Monday, 19 July 2021

Online groceries ...

 Well, today has brought the not unexpected news that we will be in lockdown for a few days more.

Problem that, because if you live in a rural community and are limited to a 5km radius of home you are limited to the (admittedly rather good) local supermarket.

The real problem is that while they have most things that we need they don't have everything, and when I went up this morning to buy some things that we had run out of over the weekend they were clearly having delivery problems, with some items not on the shelves.

The obvious answer is online grocery shopping with one of the majors.

It used to be that online grocery shopping was a bit of a pain - only one of the duopoly delivered and then only on certain days, but since the pandemic hit, things have improved with both of the usual suspects delivering most days.

Now, the last time we used online grocery shopping, we still lived in Canberra, and it might have been 2015, or possibly even earlier.

However, it was quite a tour de force - we were in Singapore on our way back from Europe, and we realised we'd be coming back to an empty fridge.

So while we were waiting, we sat down and made an online shopping order to be delivered the morning after we got back.

This worked really well, after all the online ordering system didn't care where on the planet we were, which meant we were able to get a pantry full of basics delivered without having to stagger round a supermarket in a jet lagged state on a Sunday morning.

We're not only fussy about fresh fruit and veg and like to have a good look at what we're buying, we also like to make things from scratch where possible, so once we were back in Canberra we found we didn't really use online ordering apart from the odd click and collect order in the run up to Christmas.

And, as I said, when we moved to the country, and where might think online ordering would be a natural - after all, it's how we buy a lot of things, even pre pandemic - it was let down by limited delivery options, meaning that every couple of weeks we would make the 80km round trip to a big Woollies or Coles to stock up.

And that is how it was until the current lockdown.

During the long lockdown last winter we could make the trip as we live in a rural area were not restricted (within reason) as to how far we could drive for shopping. 

In practice, we restricted ourselves to the small Coles in Myrtleford, as it was less busy, and didn't drive to one of the bigger, busier stores in Wodonga as we would normally. 

The other periods of restricted movement since last winter have been short enough to  manage with buying locally.

So, this afternoon, we sat down and logged into one of the majors online ordering systems.

As we hadn't used it for eek years it had of course forgotten all about us, which was probably fortunate, as we didn't want our shopping ending up at our previous address in Canberra, but we had the usual happy ten minutes sorting out a delivery address, payment method, linking our loyalty card etc, etc before doing battle with the beast.

Of course, some of the stuff that's usually available in the stores isn't available online, and we forgot some things, and of course there was the lunatic rule that we couldn't add a bottle of cheap cooking wine because if you ordered alcohol it could only be delivered when the bottle shops were open, despite ordering in the middle of the afternoon, but we got there.

We got most things, so now we await the appearance of a large refrigerated truck later this week ...

[Update 22/07/2021]

Well, the delivery process was really smooth.

The company sent a text about 0630 the morning of the delivery with a more accurate estimate of when we could expect our delivery, and the truck arrived bang in the middle of the new delivery window.

Everything, apart from broccolini, was there and they'd warned us about that, and everything was pretty well packed and in good order.

As always, there were a couple of stuff ups on my part - the wrong size of washing machine detergent, and only a single bag of coffee, but we can live with that.

In fact, lockdown or no lockdown, we might continue with the delivery service, on a rough calculation the cost of delivery is around the same as the cost of the petrol we'd use going to get the stuff ourselves ...

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