Fast Food

Just because grocery shopping is deeply ingrained in the fabric of our weekly schedules does not mean it is actually enjoyable. In fact, I dare say grocery shopping is a lot like the fourth season of Heroes. You don’t watch that rubbish because you like it. You watch it because it’s Monday, 9pm EST. You suffer through your self-imposed detention, rationalizing all the way to 10pm. You pretend you like it.

But you don’t. No one does.

It’s not like we eagerly plan trips to Shaws with friends on a Saturday night. A specialty food store? Perhaps. But only if it’s followed with sophisticated cultural cheffery.

I submit to you that any gratification that we get from shopping relates less to the act itself as much as to the completion of a pesky chore or perhaps the successful triumph over Maslow’s foundation. I will not revere this ritual.

On Monday, I slapped grocery shopping in the face.
On Monday, I signed up for Peapod.
(Peapod is Stop and Shop’s internet powered grocery delivery service.)

To those of you who gawk at my willingness to spend extra dollars needlessly I say Lo! Get your preconceived notions out of my kitchen!

For $100 in groceries, delivery costs about seven bucks. While 7% seems a bit much, especially for someone with a history of cheapness like myself, there are ways to reduce the fee. If you can accommodate a wider delivery window, you can get up to $2 off your order. First time buyers can further reduce the cost $10. Subtract coupons, add the $7 delivery, throw in a $5 tip to the driver and I made out even-steven.

stop and shop peapod
The Trial Groceries.

Furthermore, Peapod’s search feature allows you to easily pick the cheapest items according to their unit cost/volume. This comes in especially handy for those annoying purchases like bread, whose cost tends to be camouflaged in hard-to-see ink on the bread bags themselves (dear bread manufacturers: why? stop this.) AND, there’s no impulse buys on the internet. No aisles of candy quietly beckoning for your sugary patronage.

But what about the food quality?!? How will you know that Stop and Shop will properly test your carrot for color, cut, and clarity?

At least for this order, the produce quality was high. The only items that I would have picked differently were the bananas. I tend to like them further along on the ripeness scale – but as Mom D noted: better not quite ripe enough than too ripe.

My only complaint were the vast quantities of plastic bags used in the delivery. Look at this ridiculousness:

Plastic bags
Excessive baggage.

Thankfully, we recycle at the House of Rock.

If you’d like to try it, head over to peapod and, AND, if you put my e-mail address in as having referred you we’ll both get $10 extra dollars of free groceries. You might even be able to use this in conjunction with coupon code: CJN10 for a friendly $20 discount!

BOGUS! you say.
NOT BOGUS! I reply*

*this may in fact be bogus. I’m not sure if you can double up like that

my e-mail addy:
MikeDiDonato AT gmail D0T com

Oh! Lastly. I forgot to mention that my delivery guy came promptly at 4:30pm. I set my delivery schedule to be anytime between 4:30 and 6:00. This punctuality might vary per area, but I was really pleased that they hit me up early on.

High-five Stop and Shop delivery guy. High-five.

27 thoughts on “Fast Food

  • 4/29/2010 at 9:11 am
    Permalink

    I disagree whole heartedly. I LOVE grocery Shopping. I find it a stimulating challenge to try to remember where everything is in the grocery store. Planning the most efficient route through the store. Meeting neighbors and chit chatting while we shop. If you think of shopping as a chore, it will be come a chore. Make it a challenge, better yet, make it a Power Team Goal and then you’ve made it something all together enjoyable. Who would have thought holding your breath for 3 minutes was fun…but we made it fun. Or doing 5 handstand pushups….retarded. But we made those both exciting and entertaining. Pushing ourselves to grow and experience something new. What would your kung fu instructors thought if for your board breaking exercises you brought in Chuck Norris. While it would probably break down the building he was in, it would diminish your kung fu experience.
    On a side note…I bought that same loaf of bread yesterday while shopping. My dog ate a few slices of it this morning, so it must be tasty!

    Reply
    • 4/29/2010 at 10:00 am
      Permalink

      Thanks for the comment, though I think if something is truly enjoyable we shouldn’t have to force it to be fun.

      I contend that your love for the grocery store is a coping mechanism. Do you go to the grocery store even when no groceries needed purchasing? If so then admittedly Peapod is not for you.

