Testing Out The Vons Home Delivery Service


The good people at Vons supermarket reached out to me recently, and in an effort to promote their online shopping delivery service, they offered me two free gift cards to try the site out. How could I resist free groceries? I happily signed up and promised to review the experience.

After the jump, my Vons odyssey…

First things first, I head to http://www.vons.com/blogoffer (as seen above). You should all know that if you want to try this service out, you too can follow the same link and get the same promo code, which gets you free delivery on your first order.

Next I choose a delivery window. I must say that the fee would have be a major deterrent for me if I didn’t have a promo code. Then again, I do realize that someone must actively peruse the supermarket and find all my items. Still…

I get to work selecting items. I’m impressed with some of the prices. At $2.99, this box of Heart to Heart is significantly cheaper than Trader Joe’s, Fresh & Easy, and Target. Not to mention Ralph’s, which charges nearly $5.00 for the same item. And yes, I notice these things. I secretly want to make a spreadsheet and do price comparisons at all those supermarkets and post them on this site. But I digress.

The Kashi may be cheap, but the citrus seems overpriced. I pass on this option.

I’m excited when I see that the International Cuisine aisle features “German Foods.” Sadly, that amounts to only one item: “Pg Tips Pyramid Tea.” I’m not sure what it is, but it certainly does not do much by way of Teutonic inspiration.

A partial glimpse of my cart. I found the $3.99/lb pricing on the portabella mushrooms to be very reasonable and happily purchased a pound of them.

Upon checkout, the system conveniently asks about substitutions. Additionally, there is a $50 minimum; so to round out my order, I purchase booze (again, at very reasonable prices considering the brands). Note that I chose “No Substitution” given that alcohol prices and quality can vary wildly. I wasn’t about to get stuck with a crappy Popov or a pricey Grey Goose.

The next day, the Vons truck arrives about fifteen minutes into the delivery window. Usually it’s doorstep service, but thanks to draconian street sweeping rules, the truck has nowhere to park; so I come down to assist.

By the way, here’s an interesting tidbit. The Miz (a.k.a Mike from Real World: Back to New York) lives in the condo unit across the street with the ivy growing all over it.

The affable delivery man finds my crate of groceries. He informs me that there was no need for substitutions. Huzzah!

Behold. My groceries.

Annoyingly, there wasn’t a whole lot of grocery consolidation when it came to the bags. I could have fit this all in my nifty tote bag. Somewhere, Al Gore is crying.

And now the big reveal: first up, the booze. Upon removing these bottles from the bag, I was shocked that my friend Sly didn’t suddenly appear at my doorway (although, she’s more of a Tanqueray lady).

Sundry items. Yes, there will be salad and hummus in my future. Not to mention a lovely breakfast cereal experience.

Carrots. I didn’t buy much produce because when it comes to that, I like to use my own judgment (hence, I refrained from ordering avocados, lest I be saddled with two rock hard specimens). I have very high standards, people. Case in point: these lovely but rather anemic carrots (featuring the world’s largest tops). Looks like I’ll be making a smaller batch of carrot soup than I had expected.

Lastly, my onions, garlic, and mushrooms. Or rather — mushroom, singular. I ordered one pound of portabellas, but my personal shopper clearly got confused. And so I wound up with one mushroom, not one pound. Luckily, I was only charged for the one cap, but had I been expecting to make portabella lasagna, I would have been rather peeved. Rather peeved indeed!

Well, portabella mixups be damned, the Vons online shopping experience was actually quite fun. I imagine that if I didn’t work from home, it would be rather convenient. I don’t love the delivery charge, and it’s inconvenient not having control over things like produce, but for those who live and die by delivery services, I found it to be fast and friendly. Plus, users who order online automatically receive Vons club savings, and I’m happy to report I saved a whopping $19.18 on this order (but of course, more than half of that would normally go to the delivery charge — I’m really hung up on that, aren’t I?).

Anyway, if you’re so inclined, give it a shot. Remember to use the first timer’s promo code, again found here.

Thanks again for the gift cards, Vons!

10 replies on “Testing Out The Vons Home Delivery Service”

  1. Wow! That delivery charge is STEEP!!! Do you have Peapod in your area? I have become a HUGE fan — online grocery delivery service and the delivery charge is not nearly as high. I was also concerned about the produce quality at first but have never had an issue and I like that I can see my running total the whole time I am shopping — I actually spend less than I do a the store. ANYWAY — I digress. Online grocery shopping has changed my life and I am glad you had a good experience.

    BTW — are you watching the Top Chef DC Reunion? Loved the out takes with the judges — very similar to the vibe of your recaps!

  2. I wish and pray everyday for a service like this that could address my elderly mother’s shopping needs, and I’d pay twice the delivery charge to ensure that she stop pouring sour milk into her shredded wheat of a morning, and thereby sickening herself too regularly, because she has no one to buy her fresh before I can get to her every other weekend…

  3. I would have killed for a service like this when I was in grad school (Go Tarheels!). I had no car and no friends and no meal plan, so I had to take the bus every couple of days to get groceries… I had tried taking a cab once, but it was so awkward in the elevator with the driver who had to help me take the groceries up to my apartment… So sad… And because I could only carry so much at a time on the bus, I could only buy the bare minimum… I remember the walk of shame… Pushing my shopping cart out into the parking lot knowing full well I had no car to walk to… Stopping and trying to grab all the bags in just two hands… Walking out onto the street and crossing four lanes of traffic to get to the bus stop… Feeling pathetic holding onto all these grocery bags while waiting for the bus…

    1. “I had no car and no friends and no meal plan”

      I simultaneously laughed and felt sorry for you. And since you’re a Tarheels fan I am still torn on which way to go…

  4. Yes, I too was going to cry ‘foul’ on the PG Tips. Who put that under German food?? Blimey!

    We have Peapod in Massachusetts and it was the greatest thing ever when I was home on maternity leave in the middle of winter. Delivery charge was around $5 and the produce was always way better than what I would see in the actual supermarket. I am jealous that you were able to order booze!

  5. B-side, with your excellent knowledge of pricing, why, pray-tell, have you never been on the Price is Right? You could clean up!

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