Goodbye, grocery store visits

I did it! I told you I'd do it, and I did: I did my grocery shopping online and had the goods delivered right to my door. Right to my kitchen, in fact.

Let me first be sure to note that this is not a sponsored post. This is me being pleased as can be that I got all this...


...without having to step foot in the grocery store, without even having to carry a bag into my house. All thanks to the HomeShop service offered by King Soopers (a Kroger grocery store).

As so many of you expressed via comments at various times that you abhor the grocery shopping chore as much as I do, I'm here to tell you abhor no more.

Soon after publishing my Wednesday post in which I noted how very much I'd happily pay someone else to do my grocery shopping, I visited the HomeShop site, signed up, and was on my way — in my pajamas, mind you — to picking and choosing items to add to my virtual cart, items to be delivered to my door.

It took me a little while to get the hang of the HomeShop site, how to best navigate the virtual aisles. Turned out the best thing to do was grab the weekly King Soopers ad that had arrived in Wednesday's newspaper and do a search for each of the sale items I wanted. Then I filled in with all the other items I would have added to my grocery list. I had my actual shopping done in the time it usually takes me just to do the list.

I then chose from the available two-hour delivery windows for Thursday. After that, I entered my manufacturer's coupons, paid with my credit card, then considered the chore done. Woo hoo!

Until later, when I realized I'd forgotten a couple things. I simply reopened my order, added them, totalled and paid again (no actual charges are made to one's card until the order is delivered). It was kind of cool to know that I had until 3 a.m. or so the day of delivery to add or remove items from my list, just in case I remembered something in the middle of the night.

My window for delivery was 10 a.m. to noon on Thursday. Just after 11 a.m., the HomeShop truck pulled up in front of my house, the pleasant delivery folks named Mary Lou and Daniel hopped out and began unloading my groceries from the many bins in their truck. I let my dogs out the back door, Mary Lou and Daniel brought my groceries in the front door and on into my kitchen.

Then the settling up quickly began. Mary Lou turned to her nifty high-tech traveling cash register, scanned the coupons I'd entered online, scanned my credit card and voila! Grocery shopping done!

Mary Lou kindly pointed out on my reciept where the $10.95 delivery fee was waived for my first-time order (as it is for all first-timers; the $10.95 applies for all subsequent orders). She also pointed out five things considered a "Drop," meaning they were dropped from my order because they weren't, for some reason, available in the store. I suppose if I had chosen the option when ordering to "Yes, make substitutions," my order would have been complete, but I want what I want and didn't want substitutions made for items I really wanted.

Out of curiosity — knowing I'd be sharing the experience here — I asked Mary Lou how this all worked on her end, how she and her coworkers enjoyed the task I can't stand. She admitted to enjoying the shopping part of the job — shopping she begins at 5 a.m. — more so than the driving duty. It's the driving duty that Daniel prefers, she said, making them a great team.

I honestly don't understand how King Soopers makes money on the service, considering they charge just $10.95 for it. I marvelled at such to Mary Lou and Daniel, and though she didn't reveal how they make money, Mary Lou did say the grocer makes about $30,000 a month on HomeShop. I can only see that increasing as folks — perhaps even you reading this — realize how freakin' awesome the service is. Awesome not only for those who hate grocery shopping, but unusually busy parents or those confined to the house for an extended period for myriad reasons, maybe.

I accepted my nifty printout from Mary Lou (which noted my fuel points — a perk Jim would be upset about losing if they weren't included in HomeShop orders) and handed Daniel the tip for him and Mary Lou. (I knew to tip because I called the HomeShop help line just after placing my order to ask; the friendly woman who answered told me that yes, the delivery folks do accept tips, but "we leave the amount up to the customer.")

Once Mary Lou and Daniel left, I commenced putting the groceries away and gauging how well Mary Lou picked my produce and more. Produce selection was great:


Chicken, peanut butter and ice cream selections didn't please me as much. That was completely my own fault, though, not Mary Lou's. See, I didn't pay the attention to sizes as I should have when shopping the virtual aisles. So I ended up with peanut butter jars larger than I've ever purchased, ice cream package smaller than I ever expected, and styrofoam packages of chicken breasts instead of the bags of flash-frozen breasts I prefer for easy meal prep. Like I said, that was my fault, not Mary Lou's.

In the end, what I learned is this: I will use HomeShop again. Probably more often than I actually go to the grocery store. I'll pay better attention when ordering next time, though. And ordering will go quicker next time than this trial run, thanks to the HomeShop option to save your lists (I'll have to tweak the poultry and peanut butter selections, of course).

Honestly, for $10.95 a delivery — plus tip — I think ordering my groceries online and having them delivered is one heck of a deal. Especially because I did save far more than that simply by not succumbing to impulse buys at the store (Easter candy, anyone?).

Goodbye, grocery store visits. Hello, shopping in my jammies!

Today's question:

I've been a King Soopers shopper for more than 30 years. Where do you most often grocery shop?