Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Grocery Shopping from Your Car

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you probably know all too well that I hate grocery shopping.



As a freelance writer, I've spent the past four years writing about all the exciting things everyone else can have brought to your homes. Groceries, restaurant food, wine... If you live in a big city, chances are there's a person who will bring it to you.



Until this summer, the only thing we could have delivered to our old house in Nashville was pizza. A month after we moved, Shipt started delivering groceries to our old neighborhood. Our new neighborhood isn't part of their service area.



I thought all hope was lost. Then I heard our big grocery chain (Kroger) will offer grocery pickup with a new store here...a year from now. Lost hope again. But then something awesome happened.



Walmart announced it was offering grocery pickup here. You just go to their website and put the groceries in your cart. When you're ready to check out, you pick a time for pickup and they put it all together for you. I was expecting massive failures, since I can't seem to deal with a business these days without needing seven calls to customer service.



Nope. The whole thing was easy-breezy. They called at 10:45 a.m. to say my groceries were ready and I headed straight over. I pulled into the designated parking space...




...and called the phone number on the sign. Within minutes, two great employees came out with all my groceries. A team of managers followed and watched the whole thing. Apparently it was the first day and they were excited about it.



They even gave me a welcome bag because I was a first-timer.



Oh...and now the Kroger down the street from me is installing grocery pickup stalls as you read this!

Photo by Cathi King Carver (via Facebook)

Of course, I'm sure all of you have online delivery, so this all seems very old school! Leaving the house to get groceries? SO last decade!


Have you ever had your grocery shopping done for you?

66 comments:

  1. It would certainly cut down the impulse buying, but I can see us forgetting all sorts of things because we weren't there to wander the aisle and see it. And of course, NO ONE is picking out my produce. (And that tends to be almost half of what we buy.)
    But - if it worked for you - and very cool on being the first one - then rock on. It would be a time saver.

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    1. I've always shopped with a list...this actually is easier for me because throughout the week, as I see things we need, I can just add them to my cart using the app on my phone. Produce is definitely the biggest challenge--but if you don't like anything, you can ask that they exchange it, since you're still in the parking lot. Walmart must realize people are picky about their produce because starting soon, you'll be able to specify exactly what type of produce you want (ripeness, etc.).

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  2. I can see using this for packaged, canned, boxed and bottled goods. BUT I want to check out the produce and meats (but then I also like shopping for such goodies).

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    1. Yeah, for those of you who enjoy grocery shopping, this isn't for you! I noticed women were the ones on Facebook wanting to know more...and men were saying, "But I like to do it myself!" Interesting... I think women are just so busy with so many other things, the idea of just pulling up and having our groceries loaded sounds heavenly!

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  3. Omg. I can't even image the ratchetry if our Walmart tried this. Our Walmart is just slightly ghetto...

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    1. I don't know if they're eventually rolling it out to every store? In Nashville, they've chosen a few strategically located ones around town. They've skipped over quite a few of them and centered on areas where there are a lot of residents. They seem (to me) to be the ones in areas with a LOT of stores...ours is next to "The Streets of Indian Lake," which is one of those outdoor malls with a fountain...so it's slightly affluent (although there are definitely areas of the town that aren't!).

      I think the demographic for this is probably a busy working woman--maybe even a busy stay-at-home mom--and it feels like the technology aspect would appeal to younger shoppers? I'm sure they have carefully worked out the demographic for it and chosen locations accordingly. The people on my FB page who were most interested were female, middle class, and most were working moms.

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  4. We have grocery delivery at our Co-op but I like to go shopping on a Monday morning when there are hardly anyone in the store since Sunday shopping began.

    I can see the value for older people who can't get around easily. I like shopping at my very large Co-op store and I usually run into people I know, We have over 6000 families who shop there.

    Hugs,
    JB

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    1. I thought when I started freelancing full-time, "Oh, I can go to the grocery store on Monday mornings! Nobody will be there." And hardly anyone is...but the aisles are filled with stock people and they don't MOVE! You can tell that annoys me! Even at Publix, where employees are usually nicer, the people stocking the shelves (which sometimes are employees, sometimes outside people) act like you don't exist for the most part. One time they were doing inventory in the beauty aisle and the aisle was covered in employees and carts and all kinds of other things. I came home and ordered what I needed on Amazon! It just annoys me.

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    2. I have never encountered this rudeness at our Co-op. The staff is so helpful and will leave what they are doing to help.

