Grocery Shopping in My Recliner

Monday, January 5, 2015
Howdy all!   I guess this is it - the official end to the holidays, everyone back to school and work, 'cept for us lucky retired folk.  Today's post is a little detour from my typical entries, but one I thought you might enjoy.
I don't know about you, but I'm not much of a shopper these days.  I go when I need something, but at my age I have pretty much everything I need and window shopping isn't really something I enjoy.  Same goes for grocery shopping - it's a necessity of life, but not something I look forward to.    My life just got a whole lot easier when Hannaford (my usual grocery store) began their Hannaford-To-Go program.  I am aware that other grocery stores offer online shopping, some even offer delivery, but until recently Hannaford had not.  You can imagine my excitement when our local Hannaford joined their campaign and became one of the ones offering this service.  If you think this isn't for you.....stick with me for a moment before making judgements.   I'll tell you why I am loving this service.
The first time you use this service, I will admit the ordering process is a little time consuming.  It takes a time or two to get acquainted with the website and the process.  You first have to set up an account - giving your name, email and password.   This is a one time process.  Once finished you sign-in to your account and begin shopping at the Hannaford of your choice.  Currently there are five local Hannafords offering this service - Clifton Park, Saratoga, Niskayuna, Colonie and Guilderland.  It would seem others would be added if the program is successful, but that's just a hunch on my part. Here's a few screen captures to show you what you'll see when you try this out.
 Next, you begin shopping.  Just select "Shop by Department" and choose a category.  Under each category are sub-categories.  For example - Produce - Fruit - various fruits.  Once you select a product, you can choose the quantity/lbs, etc.    Each item you add to your cart comes with a drop-down box enabling you to give special instructions for that item.  Example:  When I order bananas, I add a note saying "not too ripe, a little green please".    Under lunchmeat in the deli, I can give slicing directions,i.e. slice thin, not too thin,  etc...  The one thing that tripped me up the first time is that little "order for pick-up" - you have to click that each and every item after you click "add".   Otherwise, the item doesn't get ordered.   I guess that's a way to be sure you've noticed the special instruction option if you need it.  You can review your order at the end also and make changes if necessary.
 If you know what you want, but are having difficulty finding it under departments, you can use the search box and type in what you want and you will be brought right to it.  The hardest part is getting used to looking among so many items, but with practice, that goes much quicker.  In fact, there's even a way to use your previous orders and just select repeat items from there, saving a lot of time.

( Search box on the top right)

Once your order is complete, you check out and select a date and time for pick-up.  Note: there is usually a few hour delay in pick up.  Normally I do my order in the morning for afternoon pick up, or even the night before.  If you select a 10:00-11:00 pick-up time, your order is ready at 10:00 but is kept in a cold room until you arrive.  Once you arrive, simply drive up to the special kiosk in the parking lot, use the intercom and to announce your arrival.  You will then be directed to one of the "To-Go" parking spots where your groceries will be delivered to your car.  In just a couple of short minutes, the attendant will load your car and discuss anything that was out of stock and will then go back in for for any substitutions you want to make.  If you order Hannaford carrots and all they have are organic carrots, you are only charged for the Hannaford brand.  The attendant takes your money, card, etc...into the store and brings out your change and receipt!
What I especially love is that your groceries are packed in wonderful paper shopping bags with handles and are sorted with amazing detail.  The cans together, the frozen together, the cold stuff together, and so on.   Unpacking is a cinch!    I'm telling you, it doesn't get easier - to sit in your recliner doing your order while watching tv while somebody else walks up and down the aisles collecting your groceries!!!    You're probably wondering about fees.......if your order is less than $125, there is a $5 service charge.   I think that's very reasonable, not just for this service, but considering if I were to walk around the store, I'd spend way more than $5 on impulse buys.   Shhhh.....don't tell them that.  We've used this service about 5 times now and not once have I had a mistake or missing item.  In fact today when I ordered kleenex, in the special instruction box I specified brown or blue boxes and that's what I got!!  Pretty freaking awesome.  I've even found items on the inventory that I've never seen in the store!  Really, if I looked at every item in the store, I'd grow old there!  But scanning online, it's easier to see new and different products.  Also, sale items are marked in red, so it's easy to see and purchase weekly sale items. Now sometimes I need to go myself, but for all the other times, especially during the winter, I will enjoy this service and be grateful to have someone else shop for me. This is even a great service if you shop for a shut-in.  Just do the order online and drive in and pick it up.  In today's busy world, I think this is a great service - for busy moms, for seniors who have trouble walking, people like me who'd rather be doing anything else but grocery shopping, the possibilities are endless.  So, if you don't love walking the aisles or if you are just looking for a new way to have some extra free time, check out this service   I'm pretty sure you won't be disappointed!

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