When people hear I don’t have a car, they sometimes ask if I do my grocery shopping online. Until yesterday I had never tried it, so I usually responded with excuses: Walking to Ralphs is good exercise, I don’t want to pay a delivery fee, and I don’t like the idea of someone else picking out my produce. The other day it occurred to me that I don’t have to order produce online — I can just order all the heavy stuff! I drink more orange juice in a week than the average person probably consumes in a month, so having it delivered is literally a weight off my shoulders.
Yesterday, I placed an order from Vons/Safeway online. It took about an hour by the time I figured out what I wanted and set up an account, which is about how long I would’ve spent walking to the store and back. (The only frustrating part of ordering online was that the box for directions to my house would only take 150 characters. Trying to explain things clearly in as few words as possible felt like a word puzzle.) I ordered a bunch of stuff, and even a few organic bananas to give their produce a chance. I figured I’d have to wait a few days for delivery, but they had a slot available today. Delivery is free for the first order, and after that, it’s $7.95 if you choose a four-hour window, and $9.95 for a two-hour window. For me, that is SO TOTALLY WORTH IT. The website specified that the drivers wouldn’t accept tips, but I figured that was just a suggestion (in my experience, people always accept tips). It was a nice surprise when the friendly driver reiterated the “no tips” rule before I could even offer one.
The order wasn’t perfect, but the only mistake they made was in my favor — the driver pointed out on my receipt that they hadn’t charged me for the organic bananas, because they were out of stock. But when I unpacked the bags later, there they were, marked with a big “organic” sticker. Free bananas! Who says you need a car to be happy in L.A.?
Updates: Will pointed out in the comments that HomeGrocer.com will deliver to Santa Monica and West Hollywood for a $3.99 fee. And they deliver in 30 minutes! How is that even possible? Magic powers?
I didn’t realize that Albertson’s delivers, too. Their site didn’t show me the online shopping option until I typed in my zip code. (thanks, Ronen)