Peapod Online Grocery Delivery: Color me impressed
First and foremost, I used a referral link from a neighbor that uses Peapod which provided us with a $10 discount off our first order as well as a $10 reward for our neighbor. For anyone using Peapod for the first time, I would recommend finding a coupon code online or from an existing customer to save yourself a few bucks (I have a referral link here if anyone is interested). Second, after your first order is placed Peapod will provide you with a coupon code (FREEDELIVERY in my case) good for free delivery on orders of $100 or more for the first 60 days after you receive your first delivery.
Once I had created an account, I found shopping at Peapod to be quite simple. Fortunately, they had a good selection of most (but not all) of the food items that I typically buy when shopping at Stop & Shop brick and mortar locations. One nice feature that I liked was that once I entered my Stop & Shop rewards card number at peapod.com I was able to see all of the available items that I had purchased in Stop & Shop stores over the past three months with an easy way to add them to my virtual shopping cart. Another nice thing I found was that many items that were on sale in the Stop & Shop sales flyer were also on sale online (a "special" in Peapod lingo), which makes it possible to stock up on items that are attractively priced much like I would when visiting an actual grocery store. Even better, Peapod accepts manufacturers coupons, including doubling coupons under $1 just as Stop & Shop does with in-store purchases.
One of the things I was concerned about was the quality and freshness of the produce, meats, and dairy items Peapod would provide since I wouldn't be able to pick them out myself. With both of the orders we've placed so far, I've been pleased on all fronts with the quality of the produce (lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, grapes, strawberries, etc.), meat (chicken breast, deli meats & cheeses), and dairy products (organic milk & yogurt). One thing I was disappointed with was that we did have one item that was "out of stock" (organic mushrooms), which we didn't receive and weren't informed about until our order was delivered. Peapod is supposed to make substitutions of similar items when that situation occurs, but for some reason that was not the case with our organic mushrooms. I think this is definitely a process that could be improved, perhaps with something along the lines of an email alert with a chance to authorize a substitution before the order is loaded on the truck. We also had a missing item on our second order (a bag of frozen vegetables), but a two minute phone call to 1-800-5-PEAPOD resulted in an easy credit to our account.
As far as the actual delivery, Peapod has a nice feature where you get a "Your Peapod delivery is next" email when your order is about to arrive at your home. For both of our deliveries, the driver was at our house within 15 minutes of receiving this email. Once here, each driver promptly unloaded our order (bagged in plastic Stop & Shop bags) from the truck and placed everything on our kitchen counter. I tipped each driver $5 for their service and we put our own groceries away just as we would with any normal shopping trip.
All in all, I have to say that I'm very pleased with our Peapod experience so far. This service will certainly help us out quite a bit until my arm has healed enough to resume shopping for groceries myself. While I may be paying more for the same items overall, it is certainly worth the extra expense when I think of driving to and shopping at multiple stores with my right arm in a sling. :)