Shopping for groceries in stores packed with aisles and aisles of items you don't want is almost inevitable as death and taxes. But thanks to a new grocery service called Alice, that's all about to change. Just like Alice handled all the shopping for the Brady Bunch, you can count on Alice to pick up most of your household necessities, saving you time and money.
The first way Alice.com saves you money is by offering products much cheaper than most brick and mortar stores. When comparing my weekly shopping list, I saved 35 cents on Q-tips, $2.50 on body wash, $1 on dish soap, $1.40 on cereal and much more. The cost of many other products we use like toilet paper, paper towels, and laundry supplies were also on par or cheaper than what we pay at the store, and with free shipping there's no hidden cost at checkout. Prices can get even lower when coupons are applied. Best of all, you don't have to clip any ... if there's a coupon for an item on your list, it's simply applied.
Getting started is easy as well. After telling Alice.com a little bit about your household, it will build a shopping list that makes finding products effortless, and intuitively suggests when you should reorder them. After using the site for a while, you can use a built-in budgeting tool to see a breakdown of what you spend the most on, which is more useful than the tracking in other personal finance apps since you can see exactly what you spend on groceries for each room of the house instead of a lump sum.
Alice won't completely rule out the need to go to the store, since the site doesn't carry a large selection of food, but it will cut down the amount of time you spend when you do go. Since spending an extra minute in the grocery store past the half hour mark will cost you an extra 50 cents to a dollar, the savings are even more significant. Personally, being able to stick to the first five aisles at the grocery store instead of wandering into the back 20 is reason enough to keep building up my shopping list at Alice.
For the second time, we asked you, our AOL users, to tell us which grocery stores bring you pleasure ... and which bring you pain. And your responses surprised us! We expected the message boards to be teeming with stores that drive you crazy. And there was some of that, but as it turns out, there also seems to be many great supermarkets out there.
Click through our gallery as we highlight 12 new posts about stores you detest and 15 you adore. Then click on to see last editions' 30 best and worst picks.
Reader Tewrealtor says: Wegmans is an experience! I live in Allentown, Pa. and I am a realtor. In every area tour for relocatees, I include a stop at Wegmans. (Usually for lunch). It usually seals the decision for these people to agree to move here. Thank you Wegmans! ... P.S. Their barbequed chickens are the best anywhere and the most reasonably priced. They make a great quick, last-minute low-cost dinner.
One of the Best: Hannaford
Reader Petuniua says: Hannaford in Waltham, Mass., is the best supermarket. The produce is beautiful and they have a good variety of ethnic foods. Also, their staff is really friendly and helpful.
One of the Worst: Hannaford
Reader ElmireRod1919 says: [Their] meat tastes like dog food, the fish like Clorox bleach and Nine Lives. It's always filthy in there, and I [have even] seen a mouse in the cat food aisle once.
One of the Worst: Safeway
Reader CHERACON2 says: Safeway is so overpriced. I don't understand why anyone shops there. Raley's, right across the street, is way cheaper. Example: The same liter of olive oil is $24.97 at Raley's, but $32.95 at Safeway. This is just a sampling. It is the same all over the store.
One of the Best: Nugget Market
Reader RTodd18907 says: According to Fortune magazine, this company is the 13th best company in America to work for! Their prices are low and customer service is impeccable!
One of the Best: Dierbergs
Reader RufusWoods says: I can't believe no one mentioned Dierbergs in St. Louis. It is a destination in itself.
One of the Worst: Seller Brothers
Reader Trisha6341 says: I used to live in Houston and had to shop at Seller Brothers and the meat has so much fat in it that it is hardly even pink. You could not buy [their meat] one day and cook it the next, unless you put it in the freezer (not the fridge). If only I had known then.
One of the Best: Lunds
Reader Donaldkolson says: When we are traveling through Minnesota, we always make sure that we stop a Lunds. They are always extremely clean and the selection is incredible, especially the "gourmet" areas. The displays are always very attractive. I wish we had something as nice in Southern California.
One of the Best: Harris Teeter
Reader GailGthompson says: A former North Carolina native, I still miss the cleanliness, variety and yes, the curb side service at Harris Teeter. There are not many stores that I am aware of that allow you to drive up to a loading station where attendants load your groceries into your vehicle. Right on, Harris Teeter!