WHY I’LL NEVER STEP FOOT INTO A GROCERY STORE AGAIN
I was always a fan of grocery shopping, up until recently. As a kid, it meant picking out Doritos for dinner– shout out to Kath for hating cooking. As a young adult, it meant finding the cheapest grocery store wine to pair with the scallops I couldn’t afford, but was getting. As a wife, it meant excitedly stocking up on ingredients that I would ultimately mix and sprinkle with TLC to formulate a perfect meal for hubs.
As a new mom, it became a thrilling daytrip, a reason to put on a (fresher) pair of yoga pants, an opportunity to use the cart-germ-protector-cushion-thingy for the little one.
Those were the days.
With a toddler, a trip to the grocery store is a dare. It’s a risk. An episode of Fear Factor, if you will– that is, if you’re anything like me and your deepest fears include public humiliation and starring in your own personal episode of What Would You Do, where everyone else is in on the stunt, watching your every move, and you’re the one facing the scenario– except the scenario is real-life and the ridiculous situation at hand is your adoring toddler having an outburst just two items into your list.
No big deal.
When I first heard of grocery pick-up— that is, arranging to pick up your items as pre-selected on the store’s website– I thought the world couldn’t get much lazier.
…then my son grew out of infancy.
It’s a good thing that most grocery stores now offer this service and some, like the Walmart Marketplace that I used, even do it 100% free of charge.
After my personal experience, I’m stunned. My new goal is to never step foot in a grocery store again. (Okay, I did step into it moments after pulling away with my items, but I’ll get to that momentarily.)
In summary, pros: outweigh cons.
That being said, let’s start with…
THE BAD NEWS
NO “OH I NEED THIS TOO”
I know I’m not the only one who peruses the aisles and strays from the list as soon as an item jumps out at me. Ah, toilet paper. Definitely gonna need that. Before I submitted my cart, the site did share with me a list of items “commonly purchased” with the items I had selected, but this doesn’t necessarily beat seeing the aisles for myself.
HAVING TO SCHEDULE A PICK-UP TIME
I submitted my order around 9:45 AM and the earliest pick-up time was between 3-4 PM that same day. For a momma who functions around her son’s nap schedule, had my husband not been home on this day that my little guy (OF COURSE) decided to push his nap until 2 PM, making this time could have gotten complicated.
As soon as I rolled up to the nice lady who would be loading MY car with MY already-bagged-and-ready-to-go items, she handed me a water bottle (more on that soon) and reviewed the items that were “unavailable” and therefore not going home with me that day (and removed from my total): chicken thighs, Uncrustables, and whole wheat Thomas’ English muffins. For a $100+ order, I didn’t think this sounded too bad, but my little guy is sick and the one thing I *know* he’ll eat, even if not feeling well, is an Uncrustable. So, Momma had to head across the street to Publix anyway.
PLUS, my list was based on a meal prep that included honey garlic chicken with veggies. The recipe called for thighs, but breasts were an okay substitute. I knew this offhand. The nice lady did not. Had I been in the store myself, I could have grabbed me some big ol’ breasts and called it a day.
So, that’s really it. Onto…
THE GOOD NEWS
UMMM, THEY LOAD YOUR CAR
I know this isn’t a huge deal, but it’s a nice bonus. With this trip, I didn’t have to bag or load anything. As a supermom, I do enough at home. I have to unload and clean out the fridge once I get home anyway, so this was a nice little break. Plus I felt like the most badass VIP ever. Yeah! Load my trunk, Linda! JK I’m not sure what her name was. Seems to fit.
NO TIPPING PERMITTED
I was concerned about how the whole timing of things would go, especially since I was getting cold items and was given a 1-hour window for estimated pick-up time. However, when I received an alert that my order was ready, I simply pushed “check in” on their grocery app (which I downloaded that morning), and my GPS indicated to Linda how far away I was (14 minutes, this Momma had snuck off to go spray tanning first). I imagine she kept my stuff cold somehow until then. I feared I may have to come up with cash (which I don’t carry) to show Linda how grateful I was for her existence, but a quick Google search indicated that, at least at this store, tipping is not acceptable. And, like I said, the charge for grocery pick-up was ZERO DOLLARS. #winning
Perhaps this should be at the top of the Good News list. Can anything compare to the time this process put back into my day? Did you SEE my note about being able to spray tan? The people who find fault in having to type in and search each item that you want to add to your list have obviously never had to walk back and forth across a huge grocery store with a screaming toddler, seemingly participating in a live episode of Supermarket Sweep, trying desperately to fill the cart with as many items as possible in a limited timeframe. No more Ugh, I forgot shampoo back on the beauty aisle. No worries, just type and add!
IT’S OKAY IF YOU FORGOT SOMETHING
You have about 20 minutes after you submit your order to make changes to it. Almost instantly after I submitted, I remembered a couple of items that I’d forgotten, so I just boom, boom, click, click, tap, tapped, and they were added. Voila.
UMMM, WATER BOTTLE
I got out of my car and Linda handed me a cold water bottle to drink. WHY THANK YOU LINDA!
Let me just say, it NEVER WORKS when I open a new tab and google a promo code for any given online order, but, for my Walmart Marketplace order, I found and used a promo code that actually WORKED. Not only did it work, but I got 10 freakin’ dollars off my order. TEN DOLLARS! When’s the last time you got $10 off your in-store grocery order? I’m not talking to you, extreme coupon-er.
BUDGET-FRIENDLY? PSH, BUDGET BFF!
Speaking of spending less moolah, as I was creating my online cart, my list and increasing total were ever-present on the right-hand side of the screen. That took all of the guess work out of “where am I with my budget” towards the end of fulfilling my order.
There’s a $30 minimum, at least for Walmart Marketplace, but I can basically spend that on wine (amen for Florida grocery stores!), so I don’t foresee myself stepping into a grocery store again anytime soon, except of course for the oh-shoots and the ugh-I-forgots that I will probably always miss.
But those sort of trips are short and tantrum-friendly.
For everything she’s done for our family, I’m thinking of inviting Linda over for Thanksgiving, but, unfortunately, it looks like I can only reserve her for an hour slot that day.
Have you tried grocery pick-up?