Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Still, I Love Technology

I've been trying to post for a few days, but I've just felt so "bleah" that I couldn't.
 I'd write something out and then realize I was just unloading and while I am a big fan of unloading, if it doesn't actually make your burdens lighter and lead you to feeling better, you're not unloading, you're recycling.

Recycling is great for cans and plastic, not so good for souls and internet posts that everyone can read.
Emma, Kate and Jane left on Sunday morning to go back to Utah.
We do what we can and we pray a lot.
That's all I'm going to say about that.

One thing I am going to say more about is my new favorite thing about living in New Jersey: grocery delivery.
I know!
I have not enjoyed shopping here. We live by some decent enough stores, but you have to cross that wacky freeway to get to them and none of them are grocery stores.
The grocery stores are chaotic and I've never seen anything like it. Everyone shoves and is in a hurry so they can get in front of you and stop. It's important to be at the front of a line that isn't moving because you can't find your coupon for Miracle Whip......
I hate it.
I drive 15 minutes extra to go to the grocery store that is a little less crowded and feels more like Fresh Market in Utah.
When I heard that you could skip all of that and have the same stores deliver, I decided to see what that was all about. I am not being paid to post this, this is just my little review of online grocery shopping.

First, you log on to the website:

Put in your zip code and it will tell you if you are in the delivery area. (It's through Stop & Shop, the primary place I get groceries from.)
They have a rewards card program, and when you put in your rewards card, it actually pulls up a list of everything you've already purchased there.
Super convenient.
You can shop directly from a list of your past purchases if you want.
They also have all of their items broken down by section, so you can browse through the dairy section, produce, cereal....whatever.
They also have a section that lists the current sale items, and those items all have red flags on them when you are just going through the virtual aisles. They clearly show the regular price and the savings.
Click click click.....

No more impulse Snicker's Bars.
No more wondering if I have enough flour to make a recipe, I can get up, walk to the kitchen and see.
No more buying things I already had plenty of because I ran out one time three years ago and I've been buying it every single  time I go to the store ever since...(ketchup.)

Add it all to your cart and then checkout.
You pug in your debit/credit card and schedule a delivery time. The deliver fee is about 7 bucks, but certain times offer discounts on that. If you're willing to give them a 6 hour window all afternoon, you get 2 dollars knocked off your final cost. If you're willing to let them come at the crack of dawn, it's a dollar off your order. Your first delivery gets the fee waived completely, so I got an addition buck taken off my total, as I was good with the early morning delivery.
You have until 4 pm the day before your delivery to make changes to your order or change the delivery time.

I ordered everything we normally get, cheese, milk, eggs, produce, bread. I wanted to see what the quality would be like on everything if I let them choose it all for me. (I still chose the brands and everything, I just didn't touch the actual packages first. )
My delivery was scheduled between 6:00 and 8:00 am today.
at 7:00 I got a text message letting me know I was next on the route.
I got out of bed and bra'd up.
at 7:20 I got a text that said they were here, sure enough there was a the truck in front of my house.

The nice man unloaded all of the groceries from the truck and brought them right to my door. I had him put them all of the floor of the patio. He couldn't believe I ordered 6 gallons of milk. Yeah, sometimes I can't believe that, either. In my defense that should last 10 days. In Utah, it would have only lasted 5.

He handed me the cartons with my eggs in them and asked me to inspect them, to make sure none were broken. They looked great. It all looked great. Better than great, in fact because when I go to the same store, the milk and produce they have out on the floor is not this fresh. It's been touched by hundreds of people who poke and sniff and mangle it before deciding it isn't perfect and putting it back on the shelf. The lovely unmolested ears of corn and Bartlett pears they delivered were a wonderful thing to see.

The delivery guy was super nice. He told me that if I had coupons, the way that works is that you hand them to the driver, who brings them back to the store and they add them up and put the savings right back on your credit card. He said it's a great way to save even more money.

He reminded me that I had opted for a paperless receipt, so if I needed to see it, it was all online and to call them if anything was missing or unsatisfactory by noon today.

I won't be calling.
I am THRILLED with this. Absolutely thrilled.
Now, it costs more than going out to the store yourself because there is a 7 dollar deliver fee and you have to tip the driver. I need to figure out what the right amount for that is, I had no clue so I tipped him five bucks. If he thought I was a cheap schmo, he didn't show it, so I'm guessing that was okay.

This is a game changer for me, folks. With the money I saved on impulse buys alone, the service paid for itself. I didn't shop hungry and buy a bunch of pastries and chips. I wasn't at the store buying extra crap when all I really needed was milk or cheese. I planned my means and shopped from my menu, I stocked up on sale items.

If I can manage to plan my shopping list even a day in advance, my days of battling the roads and the treats on the end caps of the aisles are done. I can even schedule the delivery for after Matt and the kids are home and get them to help with the six gallons of milk I will often order.

This is also perfect for when I have sick kids (like today, poor Romy) and when I am sick but the kids have eaten every last Hot Pocket in the freezer. I can't wait to do my Thanksgiving meal shopping this way. All of my holiday baking supplies will come right to my door and I won't forget things because I'm tired, since my recipes and what I have on hand are right here.  I never have to load and unload bags in the rain or snow again. For an arthritic old bag like me, it's a lifesaver.

Oh, life is good. Life is very, very good here in the big city.

And that helps, because on Monday, life was very bad and I had a really bad day. I cried, I was super sensitive and finished it out with yelling at my kids. I'm not a parent who does that very often, I grew up with so much yelling that I'd pretty much rather eat paste than bring that energy into my home, but I'm also human and some days, when they're being butts- you yell at your kids.
You then follow up with apologizing to them and having a family talk about pulling together and remembering that we all need support- even Mom- and even when it's not your assigned day to do the dishes.

I woke up Tuesday, still feeling as fragile as a China doll so I rolled up my sleeves and did the think I know will help: I baked.
I baked three apple pies from scratch. (Yes, even the crust, Doreen.)

I used pie filling I had canned a couple of years ago with apples from the Holmgren's tree. That made me feel good, to think of Karin and Marcus and to remember the days I spent in that red kitchen making that pie filling. I never thought I'd stop feeling sticky.

One of the pies was made as a gift to our friend and neighbor, Ron, who sprained his foot mowing the lawn. In spite of that pain he and his family still came over to our house Saturday night and had an ice cream party with us (along with the Hawkins family.) We love having Ron and Cyndi so close and they are seriously some of the funnest and most interesting people.

Making sweets for neighbors has always been a way to help pull me out of a craptastic mood and it worked it's magic on my soul yesterday and I felt like myself again. Instead of a family meeting when Matt got home yesterday, we instead enjoyed some pizza, apple pie and family games.
Much better.

This place still freaks me out. It isn't home yet. I miss my Parker so much I can't stand it. I miss kids with sticky smiles calling me Auntie Christmas.  I miss our family and I miss the familiarity of Utah, but I am finding some things I LOVE about New Jersey.
 There are some wonderful people here, the gospel is just as true and amazing here as it is in Zion and they will deliver your groceries right to your front door for seven bucks.

I think we're going to be just fine.

1 comment:

  1. Loved your review of the shopping delivery service. I've never tried it, but think I probably should. I loathe grocery shopping with a passion. And I do like Stop N Shop.