I think we have all seen the ads for online grocery shopping at one point or another; the patient looking mom busy in the kitchen making a wholesome, nutritious meal while simultaneously reciting grocery list items to a child sitting nearby with a tablet in hand, who is dutifully selecting the fruits and vegetables that Mom is listing off…But up until lately, I hadn’t really given the idea much thought.
It just seemed like another unnecessary service that probably cost an arm and a leg. Until you are actually standing in a crowded grocery store, during the middle of a busy holiday weekend, with everyone else who all apparently needed to grocery shop at the same time for the same things you need so that you can get out and finally enjoy the weekend. And why the heck don’t they put “lemon curd” in a place someone can find it? What the heck is “lemon curd” anyhow, and can I possibly substitute something in its place if I can’t find it in the next 30 seconds??
It is at that moment that it dawns on me that I could be doing all of this from the quiet of my own home and just show up as we head out of town to pick up my bagged items, and be on the way! No need to drive around the parking lot looking for a space. No need to go into the store with everyone else.
Many stores like Safeway, King Soopers, Fred Meyer, HEB, Kroger, Albertson’s, Walmart, Costco, and Sam’s Club now offer low-cost or free online ordering. It seems to be catching on as more and more stores and locations are offering this service.
So I tried it. Although the grocery store nearest to our home didn’t offer the service, the one just a mile further in the other direction did.
I put in my order online, chose a day and time window for pickup, and then at the given time, showed up at the store, parked in the designated spot, called the number, and within 5 minutes a cheerful store employee was loading my groceries into the car, gave me my receipt, and I was on my way! THIS WAS A GAME CHANGER!!!
The employees then do your shopping for you (THEY find where the darn “lemon curd” lives), and things are stored (including frozen and refrigerated items) until your reserved time to pick them up. You drive in, they load your car, and off you go! You have just saved yourself an hour of your day to do something else!
Other benefits of online shopping:
- Search weekly deals and coupons online and load them right there so that you save some money on your order without having to remember your stack of paper coupons.
- Suggested recipes might help with meal planning and ingredients can just load into your online cart.
- You aren’t in the store where you could have the impulse to buy things you don’t really need (we all do it!), which also saves you money.
- Once you use the service a few times, it will remember items you frequently buy, making future shopping easier.
- If you are trying to stick to a budget, the online options will show you an ongoing estimated total, so you can try to hit your target without a lot of checkout line drama.
- You can change stores, so if you are traveling you can search for one near where you are and have the same convenience of shopping online.
- You can leave specific comments on items such as “medium-sized avocados, firm” or “OK to substitute similar product if not available” so you get things you actually want.
- Many stores have their shoppers from specific departments do the shopping, so you know the produce people will find the best produce options for you.
- And, if I haven’t said it before, you never have to go in the store! This saves you TIME, and it is hard to put a price tag on that!
Now, off you go to enjoy extra time out doing what you love!