      It would annoy me too if this was the case at our Co-op. They have annual meeting where members of the Co-op can voice their opinion and they also have a suggestion box at the exit that members can write their concerns and each suggestion is considered and will receive a phone call or email to address their concerns.
      It's member owned and run.
      Hugs,
      JB

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  5. I assumed they had this service for older adults, but no idea it was a normal thing. I just might have to check into this. I hate grocery shopping as well.

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    1. Yeah, delivery has been going on in major markets for a while. InstaCart and Shipt both pay everyday people to grocery shop for people. But they charge $5.99, plus you're expected to tip, PLUS they sneak in extra upcharges on everything you buy. I learned that when I was writing about "the Uber-ization of grocery shopping" for a client of mine. Pickup is completely free. Right now, Walmart and Harris Teeter and other grocery chains aren't providing delivery as a service to the general public, but that could change with Amazon's new grocery delivery service forcing them to compete...but Amazon was still testing grocery delivery only in New York City, last I heard?

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  6. I need to check this out, grocery shopping is just a total torment for me.

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    1. Yeah, it's interesting...people either love or hate grocery shopping!

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  7. I’m procrastinating today’s trip to the grocery store, so your blog immediately caught my attention. (A good blog plus a good reason to wait a little longer before I leave for the store.) I hate shopping in general and grocery shopping in particular. I don’t think this feature is available in our immediate area yet. As Alex said, it will help avoid impulse buying—but sometimes I don’t know I want/need something until I see it on the shelf. I guess before I use it I’ll need to do some meal planning. I do think this is going to be a great tool for anyone with limited mobility or time restraints. The home delivery feature now available in some areas is also a wonderful idea for house-bound individuals or the elderly who don't drive. The times they are a-changin'. ;-)

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    1. I just got the call from Walmart that my groceries will be ready at 9am and I'm thinking, "Oh great. I have to shower and get dressed and DRIVE to the store." LOL. I actually am a grocery lister...but my husband says that's rare? Most people just figure it out once they're there. I've used Grocery IQ for about a decade to keep track of what I need and I have an Excel spreadsheet with all the meals I usually make all listed out. That sounds a little crazy! But if I don't do that, I will forget something and have to go back and I've always hated grocery shopping so much that if I can make one trip a week instead of two, I'm happy!

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    2. Oh, by the way, here are the areas in Nashville that have it:

      3600 Mallory Lane, Franklin
      4959 Main Street, Spring Hill
      204 Anderson Lane North, Hendersonville
      300 Pleasant Grove Road, Suite 600, Mount Juliet

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  8. It's not something I would use, but I'm glad for you!

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    1. LOL, yeah, I'm a little excited about it, if you can't tell! The first time I left to pick up groceries, my husband told his colleague I had a huge smile on my face. She said, "Why?" and when he told her, she said, "That sounds awesome!"

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  9. Stephanie, how nice to have grocery pick up service in your area. Over here, some housing estates get to enjoy grocery being sent to their home. For me, we do not get to enjoy these services.

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    1. Hopefully it will eventually be available worldwide!

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  10. Sounds interesting; I would imagine someone who has limited time would definitely take advantage of it. Glad it was a great experience for you :) I am trying to be positive about grocery shopping (though its not my favorite thing to do); at least we have money to buy food, right?

    betty

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    1. That is true! I always have found it stressful and life's too short! Plus, it actually costs me money to spend an hour at the grocery store, since I'm paid for the words I write. So I make money on the deal!

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  11. Nope. I ALWAYS leave the house to go grocery shopping. Otherwise I'd forget something--since I do all my shopping once a week. I love this though. I'm going to have to look and see if they offer that service around here. Probably not.

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    1. I try to stick to once a week, for sure. I keep a meticulous list, so it's rare I forget something but when I do, it's something I NEED, like noodles when I'm making spaghetti!

      Because Amazon and Instacart are focusing only on major cities for grocery delivery, Walmart and Kroger (which owns half the grocery chains in America) are focusing on areas that aren't served by those services. I'm in Gallatin, Tennessee. We have a decent population, but not enough to be on Amazon's or Instacart's map.

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  12. We used to get groceries delivered all the time back in the early 2000s when that sort of thing was all the rage (you used to be able to get a single pack of gum delivered!) from a place called Grocery Gateway. They were kinda overpriced but the quality was always great (even the produce!). The only drawback was if they were out of something they would substitute with a "similar" item of a comparable price. That's how you end up with a 10-pound bag of powdered milk instead of a gallon of 2% milk, or a bag of oranges instead of a bag of apples.

    I think their grocery pickers were aliens with only the slimmest understanding of earth cuisine. If anything wasn't on their list they lost their minds.

