These days, time is a hot commodity. Anything that saves us hours–okay, fine, minutes–merits a top position on our speed dial list. For this reason, we love having goods delivered to us, be they milk products, groceries, organic fruit/vegetable boxes or diapers.
Not having to deal with parking and the lugging of packages keeps our stress levels down, too (as will the yoga class we now have time to attend). Add the following top delivery services to your Palm, Rolodex or BlackBerry and then take a few deep, cleansing breaths.
- Smith Brothers Milk Delivery
A RT subscriber raves, “I love having the same milkman every week–it’s very June Cleaver!”
- Philosophy/niche: Based in Kent, Smith Brothers Farms specializes in wholesome milk that’s antibiotic- and rBST (artificial growth hormone)-free. Its happy cows only eat Grade A grains and grasses purchased from local farmers.
- How it works, in a nutshell: Delivery is available throughout the greater Puget Sound area. On Smith Brothers’ web site, click on ‘milkmen and routes’ for the contact information for the milkman who would service your area. Your specified order of milk and other products is dropped off once or twice per week and can be left for you (in a cooler) if you’re not home.
- Minimum order/fees: Prices vary according to delivery area and milkman.
- Some items offered: Milk (of course), cheddar cheese, cream cheese, butter, eggs, sour cream, half & half.
- Bonus: No last minute, frenzied trips to the grocery store because you’re low on 2% and the kids will throw a fit if they can’t have milk with their Peanut Butter Bumpers.
- Pioneer Organics
A favorite amongst our readers. RT subscriber Trina Hollomon shares, via e-mail: “I’ve been thrilled with this service…I love cooking and a made a vow to not buy jarred baby foods and this delivery service helped make it happen.”
- Philosophy/niche: An organic food delivery whose produce is certified organic by the USDA–the majority of it comes from farms in the Northwest.
- How it works, in a nutshell: First, pick your start value for the produce you’ll want to receive per delivery (many people choose $31 level). Then, select your preferred mix of fruits and vegetables (half and half? all fruit? all veggies? more fruit than veggies?) and then the delivery frequency (once a week? once every other week?). Add in some other, non-produce items if you wish and, voila, you’re set. Customization on orders is a must once you get the hang of it–set up a ‘never send me’ list and a ‘recurring items’ list so you know you’ll never get blueberries, for example, and will get, say, onions, every week.
- Minimum order: As long as your produce order remains above $31, there is no delivery fee for your order.
- Some items offered: Fruits and vegetables, crackers and cookies from Barbara’s Bakery, Nature’s Path cereals, Newman’s Own Alphabet Cookies, Earth’s Best baby food.
- Bonus: We love the section on the website where there’s a list of produce that’s currently in season.
- SPUD: Small Potatoes Urban Delivery
Remember the now-defunct Homegrocer.com of the dot-com boom days? SPUD has a similar concept (except with an environmental spin and a longer-lasting business plan).
- Philosophy/niche: A comprehensive organic produce/grocery delivery site that’s very user friendly. SPUD recently launched in the Seattle market–the Vancouver, B.C.-based company’s first foray into the United States.
- How it works, in a nutshell: To have SPUD’s big purple delivery van roll up to your doorstep, log on to the Web site to see if you live within the delivery area. If your neighborhood is serviced, make selections from a vast array of 600 competitively priced products. Place your order by 9:00 a.m. a day in advance (for most items) and you will be added to the appropriate route for either Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday delivery. Drivers will leave the goods on your front porch (groceries, kept cold with ice packs, can sit out for eight hours).
- Minimum order: There is no minimum order, but in order to receive free delivery, you have to purchase $35 worth of groceries.
- Some items offered: Organic produce, milk, bread, pasta, baby food, Thundering Hooves meat, Essential Baking Company crackers, Eden organic black beans, Tom’s of Maine deodorant.
- Bonus: You can create standing orders of products that you want regularly–say, soy milk, eggs, bread, fruit, frozen pizza, etc. The orders get delivered at a frequency of your choosing (every one, two or four weeks).
- Full Circle Farm
An organic farm based in Carnation, WA that cultivates over 75 fruits, vegetables and herbs. Reader Rachel VanDeMark shares, “Full Circle Farm also does great family events for member (and kids!)…food, hay rides, farm tours, river habitat restoration.”
- Philosophy/niche: The farm promotes community supported agriculture (CSA), a program that connects consumers with local farms, thus ensuring that the products are safe (i.e. pesticide free) and fresh. Full Circle drops fresh fruit and vegetable-filled CSA boxes off for customers in dozens of locations around King County.
- Minimum order: A small box ($28). No delivery fees since you pick up the boxes at convenient locations.
- How it works, in a nutshell: Call or fill out an online form to sign up for the CSA program. Choose a size of box (from three different options: small, medium or large) and whether you want delivery every week or every other week.
- Some items offered: Each box contains between 13-14 fruits, vegetables and herbs.
- Bonus: You can now adjust the contents of your upcoming CSA boxes online.
- New Roots Organics
A wonderful organic fruit/vegetable box delivery service that comes right to your home or office. Reader Carla Greenan writes, “I have used New Roots Organics for years and love the fresh organic fruits and veggies right at my doorstep.”
- Philosophy/niche: Run by Carolyn Boyle, a vegetarian chef, New Roots Organics buys the freshest organic products from Washington farms (and occasionally farms from other U.S. states) and culls them together in a weekly box for customers.
- Minimum Order: $24 for delivery of a small, personal sized box. It’s $33 for the standard size. A one-time bin deposit fee of $10 is charged when you sign up.
- How it works, in a nutshell: Check the website for delivery areas and schedule of which neighborhood is serviced on which day. If your area is included, send an e-mail to Carolyn@newrootsorganics.com with your name, address, phone number and whether you’d like delivery every week or every other week. She accepts checks and credit cards.
- Items offered: In each box, you get 12-15 organic fruits and vegetables that change every week. Last week, goodies such as Fuerte avocados, Pippin apples, beets, leeks, Ataulfo mangos and romaine hearts were included in the box.
Bonus: The site offers recipes, beets with caramelized onions and feta, for example, which will help you artfully use up the contents of the box.
A few readers shared they get disposable ones regularly on http://www.amazon.com. Though, if you’re green-minded and willing to try environmental diapering, go for the following cloth diaper service:
- Baby Diaper Service
Cloth diapers have come a long way since our parents’ days. The Velcro covers now available are much easier to contend with than diaper pins.
- Philosphy/niche: An established company that cares about healthy kids and the environment. Mark Stief, a father of three, bought the 1946-founded company in 2003, merging it with his former business, Pure & Natural Diaper Service.
- Average fees: $15.95/week for 70 newborn diapers. See website for additional pricing information.
- How it works, in a nutshell: Baby Diaper Service delivers chemical-free cotton diapers to your doorstep every week and takes the dirty ones away for deep, ultra-hygienic cleaning. A special hamper coated with professional quality deodorant is also included along with a heavyweight plastic bag/liner for the hamper. You don’t have to rinse or soak the diapers, just place them into the deodorized diaper container and they’ll be dealt with for you.
- Some items offered: Cotton diapers for children ages zero to three, as well as diaper wraps, swim diapers and pull-on pants.
- Bonus: You’ll save money by cutting your garbage bill in half… and you’ll earn true tree hugger status.