Kroger ClickList will change the way you grocery shop

FullSizeRender
Thank you, Lisa. You made my week.

Remember how I gushed that Kroger ClickList inspired me to get back on here?

Let’s get back to that real quick, Q&A style.

beyonce

What’s Kroger ClickList?

Short answer: Game changer.

Long answer: It’s the grocery store’s online ordering and pickup service. You order groceries online, and go pick them up at select Kroger stores.

How does it work?

Easy peasy, that’s how. After you sign up online, you grocery shop on Kroger’s ClickList website. You can shop by category if you want to browse, or you can search for specific products if you know exactly what you want. You can also see what’s on sale that week and apply digital coupons. As you select the items that you want, the site creates a running list.

At some point, you have to select a pick-up date and time to get your groceries. You can schedule your pickup for up to a week in advance. The times are separated into hour-long blocks during which you can pick up your stuff.

When it’s time for pickup, you find the designated ClickList parking spaces (I felt very much like a VIP) and call the number that’s on the parking space sign. A couple of Kroger employees will come out, and run through your order to let you know if they were out of a product and had to make substitutions. You give them your card, they give it a swipe, and BOOM, they’re loading your groceries into you car.

No stalking fellow shoppers for a parking space. No maneuvering a cart through throngs of people on a crowded Saturday. No standing in line. No fumbling with coupons.

Like I said, easy peasy.

giphy-downsized

Are there drawbacks?

Well, Mx. Rain on My Parade, I guess there are a few.

  • You have to use your debit or credit card — no cash or check. And ClickList doesn’t accept WIC and SNAP for payment, either.
  • There’s a service charge of about $6. Kroger waives the fee the first few times you use it.
  • You rely on someone else to pick your produce, which is a trust fall you might not be willing to make with an unknown Kroger employee.
  • You can’t make an order and pick it up the same day — you have to order at least a day in advance. In the age of Amazon Prime same-day delivery, this jarred my I-need-it-right-now-dammit-this-is-America mindset.
  • And speaking of produce, you have to be VERY specific with how much you want. You can add special instructions with each product you select for your list — this is where you’d say that you want six bananas or three pounds of onions. Just make sure that your instructions are crystal clear. For example, I ordered shallots, and put “two” in the instructions. When I got home, I had two pounds of shallots (by the way, anybody need a shallot?). And one of my friends (hey, Katie!) had to make a return trip to Kroger when she got home and discovered that they had given her 40 limes.
  • ClickList spots can take up valuable space if you’re at a Kroger with a small parking lot. We can all agree that Louisville Kroger parking lots are already THE WORST.

 

You’ve found a lot of stuff to not like about ClickList. Why are you so in love with it, again?

Why you gotta be so negative?

eyeroll

*cues another bulleted list*

  • It’s convenient. Listen, I love grocery shopping as much as the next food-loving gal. But some days, I just don’t have time to grocery shop. Kroger ClickList helps me save a lot of time when I know it’s going to be a busy week.
  • THEY PUT THE GROCERIES IN YOUR CAR FOR YOU. Yes, I realize I have to bring them in when I get home, BUT STILL.
  • This can be a big help to folks who can’t make it around the store easily.
  • I didn’t stray from my grocery list. There weren’t any flashy displays or ice cream aisles to distract me while I shopped. I went down my grocery list, selected what I wanted and avoided a lot of temptation.
  • It was easier to stay on budget. It’s hard to keep a running tally of what you’ll spend while you’re shopping in the store. With ClickList, I see right away how much the groceries will cost, and I can make adjustments or switch out products if I need to.
  • THEY PUT THE GROCERIES IN YOUR CAR FOR YOU.

 

Is Kroger paying you to say all this?

NOPE. I just like the service. It could use some improvements, especially when it comes to taking WIC and SNAP, but I see this as a great tool for busy folks, people with disabilities, older adults and anybody who just doesn’t feel like fooling with Kroger.

Has anybody else adopted Kroger ClickList as their preferred way to grocery shop? Take it to the comments.