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    1. Oh my gosh, that's CRAZY! The first time, I unchecked all the "allow substitutions" boxes. This time I threw caution to the win and allowed it. A particular chicken item I'd chosen wasn't available, so they substituted with the same thing in a different brand, which was perfectly fine. It's weird--"substitutions" depend on what you're substituting the item WITH! Powdered milk instead of regular milk and oranges instead of apples are WAY across the line of what most people would consider normal. But with Walmart, they hand you a list and if they substituted something and you don't agree, you can just say no and hand it back to them. They only substitute if they're out of the product you've chosen.

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  13. Good for you. I love grocery shopping. I hate all other shopping, but love meal planning as I shop. I'm guessing for those that can't get around very well this would be the ticket. I can see lots of benefits.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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    1. And for working people who just don't have time to deal with it. I've always had to have a list, but I'm finding most people shop without a list, which surprises me! If I tried to meal plan while there, I'd for sure forget something. It throws my world all out of whack if I get there and they're out of one ingredient in something I've planned. My whole world goes off kilter for a minute or two!

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  14. Sigh. I so wish this was a thing in my country. I HATE grocery shopping.

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    1. Do you guys have Walmart? I was surprised when I was in England that they have Walmart (and Subway and Starbucks on EVERY corner!).

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  15. I have never even heard of this and I live in a big city, Milwaukee.
    I guess the future is here!
    Incidentally, I have a blog post today featuring all the future tech we don't have, that was predicted we would have back in 1985.
    At least this came true. :)

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    1. I'll definitely check that out. I wrote something like that for one of my clients back around the first of the year. I was amazed how much of the technology is actually under development, even if we don't have it in our day-to-day lives yet.

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  16. I could see this be so helpful for a variety of reasons. Too bad they don't offer anything like that around here. The closest thing we have is Sam's Club. But with that you still have to go inside and pickup your items. They just have them ready for you to check out.

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    1. Sam's Club needs to put that in place! The lines there are ridiculous because everyone's buying a billion items. They'd save a LOT of time for everyone if they'd let people just buy the stuff online and then let the shoppers load it up and bring it out to your car. I might actually use my Sam's Club card then...

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  17. I loathe and detest grocery shopping. Just the same, I am with Alex. I need to see, to touch, to smell my fruit and vegies.

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    1. I got my first veggies from them today and she did a great job. But yeah, a lot of people feel that way. I think she did a better job picking them out than I would have, but I'm not very good at that stuff!

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  18. Some of our bigger supermarkets have home delivery but nobody uses it because you need to spend a high amount of money in order to get the free delivery. But I don't think we will have these car pickups... nor do I think we need it :))) I love shopping. Adore it. And if I lived in USA I think i'd be in heaven since you have so many goodies and such offer.

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    1. Walmart's minimum is $30! I was surprised about that... Sounds like a lot of people love grocery shopping. I'm surprised about that. When I had a stressful job, I was still NEVER as stressed as when I stopped by the grocery store on the way home. It's just not a pleasant experience for me, but I'm an introvert. Being around people drains me. Maybe I can blame this on that part of my personality, too?!

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  19. Wow! This is pretty amazing! Can't believe it worked so well! Kudos and congrats! Ro

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  20. I enjoy grocery shopping...so much so that I do it twice a week. Lol I do my target run and then a produce run. It's fun and a great excuse to walk!! But, if I needed, there are several options for deliveries. I'm glad one made its way to you. :)

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  21. I love doing groceries! But I know people like you who see it as a chore!

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  22. Ha! That would certainly make grocery shopping easier for us. Right now, it's a tag team effort to go grocery shopping. My husband does the shopping and I keep the kids entertained. But I'm the one with the memory of what we need, and he knows what's a good deal. Too bad Winco didn't have something like that.

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  23. I have not heard of this and it sounds...appealing. I do all the groceries but hit 4 stores for deals etc... that are all in the same area so no extra for gas. Does it cost extra to have this done??

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  24. No, I still go out and do my own shopping. I don't mind doing it, and I hate the thought of paying a delivery fee. But if I could outsource some of my other errands I'd be thrilled!

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  25. Unlike you, I love grocery shopping. But around these parts, most grocery stores allow you to buy online and they deliver. I frequently run into the person who puts those orders together while I'm doing my shopping.

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  26. I have been sorely tempted since I hate grocery shopping, but I don't know how they'd do with the produce. My King Soopers does home delivery, but I've seen mixed reviews about produce delivered. And we go through a lot of fruit and veggies!

