Last month, I tried out Door-to-Door Organics as a way to get more organic food into the house. I wanted to test it for quality and cost. I've had 4 deliveries so far and here are some of the results.
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- I have been very impressed with the weekly quality thus far. The fruits and vegetables has lasted long in our fridge. I don't normally wash them until ready to eat so I think that's helped extend their freshness. I am loving the apples and pears that have come in our weekly orders. They are ridiculously fresh.
- I have found the variety to be plentiful. Our regular weekly box provides enough ingredients for various dishes. It is winter here in the Northeast so I am expecting that once the summer is up that they will also have more summer fruits and vegetables in place. Not everything is local. Bananas, oranges and of course plenty of other vegetables are grown in other parts of the world and are shipped so I am in the middle about including these kinds of produce. We don't have a good farmer's market around our area so this will be a tough one. You can decide what size box you want or if you wan only fruits or only veggies. This could be a good option for a small office if they have fruit delivery.
- Our weekly Small Mixed box comes every Tuesday. No, it's not enough for us (two people) to last into the next delivery, but that's because we eat in most of the time. We normally eat mostly meat and veggies (rarely grains and rice) so we usually run out of food towards the end of the week and need to do a re-shop.
- Things I Don't Get
- I've only ordered meat a few times as I normally get those at the local butcher, same with eggs. I have not ordered any pantry staples since we are stocked up. I did compare organic chocolate, yes, I did. They seem to cost more at Door-to-Door than at Wholefoods so I'm sticking to WFM for those for now.
- Costs seem fair and reasonable. I compared costs with similar set of fruits and vegetables and local delivery from our local Wholefoods and the costs were almost equal. Note that we live close to New York City so I find that our food costs are a little higher than say if we were farther away from the city. I also compared costs with our local Acme and have found costs at Acme to be more. Acme also has a smaller selection of organic produce. There is probably a $10 difference between the same set of conventional produce and that difference is not as high as you might expect. Costs definitely increase once you add meat products. Week 1 and Week 3 included some meat for us.
- Overall, packaging has been very minimal for my weekly delivery. Deliveries may come in 1-2 cardboard boxes depending on size and content. If you only order fruits and vegetables, it generally comes plastic free with the exception of the occasional mushrooms, blueberries and cauliflower wrapped in plastic film. If you order meat products with it, those items will come vacuum sealed in plastic baggies and will also come in reusable plastic with Styrofoam or dry ice. The good news is that card boxes can be recycled. I did asked the delivery man and he said, they don't reuse the cardboard, they just recycle them. They do reuse any of the ice packs so those can be left out for them to pick up each time they drop off. It would be nice to move to reusable containers so that they don't have to keep recycling the boxes.
- Update: I did contact Customer Service on the packaging issue. They were quick to respond stating that they had tried reusable containers, but there would be instances where they would not get them back, presumably customers just keeping them, forgetting to put them out or cancelling their orders.
- Other Things to Note
- The website is easy to navigate and pretty responsive. A good breakdown of categories. (I just finished reading "The Smarter Screen" so I'm all about good website design.)
- You get a reminder email for next week's order so you have a chance to substitute items per your needs.
- The website offers some recipe suggestions based on the items you are buying which is good if you need ideas on what to cook.
- My order closes at 10 PM the night before so I have until this time to make changes by the time it gets delivered.
- I'm now trying out their hold program for the next 2 weeks as we will be traveling so this is a nice feature.
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I'll probably keep this service to supplement our grocery shopping. It saves me time from having to visit the grocery store and ensures we have fresh produce at home. The waste is fairly minimal as long as I only stick to fruits and veggies and we need to be eating more of those anyways. The cost seems fair as well especially compared to other super markets in our area.
Let me know if you are interested in trying this service out. You will get $15 off your first delivery. Contact me at cat[at]thedosomethingproject[dot]com for a code.
After 3 months, I decided to cancel my subscription for the following reasons.
- The items got expensive.
- Packaging seemed too wasteful. I love the convenience, but could probably find the same organic products at our local grocery stores without all of the plastic packaging.
- In the end, the vegetable box did not have enough variety especially when I went on a diet that required more vegetables. I liked the adventure of finding new things especially things in season at the store
- I'm looking forward to more finds at the local farm markets.
- We are moving and I did not want to forget that I had a subscription.