By Gerry Swartz
Recently I took advantage of a local grocery store's shopping
service. I ordered what I wanted on-line, they shopped and bagged it for me and
at a specified time I drove up and wrote a check and they loaded it into my car.
I received the first three uses of this service free. After
that, they charge $4.95 for 12 or more items, $2.95 for less than $12. I have
some special reasons to use this service, but even if I didn't, I prefer to shop
every two weeks which averages $2.48 a week.
While filling out my order on-line, I decided this would be an
excellent way for some folks (including me) to keep their grocery bills in line:
All of my coupons are spread in front of me while I place my
order and I will have just checked on-line coupon services like ValuPak. The
grocery store will first list all their items on sale or send them to me by
email weekly. My shopping list is already made out, so I am in a position to
make the most of the available discounts, sales, coupons, etc.
The shopping site keeps a running total of my costs so I always
know how much my total is. If I exceed my budget I can return items to the shelf
with a click of my mouse -- and no cashier will ever know about it.
If I don't go into the store, I won't be tempted by things that
aren't on my list. It also eliminates taking the kids into the store with you.
I think this could be well worth the $4.95 fee for folks who are
having a difficult time staying within their grocery budget, and it will save
them a little time, too.
This system can work even for people who are extremely short of
cash and can't afford the $4.95 fee, by using it as a shopping planning aid.
They can plan their shopping on-line and use the site as if they were really
purchasing their groceries this way. They have the convenience of a running
total and, before the order is confirmed and sent to the web site, they can
print out a shopping list for use in the store and then delete the one on their
This shopping service is extremely helpful to me because I have
a lot of difficulty and pain in my legs and back if I stand or walk for very
long, and I find grocery shopping is both of these things. I had been using the
electric shopping carts but the baskets are much smaller than on a regular
shopping cart so that I can't get everything I want into the cart despite
putting the merchandise on the foot rest between my legs, on my lap and in bags
hanging from anything available. Often the carts are not fully charged and I'd
have to shop in a hurry which left no time for checking and using coupons.
I started using this service when I had been ill and there was
very little to eat in the house, yet I was in no shape to grocery shop. It was
I have had very good experiences with how my order is shopped by
the grocery store staff. They have always chosen items with the most distant
expiration date, my deli sliced meat, cheese and regular meat match the amount
ordered almost exactly to the pound. They have never made a mistake on my order.
I am enamored of the service!