This lazy afternoon was brought to you by Instacart

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? He collected the 15 items I ordered online a few hours ago and drove them to my apartment. Now he’s toting them up the steps and placing the plastic bags into my hands. They seem light. There were 17 items at first. But garlic and Simply Lemonade with Raspberry were unavailable. I accepted no substitutions.

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.

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