TODAY   |  December 04, 2013

Ordering holiday food online: How well does is work?

Financial journalist Jean Chatzky is back with some more “common cents,” this time about ordering holiday food packages online. She puts several services to the test: Will the food arrive on time and in one piece?

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> gifts ordered online during the holidays --

>> you do that all the time. you eat and then start to read.

>> huge business, ordering food online whether it's a fruitcake for your neighbor or full on holiday meal.

>> there's things to consider. is it going to get there on time? or look the same as the picture online. jean chatzky put popular products to the test.

>> it is a huge business. most of it happens around the holidays.

>> i love this turkey.

>> i love it too. i received it as a gift. this is a greenburg smoked turkey from tyler, texas. this is a nine pounder and $45 but shipping can cost you additional money. factor that into your budget for your gift and pay attention because not all of these companies ship every day. and if you needed to arrive on a certain day, get on the phone with the customer service people and tell them when you want it.

>> just do don't it online.

>> if you are at all confused, get on the phone. these are small companies so you can actually talk to a person.

>> seafood.

>> dinner for two, right?

>> yeah, the chesapeake crab connection. we get crabs of course. keep eating that turkey from maryland. and yes, we ordered two dinners. we wanted to be able to show people how they arrived in the packaging. our two dinners arrived in one package which was fine for us. it actually saved us on shipping but if you were going to divide and conquer and give one pack computer to each neighbor that's something you would want to know if advance. it was $110. a dozen crabs, a pound of shrimp, plenty.

>> any reservations about ordering shellfish online?

>> we have done it and came right overnight, totally packaged. you do pay a packaging fee of $9.99 for this company.

>> we know about juniors.

>> we do. but this is a strawberry cheesecake about $45. they arrive fully wrapped. our producer sent one to her brother and he was impressed by the packaging. they arrive frozen.

>> if you want to sample it's right there.

>> wisconsin cupcake called figgies.

>> we ordered the luscious cookie apple pie to go with it. the apple pie cheddar