Sunday, November 10, 2013

My Second Great Experience with Fresh Direct

If you've followed my culinary adventures since this summer, you might be happy to know that my meal planning did catch on and I've kept up with it very well, trying new recipes each week and keeping our grocery shopping at/around $70/week, which is pretty good for all meals for 2 people in NYC every week.

Usually, I teach recorder on the weekends to a student on the UWS, and after our lesson, I meet up with my husband and we travel to Garden of Eden and Westside Market to do our weekly grocery shopping. If we need some staples, I might stop by Trader Joe's and/or Food Town on Monday to pick them up. That's our system, and it's been working great... until this week.

This week, my recorder student is on vacation in Morocco AND my husband is away with the NY National Guard. I've tried doing the shopping on my own, but it's so heavy! My tiny arms can't carry it all. If I split the shopping by stores, it just takes soooo long to do.

What's a girl to do?

Why hello, Fresh Direct.

I had a coupon to use, plus a credit, plus they're offering free delivery right now, so it was like the stars were aligning, telling me to have my groceries delivered. PLUS, we're nearly out of toilet paper and paper towels, and those items are so bulky - it sucks to have to buy them along with regular groceries, and it sucks to get them on a trip all by themselves.

This was another AWESOME experience with FD - I placed my order on Friday evening and received it at 9AM on Sunday (my delivery slot was 8AM-10AM). My produce look and smell great, and my meats have gone straight into the freezer. Last time, I mostly ordered meats. This time, it was a mix of our regular, every-week grocery items and a few big-ticket meats.

Here's the receipt, subbing for most of our weekly shopping this week:

From the deli:
Boar's Head EverRoast Chicken Breast deli meat, 0.27lbs@$6.99/lbs (on sale): $1.89
FD Monterey Jack cheese (sliced), 1.74lbs@$5.99/lbs (on sale): $10.42
FD Premium Lite Buffalo Turkey deli meat, 0.30lbs@$6.99/lbs (on sale): $2.10
FD Smoked Off The Bone Ham deli meat, 0.27lbs@$6.99/lbs (on sale): $1.89
FD Smoked Pepper Turkey deli meat, 0.29lbs@$6.99/lbs (on sale): $2.03

(We usually buy about 0.75lbs of meat and 1.0lbs of cheese for sandwiches each week. Westside Market has by far the best prices on deli meats, averaging $6.99-$8.99 per pound for each of their in-house-made meats. FD had a sale on several different meats, so we didn't have to spend any extra to get these than we usually do on deli meats, and we got quite a sampling, so we'll know if they're any good for future reference. We have leftover bread from last week, bought mid-week, and plenty of mayo and horseradish-mustard for toppings.)

Red Jacket Orchards Fuji Apples, two 3.0lbs bags@$2.99/bag: $5.98

(We buy hand fruits each week to take with deli sandwich lunches. We usually buy whatever apples are on sale that week from Garden of Eden. These apples are at a lower price than we pay at Garden of Eden (usually $1.25 per pound) and someone else carried them up the stairs, so I bought two bags. Plus, I know they're local.)

Annie's Naturals Balsamic Vinaigrette salad dressing (on sale): $2.99
Bounty Paper Towels, 2-pack ($0.25 off): $4.74
Honest Tea Half & Half Tea with Lemonade, 59oz: FREE!
Seventh Generation 12-roll toilet paper: $9.99
Skippy Super Chunk Peanut Butter, 28oz: $6.59

(We get salad dressing about twice a month, rotating different flavors - got this one because it was on sale. The Honest Tea was free!! - a giveaway for some reason. I've been wanting to try the Seventh Generation toilet paper; I use their cleaners and I like them, and I like their philosophy. Also needed peanut butter - we usually get JIF. I hope Skippy measures up.)

From the butcher:
Boneless Chicken Tenders, 10-12 piece pack, 2.90lbs@$3.99/lbs (on sale): $11.57
Rib Lamb Chops (frenched and vacuum packed), 1.02lbs@$19.99/lbs: $21.39
Rib Eye Steaks (1.5" think, local angus, no antibiotics, vacuum packed), 2.5lbs@$15.99/lbs: $39.98

(The tenders were on sale for the same price as whole breasts, so I went ahead and got the cut-up stuff. The chops... well, they're the most amazing meat known to man, so even though they are ridiculously expensive, they are amazing. The local, no-antibiotic rib eyes were on sale for the same price as the regular ones, so I opted for the "better" meat. I am really looking forward to eating all this meat! Our freezer was recently emptied of all the previous FD meat, so it feels good to start restocking.)

Celery, 1 bunch: $1.99
Zucchini (one), 0.49lbs@$1.49lbs: $0.73
Russet potatoes, 5lbs bag: $3.99
Spanish onions (four), 3.08lbs@$0.69/lbs: $2.13
Yellow zucchini (two), 1.18lbs@$1.49/lbs: $1.76

(We usually get all this stuff from Garden of Eden, but we don't usually get potatoes and onions in such high quantity. However, since their prices were AWESOME and someone else was carrying up the steps, I didn't mind buying in bulk produce that does not quickly spoil.)

So - not only does this give us some awesome meats to pick from, but it takes care of most of my weekly grocery shopping as well. I still need to drop by GoE for salad fixins (lettuce, tomatoes, carrots - the FD prices were just too high to justify, knowing the prices so well at GoE) and maybe oranges or plums. I plan to get a block cheese on sale at WSM (they usually have cheddar on sale for $4.99/lbs, which is great), and then some basics and cheap meat at Trader Joe's ($2.99 ground beef can't be beat; we also need ground turkey, tortilla chips, soup, and cereal). I may pick up some staples at Food Town this week, too - we're out of butter, sugar, and tortillas. This is an odd week where we've run out of several staples at once, so it was nice to have someone else deliver the bulk of the groceries for us. Plus, we're leaving for Texas in a couple weeks, so I can't buy too much produce, or we'll end up leaving it to go bad. I hope this helps someone else's Fresh Direct experience and grocery shopping planning!

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