      Also of note: the original idea of PowerTeam was to better ourselves by improving skills like balance, speed, and strength. Grocery shopping is a means to an end, it is not a task that has intrinsic value.

      Reply
      • 4/29/2010 at 10:21 am
        Permalink

        I’d have to say I think there are some people out there that truly enjoy grocery shopping (my stepdad LOVES it, but they do have Wegman’s where he shops). I think I just wanted to make a Wegman’s reference there for Kurt.

        Mike I am happy that you found a good way to make grocery shopping suck less for you, a like to see little ways people find some more happiness in their daily lives! So many plastic bags though!

        Reply
        • 4/29/2010 at 11:35 am
          Permalink

          Alicia and I shop at Wegman’s in Princeton, NJ. And I will agree 1000%. Wegman’s is so fantastic I would be in their commercials to give a testimonial. I will admit that actually getting myself to the store can be a challenge sometimes, but once I’m there, it feels like heaven. They have tons of excellent quality, low price, store brand stuff.

          Reply
        • 4/29/2010 at 12:46 pm
          Permalink

          Also the new Whole Foods by me is by far the best shopping experience I’ve ever had. They have a bar – a BAR – in the store. You can grab a nice local brew, and they give you cupholders for your grocery carts so you can walk around and shop with your beer. There’s also an extensive cafe and seating area, and a stage. It’s so much more than a grocery store.

          Reply
        • 4/29/2010 at 2:09 pm
          Permalink

          WEGMAN’S. I had never heard of this market, but went to one this past weekend for the first time near Philadelphia. OH MAN. That place was glorious. They also had the e”njoy a beer while you shop” option, but it was 9am so I didn’t take advantage of that. I agree with Mike D that I regard shopping as more of a chore than an enjoyable experience, but I had an unexpected amount of fun checking out a new place. Maybe novelty is key.

          Reply
  • 4/29/2010 at 9:43 am
    Permalink

    I’ve often thought if Peapod would be worth it for me. I don’t think so at this point. I inevitably end up seeing stuff while walking the aisles that I forgot to put on my list.

    Oh, BTW, you’re forgetting the first ‘R’ of the three ‘R’s! Reduce! Boo to Peapod for using so many bags. They should just be reusing (the second ‘R’!) boxes that stuff comes in.

    Reply
    • 4/29/2010 at 10:02 am
      Permalink

      Good comment. Now that I think of it, Peapod offers an area for specific instructions. For my next order, I’ll ask that plastic bags be conserved as much as possible during bagging.

      Reply
      • 4/29/2010 at 10:26 am
        Permalink

        What would really be awesome is if they used a system like milk bottles in the old days: The first time they deliver the groceries in bins, which you keep (a reasonable deposit is charged). At each successive delivery, they give you your grocery in bins, and pick up the empty ones from the previous visit. When you quit peapod, you drop off the bins and get your deposit.

        Reply
        • 4/29/2010 at 10:40 am
          Permalink

          They could even do this with out the deposit. Bring groceries in bins, unload to house, leave with empty bins. It might takea bit of extra time for the delivery that way though.

          Reply
        • 4/29/2010 at 11:09 am
          Permalink

          Here in Seattle, we have Amazon Fresh (http://fresh.amazon.com/), and they use bins. One of my neighbors uses this service, and there’s a stack of plastic Amazon Fresh bins on the front porch from time to time.

          Reply
        • 4/29/2010 at 11:11 am
          Permalink

          Awesome! I wonder if this is an option? perhaps it’s worth it to give S&S a phonecall to ask.

          Reply
        • 4/29/2010 at 1:22 pm
          Permalink

          I see the peapod truck roll up and be full of bins so i don’t know what the dealyyo is with CT Peapod…

          I’ve considered going with Peapod but at this point, i enjoy grocery shopping more. Maybe its because i have a hannaford nearby now.

          Reply
  • 4/29/2010 at 10:52 am
    Permalink

    I’m going to have to disagree with you Mike. Peapod creates yet another middle man moving you even further from the food. Michael Pollan would be so sad. Furthermore, take the train or walk to the grocery store and carry all your bags back then come talk to me about drudgery. :)

    Reply
    • 4/29/2010 at 11:01 am
      Permalink

      I must admit, I haven’t read any Pollan. The argument of distance from the food sounds intriguing, and it’s not something I’ve considered in my Peapod choice.

