I’ve been trying out online grocery shopping because I’ve been cooking more and with Livia a lot more grown up and eating more, it seems we were going to the supermarket once or twice a week and it was just way too tiring. And unlike before we now shop individually since someone has to be home to be with the triplets and one person carrying all that grocery was a bit much. The other alternative was to make two trips and who has the time for that?
Its a wonderful thing that there are so many options for online groceries now, but I often worry about the quality since I am depending on someone else to choose the items for me. I cannot inspect the items firsthand before purchasing. So after two months of trying out several places here are my conclusions.
Redmart is very popular with many households. Their website is a breeze to use. But because they are so popular a lot of items do tend to be sold out. I like that you can reserve a time slot before purchasing. I find their fresh produce expensive, and almost no variety for meats and seafood. But for general sundry, like rice, toilet paper, detergents, cooking oil, etc this is a great place to shop.
I’ve been using Swiss Butchery for a longer while now and I really love their meats. It is a tad pricier (almost the same as Cold Storage) but the portions are big. We love their deli meats, sausages and pre-marinated chicken. If you really love meat, there are plenty of options but we only really buy chicken, sausages and turkey ham. We stopped cooking red meat at home to cut down on red meat, but we do sometimes indulge in them for take-out and when we go to restaurants. Red meat is just too expensive and Livia doesn’t like it so I just axed it from our groceries altogether.
I’ve been looking everywhere online for fresh fruits and vegetables at an affordable price. But they are all really expensive. I once tried Cold Storage online and it was very disappointing. When my items arrived, half of the items I ordered were not available thus, forcing me to shop again. They didn’t even have garlic?! Then I came across Tangy Tangerines and they promised to pick out the best items for you. The prices were almost the same as Cold Storage and in some instances cheaper. And there was really good variety. When my items arrived, my husband immediately remarked how fresh everything looked. I was also surprised by how large the portions were for the price. They made sure all the fruits and vegetables were kept dry and I did not see any bad produce. They literally sent a colorful basket of fruits and veges. I really dislike it when salads in a bag are wet because this hastens the deterioration of the produce, and this did not happen to any of the vegetables I purchased from Tangy Tangerines. I am so pleased to have found a place to buy fruits and vegetables cheaply because they are really the first items to run out and you always want to make sure you have fresh ones in supply for cooking or for a snack.
All the above except Tangy Tangerines deliver within 1-2 working days from the time you purchase even on weekends. Tangy Tangerines does delivery from Mondays to Saturdays but not Sundays, so if you ordered something on Friday night which I did, you will only get your items by Tuesday. It depends on the time you ordered. If you ordered the item in the morning, you can most likely get it by the next day. If you ordered at night, the they will try to get it to you by the second day.
I have not found a satisfactory supplier for seafood and fish and for baking items. Meidi-Ya and Sakuraya online supermarket has a good selection of Japanese-related fish and seafood but terribly costly, so I continue to shop for them at NTUC Finest where they fillet fishes properly and you can find really huge prawns. We eat a lot of salmon, cod, pomfret and prawns. Sometimes I try to be adventurous and try other types of fishes like red snapper or yellow tail but not very often. I also get my smoked salmon from NTUC Finest. I looked at Bake King also for baking related items and a lot of it was also sold out. I found vanilla extract terribly hard to find even at the physical supermarkets (and I’ve gone to many supermarkets) and lo and behold, Tangy Tangerines sells quite a big bottle for $11 and its organic. I also like to go to NTUC Finest for baking related items because they seem to have the most variety. Of course there are many other baking specialist stores but they are not conveniently located for where I live.
Once the girls are all about Livia’s age right now, its probably time for us to get a Warehouse Club membership and buy things in bulk to save costs. And get a really BIG refrigerator, stove and oven. We are also moving to Central Singapore in 2016 and the infamous Tekka Market will only be 10 minutes walk from our new home so I suspect that I’m going to be using less of supermarkets and more of wet markets. I think the problem with wet markets is that they do not use ATM cards so you have to carry wads of cash, and you have to get up really EARLY in the morning to shop if you want the best and freshest items and I am not a morning person. But its so very worth it because the variety is astounding and so much cheaper and fresher than getting items from the supermarket.
So if you’re stuck at home a lot like me, do not own your own car, and you can’t leave the house on a whim, I totally recommend the options above.