How I got my ‘burban shopping on and you can too, with a #Peapod $100 #Giveaway
This post is sponsored by Peapod. As always. all opinions are my own.
Living in the city has its advantages: great restaurants, great theatre, diversity, excitement. But it has its disadvantages, too. Smaller living quarters, crowded subways, stinky summer streets (coming soon to a neighborhood near you) and really, really small, crowded, mostly awful grocery stores.
Grocery shopping in Manhattan is like being a contestant one of those obstacle course gameshows. Will you fit down the aisle with a full-sized cart without breaking someone’s toe? Can you maneuver around the ill-conceived tasting station without knocking over the knockwurst? Can you time a trip to Trader Joe’s so that it doesn’t take you 25 minutes to buy one box of well-priced cereal and a bag of mixed nuts?
Sadly, the answer to all of those is mostly no. Going to the grocery store in NYC is an ordeal. Always. (Though here’s a tip: Friday nights and Tuesday mornings at 10 seem to be less horrible than other times.. You’re welcome)
Then there are suburban grocery stores: Big aisles, huge selection, non-heart attack inducing prices. Helpful staff. Any staff. It’s kind of astonishing. When I visit a suburban supermarket, I feel like what I imagine USSR exiles felt when they first visited supermarkets in America: awed, amazed, and overwhelmed by the scale of it all. All I need is a bubushka to make the scene complete.
So when PeaPod, the delivery service from the suburban grocery chain, Stop and Shop, contacted me to let me know they were starting delivery service in Manhattan, I was kind of excited at the prospect. Maybe Peapod would bring a bit of that suburban shopping experience — the great prices, the vast selection, the actual existence of humans capable of communicating information to you without sneering or complaining that you asked a question (have you ever been the to the Gristedes on W86th Street? Oh, the horror.) — well, I was game to give it a try.
I should first mention that Peapod enters a pretty crowded online grocery delivery scene here in NY. There’s the mother of all delivery services, Fresh Direct. And while I do love me some FD, it doesn’t give me the full-on suburban shopping experience. Their selection, while good, still feels sort of gourmet-ish. Not so much like grocery shopping and a food experience. Which I like sometimes, but doesn’t cut it for that all-out, massive scale suburban shopping experience that almost makes me wish I lived in the ‘burbs. (The other thing that almost makes me wish I lived in the burbs is this six word phrase: “Kids, go play in the basement.” But that’s another story.) Amazon Fresh has recently started delivering in Manhattan, too. My first experience with them, however, didn’t go so well – spoiled fish is particularly gross. Google Express is awesome for large purchases, but they mark up the prices, (at least they’re up front about it) and choice is limited in the anything-that-needs-to-be-refrigerated departments. Given these conditions, Peapod could make a dent if they played their cards right. So did they?
And I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. Because while new to the Five Boros, Peapod was the original internet grocery delivery service. They’re the first and number one internet grocer in the country. And I can’t quite explain it, but shopping through their website (the app is coming soon) really did feel suburban…in the best possible way. Lots of brand names, significantly lower prices than the services I traditionally use (yogurts in Manhattan are $.90 each!!), and a real feeling of “browsing” the aisles.Without knocking anything over.
Still want that “foodie” feeling? They’ve got it, with an AMAZING (seriously!) selection of local gourmet foods from places like Balthazar, Satur Farms, Peter Luger and nore. (I said it was amazing.) On the other end of the spectrum, the Stop and Shop brand products are an incredible value, and I stocked up on frozen veggies and fruit (for my morning smoothies). I even bought Stop and Shop’s own mashed potatoes for my kids’ favorite Shepard’s Pie. Delicious.
And while the PR person I worked with for this post asked me to provide her with my order number, I didn’t: I wanted to see how the service worked without special treatment. You know how it worked? Perfectly. My delivery was running late, and an actual person, with a name, called to tell me. She was professional, apologetic, and exactly right about the new delivery time. Gotta love it. I loved it so much that I’ve already reordered twice since that first time. Un sponsored. ON time, and exactly right.
Want in? If you live in the five boros (this is important: you MUST live in NYC to enter), you could win a $100 Peapod Gift card. Don’t live in NYC? Sorry, I did say it had it’s advantages!!
To enter, simply fill in the form below. And Happy Shopping. (and yes, I’m gonna say it again: contest open ONLY TO RESIDENTS OF NYC)