The Free Range Gourmet Free range thoughts on the finest ingredients, cuisine, and fine dining in Hawaii.
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Range Gourmet

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                   Email: nanette@freerangegourmet.com

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

 

Amazon groceries with free delivery appear to be a real deal


A post on Ian Lind's blog alerted me that Amazon.com not only carries grocery items but ships them for free if the order is over $50. I seem to be the last person to find out about these things.

Ian lives on the North Shore so he doesn't have the ready access to all the shops we have here in town, and with the price of gasoline these days, anyone driving into town from a remote location must be thinking also of the expense that adds to a shopping trip. On a Neighbor Island where costs are highter and stores even fewer, perhaps having purchases delivered right to your door is even a better deal.

Actually, I'm not sure, but the minimum may now be $25 for free shipping. I haven't actually ordered anything yet, so I can't report if this works.

I wanted to explore some bechmarks to see if ordering from Amazon.com could be competitive. As it turns out, I don't use very much that they carry. We do the majority of our food shopping at the KCC Saturday Farmers Market, no longer at Safeway. Many of the brands Amazon.com carries are not familiar to me.

So I selected Celestial Seasonings for a test. The brand is carried almost everywhere. I found that most of their products come in a box with 20 tea bags and the prices seem to be the same across the product line unless a store is running a sale on a particular flavor. So I took notes as I visited some stores. Since we were visiting the Big Island, I checked the prices there as well (and was surprised, I thought they would be higher than Oahu!).

Finally, I happened to notice something on Amazon.com that we do use, canned Irish oatmeal. So I just checked on that. Most stores don't carry it here.

Here is the comparison:

ItemAmazon.comKokuaHuckleberryIsland NaturalAbundant LifeSafeway
Celestial Seasonings 20 pack$2.17$3.69$3.59$3.59$3.35$4.69
McCann's Irish Oatmeal$4.26$8.55   


(Island Natural and Abundant Life Natural Foods are both in Hilo.)

Safeway currently has a sale on Celestial Seasonings (buy one get one free until today) but Amazon.com is still cheaper.

As you see, Amazon.com did very well -- and with free delivery, too (assuming you can put together some other items or even books to make up the minimum order). You can't order just one box of tea, you have to order six. If that works for you, you can save.

So while we believe in "think globally, shop locally" the discounts and free delivery are very enticing. For someone who, for mobility reasons, can't get out to shop very easily, free delivery might be a godsend.



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