      Perhaps it’s something to be taken into consideration. Certainly he or she who accepts Peapod accepts, to a degree, the industrialization of food.

      Reply
      • 5/1/2010 at 11:04 am
        Permalink

        Mike, my brillient wife pointed out to me something I failed to consider entirely. Whether you drive to the store or they come to you, a trip has to be made. However, I think they would RARELY come out to just your house and go back, making multiple deliveries per run. In that way it’s probably a FAR more efficient system compared to the “standard” grocery experience. That being said, the “standard” grocery experience still involves far too much transportation and preservation costs to get the food to the store in the first place. CSA’s and farmers’ markets win out in my book for sure.

        Reply
  • 4/29/2010 at 3:25 pm
    Permalink

    I actually love grocery shopping to. It’s gratifying for me to pick out what I will be eating (especially because I usually buy most stuff fresh and try to avoid things outside of cereal that are processed).

    When peapod started, I heard an NPR show about it and it appears that they consistently provide the top notch produce. Thus, fear not that any further of your peapod adventures will be fruit bruised.

    Reply
  • 4/29/2010 at 8:33 pm
    Permalink

    I am another grocery shopping lover. In fact, I will go into grocery stores even if I don’t need anything. And in those cases,sometimes I even leave without buying anything. I just like to look at the wonderful food!

    Mike, did you decide to go with a CSA share for the summer? It’s the cheapest way to get fresh local veggies and I bet you it will be in bins rather than bags.

    Reply
    • 4/29/2010 at 11:08 pm
      Permalink

      I too love grocery shopping. But more importantly, what is your meaning of CSA?
      Because at work, CSA (Canadian Standards Association) is a twisted, evil and expensive safety requirement for industrial equipment.
      I’m guessing it’s better.

      Reply
      • 4/30/2010 at 8:30 am
        Permalink

        Sander!

        CSA: community supported agriculture.

        Basically, you pay some money and then get all sorts of local, fresh vegetables on a weekly basis.

        Reply
    • 4/30/2010 at 7:31 am
      Permalink

      CSA FARM SHARES ARE AWESOME!!!! I never would have had Bok choy, kolrabi and some other awesome veggies if we didn’t have that. If you have that option in your area, then go sign up.

      Also I think Wegmans cant be in the grocery shopping experience. Its like calling jordan’s just a furniture store. its still awesome to go there, cant wait for the 2 to show up in MA!!!!

      Reply
      • 4/30/2010 at 1:07 pm
        Permalink

        Kurt, you’re awesome!!! CSAs rule!!!

        Reply
      • 5/3/2010 at 3:52 pm
        Permalink

        Kurt, I thought you were allergic to veggies?

        Reply
    • 4/30/2010 at 8:31 am
      Permalink

      Alicia: I didn’t! For whatever reason, I wasn’t feeling it. Perhaps it was the weekly drive to Cheshire (not really on the way to anything). But it might have also just been my being to lazy to sign up.

      Reply
      • 4/30/2010 at 12:19 pm
        Permalink

        It sounds like this service: http://www.ctffe.com/FFExpress/Welcome.html addresses would be the perfect merger of both worlds! This NYT article describes it as a “conceptual cross between Stop & Shop’s Peapod and a personal shopper delivering Connecticut-grown and -produced items literally to people’s doors year round” http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/12/nyregion/connecticut/12dinect.html?pagewanted=print
        I really like shopping because its a chance to explore new foods… but my preference would be to spend my time at a farmer’s market than in a store.

        Reply
      • 4/30/2010 at 1:08 pm
        Permalink

        Hey Mike, I just left this really long comment with links to many CT CSAs, some near your work, and one in Meriden. Did it disappear into the black hole of the internet?

        PS I also said that you were indeed lazy

        Reply
  • 4/29/2010 at 11:05 pm
    Permalink

    Hannaford FTW!!! Back when it was Shop-n-Save, I fell in love. The legacy continues…
    Jon Abad is a wise man, what with running the internet and all…

    Reply

Leave a Reply to Chris T Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *