How I Saved 2 Hours Grocery Shopping

Anything that saves time in chores gives us more time to do the things we want to do, so when I saw that my local Meijer store was offering online ordering and curbside pickup, my husband and I said we definitely wanted to try it some time.

mattersmost_300x300-300x300I’m getting ready to do a big cooking day, so this week was that time.

I made an account on Meijer.com, and started ordering. It was so much easier to just type what I wanted into the search bar, and then choose from all the choices, than to hunt for the item in the store! I also tried drilling down through the categories, as in Grocery –> Produce –> Vegetables, and that was also easy. Everything was pictured, so I knew what I was getting. It took me about an hour and a half to put together the massive shopping list that my cooking day required, over 80 different items. It takes me about half that long just to put together the shopping list for my husband, because it needs to be Very Specific. Then when he goes to the store, that takes 3-4 hours, plus a stop at Starbucks. That alone was a trade-off for the $4.95 pickup fee, plus my husband had one less super-sugary drink he didn’t need. 🙂

At the end of placing my order, I was able to select the exact pickup time my husband wanted, and it was ready when he drove up to the pickup area. We ordered two days ahead, but orders can be placed as little as three hours in advance, or one hour for 12 items or less. Store staff does all the loading–my husband didn’t even need to get out of his truck.

Overall, it was fantastic, and we will definitely do this again. My only complaint was regarding pre-packaged meats. Oh–as for quality, Meijer says they pick out the best meats and produce for curbside customers. I have no complaints there, but rather about the quantity. My cooking day required 11-1/8 lbs. of chicken breast, so I ordered two family packs that were supposed to be approx. 5 lbs. each, plus a single pack of approx. 1-1/8 lbs. I realize meat weights vary, so I noted in the comments box that I would rather have more than that, than less. But I got two 4-lb. family packs, plus a .8 lb. single. This is a new service, so I expect there to be some bugs to be worked out. They emailed me a survey link, so I put there that I’d like to be able to order meat by the pound, as I was able to do with produce, rather than by package. Luckily, I had some frozen at home, so I had enough for my cooking day without having to go back to the store.

snowdayWhat I’ve Been Reading: “Once Upon a Snow Day” by Kait Nolan. This short story is part of her “Meet-Cute” series, which aptly describes it. Not my usual fare, but I like something light and fun like this every now and then, and it fit the bill. Recommended!

gimmeshelterI also read Gimme Shelter by TS Hottle. This science fiction novella is set in the same universe as his prior release, The First One’s Free, which I read a few months ago. These books are the opposite of the one I almost put down in that he does a great job pulling the reader down into the characters, and making us interested in what happens to them, even those with less than charitable intentions. Like Free, this book is laced with evidence of his prior crime fiction work, full of characters with shifting and questionable loyalties and alliances in a complex, diverse, and well-developed universe. Definitely recommended!

ROW80Logo175ROW80 Update: I got a little done on my blurbs and cover, but they’re far from finished. Still, with all else I have going on, that’s a win. I did get the print book and cover for Mythical Press done, except for a few minor text tweaks from the author. I met with my writing group yesterday, which was fun as always. They are both among my first readers for my current WIP, and the one who got it back to me already had lots of changes to suggest. I agreed with most of them, but wasn’t sure how to implement them–actually, I was a bit overwhelmed–so she met with me to go over them. That helped tons, and now I have a plan for my revision. So this week’s plan is to write the two new scenes we identified.

How about you–what other strategies do you have to save time at the grocery store? Have you read any good books lately? And how are you doing on your goals, whatever they may be, writing or not? Please share in the comments–I’d love to hear from you!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.

14 Responses to \

  1. I love the idea of curbside pick up for groceries! I wish our stores did that here. Especially in the winter. I never want to go anywhere in the winter, so if this was here, I’d be super stoked! (I’m going to make a suggestion that this be implemented at the store I usually shop at. They have a suggestion form on their website. :D)

    As for saving time when I do have to go–sticking to my list and items with coupons keeps me moving along pretty fast. I also try to go early in the morning on a Saturday or Sunday, when no one else is around. Waiting in lines makes me antsy, so anything to avoid a line or a crowd is a bonus!

