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Let’s Talk GardenGrocer.com

Well, I never thought I would ever need to deliver groceries to my home…especially since there is a Publix located 4 miles behind my house. But since my car is in the shop, I was handed a dilemma, HOW do I get food for the family?  Trying to avoid having to ask someone for a ride, a wonderful friend came to my aid and offered to help through “GardenGrocer” to my home. After refusing several times, I gave in because she wasn’t going to take no, so I agreed and went online to start the process. I wanted to share my experience because I know MANY of you have used, or would like to use, GG, and I wanted to shed light on it. Enjoy!

I have a budget like everyone else has for groceries, so I went into this experience knowing that I had a set amount to spend. Now, my great friend was picking up the tab on delivery and tax too, so all I had to do was make the order. This was my FIRST order, as I wound up making two, so let’s talk on this one first.

I was able to use her account to set up the order, but with the second one I had to make up my own, which was simple.  General info, how you are going to pay, etc.. Once you have the account set up, it is time to shop.

Now I don’t know about any of you, but when I grocery shop, I have a million things going through my head. First, you must have a list, second, your budget, third, coupons, and fourth is always the knowledge you bring knowing what you paid for that item a billion times before. Since a lot of us shop 2-4 times a month, we should be pretty sharp by now what things cost, and knowing where you can get it cheaper.

I can hear some of you saying already “This isn’t meant to be for the grocery visit once a week, it’s for mainly tourists.” Yes, I get that and understand that, but even on vacation you NEED and WANT to save every penny you can and allowing that dollar to stretch- I mean, otherwise, what does Mickey get than?

I spent a good hour or two perusing their site, and every time I found something I liked, I put in my “cart” which is located on the right side of the page. The confusing part was that every time I shopped in a new category, the cart would either reset or only have a couple of items ordered, instead of the actual, correct one. It got on my nerves after awhile because, again, I had a budget to stick to and I needed to know what I was spending. If I hit the VIEW CART button, then I could see everything, but it did not update on the side, as it should, while I shopped.

Let’s talk variety- for the local who now knows what is available down here, they don’t have that huge of a variety. They do not make clear where they are shopping from, Publix, Wal-Mart, etc..so if you would like to choose the store brand, you may get something that you are not familiar with. Now, if they stated who they got the food from, I would have at least known what store brands I was willing to buy. Yes, there are differences. Some don’t care- 1% Milk and Lemonade may be the same to you, no matter where you are from, and when on vacation I guess many probably just need the bare essentials anyways.

It was painful to shop, since I knew in my head and heart that I could have bought three times the groceries at Wal-Mart with what I was getting from GG. The prices, to me, were extremely high. I get it, when you are on vacation and you don’t have a car, delivery to your room is worth the extra cost. But do you REALLY understand how much it is costing you? Example I used in chat last night… a 2L Bottle of soda at WalMart will run you around $1.25 each, then Publix is $1.89, then GG was $2.29.  For 21 more cents, I could have bought 2 for the cost of 1 at GG.  Campbells soup cans cost $1.99 at GG, yet every day at Wal-Mart will run you around .99. Charging 50 cents to over a dollar more an item seems incredibly steep to me. Shampoo I get at Wal-Mart, same brand, $2.49 and yet $4.29 at GG- OUCH!!

Once you first get on their site, they have a RED WARNING in the right top hand corner that says “DUE TO HIGH VOLUME, WE ARE NO LONGER TAKING ORDERS FOR (DATE).”  Now, if I am ordering for vacation and I just got to the Resort and want to place an order for the duration, waiting an additional day for them to deliver is really an inconvenience.  On top of the fact that when they deliver, I was under the impression I had to be present. The biggest reason being the obvious, if you have perishable items, they need to be refrigerated as soon as possible.  So my question for those on vacation, who gets stuck waiting at the room for the groceries?  You almost have to know this service exists before you ever leave home, then order before home, choose your delivery date and time, than work it into your vacation schedule. It seems to me to be a lot of work for such a simple convenience.

