The disadvantages of grocery pick-up

Nobody delivers to my house. Curbside has its advantages, but also its disadvantages. I am in a position to mostly be okay with them, but I feel sorry for those who aren’t.
The disadvantages:
IT is more expensive. You cannot take advantage of sales and mark-downs. When you are in the store and you see that shell pasta is on clearance because a case was dented, you can quickly switch your meal plan from elbow macaroni to use shell- but the shopper cannot do that. The store doesn’t use local sales flyer prices, either.

Many grocery stores needing to make a more expensive substitution will charge you the cheaper price of the original item you wanted. Not my local store.

Substitutions are not always sensible- I’ve mentioned, I think, the case where the store substituted a sushi mat for sushi rice, and worse, where they substituted regular pasta for the gluten and egg free pasta the Cherub can eat.
My local store still doesn’t allow people to use their SNAP cards for online ordering. Stores in the larger town south of me only started doing that about 8 months into shut-downs.

Produce- I really dislike the produce they select. Last week I ordered bananas and they were all solid green. The Cherub could not eat them. They took a week to ripen, but they were so green that the last three are still green on the top half, but are speckled and ready to be used for bread and cookies. I am tired of rock-hard avocadoes and grapes that the bottom layer is wrinkled. Shoppers are on a time crunch and don’t have time to sniff melons and oranges and heft the eggplant and compare which feels heavy for its size, and inpect the jicama for dark or soft spots and look at the sweet potatoes with the freshest appearance.

AVailability of ingredients varies wildly. It’s been fine for a while, but I can still only get two of some items, and I still can’t get certain items at all. And when you place your shopping order you’ve based it on a menu you intend to cook, so when it comes t pick up time and half your key ingredients are missing, you really have to scramble. And you can’t just place your next order the same day, usually same day delivery around here is already full.

I really am not whining- I do it, and I just shrug or laugh. but it’s more than minor inconvenience for frazzled, harried young parents whose jobs are in precarious position. So I get kind of irked when I read some snooty, smug sort online saying to a woman who gets panic attacks from wearing a mask, “put on your big girl panties and wear the mask or do delivery. It’s not a big deal.” and so I write stuff like this to release some steam. It is a big deal for many and they are allowed to be frustrated and talk about it.

Of course, death is a bigger deal, but all of us have struggles that are real and immediate to us, and it’s okay to be upset and talk about the things you are struggling with.

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8 Comments

  1. Andrea
    Posted December 16, 2020 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    I’m sorry it’s not working out that weel for you. Our store does charge the lower price when substituting. I get a list of all the substitiutions a few hours ahead of time, and I can accept or reject their chosen substitutions. One store has you choose “banana ripeness” when you order, it’s an actual part of the ordering process . The choices are “mostly green, mostly yellow, or mostly brown.”. The other store doesn’t, but you can put notes or instructions on every item if you wish at either store. So, I put “Mostly yellow,” in the notes. I like a particular brand of ice cream, so I put in the notes “if flavor out of stock, substitute another flavor in the same brand.” I hope you have the ability to do this. Maybe if you make more use fo the notes/instructions you’ll have better results.

    • Headmistress
      Posted December 16, 2020 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

      I have used the notes. They are only as good as your shopper. This means locally… Well. I once was ordered 25 lbs of whole chicken (big family event), and the shopper said there were no 25 lbs chickens.

      Again, I can manage, but it isn’t as simple as people imagine and I do get tired of hearing the rude, dismissive comments from people who have no idea.

  2. Andrea
    Posted December 16, 2020 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    Oh, and I ordered avocados this week and put it in the notes that I wanted them “ready to eat.” They were perfect.

  3. Joy
    Posted December 16, 2020 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    Yes, I have found the same difficulties. Does your grocery store allow you to refuse substitutions? Mine allows me to check a box saying that I don’t want an alternative, which is helpful for things like the pasta.

    I agree with you. I’ve heard similar things and wish that people had more imagination so they could at least try to understand that everyone’s situation is different.

    • Headmistress
      Posted December 16, 2020 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

      I can refuse substitutions easily at Walmart(an HR away). My local grocery store, I have to be on the app watching like a hawk to catch subs as the are made.

  4. Linda Lawhorn
    Posted December 17, 2020 at 6:05 am | Permalink

    I’m sorry this has been so hard. It’s been a rough year for you. Sometimes it’s the little things that are hard that have the biggest impact.

  5. Anne-Marie
    Posted December 17, 2020 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    It is frustrating, even on other people’s behalf, to hear people who don’t have some particular problem dismiss the concerns of those who do.

    And just because the problems of grocery pickup aren’t on the same scale as death doesn’t mean they aren’t problems. As a wise friend of mine, who carried far heavier burdens than I, once told me, “You don’t have to be suffering the most to be suffering.”

  6. Lisa Beth W.
    Posted December 17, 2020 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

    Hmmm…I am a cynical sort when it comes to business dealings, and my sense of it is that they can pawn off the not so desirable produce on someone who can’t see what they are doing/the shoppers don’t give a hoot what they are actually giving you if they know you will have to come back and shop there again anyway. But, like I said, I am a cynical sort.

    I wish it could be better for you! And I HATE the expression “put on your big girl panties”. There is a woman in my church who gets panic attacks with a mask, and I have zero patience for anyone who gives her trouble about wearing a mask.

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