    Great work on your goals, and I hope you have a productive week. Can you believe we’re nearing the end of February already? Where has the month, and this Round, gone?!

  2. Ooh, I like the sound of that service Jennette. I can see that a few bugs need to be sorted out. But, hey, saved tons of time on the pick-up end. The list end, maybe not so much. lol. I hear ya on the specific lists with the hubby. Although, I have to say to his credit that he is trainable. lol. I recently found an online co-op called Thrive Market. It comes straight to your door and if you spend $49.00, the shipping is free. And for me, since we lean on the natural and organic side, it not only saves time, but money. And that’s always a good thing. So glad to hear you’ve got great input for your revisions. Gotta love your critique group. Well, enjoy your cooking now, because soon your kitchen will be torn up. lol. Have a wonderful week! 🙂

  3. Sounds like the new “shopping” experience was a hit. I like to pick out my own meat and produce, so this service might not work for me, but it certainly sounds like a time-saving device for sure.

    Have a great week.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

  4. I wish we had that option here! I can’t stand grocery shopping and would gladly pay a fee do that instead! Sorry that meat thing didn’t quite work out, but as you said, there are probably bugs that need to be worked out.

    Hugs on the overwhelming comments. I’ve been there before.

  5. I’m glad the shopping thing worked out for you (for the most part). Still don’t think I’ll ever go that route. Mainly because I don’t like shopping at Meijer!

    My goals have switched–again. Working on the novella now since I got my edits back and trying to get them back to my editor in 30 days. Which means I probably won’t finish revising my novel by the end of March, but I’ll still give it a try!

  6. Kat, I’m with you–anything to avoid lines and crowds! Well, maybe except getting up early. Thanks, and hope you get this service in your area soon!

    Karen, that Thrive Market sounds great! I can’t imagine something like that working in this area yet. Thanks, and you have a great week, too!

    Patricia, the meat and produce that came in our order was very nice–I couldn’t have picked any better myself. Except I would have gotten more chicken!

    Erin, it still ended up working out. And thanks!

    Stacy, I used to not like Meijer either, but they made the store a lot nicer after Walmart moved in, and now, made it nicer again. And I can so relate to the changing goals! Here’s hoping we both finish by the end of March. 🙂

  7. I’ve toyed with the idea of online shopping via either Peapod or Thrive for groceries… but at this point I’m blessed with a hubs who runs all those errands–and does a good job with them with couponing, etc. We’ll see. Mostly we’re just looking for the cheapest GOOD option, and online groceries seem like an easy miss for quality.
    😀
    As for goals… Well. I’m in the middle of two crazy weeks at the day job, so not as much writing as I’d like.

  8. Tonya, my husband does our grocery shopping too, and it sure is a blessing! Even so, this helped with getting the right stuff, as he tends to just grab stuff. The Meijer site says they pick out the best meats and produce for pickup orders, and based on what I got, I have no reason to doubt that.

    I hate it when stuff like the day job keeps me from writing–here’s hoping your craziness ends soon!

  9. Thanks for the shoutout, Jen.

    Unfortunately for me, the nearest curbside pickups are Meijer and Kroger in Oakley, not always doable for me. If my local Kroger ever gets it, I’ll give it a shot. My shopping day is on Friday, with payday being when I do the heaviest shopping. If I could get back that two hours by just swinging by Kroger (which just started the service as well) and popping my trunk, I am soooo there. Plus it cuts down on impulse buying.

  10. Great deal with the new shopping arrangement. I love to shop online and have food delivered right to the house. Still have to buy produce and fresh meat at the store, but all the other stuff is so convenient to shop online and pick it up on my doorstep a few days later. Yay for your big cooking day working out so well for you guys.

    And it sounds like you’re kicking buttinski with your writing, so you go, Jennette. Looking forward to reading your new books!

  11. I love the idea of online grocery shopping. Unfortunately the stores didn’t have everything I usually buy, and that would mean shopping anyway. Still, to have most of it all prepared when I arrive, that would be amazing.

  12. My hub told me about an Amazon service that you can get food, including ice cream delivered within two hours of ordering. I don’t know how much that costs though. I do like the sound of your grocery stores service. Happy revising!

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