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I recently was contacted by Safeway and asked to review Safeway’s Home Grocery Delivery Service.  I was excited to try it out, because I’ve been pretty short on time lately and the mere thought of going to the grocery store after a long day of work is SOOO draining.

Here is a picture of my order.  As you can see, I stocked up on some bulky essentials! You know how nice it was to not have to lug those large containers of detergent home from the grocery store? I could get used to ordering from the comforts of home. ;)

I thought I’d list all the advantages and disadvantages of my experience with Safeway’s Home Grocery Delivery Service.

Advantages:

  • Super convenient – This is obviously the #1 advantage of online shopping & home delivery. It’s a great everyday option for busy folks (that’s me, and about everyone I know!), or those folks unable to make it to the store, like if you have a newborn, an illness or medical condition, or anyone with limited transportation.  It would also come in handy in those emergency situations, like if your car breaks down and is in the shop for a few days.
  • Quick & efficient – My boyfriend is the absolute KING of efficiency. It absolutely kills him when I lollygag at the store, or on my way out the door. Or waste many hours doing something manually that could be automated in a fraction of the time. {Yes, he’s an engineer.} I can already tell that grocery shopping online would be right up his alley. It’s much faster, because you don’t have to drive to the store, search for all your items, and wait in line to check out. Plus, have you ever walked into one of those gigando sized grocery stores and looked for something you thought was simple to find? Say, sugar? And then walk to the completely WRONG side of the store, just to have to backtrack all the way to the other side to find what you want? Well, that’s INEFFICIENT grocery shopping, my friends. You can say good-bye to long, aimless treks in grocery stores. You can then use all that time you saved for something more productive, like spending more quality time with your kids. :)
  • Using eCoupons – You can load all the available eCoupons (Cellfire, Shortcuts, P&G eSaver, Safeway.com) to your Safeway card and apply them towards your order. They won’t show up when you complete your order on Safeway.com, but they do appear on your final order form that your driver gives you. PLUS! Don’t forget! You can link your Safeway card to your Upromise account and activate the Upromise eCoupons, and the money will get deposited in your online account if you purchase any of those items. For example, right now through Aug 31, you can activate the following eCoupon at Upromise:  Buy any 1 Bounty Paper Towels 6ct or larger, save $0.50 for college.  I purchased two 12-packs of Bounty, and am still waiting to see the $0.50 to appear in my account. The fine print says “It may take several weeks for your redemption to post,” so we’ll wait and see.
  • Quick re-ordering – This is sort of linked to that whole efficiency thing.  You have the option of repeating any of your previous orders if you’d like, and then add new items to your list.
  • Search bar – This is the MOST convenient feature of the whole online grocery ordering experience.  There’s no need to search by categories if you know exactly what you want — for example, you can just type in “ground turkey” or “paper towels” in the search bar and up pops all the possible options.  Or you can type in a specific brand if you know what you want. You can then order the results by price or alphabetically.  This is such a time-saver!
  • No melting!! – This one is a huge advantage for us AZ folks, especially in the summer. I’ll never forget the time I bought chocolate chips at the grocery store, only to have them completely melted in one big blob by the time I got home 20 minutes later. No cookie making for me that night! I know a lot of people shop with ice packs and/or coolers in the back of their car, just to get their frozen items home without melting. With Safeway home delivery service, everything’s delivered in a nice temperature controlled truck.
  • Home delivery of bulky items – As I said before, this is great back-saving option. This would be great if you’re a soda addict, and ordering 27 cases of soda for example :) The delivery driver will offer to unload everything out of the crate and place it wherever you want (i.e. your kitchen counters). We do have a strict no shoes policy in our house (which Tony actually enforced, not me! So proud!), so we just asked the nice delivery man to unload the groceries in the entry way so we could put everything away ourselves.
  • No doubling up on items you already have – With online shopping, you don’t have to stand in the store going “Now do I REALLY need of this?” Then you buy it just to be safe, and end up with two or three jars of some spice that you’ll never use before it expires. And no frantic phone calls home going “Hey honey, can you check if we’re out of so-and-so?”
  • Shopping while on vacation – If you’re staying at a hotel or someplace with a kitchen for an extended period of time, this would come in really handy. Especially if you didn’t have a rental car or other form of convenient transportation to go shopping. I’ve heard of people using Safeway’s delivery service while staying at Disneyland with great success. Plus, who wants to waste their precious vacation time at the grocery store?

