I hear a lot of people moaning about how we have become an online, fast food, technologically dependent society, and I think there is some truth to that. The lack of human connection, the fast paced life that leaves little room for meaningful interaction, the isolation that all of our technology encourages. However, there’s one thing that this era has brought that I’ve embraced fully – and I’m not giving it back. Online grocery shopping. I don’t know if it was specifically created for parents who dread the ordeal of grocery shopping, but I’m pretending that it was, and it gives me a warm fuzzy feeling inside that they were thinking of me.
Online grocery shopping, oh how I love thee. Let me count the ways…
1. Shopping in my pajamas. Some people think it’s absolutely fine to go out in your pajamas, but I grew out of that about ten years ago. I need to at least put on yoga pants, for goodness’ sake. However, when I can do my shopping on my computer, who cares if I make the yoga pant effort? My computer doesn’t mind if I’m still in my owl-covered flannel pants and tank top.
2. No time limits. I’m online and picking out crackers and the baby needs his diaper changed? No problem! I’m trying to find the best price on frozen green beans but someone needs help with homework STAT? The computer has nothing but time, baby.
3. No time inside the store. It’s a scientific fact that grocery shopping with children adds 30 minutes per kid to the time spent in the grocery store. I have four kids. That’s an extra two hours added to each trip. It makes shopping with only two kids seem like a breeze, and there’s something just wrong about that.
4. The smell. I may be alone in this one, but I hate the smell of grocery stores. It’s not a cleanliness thing, because I’m fortunate enough that most stores around me are kept pretty clean. No, it’s something about the mixture of vegetables, seafood and cleaning supplies all swirling together that turns my stomach. I find it really rude when I’m in an unfamiliar store and I’m peacefully walking in the coffee aisle, when I turn the corner and am hit with a wave of fishy, salty, shrimp-flavored odors from the seafood department. My car may smell like stale goldfish and crayons, but I’ll take that over sneaky trout any day.
5. No clean up on aisle 8. Why do the cheerios/crackers/goldfish always spill on aisle 8? It must be cursed.
6. Coupons. I have friends and family who are huge coupon proponents. I, however, am just awful at them. I never have the time or motivation to cut them out, and if I do, by the time I remember where I put them, grab them BEFORE I leave for the store, and pull them out to shop, they’re all expired. When I’m shopping online, the stores actually load the coupons to my account for me. You mean I don’t have to do extra work?? Sign me up.
7. They load your groceries in your car for you. I will pay almost any amount of money to not lose a dozen eggs and a bottle of wine each time I’m at the store because one of my helpers are a little overeager. There’s even an amazing rumor going around that one particular store will DELIVER the groceries TO YOUR HOUSE, and then BRING THEM INSIDE AND PUT THEM ON THE COUNTER. I’m not sure what genius came up with this business plan, but she (because it has to be a she) deserves a raise. And a corner office. And a hug.
8. I spend less. It’s completely true. When I go to the store, even when I’m alone, it’s so easy to grab something that catches my eye even if it’s not on my list. You mean they’re having a buy 3 get 1 free sale on Jiffy Pop?? I don’t even like popcorn, but how can I pass that up?!
9. My trips to the grocery store are no longer a contest of wills. I no longer spend an hour and a half saying, “please stay in your seat in the cart, no you can’t have that cereal that is more sugar than real food, why did you drop your goldfish in aisle 8, no we’re not finished yet, please sit down, don’t run down the aisle yelling, put the Twinkies back, I’m sorry my daughter grabbed your basket by mistake and pushed it half way down the aisle, sit on your bottom, please stop singing the bathroom song in your loudest voice.” Pure. Bliss.
10. New friends. I may not have that nice conversation with my bagger, or get to run into friends from church in the produce department, but me and the lady that loads my groceries in the car are BFFs now. If I was going to have another kid I may have named her Carrie.