I started online shopping reluctantly several years ago, ordering hard-to-get books from Amazon. I progressed to a few small but excellent eBay purchases (the cost of the postage from the UK for my bike leathers was more than I paid for the leathers themselves!) and then bought the odd fado CD (fado not being hugely popular in this country, finding my fav fadistas in the local Music Shop isn't easy). More recently I've found some brilliant bargains on the Catch of the Day website – my favourite being the cases of rather good red wine that come up now and then (hic!)
I've never really taken to buying my groceries online, though – until now.
When I was a high school teacher I used to think there was something a bit therapeutic about wandering through a quiet, child-free, uncrowded supermarket late in the evening. All those lovely orderly rows of goodies, well-behaved and silent... Now that my bike is my only mode of transport, night-time grocery-shopping (particularly in winter) isn't the fun it used to be. And of course, doing it all on crutches and with NO means of transport – well, that's actually NEGATIVE fun! I attempted it a few weeks ago in 35 degree heat and had to be rescued by a man on a recumbent bicycle, who walked my heavy backpack up the hill for me while I sobbed uncontrollably. How embarrassing.
Last year when the wheelchair man fell on me and my hamstring snapped off my bum, I took advantage of online grocery shopping in a very small way. Just as well really, or I would've starved to death, as I was pretty much housebound for almost a month. I didn't really get into the spirit of it though - perhaps I was in too much pain – or perhaps I was spending all my food money on stuff like MRIs and surgeons' appointments.
And of course, my lovely daughter drove me shopping occasionally in her held-together-with-duct-tape deathtrap of a car, making a point of smirking at me (she's evil like that, bless her!) She had visions of a long-distant future and was unable to resist the line “Hmmm.... and so it begins...” as I hobbled like a 90 year-old to the car and took 10 painful minutes to manoeuvre myself into it. Hag.
During this current period of incapacitation, though, I have embraced Woolies' online grocery shopping like a long lost friend. In fact – I'm becoming obsessed!
Each week my orders become bigger and better. After yesterday's delivery I am a bit nonplussed. What on earth possessed me to buy 3 litres of grapefruit juice? When oh when will I use up 3 slabs of silken tofu before its use-by date? As for the 10 litres of soda water, entire kilo of chicken breast fillets, four jars of coffee and three dozen tins of diced tomatoes (ok, I exaggerate – it was only 1 dozen)...
Next time I shop I will do it before I open a bottle of that excellent aforementioned red wine from the Catch of the Day mob!
There are some things I will only buy in very small quantities, to tide me over, say, till I'm able to go to the Asian specialty shop for the really good Jasmine Rice I love so much. And I haven't quite been able to trust a stranger to test my melons or select my salad leaves...
I just make a shopping list and key in my details, and some kind mystery shopper actually does the shopping for me, bags everything up, and a nice young red-headed fellow drives it to my house in his refrigerated truck, during the 2-hour “delivery time-slot” that I have specified, puts it all on my kitchen bench and lets me pay with my EFTPOS card – and the cost of this very convenient service is a mere $13!
It's magic. AND – (but wait, there's more!) they give me little pressies; freebie samples of things – it's fabulous! So far I have stockpiled 5 little tubes of toothpaste that will be perfect when I can finally head off somewhere on the bike again; several of those faddish tubes of instant coffee, and a few packs of dog biscuits. (The fact that I don't have a dog is irrelevant – the boys next door do!)
Oh dear – my name is Betty and I'm a shopaholic...