How A Half Marathon Made Me Try A Grocery Pick Up Service

As I mentioned earlier, Kelly and I ran a serious leg-shredding race in Utah. After Big Cottonwood, I could barely hobble to the bathroom for days. There was no way I could manage the grocery store.

That’s how we ended up trying online grocery shopping for the first time. My verdict? Not bad!

One of my regular stores, Kroger, offered three free pickups to try their online shopping experience. Normally the service costs $5/order. There are options to have food delivered, but I wasn’t that bad off.

Building my list in the Kroger Click-List browser took the most time. As part of the check out process I had the option to indicate if I’d accept substitutions on my items. I’m pretty brand and price sensitive, so I said no. I selected a pickup time (the next day for after work) and that was it.

To pick up, I simply pulled into a designated space during my pickup time window and called the number on the sign. Less than 5 min later a nice person came to my car and loaded everything in. I didn’t have to open the door or get out – I just popped the truck and she went to work.

The groceries were charged when I picked them up and reflected what I actually received. There were several items which weren’t available (that’s a little frustrating) and because I said no substitutions I was out of luck. However, I wouldn’t have wanted the store to decide what brand or price point to substitute out – I’m controlling that way.

Because I have a Kroger shopper’s card, my typical discounts and store coupons were automatically deducted from my bill. With that, the pickup fee would have been more than paid for.

I’ve also now tried the Walmart online shopping service. There’s never a service charge – that’s nice – and you can more easily buy toiletries and household products as part of your order (and at a better price than a grocery store). They took longer to deliver my goods to the car, even though I was picking up at the same time frame as Kroger. All in all, though, it wasn’t a bad experience.

I’m now a definite convert to order online/pickup on the way home. It saves significant time – only about 30 minutes to work through my list (or less if I do it as build my weekly menu plan) and a few minutes out of the way as I head home from work.

Because Kroger charges, I’d only use that service for a major monthly shop. But Walmart is great for those “gosh I forgot” or midweek mini-shops.

Between this and Amazon, the shopping game is changing in a big way. From my perspective, it’s a good thing because time is a valuable commodity and I don’t have nearly enough of it.

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