Valet grocery service the best thing since sliced bread

By Melanie Yingst - Contributing columnist

Watching my parents attempting to use and interact with technology is cute.

My mom has the laptop and Internet usage down fairly well. While on vacation, my sister showed her how to download books on her iPad mini.

We got her a tablet three years ago for Christmas. The most she had used it for was to do word searches and play solitaire.

She was so excited when she returned from vacation about being able to download books from her favorite authors. She still prefers a new paperback, though, but an iPad mini can come through in a pinch.

My dad, however, still prefers to ignore the World Wide Web. However, he does love the fact he can preview an auction rather than reviewing the auction bill word for word.

“Fire that thing up for me,” he’ll say when he has an auction he’d like to see online.

In fact, while Mom was on vacation and I wasn’t around a few weeks ago, he “fired that thing” up all by himself. He was quite proud of this accomplishment. This is the same guy I ordered a new battery for his flip phone just last week.

Technology isn’t so bad, after all. In fact, I tried out one of those new “Online Grocery ordering” lists on a grocery store’s app this summer.

I’m in love.

It’s not a perfect system, but as someone who absolutely hates to go to the grocery store, it’s been the best thing to happen to me since sliced bread.

You see, going to the grocery is one of my least favorite chores. So much so, that I try to avoid it at all costs. When the mice are starving to death is when I generally make the trek to town.

This is why I love this new service.

Basically, you make out your grocery list on your smartphone. You can request four bananas, have your deli meat sliced just like you were at the counter and check off each thing you need as you build your list.

I’ll admit, it takes a while the first go-round. I realize I’m only a household of two, one of whom is a picky eater, so this process isn’t as daunting as it would be for larger families.

Yet, I browse the sale ads, then add the items to my online grocery list. I generally take my time over the week before setting an appointment to pick up the items.

And here comes my most favorite part: they load the groceries in your car for you.

It’s like valet service, only with coupons and ice cream. It also gives me a reason to clean out my car.

While my only complaint is that they seem to overdo it with the plastic grocery bags, this process literally saves me three hours of my life.

The other day I saw a battle on Facebook with some people calling those of us who love the convenience and time-saving aspect of this service “lazy.”

I don’t know this person, but she had a point that only the elderly and disabled should use this service. Yet, corporations have finally found a way to capitalize on the busy, overworked population and how time is a valuable commodity.

It takes me at least two to three hours to go to the grocery. By myself. It’s a little faster now that Evan is older. Yet, living out in the country, it takes me 40 minutes round trip to get to and from the store. Inside, who knows how long I could wander around in there. Then I have to haul it home and put it all away. Ugh.

I actually prefer the smaller, no-frills type of grocery store. I don’t mind bagging my own groceries in my own cloth bags. These smaller stores are actually relaxing to me since I only have limited options. I prefer it! Yet, this online grocery list deal gets the bulk of the work done for $5 a pop.

For me, $5 is worth the three hours I saved in this ordeal. So go ahead and call me lazy, but I can think of a lot of ways I can better spend three hours with my son and Shorty than searching the store for the organic peanut butter.

Online grocery ordering is the best thing since sliced bread (which is always placed separately on top so it won’t get smushed).

By Melanie Yingst

Contributing columnist

“Twin” Melanie Yingst appears weekly in the Troy Daily News. She actually likes slicing her own bread.

“Twin” Melanie Yingst appears weekly in the Troy Daily News. She actually likes slicing her own bread.

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