- Food and Cooking
Buying Groceries Online with Metro Glebe in Ottawa
Shopping online has become more and more popular these days. However, when most people think about buying anything online they often think of books, video games, movies, clothes and so forth. Few people have grocery shopping come to mind, which is too bad because it is one of the best ways to grocery shop if you want to save time and yes, money!
This is a review of the online grocery shopping service that Metro Glebe offers right here in Ottawa. They are not the only store here in Ottawa that has a website that you can do your grocery shopping from, but it has the most selection and the best prices.
Hopefully this review will have you think about extending your online shopping experience to include grocery shopping as well!
Online Grocery Shopping Service with Metro Glebe in Ottawa
The start of buying groceries online
After becoming pregnant with our third child, we realized that we couldn't fit another person in our 2 bedroom apartment in downtown Ottawa and ended up moving to the suburbs where the rent is cheaper and we have almost three times the living space.
With no car we had to figure out how we would get groceries with stores being farther than a 5 minute walk.
The closest grocery store ended up being a 15 minute walk (or longer with my two year old walking beside the stroller) and we always ended up with more food than what would fit in the bottom of our stroller. Unfortunately, this grocery store did not deliver.
In frustration and with a hint of desperation I started looking into all possible options and discovered online grocery shopping. Better yet, I discovered Metro Glebe and we just happened to live in their delivery area. For the same fee as our old grocery store charged us for delivery, Metro would not just deliver groceries to our door, but do my grocery shopping for me based on my selections on their website.
Needless to say, we switched to online grocery shopping and haven't looked back! We still go to our local grocery store but now it's just to purchase things that are on sale for a really good price or for things we can't get from Metro.
Where do you buy your groceries?
Does buying groceries online cost more at Metro Glebe Ottawa?
One of the first questions I would ask about buying my groceries online is whether the groceries are more expensive than in the store. The answer is no.
Here is why:
- You can shop for sale items in their flyer online just as you would in-store (the only difference is the sale price is shown on the shelf, but not shown online- you have to have your flyer handy either via their website or the actual flyer so you know the sale prices).
- See a sample of their flyer below
What about the delivery cost?
- Yes, they do charge $11.95 for delivery. On the other hand, it costs you gas money to drive to the store. Also, how much is your time worth? I can get my shopping done online in half the time it takes me in the store.
The cost drawback of ordering online:
- You cannot make use of any coupons. If you want to save money on food, you must shop for what is on sale in the flyer. (I don't usually have many coupons, so this isn't a big deal to me).
Quality of food delivered
One of the other things I wondered about online grocery shopping was the quality of the food. Would the produce be all rotten and bruised? Would my canned items be all dented? Would my refrigerated and frozen items be puddles? After all, I'm not there to carefully select my produce and my canned goods.
My answer is this:
- The produce has always been great. The bananas are never over-ripe, I have never received rotten or spoiled produce, and nothing has been bruised.
- I think I got a dented can once or twice, but usually they are fine.
- I try not to buy too many frozen or fridge items during the hot days of summer as they do tend to get a bit soggy. In the winter it is fine to order frozen or fridge items.
- After boxing my groceries for delivery they place the boxes with frozen items in their freezers and the refrigerated items in their coolers before loading the boxes into their delivery van.
My weekly delivery of groceries
Shopping with your mouse
Do you remember the TV commercials for Yellow Pages? I believe the slogan was, "Let your fingers do the walking." With buying groceries online, you could say that the slogan is, "Let your mouse do all the shopping."
In a grocery store you have many sections and isles to navigate (which can be difficult sometimes depending on how busy the store is). Online you have a menu to navigate with your mouse.
Let's go grocery shopping online!
Below is an image of their main web page from which you would click the link "Shop online."
Below is a screen shot of their delivery times and hours.
If you want to have your groceries delivered by 5pm you must submit your order before 9am Mon-Sat.
If you want your groceries delivered after 5pm, you submit your order before 11 am.
On the left side of the screen in blue is the various sections of the store you would shop from such as the deli, the bakery, meats, grocery,and produce.
