Walmart does it. Safeway does it. Costco does it. Blue Apron, Amazon Fresh, and Schwann’s do it. These days, a host of companies are willing to do your grocery-shopping and deliver it right to your doorstep. I went to my grocery-store’s website this morning to check the weekly sales, and was blasted with the announcement that they too are going to offer home-delivery of groceries, beginning on the 29th. The delivery folks have the catchy slogan “happiness delivered” and wear cute t-shirts with UFOs. (I actually wouldn’t mind having one of those shirts.)
I decide to check it out. Apparently I can just download the app onto my smart phone, put in an order, and wait for the groceries to arrive at my door. It even says “unlimited free delivery on orders over $35”. Sounds good!
So I get started. First they need an e-mail and my zip-code. What IS it with everyone and his brother wanting my e-mail?
I notice that I’m not dealing with my local grocery-store anymore, but a company called Shipt.
Okay, now we’re getting to the nitty-gritty. It‘s true that there is no delivery fee as long as you are ordering at least $35.00 worth of food, but there IS a subscription fee – either the annual fee of $99, which will be billed to you as soon as the free trial period is over, or a monthly fee of $14.00, if you don’t want to be tied to the service for a year.
Credit card number and telephone, please.
Hmm, now I get to the part where they tell me that the price-tag on the grocery items will be just a wee bit higher than the price listed in the store. Well, obviously they have to make money. But it will tack an average $5.00 onto a $35.00 order. But we spend more like $140.00 a week, you say. That means about an extra $20.00 on the grand total, in addition to the subscription fee.
Whether this service is a good idea or not depends on your situation in life. If you’re handicapped or have difficulty walking, this could be good. If you are a senior without a car and have no one available to pick up food at the store, this could be good. If you make good money and are dead tired when you get home, this could be good.
But as for me, I rather enjoy going to the grocery store, checking out the produce, noticing interesting people, getting some indoors exercise, and chatting with the cashier. If the cashier’s looking a little unhappy, I can give an encouraging word and share some happiness. So… until I go senile or my legs give out, I guess I’ll just keep getting my groceries the old-fashioned way.