Grocery shopping in NYC is not what I would classify as a fun experience. The Midwest grocery stores of my youth are roughly the size of one city block in this town, which meant I had to adjust to smaller stores, a reduced selection and sharpen my bumper cart skills. The store closest to my apartment is the Food Emporium, and though it provides an adequate selection it is often crowded, out of stock in popular items, and expensive. This frustration drove me to other alternatives. Whole Foods is great, but expensive and inconvenient. Trader Joes always impresses me, but I have absolutely no patience to fight the crowds at Union Square and waiting 45 minutes in line (seriously, I saw the line go OUT the door once). Farmers markets are great but few and far between in the colder months.
Thus I arrived at FreshDirect. Online ordering. Food delivery. Bliss. I am no longer a schleper of groceries! When I grocery shopped in person, I could never stock up on paper towels, TP, canned soup, wine, booze, etc. because I always had to carry these items home, however, with FreshDirect a flat rate of $5.79 brings all these goodies to my front door- and at a cheaper price than Food Emporium.
Most of my friends don’t believe that my online grocery shopping antics are actually cheaper, so I kept my receipt from a few items I bought at Food Emporium last weekend and compared it to what I would have paid on FreshDirect. When I began this little experiment I didn’t expect everything from FreshDirect to be cheaper, but lo and behold every item I bought from Food Emporium was cheaper or the same on FreshDirect! Take a look…
Still not convinced? Most people hesitate based on their inability to actually touch and examine the fresh produce and meats. As much of a naturalist as I am, I trust FreshDirect’s What’s Good page that highlights the freshest produce and other customer ratings (star system), and if something delivered is inedible, they will credit your account for the mishap! And as far as organic produce goes, FreshDirect boasts a much larger selection than Gristedes or Food Emporium.
My favorite feature of the site is their Heat and Eat offerings. I am a frequent buyer of their 4 Minute Meals, which are designed by talented chefs, perfectly portioned, and an appetizing alternative to frozen meals. The nutrition information for all of these is available on the website for the calorie-conscious, and, if looking for a bit of a splurge, the Rosa Mexicano dishes are worth it.
Like in any fruitful relationship, FreshDirect remembers your past orders and your favorite items so you can quickly order them again with a click of a button (or an iPhone app!). It sends order reminders if you request them. It brings wine and booze, once again cutting down on the schlepping. I found it to be the cheapest grocery delivery in Manhattan and unlike Trader Joes, you don’t have to go to the store to pick out your items and then arrange delivery.
I wish FreshDirect was sponsoring this post because that means I could throw y’all a dinner party, but really I just want you to enjoy painless grocery shopping the same way I do. In fact, they have free delivery until Friday this week. Adios grocery bumper carts! Hello James! (My FreshDirect delivery guy.) Just don’t forget to recycle the cardboard boxes!