near me puts their delicious-looking bakery items right inside the entrance. Peapod saves me from having to fight my way past all those cookies and cakes. And I don’t have to steel myself against free samples.

Since October, I’ve lost nine pounds. While that’s not impressive compared to someone on “The Biggest Loser,” I’m thrilled. I managed to lose nine pounds during a period of time that included Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas!

Peapod is a big part of my success. As I mentioned before, by using Peapod instead of going to the grocery store, I’m not tempted to buy food I shouldn’t eat.

Save Time

Detail of a woman looking at the Peapod app
Photo courtesy of Peapod

Peapod has a top-notch search algorithm, so finding items is a snap. What would take me several minutes to find in the store only takes me seconds on the app.

And I can save even more time by filling my cart with my last order or scrolling through previous orders to see if there’s anything else I need.

I can tell my Amazon Echo Dot, “Alexa, tell Peapod to add [fill in the blank] to my shopping cart.” Like magic, Alexa finds that item and asks if I want to put it in my Peapod shopping cart. When I confirm, she says, “Your wish is my command.”

The Fees

Peapod offers two different services, depending on where you live. In my area, the company offers both delivery and pick-up services.

The delivery service fee is based on how much you spend on your order. For an order between $60 and $75, the fee is $9.95. For $75 to $100, it’s $8.95. Above $100, the fee is $7.95.

Since the store is really close to my house, I always choose the pick-up option. The fee is only $2.95, with a minimum order of $60. Plus, Peapod frequently emails me coupons that waive the fee entirely.

But Nothing is Perfect

Man working for Peapod delivers food.
Photo courtesy of Peapod

There are a few ways Peapod could be improved.

First, I can’t use Ibotta when I shop with Peapod. I discovered Ibotta after reading about it right here at The Penny Hoarder. Now, I’m in love with it. I earned about $12 cash back in four weeks. However, Ibotta doesn’t offer any cash back for Peapod purchases, which is a bummer.

Second, I have to plan ahead if I want to use Peapod; it requires you place your order about 24 hours before you pick it up or have it delivered. Sometimes that doesn’t work for me.

For instance, I might run out of something the day I’m scheduled to pick up my order. In that case, I have to make a second stop at the store to pick up that item because it’s too late to add it to my order. I’d love it if Peapod added a “last-minute addition” feature.

My last issue with Peapod is sometimes I don’t receive my full order, but I don’t find out until it’s too late.

One time I had planned to cook salmon, potatoes and broccoli for dinner. But when I opened the fridge, I discovered I had no salmon. I double-checked the invoice and realized it was out of stock when my order was filled.

All my planning and time-saving went down the drain, and I had to scramble to put together dinner. I wish I’d received an alert of some kind, rather than a note in tiny print on the invoice, which I easily missed.

Peapod isn’t for everyone. I have friends who prefer to browse the grocery store to see what’s new or to get inspired. But if you’re interested in saving money while saving time and staying healthy, Peapod might be the app for you.

Nancy Basile wishes chocolate peanut butter eggs grew on trees and had zero calories. Find her on Instagram @mediamedusa.