Local online grocer caters to car-less students

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Grocery Checkout

There comes a time in many students’ lives when all they have left in their cupboards is a loaf of mouldy bread and a bag of stale Doritos. With little time and no car, trips to the grocery store can be few and far between.

Fortunately, there’s an alternative to traditional grocery shopping. Ever since the popular website grocerygateway.com established itself as a successful online delivering grocery store in the late ’90s, the virtual grocery shopping trend has garnered a large following.

While grocerygateway.com caters to the GTA, and has not yet included London within its delivery jurisdiction, there are several options available for the starving Western student. The most widely advertised grocery shopping website around campus is Grocery Checkout (www.grocerycheckout.com). Its website lists “quality, convenience, and value” as its guiding principles.

Quality items are guaranteed, as the online grocer is partnered with established local butchers, bakeries, fresh pasta producers and produce distributors, which it visits daily to ensure the freshest products for customers.

Convenience is also guaranteed with its easy-to-navigate website. Boasting several special features, such as favourite lists, top 50 product lists and grocery lists according to specific recipes, Grocery Checkout’s website is user-friendly.

Easy-to-read tabs at the top of the page separate groceries into helpful categories, such as fresh produce, baking needs and breakfast foods. The website isn’t restricted to food items; customers can also order necessities like batteries, lightbulbs and pet food.

Besides its easily accessible website, Grocery Checkout also offers a convenient delivery service. By simply clicking the “Delivery Times” link located under the food item tabs and submitting your postal code, a schedule of available dates and times for grocery drop-off appears.

The only downside is the limited delivery times. For postal codes around campus, delivery is only available weekdays from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., with some nights further limited to 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. " it’s not exactly convenient for students with night classes.

Like anything delivered to your doorstep, Grocery Checkout’s service comes with an annoying delivery charge. However, the sample receipt from Grocery Checkout’s website displays a charge of $4.95, which is fairly modest considering someone else picked out your groceries, and then carried the heavy baggage to your front door " all without you having to leave your computer chair.

Grocery Checkout promises customers quality food for the best value. To prove its dedication to offering groceries at competitive prices, the website exhibits three identical grocery receipts: one from its own company and two from conventional grocery stores.

Including the cost of delivery, Grocery Checkout’s receipt comes up 98 cents less expensive than one of its competitors, and $2.82 more expensive than the other. While the minimal price differences are not much to get excited over, the fact that for practically the same amount of money you don’t have to set foot into a grocery store may be reason enough to give the service a try.

Sure, people can be picky about their food. But when you’re a student showing signs of scurvy, maybe it’s time to consider logging on to Grocery Checkout. Your body will thank you.

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