Let's click on groceries, which constitutes everything else in the store that is not in the other sections.
Below is a screen shot of the links that appear when you click on grocery. These links are similar to the isles that would be in the grocery store such as baby products, baking, dairy, etc.
When you click on some of these, even more links may appear to clarify what exactly you are looking for. For example, if you click on dairy, you will get these links:
Butter, Margarine and Eggs
Cream and Similar Products
Miscellaneous Dairy Products
After clicking "Dairy" and then choosing "milk" we get a screen that lists various milk products. They are listed according to their size (1L, 4L, etc.,) and whether or not it is refrigerated and whether it is non-dairy too.
It's a bit silly that they list non-dairy in the dairy section on their website, but technically when you are in the grocery store, you generally find the refrigerated soy and almond milks right beside the regular milk.
If you click on "Milk 4L bags" you see a drop down menu with a listing of their stock and the subsequent regular price of each item listed (remember, they don`t list sale prices on their web site). You simply highlight which item you want to add to your cart and then enter the quantity in the box below. Then you would click on the button "Add to Basket."
When you are all done shopping, you would go to the top corner of your screen and click on "Checkout."
Here you have the option of signing in to your online account which has the added bonus of being able to save your regular grocery list if you so desire plus your payment info and personal info so you don't have to keep typing it in every time you place an order. Or, you can place your order without an account (it's not required that you have one, which is nice too).
If you don't have an account you simply type in your contact info.
The next screen asks when you want your groceries delivered and whether you want to allow for substitutions and if so, what kind of substitutions (similar- more expensive, less expensive, or non-organic for organic).
You also need to specify what method of payment you will be using. I love that you can pay with debit, or credit card. Just because you are buying online doesn't automatically mean you must pay with only credit.
Finally, you type in your payment info if paying via credit card and your air miles number if you are a collector. Metro Glebe Ottawa gives you 1 air mile for every $20 you spend not including taxes or delivery fee.
The Pros and Cons of Buying Groceries online with Metro Glebe
Get shopping done in half the time
Cannot make use of coupons
Less likely to add unnessary items to your cart
Substitutions may not be what you want
Can grocery shop in your underwear
May get the odd dented can
Can still get sale prices on items
Website menu is tricky to navigate
Don't need a car
Sometimes it's hard to find specific items
Don't have to wait in long line-ups at check out
Delivery cost of $11.95
No pushing a grocery cart around
Sometimes you get the wrong item
Save on gasoline
Takes longer to correct mistake on receipt
Great for buying heavy items like 10kg bags of flour
Don't have to worry if you have enough room in your trunk for all your groceries
Earn air miles
Great for stay at home parents of young children or infants
Ideal for anyone who is handicapped or has mobility issues
Since this is a service review, it only make sense that I talk about their customer service.
If I could, I would give them 5 stars for their customer service alone. The only reason I can't give Metro Glebe Ottawa 5 stars in this review is due to the mechanics of their website. It could be a little easier to navigate, otherwise I would have awarded them 5 stars.
After putting in a grocery order one day, I realized some time later that the credit card we usually use to order the groceries was maxed out. I quickly fired off an email to their customer service department (yes, you have the option of emailing them instead of calling them) and told them to put our order in the next day and if they could switch it to debit instead of credit.
I got a response in less than 15 minutes and it was switched to the next day and changed so that it would come out on our debit instead of credit. I was so impressed! They really are excellent at quickly resolving any issues you might have.
The downside about online grocery shopping is if you have to return something to the store. You do have to go there yourself, but you just take your item and your receipt and it's taken care of. Thankfully, we've never had an issue where we needed to return something because it was spoiled or not what we wanted.
Unfortunately, whoever does the actual shopping for my items doesn't seem to pay super close attention and has not once, but twice given us four cheese Alfredo sauce instead of four cheese pasta sauce of the same brand. I just chalk it up to one of the downsides to not doing your own grocery shopping. It's not a huge deal, but it can become a bit annoying.