Early on in the pandemic, I went out to the grocery store and kept doing my shopping the normal way. Or what was at least normal then. In person, wandering the aisles. Sometimes being surprised to find some stuff in stock that should have been more difficult (fruit, dairy, bread) while others were empty shelves (toilet paper, the cliché).
But I was having a conversation with a social worker that I seek counsel from professionally from time to time, and she mentioned that her husband had “adapted” to the new reality and was doing it all online with local pickup. In a spurt of energy that week, I “lessened” my external stress and gave it a shot. There were some basic initial logistical issues, but overall it worked.
As time progressed, and things tightened and loosened, I’ve stayed with the pickup. Now, it is practically a well-oiled machine. I can log on to the store as late as 10 a.m., or even noon somedays, and still have pickup that day. What used to be free has been equalized with a fee of $3 through the week and $5 on weekends. I know that’s a deterrent for many people, on top of those who want to pick their vegetables themselves, but I’ve never got “bad” veggies from the order. Occasionally, they make odd substitution suggestions, but mostly I say yes. My needs, as they say, are not great.
I could go in the store again, and I have on occasion. But generally speaking, I don’t care enough to go back in person. Andrea does the general list based on what we’re down on or out of in the fridge, freezer, pantry and cupboards; I add a few things that I want, particularly for lunches, snacks and pop; and then I transfer the list from the app we like (TickTick) to the PC Express website. I could go with the large Loblaws, but I really like the Independent. It makes zero difference since I’m only picking up, but for some reason, I’ve stuck with the Independent. I feel like I’m avoiding the behemoth.
But most of all? It’s easy and it works. There are still quirks, of course. Like last year’s Christmas surprise of six potatoes turning into six BAGS of potatoes due to a combination of a really good sale with inattentive clicking. Most of the time, it’s fine, although occasionally it’s hard to gauge quantities. I was low on various drinks, and so I ordered a bunch today, with double orders on multiple cases. Which made for a large order, and not as much space as I would have hoped. But I added Ginger Ale in one part of the order as I went, Coke somewhere else, a third elsewhere, and the next thing I knew, I had two bins full of drinks alone. In person, I would have cut back and not doubled-up. Online, it’s hard to see how much space your basket takes. Four peppers show up as four items, not one, so overall quantity is not always that telling.
We do lots of things still in person, as the need arises. Mostly clothes, I guess, or some specific electronics. But between Amazon and curbside pickup options everywhere else, I’m willing to continue doing it whenever I can.
It mostly works well, and I like the simplicity of it. And that leads to #MoreJoy for me.