As we settle back into the routine of the school-year, our family is busier than ever. There are after-school obligations and after-work obligations. With all the rushing around and varying schedules, it can seem impossible to get a healthy meal on the table, let alone find time to shop for healthy foods!
Luckily, I have found one solution to help with my hectic nights. I grocery shop online.
I’d heard about online grocery shopping a few times and thought it sounded interesting, but not like something I’d use. I actually really love grocery shopping.
My college major was food industry management and I studied all facets of how food is grown, produced, shipped, and sold. I find the industry fascinating and wandering the aisles of my local grocery store I’d pay attention to product placement and new food options. Once, I guided my husband to the exact location of an item over the phone and had never even been in that store. I know, bizarre, right?
TAKING THE PLUNGE
One particularly hectic week, my husband and I were trying to figure out how we’d get everything done and I remembered about online grocery shopping. Knowing it would save us some time, I gave it a try.
There are several grocery stores in our city that offer this service, and luckily our regular store was one of them. They had a promotion that the first few uses would be free, with a charge of less than $5 if you continued to use the service. Other stores don’t charge a fee, ever.
The process is very simple. Logon to the store website, choose your preferred pickup location and begin to fill your cart! At my store, you can create a list or fill the cart, so it’s important to make sure you aren’t just populating a list.
As you “place” items into your cart you can make comments for the shopper. For example, if you prefer green bananas and firm avocados, you simply indicate it with your order.
You can even search ads and apply online coupons. After you have added all your items, you choose your pickup time and payment method.
BUT WHAT ABOUT…
Tasking someone else with shopping for you can be nerve-racking.
I’m most often asked about the produce, but I have truly never had an issue with the quality of or selection I have received. And if they are out of an item? They will substitute it with a bigger size or better brand for the same price. The substitution policy is something you can turn on and off, too. It’s a pretty sweet deal.
The one fallback is that if you forget to add something, it can be tough to add it. If you order the day before, it is much easier to go back online and modify your cart.
At my store, there are designated parking spots for online service pickup. You pull-in, call a number, and if there are substitutions, you are informed at this point. You can always decline a substitution (I have only done this once) and they remove it from the total.
An employee promptly brings your groceries out to you. You don’t even have to get out of the car! I tend to schedule my pickup time for on the way home or right after I drop the kids at school.
SAVE TIME AND MONEY
It’s really that simple!
While I occasionally miss my runs to the grocery store, the benefits outweigh my freakish obsession with product placement. I have gained about an hour back each week.
I don’t have to dodge carts and wait in the checkout line while my kids repeatedly ask me for a candy bar. Perhaps the biggest benefit for our family is that we are spending less on groceries.
We have found that we actually meal plan now. No more impulse purchases or tossing an item into the cart because you can’t remember if you have it at home. Less junk and more money. Who can argue with that?!?