I checked out without a problem with my first order, and it came 2 days later, at around 9 a.m. They brought it packed in their own plastic bins, and he carried them into my home and helped placed them on the kitchen table. We took everything out together, and he then physically went over the list to make sure everything was present while reading it out loud. It was all there, and I signed off. The delivery charge was $12, plux tax on the groceries, and also $1.99 surcharge for gas because of the high gas prices. You also have to have a minimum purchase of $40. Orders cancelled within 48 hours are charged a 25% restocking fee, and cancelled in 24 are subject to a 50% restocking fee.

Here was the problem though, because everything was so overpriced, I had to pick and choose what I could use now, and then worry about the rest later. Well, later came Sunday when I realized we were in need of health, shower, and other things that I put off.  By the grace of God, I had another opportunity to order, thanks to good friends.

On a side note, the bread I purchased was only good for three days. When you do order online, you also dont have the ability to check expiration dates on what you are buying, which then would make using them, last longer.

Since the first order had gone so well, I had hoped the second would. Well, this time I had to make my own account, not a problem. But, I had gift cards to use, so there was no reason for them to have my CC information. Yet after I placed my order, their system refused to take both. After having to email several times my frustration, they finally let it go through- but after all the work to get the order in, I was bumped to a different day to their volume. Personally, I didn’t think it was fair for them to do that since they knew the order was taken FIRST before all of their own technical drama, but I had to go with the flow and hope to see the groceries.

They came this morning, and this delivery man wasn’t as kind. He also just gave me the list, and had no care for going over it. He asked “Is everything here?” like I was boring him, and I checked on my own. I have to tell you how funny it was when I pulled out one banana in my order- I said “Where are the rest of them?” He said, “You only ordered one” as he checks the sheet… sure enough, I thought it said .45 a pound, and it was .45 each! LOL Oops, one banana, who is going to get it? LOL I also had ordered butter, and even though they have pics online, you really have to remember the sizes of things you have used in the past. I got their largest tub of butter since we were out, and their largest was this dinky sized one- oh well, live and learn I guess. Again, a larger tub at WalMart is like $3 and this tiny 8 oz thing was $3.69. Ugh- I hate spending more for something I KNOW I can get cheaper. Yes, they were gift cards, but you want to use someone’s gift to the best of its potential. It’s like when I get gift cards from my Mom for new clothes for my Birthday- I will ALWAYS use it on a sale or clearanced item so I get more bang for the buck- it’s just not smart not too.

I took a picture of this 2nd order, to show you what, no joke, $70 bought me.

They offer produce, but again, this is something that will be hit or miss. They don’t know how you like your tomatoes, cantaloupe, bananas, etc… it’s something that most are quite picky on. If you don’t care, then go for it. But I do like smelling mine first, tasting a grape to make sure they are firm and not soft, and ordering online doesn’t give you that freedom, so just a heads up on that.

Do I think it is worth it? Yes and no. I could see being on vacation and having a small stash to use when you are in the room. Most are good with bottled water, soda, milk, cereal or cereal bars, some snacks, and that’s usually about it. Think about it, you spend most of your time in the Parks, and when you are in your room, you are either getting ready for a Park or coming back from one.  I also have to say that I have paid for the snacks from the Disney Resort gift shops, and you are paying about the same prices as GG. Yes, you don’t have the variety compared to Gardengrocer, but again, it all depends in what you really need.  You are paying for the convenience of not having to rent a car and waste time on your vacation to grocery shop, but, sometimes I do feel it would be better to do that and have the freedom to make the choices you want without “having” to take what only GG offers.

Time is money, and money is time. You are either going to order and have to wait and waste time getting the order, or going off-property with a rental car and shopping on your own, another time waster. They may hold it at the Resort desks, I am not sure if they do or not. For us, we always just brought our own from home, bought soda and milk in the gift shop, and the rest in the Parks, because the park stuff was what we were on vacation for to eat. The delivery part helped us out tremendously in our situation now, and I am very thankful for it. Check them out yourself and see if they are right for you.

