I remember a season when grocery shopping was one of the most overwhelming, challenging tasks on my “to do” list.
It was at a time in my life when I had three kids under the age of five and my Myasthenia Gravis symptoms were at their worst. Simple tasks like brushing my hair or bathing my children were impossible on the days when my muscle weakness was at its worst.
Desperate to maintain as much independence as possible I quickly learned tricks and strategies to get through my days. Simple tools like a headset for my phone so I didn’t have to hold up the phone and a mixer for stirring rather than stirring food with a wooden spoon reserved arm strength that could then be used for other tasks.
A cooling vest made leaving the house during the summer months possible for a few hours at a time and a handicap parking hang tag made going to the library a possibility. I was able to save my steps for walking through the library rather than wasting my limited strength for the walk across the parking lot.
One task I never found a good solution for, however, was grocery shopping. It was a task that required such an expenditure of energy and strength, that it would put me down for days after the task. I tried to use my energy wisely and budgeted out every step by making sure my grocery list was written to follow the aisles of the store, so as to save any backtracking. But even with all that planning I lived in fear that I would run out of leg strength mid-shopping and not be able to make it back to the car with my children and groceries.
Eventually we solved the problem by waiting until Toby was home to grocery shop, but I resented my body and the limitations it put on my ability to be independent.
I remember thinking, “Oh, how I wish there was such thing as grocery delivery.”
This week I experienced the very thing I wished for so many years ago when I tried out our local Walmart’s new “Pickup” program.
Oh, how my 23-year-old self would have loved it!
Even now, with no physical limitations, I could appreciate the time saving/ money saving convenience of being able to shop at home and simply pick up my grocery order without having to take Ozzie and Tyler in the store.
Here is how it works:
Step 1: Go online to Walmart.com and find the closest Walmart participating in the pickup program by entering your zip code.
Step 2: Register and create an account.
Step 3: Begin shopping! It was so convenient to be able to sit at my desk with cook books open and create my shopping list online by typing in and clicking the groceries I needed. You can specify brands and quantities and a running list of items you have selected appears on the left side of the screen and keeps track of your total. This is important in that you must spend $30.00 to qualify for pickup services.
Step 4: When you are done shopping, you pay for your cart load of groceries via credit or debit card.
Step 5: Select the desired day and time of your pick-up. Then while you are at home sleeping a “personal shopper” will do your shopping for you, bag it up, and have it boxed and waiting for your arrival.
Step 6: The next day (or on the day you selected) pull into the specialty pick-up parking spots. You can indicate your arrival with the Walmart app or call the number posted on the wall in front of you to let your personal shopper you have arrived.
Then you wait, with your children buckled in and contained, for a Walmart employee to come out with your bagged groceries. They load them in your car, letting you know if any substitutions have been made due to products being out of stock.
You sign for your order and you are ready to go.
The cost for this service: nada…zilch…zip.
(Although my mom might argue the cost for this convenience is my soul. I come from anti-Walmart stock. Sorry Mom! ) 😉
BUT, It was SO EASY!
The only think that would make the program better is if they sent home an employee to unload the bags and put away the groceries on the other end.
As a thank you for being first time pickup customers we received a bag of samples and extras, including a can of soup and a bottle of chewable vitamins.
What a blessing this service would have been 15 years ago.
What a blessing it was today.
Although today’s grocery shopping challenges differ from the ones in the past, the ease and convenience is equally appreciated.
And I know Toby appreciated the $25.00 that was saved on impulse purchases that end up in the cart when I shop with hungry little “helpers.”
I give the experience two thumbs up.
Yep…I liked it. I liked it a lot!