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Grocery News: Delivery Services

By Katy Killilea

erinQuick: what’s just like getting a surprise care package, but way more mundane? A rumbling truck pulls up to your house and a uniformed person approaches you, arms laden with goods. But it’s not new sheets from Garnet Hill, or books from Amazon, nor a birthday gift from your Grandpa. It is: toilet paper, an avocado, and Cinnamon Life.

Delivery services can make grocery shopping less stressful, even if you enjoy buying food. Imagine if you never had to go in the laundry soap section again, and could just concentrate on the cherries and cheeses. Many of us hit a number of  purveyors in a week–farmer’s market for produce, Shaw’s for Wheat Thins, Whole Foods for agave nectar, Target for toilet paper. Delivery services allow you to cut out the parts of shopping that wear away at your soul.

But what about the cost? Well, you could pay as much as $10 in delivery fees for deliveries from Peapod, but most customers pay less than that, thanks to various discounts. And if you factor in the value of your time and the money you’ll avoid spending on impulse purchases and the psychic cost of the dinks that will mar your sanity if you have to strap three children into the car to fetch some freaking lasagna noodles…(and the cost of the Harry Potter pencils they’ll convince you to buy), it can be a bargain. Here’s information on some of Rhode Island’s grocery delivery services.


The cow trucks bring glass bottles of local milk, sure. But a slew of other stuff, including: Venda ravioli, Stonyfield Farm yogurt, local eggs, and driveway salt for snowstorms. You do not need to be home to meet the driver–if no one’s in at the time of delivery, your provisions will be packed in ice and remain cold, even if you don’t get to them for hours, even on a summer day. Munroe Dairy covers all of Rhode Island and parts of Massachusetts. The cows live in Connecticut, but in the section of Connecticut that is connected to Rhode Island and cut off from Yale and Ikea.

Cost: $1.50 delivery fee. Gently suggested minimum order of $10. Deliveries made weekly.

Price examples: Half gallon of hormone/antibiotic-free milk: $3. One dozen local eggs: $3.

Placing an order: the deadline is midnight the night before your delivery. Orders are accepted online, on paper left in milk box, or by phone.

Good for a family that: drinks a lot of cow milk.

Special offer: Contact Munroe Dairy for a special offer for new customers and up to $25 in free products!

In the Providence area, for milk delivery there’s also CHRISTIANSEN’S DAIRY.


Peapod has thousands of products and could spare you from having to visit a Stop & Shop or Shaw’s ever again. peapodIf you have enough of a food strategy to place an order a little bit in advance, Peapod can save you a trip. This service partners with Stop & Shop, and if you have one of that store’s cards, you can enter the barcode numbers into Peapod’s site to access a list of the things you buy most often. This makes finding your precise size, color, and brand of raisins much faster. Peapod delivers to almost every nook of Rhode Island.

Cost: $7 delivery fee for orders over $100. $10 delivery fee for orders under $100. (Delivery fee is even less expensive if you request delivery at an off-peak time or you’re fine with a longer delivery time block.)  Minimum order: $60.

Price examples: $3.50 half-gallon of organic milk. $3 pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. (Prices and specials are nearly identical to those in Stop &Shop stores.)

Placing an order: order online by midnight for delivery the next day.

Good for a family that: doesn’t cherish trips to a mainstream grocery store.

Special offer: Enter coupon code “FREEDELIVERY” when you check out. This will give you free delivery on orders of over $100 for your first 60 days using the service.


Customers can telephone the University Heights Whole Foods to place orders for same-day delivery. wholefoodsAnd if you like to be served but don’t want to give up the fun of food shopping, try this: you can go into the store to shop, and then have your purchases delivered later in the day. No limit on staircase ascensions is indicated.

Cost: FREE delivery to those within a tight radius of the University Heights store. For those who live two miles or more away, charges from $5 and up (way up) apply. $50 minimum order.

Placing an order: place your order by calling 401-621-5990. Timing varies.

Prices: prices are the same as in the store.

Good for a family that: can neither leave home nor bear another day without fresh sardines and GT’s kombucha.


Not to be outdone, Eastside Marketplace also offers delivery. Call 401-831-7771 with your order and for information on the market’s fees, timing, and restrictions.

Have you tried a delivery service? Share your tips, caveats, and thoughts with us by posting comments.

Peapod provided a sample for consideration in this article. Neither the author nor Kidoinfo has received any monetary compensation for this review and we have no undisclosed relationship with Peapod.

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  • I live in Portsmouth and I have used Clement’s Marketplace Groceries2Go and I am in love! I can shop late at night (propped up on pillows in bed)… I plan meals better, buy healthier foods, scream less at my 3 year old (who usually just runs through any grocery store), and avoid impluse buys. Love it!

  • I’ve used the Whole Foods delivery service and I love it. Daniel, the man who coordinates it, is a really nice guy and the turn around has been as little as an hour and a half. I just e-mail the store with my list and then call in to give my credit card number. I keep my e-mails so I can just pull from my list the items I frequently buy. I’m sure it is more labor intensive than pea pod but I’ve been very happy. (Oh, I live within 2 miles so the delivery is free which is one of the many reasons I do it.)

  • I like it that once you suffer through the initial set up, Peapod saves a list of the items you purchased so you can very quickly find them and re-order.

  • I’ve used Peapod before and really liked it. I was surprised to find that the produce and meat were decent quality. My biggest hurdle is shopping online which is as much of a pain to me as the real thing.

  • Peapod’s rep. said they offer all of the specials in the flyer, except for some of those that are on the front page which are limited to a specific store or stores. She explained that each store controls the front page specials and they use it for head-to-head combat with other neighborhood stores’ specials. Now the front page of the sale flyer reads like a soap opera to me. (Will Stop and Shop beat East Side Market’s price on blueberries? Will Shaw’s join the fray? And does each store have SPIES to find out what’s going to be on sale at the other stores before the flyers are printed?)

  • If you use enter your Stop N Shop card number the first time you order, you can see what you have purchased in the past, making it easier to set up your first order. Although items are priced differently (e.g. fruit is by the piece and not by weight), depending on how organized you store shop and how much you are tempted to purchase other unnecessary items in the store it may or may not be cheaper. I know some people use PeaPod for all their non-perishables and big, heavy items. PeaPod also delivers to your kitchen – which for some city dwellers, the kitchen may be 2 or 3 flights of stairs up this may be a major bonus.

    Home delivery may not be for everyone all the time but may be handy if you are pregnant, on bedrest, with a newborn, work long hours, etc. Nice to know we have options…

  • I haven’t used Peapod in a while but when I did the prices and specials were NOT nearly identical to the store. It’s a great service but the prices are at a premium (mostly due to less sale prices). On a side note I found the produce quality to be better than what I was seeing in-store. It’s a pain to set-up but once you have made a few orders it is very easy. They also have a much smaller selection (brands and sizes) that a typical store.