Northern Virginia is notorious for its traffic and for conversations that start with "I've been sooo busy..." Spending precious waking moments wandering the aisles of the grocery store, waiting in line and lugging bags to and fro? Some people are ditching that and trying new ways of shopping, like using a pick-up or delivery service.
Here's a look at some of them (click on the hot links for more info about each):
- Giant Food, in partnership with its sister company Peapod, offers a delivery service; its only drawback? You must present coupons to the driver in order to use them. Peapod has also recently launched new pick-up locations in Oakton, Lorton, McLean, Springfield, Burke, and Chantilly. Shoppers can now order their groceries online for pick-up at their local Giant store and choose a one-hour pick-up time from morning through evening.
There are no fees associated with the pick-up service, no minimum order and no need to get out of the car. Customers can wait as attendants load groceries right into their vehicle.
Pick-up shoppers can also create personal lists, read nutrition information online, sort products rapidly by price or by nutrition criteria and take advantage of thousands of weekly specials. Giant cardholders can shop from a list of items they have bought at their local store by entering their Giant card number online. They can also earn Giant Gas Rewards on their pick-up orders.
- Oakton Giant: 2932 Chain Bridge Road, Oakton, VA 22124
- Lorton Giant: 8941 Ox Rd., Lorton, VA 22079
- McLean Giant: 1454 Chain Bridge Rd., McLean, VA 22101
- Springfield Giant: 8320 Old Keene Mill Rd., Springfield, VA 22152
- Burke Giant: 9550 Burke Rd, Burke, VA 22015
- Chantilly Giant: 25050 Riding Plaza Suite 100, Chantilly, VA 20152
See the full list of stores here; just plug in your ZIP code.
- Safeway: Advantages to using Safeway delivery? You can use your club card discounts and load coupons onto your club card. Drawbacks: $49 minimum order. Only offered in the DC metro area, Washington state, Oregon, Arizona and California. You can find out if they deliver to your neighborhood at the sign-in/registration page.
New kid on the block
- Instacart recently began delivery service in Northern Virginia. The company promises it can deliver within the hour ($14.99) from Harris Teeter, Whole Foods and Costco. Instacart marks up prices on some items. Two-hour delivery charge is $3.99 to $7.99. There's a minimum order of $10; if your order from Costco is more than $35, your delivery is free.
Instacart is currently in San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia and since last month, the D.C. area. In Northern Virginia, Instacart serves Arlington, McLean and parts of Alexandria, including Del Ray and Old Town. You can also check the company's D.C. map.
Other delivery or pickup services to try in the DC area:
- Washington's Green Grocer delivers fresh vegetables and/or fruit to your door on a weekly basis. You can order strictly local, strictly organic; here's a sampling of what you'll find in this week's local box: Red Potatoes, Yellow Onions, Red Onions, Carrots, Watermelon Radish, Cameo Apples, Crimini Mushrooms, Boston (Butter) Lettuce, Vine Ripe Tomatoes. Here's where they deliver. Prices range from $27 to $46, depending on the order and size of the order. They also offer meat, dairy and baked goods.
- RelayFoods: Similar to Washington's Green Grocer, RelayFoods offers produce and also specialty items. They deliver in Northern Virginia and you can also find them in specific locations in the area each week. Find a sampling of their best-selling items here.
Not currently in the DC area: AmazonFresh (Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles) and Google Shopping Express.
Have you tried grocery delivery or pick-up? Thumbs up, down? Give other readers the scoop in the Comments box below.