Disadvantages:

  • No manufacturer’s coupons – This is probably the biggest deal breaker for most frugal shoppers. If you want to use your insert or printable coupons, you’ll have to physically go to the store.
  • Limited selection - I noticed that there was a limited selection on a few of the items I was looking for. I couldn’t find Glad food storage bags at all, for example, which is a shame because they were listed in the store weekly ad, and there were eCoupons out that would have made them a good deal. Also, there is NO makeup, at least in my area code, and a very limited alcohol selection from what I saw.
  • Higher prices – While I did find a few online-only specials, the prices online seemed to be higher than the in-store prices. Safeway prices tend to be a little on the higher side anyway, and I was a bit disappointed that some of the sale items listed in the store ad were not available online.
  • Limited payment options – The only payment options are credit or debit cards.  Cash, check, and gift cards are not accepted at this time.
  • Minimum order required – There is a $50 minimum order required, but this is calculated before promotions or coupons (eCoupons aren’t taken off until you receive your final order form), so you can still end up paying less than $50.
  • Final price unknown until you get your delivery – Your initial estimated price does not include tax, final weighted item price, eCoupons, or any out of stock items.  I found that you’ll probably be paying a bit more than is estimated for most produce after the final weight. Two zucchini was estimated to be $0.98, but it really rang up at $2.46, for example. I also ended up having one product, Organic Fresh Tarragon, that was not delivered due to “quality.”  My initial estimated price was $111.59, but the final price ended up being $97.14 after tax, eCoupons, out of stock items, and final weight of produce were all taken into account.
  • No last-minute shopping – There is a little pre-planning required when you shop through Safeway’s home grocery service. You have to make your orders before 8:30am if you want same-day delivery. Also, you have to be home for at least a 2-hour window. Really, this is a slight inconvenience to pay for food delivered right to your door.  I chose a 10am-12pm window, and I think the delivery showed up around 11:15. If you know you’re going to be home all day, you can choose a 4-hour window to reduce your shipping cost even further, if you’d like.
  • Sorting could be better - This is nitpicky, but it’s something that would make the shopping on Safeway.com better. I noticed that when you perform a search and then you sort items by price, it just sorts them by total price and not price/count (i.e. $/oz or $/sheet).  Sorting it by $/count would be EXTREMELY helpful, and make it much easier to compare among different brands, or determine if buying the larger container is really a better deal. {Safeway, are you listening?}
  • Categories are not always intuitive – I went to look for a fresh herb (tarragon —  for my turkey burgers :) ), so I decided to try shopping by aisle. I clicked on fruits & vegetables  –> fresh herbs. Totally logical, right? I didn’t see fresh tarragon listed, and I was disappointed, since I knew it was available in the store. Then I typed “tarragon” in the search box, and it showed up! It had been filed under Organic –> Vegetables, which to me is NOT the most logical place. Lesson learned: when in doubt, use the search box.

Would I use Safeway’s Home Grocery Delivery again? Suuure. Not on a regular basis, because I’m cheap, and I can get better deals on most produce and daily essentials elsewhere. But, I’d probably buy those items that normally don’t go on sale, or that I can’t get a better deal on elsewhere. For example, I think I got a pretty good deal on Bounty Paper Towels. Here’s what showed up on my final receipt:

  • Bounty White Pallet 12 Roll  2@18.69
  • - $4.70 SC discount (sale price $13.99 with Safeway Club card)
  • - $4.00 Home Care Discount (special online promotion $9.99 wyb 2**)
  • - $3 Mfr eCoupon
  • = $16.98 for two 12-packs (1680 total sheets), or $0.01 per sheet.

**Note, the $9.99 wyb 2 promotion appeared to be a temporary online promotion that appears to be expired right now. It looks to be back up to $13.99 through the end of the month.

This is a decent price for paper towels. You can get it cheaper sometimes if you combine manufacturer’s coupons and use overage from in-store promotions, but for the average shopper this is a really good deal for a premium paper towel. Plus, I still get my $0.50 deposited into my Upromise account as well, which makes it less than a penny per sheet. If you compare this to Costco’s price for paper towels (the place most people stock up on bulk items), I actually got a better deal.  For a 16-pack of Signature paper towels you end up paying $0.018 per sheet at Costco.com.

So, if you’re a savvy shopper and take advantage of special promotions, you can actually still save a good deal and take advantage of Safeway’s Home Delivery.

Now, it’s your turn to try Safeway Home Delivery out, if you want!

Safeway has provided a special code for Lanaye readers for FREE delivery and $7 off your first order. All you need to do is use the code: LANAYE at checkout. This code is good through 9/30/10 .

All opinions expressed in this review are 100% mine. Safeway was kind enough to send me 2 gift cards to try out their home grocery delivery service. Thank you, Safeway!

3 Responses to “Safeway: Save $7 and get FREE Home Grocery Delivery on Your First Order”

  1. kc says:

    What idiot would order 27 cases of soda?

    :-P

  2. Heather says:

    LOL kc, I’m glad you caught the reference!!!! :)

  3. […] I mentioned in my post yesterday, Safeway was generous enough to provide me with two gift cards to try out their Home Grocery […]

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