Am I too busy, too lazy or too wealthy to place food into my shopping cart?
That question rattles around my head as I trot downstairs to collect my grocery delivery. My delivery guy’s name is Samson. He’s no match for his biblical counterpart. His superhuman feat?
Samson and I met today because of an app called Instacart. Loblaws emailed me a week ago. I could get $10 off a delivery order of $50 or more. I needed groceries and I’d wanted to try it out.
Full disclosure. I’ve got a kid and we use shortcuts to protect our time. I’ve used UberEats, Good Food, Chef’s Plate and a few vegetable delivery services. And I’ve saved plenty of time using Loblaws’ order online and in-store pickup model. But this time, things started off rocky.
I didn’t want to download a new app so I clicked the link in my email. The interface was like what Loblaws uses but different. I found certain items marked up. Several other items that end up in my cart were mysteriously unavailable.
It costs $3.99 for delivery. There’s a driver tip — $2.75 — added for you. And another $2.47 for service. So let’s say $9 is what it costs. I’m not wealthy. But I’m not cheap. I have cheerfully paid the $5 for grocery pickup while my wife and daughter hung out at home. And that required two ride shares, totalling more than $10. On top of that, I had to wait for the drivers and the grocery-pickup people.
Even with a list, grocery shopping online isn’t the easiest. I ended up with eight large jalapenos instead of the two I needed. At Loblaws, I toss two jalapeno peppers in my cart. I’ve never had to determine the average weight in grams of a jalapeno. Then ask Google Assistant to convert it to kilograms so I could switch back to the app and add it to my order.
Instacart is OK. Rich people would use this if they had a Mr. Belvedere they could bark grocery requests at. Then Mr. Belvedere would go online and order their things. They might not care about paying an extra dollar or more for convenience. I still do.
The Loblaws’ is less than two kilometres from our apartment. We had nothing planned that afternoon excepting cooking. I was not busy. I was in this instance lazy. Getting grocery delivery gave us a lazy afternoon. After some intense wailing from my daughter, we left the house around 12:15. We strolled around the neighbourhood. We drank coffees and completed errands. A trip to the grocery store is taxing. Once you get past the online ordering, Instacart helped us have a nice afternoon.
Here’s my final complaint. What happened to my PC Optimum points? I’m loyal to Loblaws because we get free stuff and I’ve been going there for a decade. I haven’t seen any mention of my points.