8 Comments »

  1. We’ve used Garden Grocer in the past for our trips. My fiance’s drink preference is Mountain Dew. He will drink Coke in a pinch, but enjoys his Mt Dew. We also order chips and water, and probably fruit (sliced watermelon). We’ll include what other family members would like in the same order, so we save on costs that way.

    The past two trips, everything just magically appeared in our room. We agree that it’s expensive, but we don’t have to worry about a car (which would likely be our only use of the car). If we had the car anyway, we wouldn’t be using GG.

    Glad it worked out for you as a resident, though. I have a disabled family member who uses a grocery delivery service, and it works well for him. It’s like GG – if he has any specifications, he can call them up and request it.

    That’s another thing, you could always e-mail or call them if there’s something you want and can’t seem to locate. They should be able to accommodate you – they’ve been able to do that for us in the past 🙂

  2. We’ve used Garden Grocer in the past for our stay at resorts just because the last thing we want to do when we arrive on vacation is leave property to go to a grocery store. Although the DVC properties do have some groceries on hand, GG is cheaper and has a better selection. I can answer a couple of your questions about delivery at the resorts based on my experience, though.

    The first time I ordered with them, when I placed the order, I signed up for a window between 2-4 PM thinking that it would be delivered right around the time we’d get our room after check-in, so we hopefully wouldn’t have to worry about perishables going bad. Well, 4 PM comes and goes and no delivery. Thinking that maybe they tried to drop it off before we got our room keys around 3:30 and left it at the front desk, we went down to the lobby (AKV-Kidani) and found out that not only had it been delivered, but it was delivered early in the morning. I had images of curdled milk and melted cheese, but no fear. When GG delivers groceries, they drop them off at Bell Services. Back where Bell Services hold the luggage, they actually have fridge and freezer space, so our food was kept cold. Then Bell Services brought it right to the room for us and told us that when you check in with the resort, if you’ve got a grocery order for that day, just let them know and they’ll either bring it right down or bring it down when you get into your room or when the groceries are delivered.

    Do I think it is worth it if you’re not staying DVC (i.e., have no kitchen)? Not really. For snack foods, soda, and water, I’d recommend buying from Costco or Amazon and having it shipped to the hotel (or even packing it up at your own home and shipping it by FedEx or UPS). But if you are staying in DVC (or a vacation home off property) and plan to eat actual meals in your room, it is an awesome service!

  3. Thanks for the “real” story on the garden grocer. I have read their customer reviews and most are just about the deleivery and the convience of it not the whole experience from start to finish. I have thought about shipping non-parishiable items down (cereal, fruit snacks ect) for our next trip as well. Thanks again for the inside scoop.

  4. Wow. I think I know what business to start when I move to Florida. I think if I paid someone to drive their car to Publix and get my list of items, it’d be cheaper ethan this! Way cheaper.

  5. I also used garden grocer for the first time last year. We were staying at DVC and Disney delivered the groceries to our room. It is very convenient and I scheduled the delivery prior to us leaving so the groceries where there when we arrived. Disney refrigerates so no worry on spoilage. The other online shopper is Wegoshop – and I have used them also. Both I never had problem with and if you want alcohol delivered – it is sooooo much cheaper than buying it at Disney that’s for sure 🙂 Our grocery stores in CT deliver – so it’s quite convenient and cheaper for us.

  6. We use “we go shop” they shop where you want them to. Their fee is based on the total of the order. I just love the service they give. You also do not have to choose off their site, just give them a list of exactly what you want.

  7. Are you a one car family? Sounds like it may be cheaper to rent a taxi and have them drop you off at the store and then call for another one to pick you up with your groceries. I hope you get your car back soon.

  8. There’s your little banana. It’s so lonely. And all that was $70?! Sheesh!

    Sharing your experience on this will no doubt be helpful to those of us who might decide to go this route. The whole delivery window thing makes me think of waiting for the cable man to show up. Eek!