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.