Lifestyle

Food for Thought

Hello Friends – Hope you’ve all been doing well. My life yet again is in a constant state of whirlwind. It’s funny how life works out that way… Even though I’m currently only working part time, my life as a new homeowner, wife & friend is more than full-time. We’ve been so excited to settle in, meet some neighbors, find our favorite restaurants, explore new places to hang & grab drinks… It’s been great getting to know Tampa as an adult instead of a college kid (…and as always, Go Bulls!)

During this time though, we’ve been sticking to a strict budget until we see what our first month of bills looks like. Normally that’s easy to do in our family, except when it comes to the grocery bill. Enter Kev’s enormous stomach, eyes that are bigger than his tummy & hilarious distraction methods to get our normally $170 bill easily to $300+. That man. He’s lucky I love him so much & that his mother never threw him out for eating all her groceries in a DAY.

I swear. That was probably the biggest learning curve when being newly married… the food cravings & stomach of a man. When kev is in his prime working out every day, he can eat well over 5,000 calories a day & still be hungry by 10pm. I’m astounded. Where does it all go? Curse his amazing genetics & fabulous metabolism. {love you babe, mean it} While living in Orlando, we found our godsend – ALDI. Bless that german supermarket of wholesome organic goodness. We shopped for whatever sounded & looked good & rarely had a bill over $200 that lasted two weeks. It was magic in a store. When we moved to Jacksonville though, the nearest ALDI was 20 miles away. Little too far when it comes to keeping produce cold, in my opinion. So we transitioned to Publix – because as Floridians we all know that you pay for the smiles, great customer service & all around experience of shopping there. Publix is overpriced but swanky when it comes to this state so we all tolerate it in order to avoid the inhabitance of Walmart {especially in Jacksonville ok – take my word for it}

When we moved here… We did one grocery bill at Publix & then opted to run to Walmart the next week because of some home things we required. LITERALLY SAME FOOD BUT ALOST $100 DIFFERENCE. Why. Why is it like that… Tell me why, grocery tycoons. Love you Pubsubs, free cookies & smiling faces, but this isn’t cool. You’re not worth it to me right now – so we must part ways.

So we did. We switched to Walmart because the nearest ALDI here is down by USF & just too far… As I was complaining about going to walmart for things {Mostly because kev gets even more distracted – there’s literally everything at walmart} I realized I needed to find a grocery app to stay on track & to keep us within our budget. Something that we could share between our phones so he knew what brands I typically get {I’m particular, ok} We had company over one night & he ran to get taco supplies while I was coming home from work… $50 later things had to change!

As I was searching for an app, I stumbled upon the Walmart Grocery App. I thought it might be an easy way to plan ahead by listing what I needed & sticking to it. WOW. My life was changed. I had seen the signs for “Grocery Pickup” but never looked into what that was. I’d also seen the personal shoppers walking around – but I’ll admit judged people for seriously being so busy & lazy they couldn’t come inside?!

OK well let me say I’m sorry random people I judged, because I am now one of you. Let me explain: When you first log on, create an account if you don’t already have a previous Walmart one. Next, you’re given all the departments that they have in an organized & easy to navigate fashion. {yes, you can even shop for cleaning supplies, makeup & lightbulbs too…}

 

As you navigate through the departments, they go into even more detail so you can find exactly what you’re looking for. They offer generics, name brand & show the price the entire time… all from the app. As you add thins into your cart, you can select how many & also “heart” or favorite them for next time.

 

As I was adding my items into my cart, I could easily plan our meals for that week & quickly see my cart total climb. It was amazing not having to do math in my head while at the store & not being surprised while checking out with a huge total. You can also very easily search for any item you’re looking for, but I found it was so easy just going through each category like you would while wandering aisles in the store.

 

Finally, I reviewed my list, checked that if they were out of an item I’d allow substitutions, checked out through the app online & was given an option to choose my pickup time at my nearest compatible Grocery Pickup Walmart. {the one 3 miles away from us isn’t remodeled for this yet, so I drive 5 miles instead. Tough. I know.} They gave me a confirmation number & instructed me to wait for an email, text or app notification that my order was being shopped. Both times that I’ve done this, they’ve always been ready before the pickup time {by 15 mins} so I can pick them up at the beginning of the allotted window.

