Hello Convenience: Alternatives to Grocery Shopping

Grocery shopping isn’t always the most convenient, especially for Seattle University students who are forced to endure bouts of spontaneous rain and snow, paired with treacherous hills. Luckily, there are many alternatives to grocery shopping that are viable options for college students. These services allow students to skip the inevitable lines that come with grocery shopping as well as not having to carry groceries home.

AmazonFresh is one of the most popular alternative services, offering delivery and pickup options. This service is basically just an online grocery store, allowing shoppers to select anything from fresh produce to healthcare. Anyone with an Amazon Prime membership can use AmazonFresh, and they also offer a free trial. There are two close pickup locations, one in SODO and one in Ballard. However, most find it more convenient to choose the delivery option, which has no fee with a Prime membership and can be delivered the same day you order it.

Josh Kea, a junior marketing student, used AmazonFresh his sophomore year since he moved out of the dorms.

“I didn’t have a car and grocery shopping was just inconvenient, and it was always pretty good quality,” Kea said.

Kea was drawn to AmazonFresh due to the delivery feature and all- around low prices, similar to that of QFC. However, he does note some drawbacks of using the service.

“It was hard to tell how big some things were going to be, like fish. It was also hard to tell what the quality was going to be like, because you can’t pick exactly what you get,” Kea said.

There is also a minimum order amount of $50 when getting your groceries delivered, which can be off putting for many students. Additionally, AmazonFresh has a much more limited selection compared to actual grocery stores, which can be a deal breaker for people with specific needs or preferences.

Despite these drawbacks, Kea said he would recommend AmazonFresh to fellow students. He stresses the convenience, prices, and overall quality that the service offers.

Another grocery alternative is HelloFresh. Although HelloFresh serves the same purpose, it is a slightly different service in that it sends ingredients and instructions to make a meal all by yourself. Meals can be ordered by the week, by the amount of people that you will be feeding, and the amount of meals you would like per week.

This can be an especially convenient service if one has a significant other or roommates that would like to partake in the plan as well, which will lower the cost. Prices are set up per meal or serving, ranging from $7 to about $9. The meals you would like to receive can be selected from thousands of different options which can satisfy a range of different dietary restrictions.

Kaela Takei, a junior studying sports and exercise science used HelloFresh for about a month.

“It was convenient, yummy, and creative food that wasn’t hard to make,” Takei said.

Takei mentions these recipes would be perfect even for students who are not familiar with cooking. However, Takei discusses some of the shortcomings of HelloFresh that she discovered while using the service. She said that there were not many gluten free options, and after using the service for a few weeks, she ran out of options that met her dietary needs.

However, if one is willing to sacrifice some of the conveniences that come with meal prep and grocery delivery, grocery stores can still offer amenities that make the trek worth the while.

Lisa Cooney, a junior marketing major that works for Trader Joe’s, shared why she thinks grocery store shopping is still superior.

“If you go to the front desk and ask for a gluten free list, vegan list, dairy free list, they can print a list of all the options they have in the entire store that meet those requirements,” Cooney said.
This eliminates many of the issues that one might run into with delivery services, as Trader Joe’s is geared towards having options that cater to different needs.

“Trader Joe’s locally sources their food and focuses on great customer relations. You can sample anything in the store and return anything you want even if you’ve eaten the entire thing,” Cooney said.

However, Trader Joe’s does come at the cost of convenience with long lines and a potentially far distance from students’ dorms or homes.
There are a variety of options for hungry college students when it comes to groceries, it’s just a matter of convenience, prices, needs, and preferences.

Editor’s Note: Kaela Takei is a Staff Writer at The Spectator

The editor may be reached at
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