Dramatic convulsions aside, I find grocery shopping with the kids to be a fairly un-traumatic experience. Favouring the week days when one or other of us is home with the kids, or early weekend mornings when only other sleep deprived parents are wandering the aisles, we happily avoid peak time mayhem and-so far at least, it’s worked. Except for the odd pack of strawberries / fruit / crackers, high cost bribery hasn’t really taken hold and the kiddos are fairly happy to trundle around – even if he does want in the trolley, while she wants out.
I’ve done web based grocery shopping a few times – mainly when juggling work and kids when my husband has been away, and I know a good few of my 5-day working parent friends, totally rely on it. I buy everything else – from wool to clothes, online but I’ve no strong feelings about online grocery shopping either way. I have probably harboured some concerns about fresh goods but have to admit my rare few experiences to date have been positive.
I was happy give it another try though this week when Tesco Ireland offered me 50euro voucher to try, and review, their online shopping offering. So Monday night, in jammies and armed with my tablet I ventured out to the virtual shop. First off, I had a log in i.d. and all those bits, linked with previous orders and also our family clubcard, so all my details were saved on the system. I booked a delivery slot – avoiding the pricier 7e charge in favour of a 4e evening-time one. I then took a bee-line for the special offer section of the site and happily filled my trolley with a variety of goods.
The experience certainly differs from my usual auto-pilot wandering approach where I follow a predictable route around the shop, grabbing the usual items. I don’t normally have a shopping list – being rather cockily over-confident in my ability to remember everything (a really, really over-stated skill that I clearly don’t possess) but I can see that this is perfectly suited to the list type shopper. Finding products and comparing prices was very simple – and this definitely encouraged me to take a minute to buy new items – whereas in ‘real life’ I’d have been pushing the trolley, punching figures into the i-phone, singing some random nursery rhyme and figuring out whether a good deal, was really a good deal. On the fresh items, our weekend shop and a delivery of fruit and veg from my parent’s garden meant we were pretty sorted on that front, and we had done a recent stock up of meat from the butcher, so there was nothing I really needed. In the past though I have included milk etc in the order and have to say my fears of short-dated products were unfounded.
Having finished up my shop, checkout was easy – with just one snag. I had included a pack of non-alcoholic beer in my order. The delivery slot I had chosen was 9pm til 11pm – when I could be sure the nosey parker 4-year old would be asleep. However, even 0% alcohol beer is classed as being an alcohol product on the Tesco server so couldn’t be delivered after 10pm. The end result was I had to change to a slightly less convenient 8pm to 10pm slot with the risk the delivery would come during kiddie bedtime. It still cost 4e and it wasn’t a big issue – just a little niggle.
As it happens delivery was at 9.45pm, the delivery guy was friendly and efficient. He dropped in the groceries but said himself he couldn’t delay as he had other orders to drop off before the 10pm alcohol embargo. Not having to trek in bags from the car while making sure one of the monkeys doesn’t dash out the door or ‘help’ by carrying in eggs or something else fragile, is certainly easier and waaay faster – and possibly for me the biggest advantage of online shopping.
Setting aside the beer issue, I couldn’t fault the service. I would probably use it again – but mainly if I thought I could guarantee one of the cheaper delivery slots to make sure online shopping doesn’t cost more than in-person shopping. While I appreciate the convenience, I know it takes a good bit of budgeting to ‘claw back’ that delivery charge so I for one would be watching for the cheaper- or free, slots to make it worthwhile. That said I have friends who maintain that the bribes necessary to placate their toddlers cost more than the delivery charge – so they are quids in on the service with the added time to have a cup of tea! In terms of that convenience, I can also see that there are advantages in frequent use where you can fast-track your shop by using ‘favourites’ lists which reference your clubcard (not just online shops) and previous orders, and that’s a really handy function.
So there you go. It was very handy and something I’d use again – but I’d watch the cost.
By way of a nice treat, Tesco have offered any readers a 20e voucher for use with their first online shop where they spend over 60e. Offer details are as follows:
- €20 off when you spend €60 or more on your first online grocery shop at Tesco.ie
- eCoupon code: RXXF4NC
- Offer end date: 10th October 2013
- Full terms and conditions can be found at www.tesco.ie/groceries
I was given a 50e money off voucher by Tesco Ireland to try out and review their service. All opinions are my own and this review has been prepared and published with no editorial input from the Sponsor, Tesco Ireland.