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  27. I didn't know they did such a thing

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  28. I actually like grocery shopping but I must admit it is the only shopping I enjoy. I don't like shopping for clothes, furniture and many other things. I do love dollar stores, though, and thrift and charity shops! :) I thought Amazon delivered groceries...do they? Here in Montreal, IGA, a grocer, was the first grocer that made it possible for people to do their shopping online, via their website! Now there are more grocers that have this option as well.

    I have never done any shopping online. Last year, in July, I was sick for an entire month...I had a bacterial infection known as "C Difficile." I lost like 8 lbs. in a few weeks and I just couldn't go out. A good friend and neighbour kindly purchased some groceries for me, I just gave her the money to, because I was in horrible shape. At the time, though, I didn't know what was wrong with me. After 3 weeks I knew I was pretty sick so I went to a walk-in clinic after taking Imodium (which I shouldn't take because I have only one kidney, but it was either that or suffer forever), so I only took it so I could get the the clinic. The doctor sent me out for stool tests and it was discovered that I had the C Difficile, so immediately he prescribed some antibiotics for 10 days and thankfully it went away. I lost my appetite for food, and even the smell of foods I normally love made me feel sick at that time. It took me quite some time to get my appetite and taste for food back.

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  29. How cool is that! I'm so out of touch, I didn't even know it was an option....
    Snorted on the first meme:)

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  30. I dislike grocery shopping and would love this service. I hope it comes to my area.

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  31. I've never grocery shopped online, I'm not a lover of clothes shopping but I don't mind food shopping. I like to go to the supermarket and see what things are on offer or if I can pick up any bargains, though I have to admit that I like having the choice, all the major supermarkets deliver in my area.

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  32. I have never tried this, but now I really want to! Though I think my husband likes going into the store too much and browsing. I do not.

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  33. Wow. No. I cannot get groceries delivered like that. I wish I could. I hate shopping of all kinds. I wish I had a futuristic machine in my house that would just create clothes that fit me perfectly (and make me look taller and thinner and younger) when I just point out a picture of an outfit I like, WHEN are they going to invent that, huh?

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  34. I know a day could come when I wouldn't be able to get to a grocery store. These services are a lifeline for shut-ins. But as long as I'm able, please G-d for many years, I like to pick my produce myself. I don't need to squeeze it, I just like to pick it using my own eyes.
    Around here Webvan had a short sojourn before the adventure failed. Turns out that people who don't like waiting for service companies to come during a stated time-window, didn't like to wait for their groceries in that same way, even though the window was only two hours. But I felt bad for those who can't shop for themselves because this is an important service.

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  35. My husband does the grocery shopping because he loves food. I'll cook it, but I hate picking it out, so it works for us. :)

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  36. How cool! Pretty much all of the supermarket around me offer delivery or pick up service, but I still go in person. Not because I love it, but because it's a vacation for me. It's probably the only thing I get to do without the kids, so I take advantage of the freedom. How sad is that? LOL

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  37. We don't have that option here in Halifax... I wonder if people would be interested in this. I shoud check it out, maybe it's something I coul do for people Saturdays and a couple of nights a week. I like the premise, anything to save time xox ♡

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  38. Oh, I wish, wish, wish we had that. As far as I know our area has nothing. We have Walmart stores, but we can't order like this, unless I'm mistaken. It sure would save a lot of time.

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  39. it's the BEST right??? We discovered Peapod a few years ago, where you order your food and a huge truck comes and delivers it. But now we use Shoprite's Shop at Home service. my dad always did the grocery shopping but when he got sick 2.5 yrs ago we all got so hassled food shopping became a major burden for me, my mom and bro. So we started using the shop at home thing and now it's all we do. Me or my bro will pick up the order and boom, no walking through aisles. I love it!

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  40. I bet we get this at our Walmart sometime in the next ten years;)

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  41. I swear Montana is the last state on the planet to get anything convenient like this. (Probably has something to do with the entire population being roughly the same size as the city I grew up in). Someday I can dream of this!

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  42. We do have online grocery shopping sites here as well but somehow, most of us prefer doing it the old fashioned way! My mom and sisters love grocery shopping at the local supermarket. I like it, too, only if it's really early and there isn't much of a crowd yet.

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  43. Now coupled with delivery...I would be ecstatic!!

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  44. About 11 years ago I broke my leg and thought it was a good excuse to check out grocery delivery. The local Vons/Pavillion offered it and hopefully by now they have the bugs out of it as it did not go well! I actually don't mind going to the grocery store -- I count it as exercise!

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  45. I did try Amazon Fresh a couple of months ago because I was curious about it. It was FANTASTIC! But I don't do a lot of the grocery shopping anyway because Chris is in and out of grocery stores all day every day for his job.

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