A few times a week, after my kids have gone to bed and I’ve done a few chores or watched a show or two, I head down to my 24-hour supermarket. In the wide, quiet aisles, I get what we need for the next few days while enjoying a few minutes of peaceful solitude, unhurried by any other concerns of the day.
But there are also plenty of nights when I’m ready for bed shortly after — or sometimes before — my kids are asleep. And if my wife is out of town, I hesitate to leave my kids home alone. So I’m thrilled FreshDirect now delivers in the Washington, D.C., area. I remember the company fondly from our years living in New York City, and after ten years of living down here, it has finally made its way to the DMV.
While FreshDirect can’t help you if you discover in a panic at 11:30 p.m. that you don’t have milk for your morning coffee and cereal, FreshDirect (for a small fee) will deliver an entire shopping cart’s worth of groceries to your door by the next day (or whenever you want to arrange delivery as per the open delivery slots to your neighborhood).
From their handsome, well-laid out website, customers can purchase routine staples, fresh meats, and household and pantry items such as detergent and cooking oil. For those whose time really is pressed, FreshDirect also offers meal kits, like Blue Apron and HelloFresh, but unlike those weekly delivery services, you order a meal kit only when you think you’ll need it. FreshDirect also remembers your past orders, so you can hit the “Reorder” button if you want to restock part or all of a previous order.
So far, all of our items have come perfectly packaged (or one time, to our amusement, overly packaged in that a singular cup of yogurt was kept secure in a cardboard sleeve and then that sleeve was in another small insulated bag) and free from any damage or bruising during shipping. Since its founding in New York City in 1999, FreshDirect has clearly figured out how to safely package and ship every single item it sells.
Obviously, FreshDirect is selling convenience to grocery shoppers of the DC area, but to their credit, FreshDirect is also selling high-quality foods. A spot check of zip codes to which FreshDirect delivers include most, if not all of Washington D.C., including Anacostia and other lower-income neighborhoods that have been long considered “food deserts,” where fresh, healthy groceries can be harder to find.
FreshDirect costs $7.99 for an order of $40 or more for next-day delivery, or a regular user can pay $129 annually for unlimited free deliveries. That’s actually less than many delivery services operated by traditional grocery stores, and it would take about 17 deliveries to recoup your investment, but that’s basically four months of weekly deliveries, and then the rest of the year is free. By comparison, Safeway’s grocery delivery service, for example, charges $9.95 for delivery on purchases of $150 or more and $12.95 on purchases under $150.
If you’re someone who relishes traveling to three different supermarkets every week to find the cheapest of every item, FreshDirect may surprise you with its weekly sales and coupon areas. You can even filter how you shop to show only sale items. Plus, the virtual cart keeps an updated running total as you add items on the website, something that’s not found in any actual shopping cart. So if you have $150 budget, you’ll see immediately when you’ve hit that mark. Even if you don’t use it for your weekly or day to day shopping, FreshDirect can be perfect for the occasional large shop, like when you’re hosting a party, or returning from vacation or business travel and are just to tired to leave the house again.
Ready to try it? New users receive $50 off their first two orders (and we will receive a $25 credit for referring you). Start shopping now!
We received a credit to FreshDirect in exchange for this review. No other compensation was received, and all opinions expressed are my family’s.