In effort to cut back on money and time spent on food’n’stuff, I decided to give Kroger’s ClickList option a try.
I am not receiving anything to tell you about my experience: nothing free, no money or credit, nada. But that’s okay, because on my Thoughtfully Sought path through life, I’m hoping to share what I’ve learned with others for the sake of sharing and possibly learning something new.
To make a full disclaimer, I do have family members and friends who work for the Kroger Company. No, they aren’t getting anything from this blog post, either. Sorry, guys!
Before I go any further, I would like to state that I think this is a stupid name. The Kroger Company probably spent a big ol’ chunk of money on a team of well-educated individuals to come up with that name, so I apologize to all who put effort into it. But I could toss out about 15 better names in 40 seconds if you asked me to.
Where I live, I shop at the Pay-Less stores of the Kroger family. I was on my Android phone looking at my weekly sales ads and going through my digital coupons when I saw the “shop online” option. After recently reading an advice book suggesting one creates more time with her family (or for her other priorities) by shopping for groceries online, I decided to give it a whirl.
I poked around on the site for a bit, saw how they save my previous purchases, looked into payment options and the cost, and decided to take it a step further and get out the laptop.
Once I logged into my Pay-Less account, I got a full screen with all my shopping options. I used my list from these free printables to “shop” for what I needed. Thankfully, the webpage shows what items cost and if they are on sale. Then I looked through the digital coupons offered and added a couple more things to my “cart”.
ClickList does give a total amount of what is in your “cart” but it does not factor in the digital coupons. It also doesn’t take into account any paper coupons you might have. Note that Kroger/Pay-Less still accepts the coupons, though. When you call to say you’re ready and in their parking lot, they will ask about your paper coupons while the computer will automatically access the digital ones you’ve loaded to your card/account.
So, let’s see, where was I? Right. I loaded up my “cart” and went to “check out” where it let me review what I was ordering and select a date and time frame to pick up my groceries. Shortly after choosing my options, I received a confirmation email.
I was expecting another email or text or call or something once my order was ready, but I didn’t. They only send you that first confirmation, pull your order before your time slot, and eagerly await your arrival.
Ok, maybe they aren’t eager. I don’t know, I couldn’t see them from the parking lot.
I arrived at the store near the end of the time frame I chose, pulled into one of the designated spots, and called the number on the sign. The friendly individual who answered asked which spot number I was in, talked with someone near him, then informed me it would be just a moment before a clerk came out to my car.
Since I could see said clerk helping another ClickList patron, I was cool with just sitting for a few in my air conditioned vehicle with two slumbering babes in the back seat.
Soon, the nicest guy I’ve ever met at a grocery store came out with another man and a rolling cart with some black plastic tubs full of white Kroger grocery sacks. The friendly guy asked where I would like my groceries and if my doors were unlocked. While the one man loaded the rear of my SUV with the bags (even putting the frozen and refrigerated goods in the cooler I had back there for that very reason), Mr. Super-Friendly-Nice talked with me about my experience, coupons, who I talked to when I called the number, et cetera while he ran my debit card on his tablet.
For whatever reason, the tablet didn’t like my card, and Mr. Super-Friendly-Nice ran back into the store for another one. Meanwhile, the other dude was still loading my 60+ items.
Finally, I was loaded and paid for (that sounds inappropriate) and rolling out of the lot within less than 10 minutes of pulling in (yep, really inappropriate).
- I don’t know if it was promotional or what but there was no fee associated with getting my groceries this way. After telling a girlfriend who lives in another city about my experience, she said it cost her $4.95 to use the ClickList service. For me, it was free and super easy, plus I didn’t have to drag my littles through a grocery store.
- Ok, so not having to take the kids through the store was a huge plus. That hour that we didn’t spend in the store? I made a point to go to a free city park with them. How’s that for awesome!
- Also, I didn’t have any impulse buys. I saved money by not setting foot inside and being lured by sights, smells, and sale signs. I got precisely what was on my list, or on sale, or what I had a coupon for, because I was able to directly search for those things. It was great!
- I only had the one store to go to! Normally, I would run to a handful of different stores on grocery shopping day. This time, I decided the convenience of ClickList was worth the extra 10 cents on the marinara and the 40 on the salad dressing that I wouldn’t have paid having gone to Aldi’s for those things.
- I chose not to get produce or meat during this experiment. I am, as many others are, particular about my meats and fruits (heh heh, inappropriate again). We get our meats at a local meat market, so that wasn’t a concern, but I do like to get quite a bit of my produce at Kroger. However, I just don’t know if I can trust a clerk to pick precisely what I want. And what if he or she accidentally drops my bananas? What if there was a bigger melon? How do I know the best peach, tomato, avocado, etc was selected? I don’t, so I didn’t get produce that day.
- I also don’t know how refrigerated and frozen items were handled. I should have asked. I would think if you ordered ice cream, frozen peas, a gallon of milk, and some eggs that the staff would somehow ensure those items stayed the temperature they needed to. For instance, I selected the time slot of 3-4, and Mr. Super-Friendly-Nice informed me that my order had been ready since about 2:55. But I didn’t get there until almost 4. I didn’t order ice cream, but I’m hoping if I had, they would’ve somehow noted that some of my items needed to stay frozen. I don’t know. But I hope.
- Since I didn’t have paper coupons to use this time, I am not entirely sure how that process works. They say they take them, but I don’t know what that means. I’m assuming a clerk comes out, gets your coupons, goes in to scan them, and comes back out to take your payment. I don’t know, sorry.
I drove straight home, and the BHE helped me unload sleepy kids and all the groceries. My cold things were cold in my cooler, and everything else was set on our kitchen table. Since they gave us both a receipt and print of my order on a 8.5×11 piece of paper, I had no issues checking off the items as I put them away.
Yes, everything was there. Every last thing I requested online was in my kitchen. How awesome is that!
I decided I must write a blog post about my experience with ClickList because it was easy, free/cheap, and accurate. I did my grocery shopping one night while my family slept and I sat in my pjs in my bed with a glass of moscato. I didn’t have to get out of my car and, more importantly, I didn’t have to get my kids out of the car, into a cart, around a store, through the check-out line, and back into the car to drive all the way home and unload the whole mess. I saved money and time (and a headache).
If this service stays free, I’ll keep using it. If they begin to charge, like maybe $4.95 each trip, I may have to rethink how often I buy certain items. Because, really, five bucks to save money and the hassle, I think it is worth it.
Does your preferred store have this option? Have you tried it? What did you like? What didn’t you like? Or why haven’t you tried it?
I’d like to know. Maybe my other preferred stores do this, too. It was a fun experiment.
How do you like shopping for your groceries and goods?