Tired of going to the store to get your groceries, and considering the Safeway grocery delivery option? We’ve used several online grocery delivery services, and weigh on the accuracy, price and overall experience of ordering online from Safeway.
The company has come a long way from its founding in 1915, with a website, an app and more.
Most of the people who have reviewed Safeway’s delivery seem to have had bad experiences. But, given how many Safeway delivery vans we see in our neighborhood, we know that some people must be having success getting their food delivered!
Why order groceries online instead of going to the store?
During COVID, many of us stopped trying to go in store shopping. However, grocery stores were deemed ‘essential’ services and kept open during many of the government shutdowns. After all, we all need to eat! But do we still need to go to the store to get our food? Personally, I think that there are several reasons that buying online might be better than going in person:
1) It’s easier to use store coupons and spot deals online. The online stores make it much easier to spot what’s on sale. These days, it seems like EVERY item has one of those yellow “sale” tags on it, even if it’s an “everyday deal.”
2) It’s a lot easier to avoid impulse shopping. I always purchase more food when I’m hungry, and going to the grocery store on an empty stomach can be a real disaster. If you shop online, you can avoid a lot of the in person temptations.
3) The websites have product filtering system capacities. Let the internet site do your research and scan the aisles for you. You can search for brand names, products and more. That’s probably faster and easier than scouring the store. for you. A lot of sites have abilities to filter or label products based on usual needs, such as kosher, natural, gluten-free, or sugar-free. Peapod’s NutriFilter ® can even note Weight Watchers ® factor worths beside particular products.
Pros and Cons of ordering delivery from Safeway
Getting more specific with Safeway’s online service, here are the pros and cons of shopping from Safeway.
What we like
- You can use your Safeway club card – so you get the same savings that you’d get in the store when you order online
- Occasionally you can discover web-only specials.
- Previous orders are saved – so if it’s really easy to reorder items, you just click the ones you want and boom, they are added.
- Your previous orders include your in store orders too, so you can go way back if you’d like.
- You can choose your delivery time and delivery window, with different delivery pricing – we’ll review the delivery pricing in a bit.
- In checkout you can select how you want them to handle out of stock items – either substitute, or not purchase.
The not so good
- Safeway isn’t the cheapest grocery store known to man, so the overall costs may be more than some of the local grocery stores in your area.
- You can’t use manufacturer coupons.
- Item quality can vary – I’ve gotten perfect avocados, but also have gotten sliced mushrooms that were a little too old seeming for me to be excited to use them.
- While you can substitute out of stock items, I’ve found them to be out of items, only to visit the local store and see it on the shelf.
- I’ve had delivery issues – wrong addresses, wrong times, etc. I’ll get into the on time percentage in a bit.
How much does Safeway delivery cost?
In my area, Safeway delivery costs $3.95, $5.95 or $9.95 depending on how soon I’d like it delivered and how wide of a delivery window I’d like. A narrower delivery window costs more – see the chart below to see how a delivery might be $3.95 if you are willing to go with a four hour delivery window, but up to $9.95 if you need it delivered within a 60 minute time frame:
So, what’s it like ordering Safeway delivery?
I’ve ordered from Safeway online half a dozen times – with mixed reviews.
The interface is pretty decent overall. It’s easy to navigate and easy enough to find the specific items I’m looking for.
And the buy it again option does rock. It’s super simple to repurchase the items you buy over and over, like milk, yogurt, cheese… hmm, seems like my family eats a lot of dairy! See below, I can just click to add items that I’ve purchased before:
And finding the stuff that’s on sale is super easy; checkout the produce deals:
But, a lot of items can be out of stock (and I know some of these are in the store if you actually visit). Plus, when you are in person in the store, and you see a specific item is out of stock, it’s often easy to buy a similar option. For example, if there are none of a particular hamburger bun or type of apple, I’d just grab a similar one and be on my way. But if you are shopping online, it gets more challenging.
However, the biggest issue I’ve experienced when ordering from Safeway online is the actual delivery service. Out of the six times I’ve ordered, there have been delivery problems twice. Once, the first time, they delivered to completely the wrong address. The wrong street and house number! The guy who lived there found my number somehow, it must be on the order form, and called me. I went over and got it.
And most recently, I got a text message that the food had been delivered. So I scooted down from my home office to get it, but nothing was there. I called the help number, and they were able to get my order out the next day (I think they actually used Doordash for it for some reason), but still, I was relying on those tortillas for my dinner that night.
Safeway Freshpass review
Since writing my original review of Safeway’s home delivery, I heard about a new offering from Safeway – Freshpass (or Fresh Pass if you are my computer’s autocorrect).
Freshpass is kind of like Amazon Prime – you pay an annual “membership” fee and get free home delivery, plus some savings on particular food brands.
How much is Safeway’s Freshpass?
It’s $99 per year, or $12.99 per month (so you save ~$56 by purchasing the full year. They currently have a 30 free trial, so you can test out the service and see if you like it.
In addition to saving the delivery fees (you can save on the 2-hour or 4-hour delivery windows, which is $5.95 and $3.95 respectively), you also get 5% off on certain store brands like O Organics and Open Nature.
Is Freshpass worth it?
To make Freshpass worth it, on just the free delivery, you’d have to order 16.5 times a year (assuming you choose the 2 hour window). That’s pretty reasonable for a family of four like mine, as we can run to the grocery store twice a week if we don’t plan well! I think earning your money back on the membership from the 5% discount would be really hard – that’s a lot of very specific stuff you’d have to buy – but the delivery savings are really nice if this is your preferred grocery store.
The Verdict: My honest review of Safeway home delivery
Overall, I have mixed feelings about Safeway delivery. It does save time, and the online interface is pretty good. The prices seem to be about the same as shopping in store, with the modest addition of the delivery fee. However, the fact that they messed up 2 out of 6 times delivering to my house makes me not a huge fan of the service.
I’ll probably continue to occasionally purchase grocery delivery from Safeway, just because they’ve got my purchase history memorized and because of the convenience. However, there are two other produce delivery services that I’m pretty into right now – Imperfect Foods and Misfits Market. They offer “ugly” produce boxes — supposedly rejected, but healthy and delicious, produce – at a reduced price. We’ve had a lot better success getting our groceries delivered on time from them, with a much fewer substitution rate. And, if you’re local to California, Good Eggs is another amazing grocery delivery service that offers extremely sustainably sourced food and meal kits.