Online Grocery Shopping – Part Two

Superquinn Shopping Delivery

FOLLOWING ON from yesterday’s foray into the world of online food shopping it’s safe to say that everything arrived, is packed away in the fridge or press and I’m stocked for the week.

From looking at the food on the table (in the above picture), *almost* everything arrived as ordered. As a follow up, I’ve broken the process down to a few areas.

Delivery

On the website I was quoted €4 for delivery, the window chosen being 10:30am to 12:30pm today. True to their word, at 11:50am the driver turned up with two crates, dropped them for unpacking on the table, got me to sign for the delivery and off he went. Charge on the bottom of the receipt reads €4. The bottom of the receipt also indicates that the goods were scanned and paid for at 11:16am this morning, so that’s a pretty good turn around (i.e. the dairy side of the order wasn’t out of the fridge all that long). Might be worth noting too that I didn’t order any frozen food and I’m trying to refrain from ordering anything frozen at all for the year. So far so good.

Substitution

Superquinn provide product substitution on your shopping list, where something you’ve ordered isn’t available. In my case, it was the beef strips for the stir fry. This is possibly due to ordering the beef strips as part of their online meal deal offering beef strips or diced chicken, plus fresh stir-fry veg as a bundle. Knowing I had some chicken in the freezer anyway, I opted for the beef, which now appears to have been unavailable in Superquinn Kilkenny.

That said, the diced chicken was available and it will certainly do. When ordering online, you do have the option of instructing your personal shopper *not* to substitute a product if it’s out of stock and if I was really picky I could have asked for beef regardless, break the special offer etc.

Pricing

On their website, it is noted that

Today’s price is an estimated total and may differ slightly from the original order value due to variables such as weight estimations for meat and produce, weekly specials, price changes or stock deletion

.

My order, at “today’s price”, yesterday, was estimated at €51.04. The final price, including delivery, came to €53.48 and there were a few differences on the final receipt.

The onions were ordered, I’d looked for 700g, the bag coming in at around 550g thus shaving a few cent from the order. Prices fluctuated here and there but most notably in the offers that weren’t adhered to. The site also has various price reductions running up to January 26th including 90c off packet soups (didn’t appear on the receipt), 89c off rocket salad (again, no go), 79c off fresh soup (no go), 95c off lemongrass noodles (again, no discount)… adding up to €3.53, plus the cost of the green tea jumped from €1.89 to €3.99 giving a total increase in prices to €5.63, yet the final discrepancy just €2.44.

Given there were certain things in the order that won’t need to be ordered again next week, I would expect things to balance out in week two and keep in line with my €50 p/w budget.

Overall

Overall, I’ve been impressed with it. Like I indicated yesterday, the online ordering process is a breeze, there’s full details available on everything going into your shopping basket and on delivery they provide you with a list of everything that was delivered

It would be nice if the printed dockets included notes on what was substituted, or differences in pricing, but other than that, I’m set for the week, didn’t have to leave the house and I’m willing to give it another lash next week.

Online Grocery Shopping – Part One

Superquinn

FOOD SHOPPING online. That’s what I’m resorting to. Or perhaps, changing to. Judging from the time between this tweet and the confirmation email I received from Superquinn, I’m guessing my entire weekly shop was done in around 17 minutes.

No driving across town. No parking. No queuing. No impulse buying (okay, maybe a little with the breakfast cereal) and all within a €1 shout of my weekly budget.

The Background

Budgeting is something I’ve got to do more of this year, both through the business and with personal finances. In that regard, a lot of attention was turned towards my food shopping spend during the week. If 2008 was a year for regular grocery shopping, 2009 was a year of convenience shopping. Forget about bringing lunches to work, just nip across the road to the shop near the office and drop €30-40 a week on bits and bobs from the tea / salad / hot food bar. Forget about planning any kind of dinners for the week, just drop into SuperValu on the drive home and pick up something – anything. Or failing that, spring for a takeaway. Week in, week out, same old story. So between the office eating habits, mixed dinner shoping and takeaways I reckon I burned somewhere in the region of €3,700, with maybe €3,300 or so going on convenience lunch and dinner shopping.

So this year, I’ve given myself a budget of €50 for the week to cover food shopping. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, the whole lot. Estimating for 48 weeks of the year that’s €2,400, almost a €1,000 of a difference. I’m hoping too, I can stick to it through online shopping.

The Shopping

The choice was pretty easy in the end. The small local shops like Centra, Freshco etc. are too small for online ordering. SuperValu and Dunnes (both located in Kilkenny city environs) don’t offer such a service. I’ll shop at Lidl but it would be for something very specific (their fresh veg is quite good). There’s no Tesco in Kilkenny, at least of yet, so the only possibility as I see it was to shop at Superquinn. They’ve long been installed in Kilkenny but again, if you’re going food shopping there you need to allocate plenty of time between getting into the multistorey, shopping, the mad queues etc.

So, I skip on over to Superquinn.ie, sign myself up in two minutes, complete the registration for the Superclub card and away I go.

The process is quite straight forward. Shop by department or browse through categorised special offers. Or if you’re feeling adventurous, go for one of their pre-made shopping lists (e.g. New Mum & Baby, Organic, Superior Quality etc.). So I begin to browse, working my way through fruit & veg, meats, groceries, going for what’s tried and trusted or what usually forms part of the weekly-ish shopping.

Superquinn shopping basket (online)

The layout is as you would expect, and want, to find. Each item displayed gets a box or product shot, the price and choice to add to basket. Once you’ve got the product in the basket you’re able to add notes to yourself or add it to your favourite items, remembered for the next time you shop. Dig a little deeper into the product itself and you’ll get full description, serving suggestions, cooking instructions, ingredients and nutrition information.

You’re also able to add product-specific notes to your personal shopper (assuming this is the person who will be filling your shopping from the store), including whether you would like an item substituted or not.

Skip to the end and within that 17 minute window I’ve completed my weekly shopping, picked my delivery window of 10:30-12:30 tomorrow (Tuesday) – as opposed to a “click and collect” service – and managed to squeeze in eevrything I wanted, and delivery, for an estimated €51.02. Payment options are available for both credit and laser cards. It says estimated, I guess, to allow for substitution or non-substitution, as the case may be, of items on your shopping list. The full shopping list is stored online and emailed direct to your account and I’ll be checking it against the arrival tomorrow.

Why I’ve not opted to food-shop online before I’m not sure but if anything, I managed to stick to the budget (plus or minus a euro) and likely got an hour back in the day for the time spent online. With the list saved for next week’s shopping, barring any small changes, I would imagine there would be more time saved in the day.

I’ll follow up with a part two tomorrow, providing the shopping arrives when it says it should…