If you think that shopping on-line is purely for the "slothful" you may probably be right. If on the other hand your family is subject to the occasional domestic disaster, then it may be something worth checking out. Just off the top of my head, I can easily think of half a dozen different scenarios where this service might be of use:-
Sudden illness, oneself or a family member, which results in house bound
Explosion of oven
Death of any other essential household appliance, such a toilet, whereby the owner occupier must remain in residence for a minimum period of 48 hours on the off chance that the plumber may honour us with a visit for a standard call out charge, 5 minute examination, departure on the promise to return with the month, not to exceed 31 days in any event, many harsh words regarding consumer mis-use, and the promise of further additional charges for parts, installation and tax, not to include clean up or removal and disposal of broken parts, nor the slightly battered and water logged Thomas the Tank Engine.
For many efficient people, any or all of the above would still leave them with a carefully organized store cupboard of ingredients to whip up a wholesome and nutritious meal for a family of "seven," and sometimes more.
Other less efficient people, may need to resort to on-line grocery shopping.
In my vast experience in these matters, it is far better to set up an order on-line prior to the disaster. A basic list of essentials can very quickly be drawn up, especially, if you’re not working on a Mac. If you are working on a Mac it is even more essential to set up the emergency shopping list in advance, to iron out any inevitable and frustrating kinks.
Make sure you save the voucher for free delivery on all orders over the minimum requirement. Orders that are delivered on the same day take the maximum hit in delivery charges, assuming that you can find an open window or convenient slot. If you are doubtful that you can hit the minimum charge ensure that you stock up on staples such as toilet rolls, laundry detergent and other non-perishables, preferably large, heavy ones as you need to exploit someone else’s muscle power to the maximum and reserve your own strength, so as to be better able to run your household efficiently and hand the plumber his tools.
Book mark the site or leave as a permanently open window so that other household members are able to hit the ‘order now’ button should you find that your fingers are inoperable due to a surfeit of wooden splinters from Thomas the Tank Engine. It is a good idea to include finely targeted bribes for each member of the family as an incentive to their co-operation in this endeavour. Most family members will be reluctant to hit the ‘order now’ button in the sure and certain knowledge that the result with be several hundred weight of healthy vegetables winging their way towards your door, but a packet of M&M’s here and there may just make the difference between success and failure to the enterprise.
It is handy to note that the pictures of the shopping items all appear to be the same size and there is no scale available for comparison. This means that a one and a half ounce individual fun size pack of M&Ms appears to be the same as a family pack for a herd of elephants. Most children salivate to such a degree that they are not mindful of the fine print.
A few details.
Our personal experience.
Customer service is great. If the delivery person turns up with half your order or half of someone else’s order, this is easily remedied by telephone where you get to speak to a real live human being who is also capable of making decisions. This works even if you only discover the error an hour later. We had no problem being credited for items that we were charged for but failed to materialize. They also offered to deliver the missing items later in the day for free. Make sure that you check each item off the print out to avoid hic-cups.
All of the different supermarkets are competitively priced but don’t forget to check the ‘specials.’ Since price is crucial in these financially crippling times, take care to double check the price per ounce to avoid expensive mistakes. Also be aware of the difference between buying some by quantity, i.e. one unit, and by weight, i.e. one pound, otherwise you may end up with ten ten pound bags of potatoes.
Take care over the ‘substitutes’ page. This is where you explain whether you are willing to accept alternatives for specific items. This is generally divided into substitute brands and substitute quantities. If you fail to complete this form then you may end up with something entirely unexpected.
The delivery personnel are friendly and personable and on time. I’m not sure on the etiquette but I believe it would be appropriate to tip the delivery guy, afterall they’re providing a service, although I have no idea what sum would be appropriate.
One last hidden benefit is that you're helping to keep your carbon footprint under raps as well as preventing impulse buying, as little pictures are not as tempting as the real thing. It also means, in theory at least, that at the check out, the trolly won't be filled with erroneous purchases by other more surreptitious members of the "family."