Monday, May 7, 2012

Grocery Shopping Online with (ahem) Free Delivery

Lately, all I've been hearing about is a local grocery store that offers FREE delivery!! Friends are raving about it...
the time they save,
the money they save,
 how they feel so waited on,
so pampered,
so blah blah blah!!!!!!!!
Last night, I decided I would finally give it a try. Don't you think I would have been excited? Pleased? Delighted? Well, sorry, no...I was totally stressed out, to the point of my stomach hurting! Why? Several reasons I can think of: I like to SEE, FEEL, TOUCH my groceries. Controlling? Yep. So I've been told. But I really don't mind grocery shopping, especially since my children are older and I usually only take one or two at a time to help me shop. Another reason I wasn't totally comfortable: sometimes what I see in the store reminds me of something I need to buy. Sometimes I like to compare products, whether it's ingredients or nutrition information or price. Call me crazy, but I LOVE wandering around the wide clean aisles in Hannaford. It's pleasing to my eye to see the beautiful produce section.
 Ok, moving I finally got up the nerve and created an account online so I could do my online shopping. I clicked away, nervously hoping I could delete items if I selected incorrectly or changed my mind. I checked and double checked and after about an hour, I was ready to check out. That's when it got a little squirrely...although sale prices were showing correctly, my shopper club card savings were not being reflected. I logged out and in and out and in. I called customer service (which evidently closes at 9pm, and it was midnight). I checked the FAQs and clicked "help" and still had no answers. Finally I decided I better just place my order or I wouldn't receive it in time to make Monday night's dinner! I admit, I tossed and turned for awhile before I fell asleep...evidently I was a tad keyed up!
Today I glanced at the clock over and was scheduled between 1-3pm. About 11:30 I received a call..."sorry, we don't have the ginger root or the jalapeno pepper." What??? How does a large grocery store not carry these items?? (Thursday's dinner requires the jalapenos, so it looks like I'll be hitting another grocery store before then! And tonight's dinner sufficed with ground ginger instead of fresh grated ginger root.)
Well, delivery time arrived and there was my order, carried right into my foyer, double bagged with paper inside/plastic outside! All I had to do was hand over my credit card and sign the receipt...but I was still wondering about the shopper club discount and there wasn't time to sit down and total everything...I got so flustered I forgot to give the deliveryman my $20 off coupon!!! (Oh, he was polite and everything was just fine with the order.) After the deliveryman left, I went through the whole order, looked at the prices from the list I had printed and compared it to the receipt. The totals were similar, but I was confused as to why the total I paid wasn't lower (with the shopper club discounts.) I decided to call customer service and got some answers: if you join the shopper club online, a card will come in the mail. When you order online, regular sales will show up, but shopper club sales won't show until the items are delivered (they are shown in bold on the receipt.) One other item I hadn't thought about: the price given online when you place the order COULD vary, if, for instance, the meat they select for you weighs more or less than what you ordered (the london broil was a tad lighter than what I ordered; the oven stuffer was slightly larger; and the lobster was the biggest difference, which did change my total.) This makes sense because they don't have everything prepackaged to a uniform weight. One more note: the delivery fee of $6.95 is waived on orders $100 or more. And coupons are to be given to the delivery person and then your account is credited back at the store. So, what do I think now? Would I do this again? Yes, I will try this again. I think it will be easier next time, now that I know what to expect and I understand the process better.
Tips to keep in mind:
1) they may not have everything on your list (they will call, but not everything has a substitution)
 2) order $100 or more to get free delivery
 3) shopper club discounts will show up on the delivery receipt but not online
 4) meats and other weighed items may vary (causing your total to be slightly higher or lower)
 5) have your coupons ready...they will not accept them by phone afterwards (boo!)
 6) it doesn't have to be as complicated as I made it :)

a few other items i'm adding...
1) i usually shop at Aldi first, then hit Hannaford for those harder-to-find items, and for large purchases of meat - Fred the Butcher (10 pound bags of chicken breasts, ground beef, etc)
 2) if i were physically restricted, if my kids or i were sick, if i had little babies, or if the weather were poor, then i would definitely use the home delivery service all the time!

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