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January  13

Poof! Insta-Grocery Shopping

Our Suburban Archeologist lets us in on an amazing secret.

We are all desperate housewives, especially at 2:59 when it's time to pick up the kids. Just when we're a third of the way down our to-do list -- ding! -- mother's little hindrances arrive home. Who can blame us if we're always looking for the next labor-saving device -- whether it's a cleaning squadron or a Blackberry?

For most people, the Internet's a help. From banking to ordering pet meds. Even paying those endless Montclair conveyor belt parking tickets (I’m in the acceptance phase and I refer to them as my way of giving to the “Montclair community fund”) on njcourtsonline.com. And, as someone who does not “do” math, nothing compares to PayCycle.com for our company’s accounting needs. But as resident Suburban Archaeologist, I’m always digging for new time saving-treasures. Have I got a gem for you.

The most sublime time saver of all? Online grocery shopping at Nutley Shoprite. I practically skipped with joy down Lorraine Street when I realized my days of lumbering through the grocery store were O-V-E-R. I’d rather chew glass than crisscross through the supermarket ever again, pushing a 500 hundred pound cart, escorting two kids to the bathroom (at different times, no less), buying snacks to the tune of "Mommy, Mommy you forgot my balloon!" and getting half-way through check-out before realizing I'd forgotten my deli order.

So I’m feeling rather smug about my discovery. Ok, it’s not available at Brookdale Shoprite (my supermarket with a heart), but who cares? And even if the service is $10 extra, you save money. In fact, my first grocery bill was half as much as the usual one because I didn’t impulse buy.

Click on shoprite.com  to create a master list (which takes little time). Don’t worry, it’s got the all pictures, specials, brand names and aisles to guide you. Plus, you can modify that list anytime to make it smaller or larger. Choose the pick-up time in the drop-down box. (You need to plan pick-up about four hours ahead). Go to the Nutley Shoprite on Franklin Street, pull into the far end of the store parking lot, back in, and a sensor alerts an employee you are in the pick-up  area. So far, I’ve never seen a waiting line. An employee greets you at your car window (the first time with flowers for using their service) and poof! insta-shopping in less than five, count ‘em guys, five minutes. They take my debit card to pay and load up my trunk with my order. Yes, full serve. As if I were buying gas.

Drawbacks? Sure, there's the occasional snafu. Once, for instance, I got a single apple instead of a whole bag. I learned my lesson and ordered more carefully the next time. A small price, I think, for squeezing an extra 90 minutes into a 24-hour-day. Isaac Newton would be proud.

Lisa Finan

January 13, 2005 in Suburban Archeologist | Permalink


How did you settle on paycycle.com? Did you look at any of the alternatives?

Posted by: Lex | Jan 13, 2005 9:51:06 AM

Wow, I thought that Priceline thing was good, but it holds (held?) zero candles to this.

As much as I adore the Brookdale Shoprite (though not the everlasting light at the corner of Broad St.), I might have to do this.

Posted by: Tom | Jan 13, 2005 11:00:51 AM

Hmmm, I'm still waiting for Fresh Direct to come to the burbs, LOL.

Posted by: butchcjg | Jan 13, 2005 11:13:06 AM

There are also a number of online grocery stores that have very competitive prices ... and the shipping isn't all that expensive - great for household staples and it comes right to your door via UPS. I had my elderly parents set up with http://www.netgrocer.com/ and it was great!

Posted by: Cat | Jan 13, 2005 11:51:02 AM

There are also a number of online grocery stores that have very competitive prices ... and the shipping isn't all that expensive - great for household staples and it comes right to your door via UPS. I had my elderly parents set up with http://www.netgrocer.com/ and it was great!

Posted by: Cat | Jan 13, 2005 11:51:22 AM

If plebian Shoprite can offer online shopping/delivery, what about premium grocers Kings and Whole Foods? This is also a no-brainer for Costco...

Posted by: Cranky Consumer | Jan 13, 2005 9:13:36 PM

The Nutley Shoprite is on Franklin Ave, not Main street :-)

You're the first person I know who's used this service. I've been considering it. Do they take coupons?

Posted by: gc | Jan 14, 2005 7:38:50 AM

I have been shopping online at Shoprite in Nutley for several months. My personal shopper calls me if she has any questions about my order. They have special parking spots for online people, drive up, camera sees you and they come out for your name and coupons. Everything is packed in bags accordingly. All frozen foods together, refrigerated foods together, etc. People always friendly. Well worth the $10.00 charge. It is easy to do once you do it once or twice. I love it!!! Plus, you never have to get out of your car.

Posted by: Mary Tetzloff | Jan 14, 2005 11:19:28 PM

What about the frozen food/refrigerated stuff? Is it still cold when they bring it to you or does it melt because they have it packed in the cart and waiting ????

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