Chatting with a friend recently I alluded to the fact that I do my grocery shopping online. My friend living in a small town in the US, thought this was amazing. I thought it was amazing that she couldn’t. This got me thinking and I thought I would share the wheres and whys, and the pros and cons of this innovation.
Firstly I do my grocery shop online, not because I hate shopping (I do hate it, btw), but because I get very frustrated with people.. You know, the people that seem to only go to the supermarket to meet up with like minded couples.. Our aisles aren’t very wide as a rule, if they were, the store wouldn’t be able to fit in as much stock. So when two couples meet up, holding their EMPTY trollies at arms length, to have a fascinating conversation about.. Nothing to do with shopping, it becomes a very difficult obstacle course. I have already at this point negotiated the ‘cage’ at the top of the aisle full of extra stock that is placed caringly next to a sticker saying “cage position between 22:00 and 08:00”. I shop in the afternoon. I have also negotiated empty boxes and cardboard trays that are not quite kicked under the shelving units on the very narrow aisles.
Then is the actual stock levels.. This applies to one store in particular who shall remain nameless. Note this is the same shop that has cages everywhere. But they never have what I want. This also will apply online, but it’s less painful then. So back to stock.. One afternoon I was in the store and I went looking for the ‘stayfresh’ bread I used to buy. There was none.. I went over to the bakers and asked where it was to be told “Oh you have to get here in the morning for that” “But this bread has a seven day life?!” I said “But this is a 24 hour store?!” I said. My Nan apparently used to go to the bakers every morning for her bread.. IN THE 70s..
Now I understand if perishables run out, but they never seem to. The spotty teenager could not understand when I said “fresh broccoli is not supposed to bend, it’s supposed to snap!” It’s other stuff I need, that would outlast us all, that always seems to run out.. Toothpaste, deodorant etc.
Lastly, the killer for me is in my own head I know and it’s nobody’s fault, but even as an adult I am embarrassed at having tampons in my trolley.. Now all one of you have finished laughing I will continue.. When I put the offending objects into my trolley I ‘hide’ them under other stuff whilst doing the rest of my shop. Once my shop is done I will scan the tills, looking for a female checkout operator. I will go to her checkout, but there are a few people in front of me. I don’t mind this, because I know I’m nearly done. I stand patiently as the queue goes down. Then it’s my turn.. Yay! I’ll be out of this hell hole soon. I feel calm. Then nice female goes off for her break.. Enter spotty male teenager.. My torture is complete.
So.. When online grocery shopping became available I jumped at the chance, even though I lived only five minutes drive from the store. The delivery charge was a small price to pay for my sanity, and with the price of petrol it’s probably cheaper.
- Not having to put up with most of what I put up with when shopping physically. (See above).
- I have ‘favourites’ so I am not tempted by stuff I don’t need. They do try, by sticking ‘recommendations’ in your favourites list. But they do not fool me. I stick to my list.
- I can browse at leisure, any time, and keep coming back to my shopping if I am busy. I can also add something I have inevitably forgotten within a certain time period AFTER I have checked out.
- The shopping is delivered, within a two hour window that I have chosen.
- You still get the usual toothpaste etc not delivered, but somehow it doesn’t hurt as much, especially as, because of the M.O of the aforementioned nameless store, I split my shop between two stores and order from the more reliable shop when I see what wasn’t delivered. It’s left a week or so as I have a good store cupboard. This probably shouldn’t be in cons!
- I do my ‘big’ shop every few months, so I do have to think WAY ahead.
- Now I don’t have to actually ‘do’ the shop, I have no control over the way the stuff is bagged. When it gets to me there are lots of bags with just a single item in. This is wasteful and unnecessary. My shopping could come in 15 bags if it was packed correctly. Instead I have 30.
- Out of the 30 bags that are all over my kitchen floor, the cats still manage to find the one with the whole cucumber in before I do. This results in me chopping up the cucumber to get rid of Squeeky and Ember bites!
- We still have to go to a little market to get fresh produce between ‘big’ shops.. But that’s not too bad.. I send my husband.. So again, probably not a con.. *wink*