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!