I don’t know about you, but grocery shopping is not on my list of favorite things to do.
I admit, I love walking through the aisles and finding a good bargain or something new to try.
What I don’t love? Walking through the aisles and picking up 10 things not on my list (while forgetting the 1 thing I really needed).
So when I heard about the new online site Boxed.com, which delivers groceries and other household items in bulk I was excited, but skeptical.
After all, I have been let down before by new, promising websites (see my Jet.com review) and Boxed sells in bulk, which could mean having a lot of what you don’t need and paying more up front.
Plus, I have Amazon Prime if I want to grocery shop online. And Amazon has unrivaled customer service.
But unlike Amazon, Boxed is free, and since I rarely use my Amazon for household shopping, I decided it was worth giving them a try.
The results? To my surprise, Boxed stacks up well against Amazon, despite being a smaller company. Let’s see how they compare:
The way Boxed is set up is quite simple: you go to their site and order what you need and it gets delivered to your door in 1-3 days- no membership required.
They have an easy to use side menu that lists products by category, as well as sections showing their most popular or newest items.
So far, so good: 1-3 days is right in line with Amazon Prime’s 2-day free shipping window and delivery was prompt.
Even better, there is no commitment and no $99 fee like Amazon charges to become a Prime member.
As for delivery charges, they are free for the first order and on most orders that follow; on orders that don’t qualify there is a minimum purchase price depending on the area (in NY it is $59).
As far as the products they offer, there is a limited selection in all the major categories: dairy, milk, eggs, chocolate (should have listed that first!), meats, fish, snacks, paper goods, razors, shampoo, baby items and more.
Now when I say limited selection, I am referring to the fact that the company offers a variety of each item on a small scale.
For example, if you shop for women’s razors they offer 3 different brands (Venus, Gillette, & Skintimate) or if you look for paper towels you will find a selection from Bounty and Seventh Generation.
Initially, I was concerned this would be a drawback, but it actually is a plus.
By limiting items to a small selection it curbs overspending and impulse buys, saving you time and money.
Yes, Amazon has an advantage because they offer more, but unless you need some obscure item, chances are Boxed has it too.
I’ve ordered from them 5 times and they’ve had everything I was looking for.
And again, Amazon has more because you pay more; by limiting choices Boxed keeps the site free.
Which brings us to the issue of buying in bulk, which was my biggest concern.
Yes, they offer items in larger quantities, but the sizing and pricing is reasonable.
For instance, paper towels come in a 12-pack (no single rolls), but a 6 or 12-pack is what you would normally find in the supermarket and won’t be sitting in your house for months.
Same goes for eggs: they have a 24-count of Kirkland eggs.
Eggs usually come in 12 or 24-count, so this isn’t an obscene amount either.
They do sell milk in groups of 3 (64-ounce cartons), which sounds like a lot, but is actually manageable if you are a family of 4 or more.
Likewise, they sell Polly-O string cheese in a pack of 48; for my family of 5 that was gone in 4 days, but for single people it may be a bit much.
So overall, buying items in bulk works well: the sizes are not unreasonable and it saves you running out every week for some items
Now for the big question when it comes to Boxed: can you save money versus Amazon?
The answer? Yes, for the most part.
I compared items in several categories at different times and found significant savings for some products. Here’s some of the savings I found:
• Hershey’s Kisses Holiday bag, 36-ounces: $9.79; Amazon sells it for $12.14.
• Charmin Ultra Soft, 30-count: $22.39; Amazon sells it for $24.99.
• Honey Nut Cheerios, 55-ounce (2 boxes): $7.49; Amazon sells it for almost double, at $15.05
• Secret Invisible Solid ph-balanced deodorant, 2.6 ounces each (5-pack): $9.49; Amazon sells a 2.6 ounces each (6-pack) for $17.55- almost $8 more for 1 extra deodorant.
• Ziploc sandwich bags, 500-count: $9.99; Amazon has a 125-count pack of 4 (600-count) for $18.99.
The one area where I didn’t find any real savings were diapers.
Amazon and boxed were pretty evenly matched, with amazon having the lower price (by up to a $1) on some brands.
That being said, you pay for those saving because you pay for your Prime service, so the difference is negligible.
Overall, Boxed.com is a good choice for online grocery and household items.
They are free to use, are competitively priced and offer enough choices to make them a viable alternative to Amazon.
More importantly, they have reliable delivery and customer service, putting them on course to continued success.
Have you used Boxed.com?
What do you think of their services?
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