Emma Waverman writes about the chaos of modern family life. She is the co-author of the family cookbook Whining and Dining: Mealtime Survival for Picky Eaters and Families Who Love Them and is hoping to one day finish her certification as a parenting coach. She lives with her three kids, ranging from tween to grade schooler, and husband in Toronto. Emma has written for a variety of national parenting and lifestyle magazines and newspapers. When she's is not making typos, telling you what she thinks, and thinking about dinner, you can find her on Twitter at @emmawaverman. You can contact Emma at embracingchaos@hotmail.ca.

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Friday
Jan162015

Loblaws Click and Collect Changed My Life (or at least my week)

 

I admit I am part of that strange subset of people who like grocery shopping. Some people hit their zone when working out – I do it in the aisles of a grocery store (I really wish the adrenalin hit me working out, though).

But that doesn’t mean that I always have the time. Or that I am organized enough to do it one complete shop. Sure, I do make a shopping list, and I store it on my phone – but I generally ignore it. (Don’t ask me why, my husband would like to know that too.)

I am finding the feeding of children riagamorle particularly challenging right now, with gymnastics and dance and skiing and life of a busy family. I am trying to find ways to cut down on my running around that also keep me organized so that I can get dinner made, kids to things and my sanity intact. This is where Loblaws Click and Collect comes in.

As you probably know I am a Loblaws apologist. My mother and I used to pore over the Insider’s Report together, Loblaw’s is my default big grocery store and well, I was in those commercials with Galen sitting around my kitchen table.

The people at Loblaws know this, so they asked me to try out their new Click and Collect program (and they did give me some gift certificates to cover some of my grocery bill.) You may have seen those Click and Collect ads all over the Internet, or at least they are seriously following me to every page I go to, (which is a little better than some other ones that follow me all over the Web.)

Click and Collect is a program where you order your groceries online, choose a two-hour pickup window time, and then arrive at the Loblaw’s at the appointed time, call the number, and two nice people load your groceries into your car. You never get out of your car. In fact, you don’t even need to get dressed.

Currently, it is only available at three stores – the “secret” Loblaws at Redway, Leslie and Lakeshore and on High Tech Road in Richmond Hill. Luckily, two of those stores are extremely convenient for me.

 

Last week, I ordered my groceries (in my pjs) on a Monday morning and I chose a Tuesday pickup time between5 p.m. and 7 p.m. I received an email saying that my groceries had been packed at 4pm and would be ready for me. I dropped my daughter at gymnastics and headed over to the grocery store. I pulled into the pre-determined spots at Loblaws and phoned the number on the pole. It was minus 11 out. Two, extremely polite young men, checked my order with me, asked if they could charge the credit card I put on file, and then loaded my trunk with groceries. I was listening to the radio in the warmth the whole time.

Okay, not the whole time – they renovated the Redway Loblaws and made it fancy, so I ran in there to check it out for a minute. But now I will  never need to go in again – unless I choose to. When they renovated it, they added a door and some refrigerators at the back of the store for the Click and Collect program.

There are obviously up and downs to this form of shopping. I didn’t get to pick my own fruit and vegetables so my avocados were hard, and the sweet potatoes were smaller than the ones I usually pick. I thought that I ordered a bag of oranges, but I only ordered one. Shopping online will never quite be the same as shopping in person – when I ran in the store I saw that there were Jaffa oranges which I didn’t see online but I would have ordered if I had.

Loblaws sends you an email with what products they were out of that you wanted, outlining the substitutions that the shoppers made. They give you two chances to accept or reject the substitutions but that’s not the same as you choosing your own.

When I remember, I bring along the Loblaws bins to pack my groceries in and skip the plastic bags. When I asked how to avoid loading up on plastic, the staff said I could make a note on my next order, and then bring my bags/bins to them when I come to pick it up and they would pack into them. 

I have been raving about the experience so much, that a couple of my friends have tried it too. One friend ordered from up north and then picked it up on her way back home. Brilliant! Except they forgot her milk. Still, she’s committed to give it another try.

My grocery list has been saved and I can use that as a base for my future orders, I can even search it by aisle or by past order, or favourites. I find that ordering online cuts down on my impulse purchases and means that I can research recipes at the same time. So, theoretically that all means that I will be better-organized, and since I am at gymnastics twice a week, I have no excuse for running out of groceries.

This is theoretical of course, there is only so much a person can do….

(Just in case you forgot how I pronounce quinoa....)

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