Review: Save-On-Foods online shopping and delivery

Review: Save-On-Foods online shopping and delivery

Review: Save-On-Foods online shopping and delivery

I’m a regular user of Superstore’s PC Express service, but I also use Save-On-Foods delivery occasionally to help us get through a busy week. Here’s how it (usually) works.

Pros: Two thumbs up for convenience. Placing, scheduling, and receiving your order is usually painless. Produce quality is typically fine.

Cons: At time of this writing, pickup or delivery slots are available for about 8-9 days out. And if they’re out of some items, and they likely will be right now, you can’t pop into the store to look for an alternative. And despite the name, you’ll pay more than at Superstore, between the delivery charge and the actual food cost. See below for details.

Note: Loblaws recently emailed customers to say:

“We are managing the rising number of orders and ramping up our systems as quickly as we can so customers can shop online with confidence. However, it will be difficult for us to meet all the additional demand, possibly limiting availability for people who are sick, in self-isolation, or at elevated risk. So, I would ask that if you are healthy, mobile, and symptom-free, please do your best to make it into the store.”

So perhaps only use this if you need it.

How it works

Once you set up your account, you can select a delivery day and time, as shown below.

 

Normally you can place your order by noon, get it after 4pm the same day. Not so much now.

You can change your order until (I think) the day before your delivery time, although they don’t make the deadline clear, and it’s clunky. (Go into My Account – Manage Online Orders.) Nonetheless, if you’re having to wait over a week, as we are right now, you might want to place an order ASAP to reserve a pickup time, then make any changes as needed the day before.

Substitutions

With so many items being out of stock right now, click the box to allow the shopper to make substitutions. They may not choose what you’d choose, but they’ll do their best. This is where click and collect type services, which Save-On-Foods does offer, are better, if you’re able to go into the store. (Note: Superstore and Walmart also offer click and collect.)

No nutrition info

One of the things I like about Superstore’s service is that you can access the ingredient list and nutrition facts for the products. Not so with Save-On. You’re on your own.

Bags, bags, bags!

Both PC Express and Save-On-Foods go overboard with the plastic bags. There seems to be this need to keep produce ultra-protected. And they put the rest of your food in a. lot. of. bags. Wow.

My second order. “No bags” explicitly stated.

The good news is you can make special requests for your shopper, including not to use bags. Superstore actually prompts you at checkout to ask if you’ll bring your own. But they’re not always responsive to that.

Will you “Save-On” your food bill?

It doesn’t appear so. While pickup is free, delivery will cost you from $5 to $10, depending on the time of day.

And despite their name and guarantee, I’ve found that the food itself costs more than at Superstore. As I explained in my previous review of Save-On-Foods, the guarantee is for the lowest price on the 850 most commonly purchased items. Sounds good, but they can easily make that up on other products in your cart.

When I tested this in 2017, Save-On-Foods was 9% more expensive than Superstore. That might not be a big deal if you prefer the delivery or the more civilized shopping experience at Save-On-Foods, but the misleading marketing ticks me off, so I have to point it out. Feel free to check out my number crunching if you’re interested (spreadsheet geek alert). First shop:

Second shop: The difference this time was 11%. About 2/3 of the products cost less at Superstore. If I had shopped there, I’d have spent $167 instead of $186. (In theory, this price comparison should favour Save-On, because I bought a few extras of things they had on sale.)

Is this service for you?

I know a lot of people prefer to see, smell, and touch food before buying, which is understandable. But right now, not having to go to the store means fewer crowds, and that’s good for everyone.

My preference is ordering and picking up from Superstore, but delivery from Save-On-Foods could be a win if you’re a working parent, have limited mobility, or are self-isolating. It also helps you avoid impulse buys, which grocery stores are finely engineered to trigger, and it will force you to do a bit of meal planning.

But expect to pay about 10% more than Superstore, in addition to the delivery charge.

Have you tried it? I’d love to know what you think.


Note: As always, I have no affiliation with any of the companies mentioned above. This is not a sponsored post in any way. Just my opinion!

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