 

Once I got my notification that it was being shopped & almost ready, I was able to check into the app & let them know I was on my way to the store. I picked what my car looked like & was given instructions on where to park. The app used location services to track my progress to the store so the associate knew when I arrived.

 

Once in the correct location, associates came out with these rolling crates in order to protect your food & items. They asked for my ID for confirmation, gave me a water bottle while I waited & then proceeded to load my groceries – even though I offered to help. {They also give you a survey to fill out with your shopper’s name so you can rate them. She said this job is amazing, & she gets raises based on her performance ratings. She also said she loves this job & loves working for Walmart now instead of having to be a bagger.} My personal shopper notified me that there was a substitution in my order: I’d ordered name brand raspberries but they were out. They instead substituted with generic but gave me the size up {which was more expensive} but didn’t charge me since what I ordered was gone. She told me that whenever a substitution occurs, they give you the bigger size than what you ordered & don’t charge you extra. Wow ok so nice. The bag with the raspberries was clearly labeled “Substitution” so that I could approve it. If I chose not to, they’d just refund me the $ within 2-3 days.

 

So let’s talk about my groceries. What I liked, what I didn’t… Most people that know me don’t actually know that while I love food, love eating food & will always try new things… I’m incredibly persnickety about my types, condition & brands. I get it from my Grandpa Pritchard. Things have to be a certain way. Food has to look a certain way. I shop the dry things first & then race through produce to check out before it goes bad. It’s a thing & as much as I know it’ll be fine, I can’t change my ways. I thoroughly inspect the dairy, meat & vegetables… so this endeavor could’ve been incredibly terrible for me. Someone. Picking. My. Food. But that was the gamble I took in order for the sake of budget & convenience, right?

  1. Wow. How convenient. I ordered my groceries while waiting on an oil change for my car. I selected them on the app & paid all without leaving my chair. 10/10
  2. BUDGET YA’LL. I stuck to my budget. I stayed on task without adding in that cute top, extra lipstick or even a snack I was feeling because the packaging looked cute. I was able to see my cart quickly climb in $$ & took out what I didn’t think was necessary in order to keep on task. 10/10
  3. Time Saver. I didn’t have to stroll around Walmart getting distracted. I didn’t have to wait 30 mins in line or scream at a self checkout for “not bagging my item.” 10/10
  4. Quality. My food was as if I shopped for it myself. The produce was 100%. Even picky me was super surprised & satisfied. 10/10
  5. Bags. Literally my only issue was the plastic bags. There wasn’t an option for me to select “reusable bags” or “I’ll bring my own” which made me sad. When my bags then came to my car, we had to unpack them into my personal reusable bags & she kept the plastic ones. I asked, & she said they’d recycle them… but I couldn’t say for sure. She did say they’re working on a way to put reusable bags as an option, but that protocol right now was to bag each like item in the bags. Whew that part killed my soul… but I’m hopeful that with restaurants moving to no straws, stores will really start moving away from plastic bags. 2/10

Overall, an amazing experience. Did I feel slightly like I was the laziest person on the planet for not shopping for my own groceries?! Okay yes & no… here’s why.

I kept to my budget.

I didn’t get distracted & waste my time wandering around.

I actually helped employ someone & created such a cool job that {Zena} really loves.

I was one more person that complained about plastic bags to hopefully help Walmart here to change their app & options.

I take those as a win/win/win/win. If you’re like me & keeping to a grocery budget is a pain… then I really suggest using this app & considering Walmart again. There’s no charge or extra fee to use this option… which is amazing. Their service was prompt & so friendly. I’m a believer. I can get on board with Walmart Grocery Pickup. I’m not ever going back. Welcome to the future? Welcome to convenience? I’m just happy to be staying on task, on budget & on time these days…

What do you think?

x -A

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