Resolving Timeline Issues

Review: Spud

Posted on: July 12, 2009

(Backdated because I forgot to hit “publish”)

Awhile back, I was offered the opportunity to try out a grocery delivery service. Before committing to it, I emailed with their customer representative, Lesley, who was kind enough to arrange a credit to my brand new account at Spud in exchange for a review on the service (which you are reading now, and yes, that means I have been compensated in some manner for this post).

So, I tried it out and it was a good thing I was a week behind on that because the day of the delivery was also the day the garage door opener failed and I strained a muscle in my back.

So now, nearly two weeks later, I have gotten around to this review. My apologies to the people at Spud for the delay.

So now that that stuff’s out of the way, lets see how it stacked up.

The idea behind Spud! is that you make your order online and then, depending on where you live, there’s a day out of the week where they deliver in your area. For me it was Thursday. Orders have to be placed by 9am 2 days in advance, or at least it was for me.

The pros:

  • convenience: groceries delivered right to your door? Hell, yes. Even if you’re not home, they’ll leave them outside your door (with dry ice for the stuff that needs to stay cold). Plus grocery shopping with an infant is difficult so anything that makes my life easier is a plus.
  • quality of produce: excellent. They carry many of the products that I use anyways so its nice being able to get this delivered right to my door. The peppers I ordered were perfect.
  • Local products: many of the products they sell are local or local-ish except for the more exotic stuff like cantaloupes, pineapples which are hard to grow in Canada. The best part is they provide full information on all suppliers including how far away they are from their Vancouver warehouse. If you’re concerned about your carbon footprint on this, then you choose suppliers that are closer rather than further away.
  • Website ease of use: easy to use interface with appropriate “add to cart” features and ability to change amounts. Each product is essentially one-click shopping. They then provide you with a full breakdown including deposits on containers (which you get back as credit on your next delivery) prior to completing your sale. When I put my order in, the website did something weird, though: the screen greyed out and froze (but the order went through). I’m not sure if that’s their end, or my end (because I do use Internet Exploder 8 after all). Punch in a credit card when you set up your account and you’re done.
  • did I mention the convenience? Most people who know me know that I will generally pay for convenience.
  • Customer service: excellent. The person who delivered actually rang the bell and WAITED until I answered to make sure I didn’t have any questions. A few days later, I got a call from them asking how things were. Excellent customer service (I expect you don’t get the call after every delivery, but its great for new customers).

The cons:

  • I think I am one of those people who needs to see and feel the produce before I buy it. I kind of like to know exactly what I’m getting.
  • They don’t have everything I use: the idea is that you can order this stuff and save on the gas, travel, time, etc. However there are those one or two things that I need that they don’t have, so I end up going to the store anyways. And when you’re going to the store anyways you eliminate the savings, so you might as well feel the produce and know what you’re getting
  • Cost: its expensive. Particularly the produce. Now I know they have to work in salaries, fuel, wear and tear on vehicles, etc. And you’re paying for more service than what you get at the store. However I don’t know if its a combination of living out in the boonies where I have local access to fresh veggies and fruit, and being on a reduced income because of maternity leave, or if they really are expensive, but right now, its too much for our budget.
  • You need to be organized and plan your meals in advance so that you order the appropriate food – right now, this is a bit much for me.

So right now, spud isn’t for us – its way above and beyond what we’re willing to afford. I buy meat and fruits/veggies from places within a 10 minute drive already (and often closer). That said, once I’m back at work and we have two full incomes, then it might be a possibility.

In other words, my cheapness frugality is overriding my love of convenience and being waited on hand and foot here. At least for now. 🙂

2 Responses to "Review: Spud"

I used SPUD for 2 years. One of the things I liked about them is you could set up a ‘standing order’ and have things show up automatically in your shopping cart. It saved time and you got a 5% discount.

But in the end I had the same experience. I buy a lot of my stuff at the farmer’s market, and I had to visit the grocery store anyway, so SPUD wasn’t really financially justifiable for me. Although I did LOVE getting that delivery every week, it was like Christmas every Thursday.

We haven’t tried it. But we have friends who have been using it about a year. They don’t have a car, so it is very handy to order the larger/heavier stuff and have it delivered (milk, laundry soap, flour, etc). Then they walk to the local fruit/veggie store and fit the rest in their stroller.

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July 2009


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