 

 

My Favorite Things: The can opener

It looks like I’ll have tomato slices and balsamic vinegar for dinner. Everything I want to really eat is trapped away behind walls of tinplate steel.

I really want to get into those red beans.
I really want to get into those red beans.

My can opener broke. The little wheels refused to stay on track and turned the mouth of the can into a dangerous, jagged accident waiting to happen. I tossed my broken buddy into the trash with barely a thought to this gadget that had helped me eat for almost 10 years. A few days later, I’m beside myself with remorse over how much I took this tool for granted.

English: A modern-type can opener.
Baby, come back. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Canned goods allow me to create inexpensive meals. Canned tomatoes became homemade pasta sauce. A variety of beans become my always-changing Mexi Skillet. And don’t even get me started on the joy of putting some canned tuna on Caesar salad.

Oh, tuna can. I can't get in you!
Oh, tuna can. I can’t get in you!

I can’t have any of these dishes until I make the time to get a can opener, a sturdy one that will carry me through another decade. And this time, I will appreciate all that such a simple instrument gives me.

Now, excuse me. This tomato is waiting.

Happy Valentine’s Day, and a foodie’s musings on love

My Valentines.

I’ve griped about Valentine’s Day, but I’m really nothing but a big sap with a caramel center. 

I’m blessed to spend today with not only my new husband, but a supportive family, fun-loving friends, and a dog who is never short on kisses.

All these people have showed me what love really is:

  • Coffee in bed
  • Catching up over Sunday brunch
  • Washing the dishes, even when it’s not your turn
  • Homemade chicken soup when you’re sick (or feeling fine)
  • Potlucks
  • Giving up the last piece of cake
  • Your favorite meal for your birthday
  • Birthday trips to Huber’s
  • Breakfast for dinner
  • Homemade cookies with Ghirardelli chocolate chips
  • Packed lunch boxes with love notes inside
  • Splitting a pizza
  • Table scraps*

*Roscoe’s idea of love

Happy V-Day. Share it someone (or some animal) you love.

 

[My Favorite Things] Cherry Coke Zero

I have an addiction. Don't judge me.

How do I even begin to describe my love of Cherry Coke Zero?

Should I start at the beginning, the first time I discovered this glorious, calorie-free concoction perched on a shelf, chilling away in a 20-ounce bottle, waiting for me to release it from the frozen confines of the Walgreens grocery aisle and into the cup holder of my Corolla?

Or do I start at the end, with the above picture, the result of a months-long addiction to fake sugary sweetness that can only be treated with MORE aforementioned fake sugary sweetness, especially when it  is on sale at my friendly neighborhood Kroger?

It wasn’t always like this. I was a Diet Coke fan for years. A cold, caffeinated beverage without the calories? Yes, please. Back then, I didn’t know any better. I didn’t know that something else, something even more delicious, was out there.

My infatuation with Diet Coke began to wane last year. The drink had gone from refreshing to flat. I needed something to wake up my taste buds, minus the guilt of the calories.

Then I found Coke Zero, endorsed by friends, but not as readily available as my old stand-by soft drink. I tasted Coke Zero, poured from a restaurant fountain spigot into an eager paper cup, and it set my mouth on fire — in a good way. There was just so much more flavor than its diet cousin. The fizz tickled my throat and left behind a lingering sweetness that confirmed that I was on to something.

Then I saw that bottle in Walgreens, the word “cherry” splashed across a Coke Zero label for which my eyes had learned to automatically search. Once it hit the lips, Cherry Coke Zero had me, for lack of a better word, sprung. I wanted it. I needed it. And it’s hard to come by, a slight obstacle that only added to the beverage’s allure.

I scoured Kroger after Kroger to find my own supply of Cherry Coke Zero, which I how I ended up lugging three cases into my home after a three for $11 deal I happened upon one week.

Having my own Cherry Coke Zero instead of just keeping my fingers crossed that it will be available in vending machines and restaurants has only made my infatuation worse. Just a couple of weeks ago, I may (or may not!) have bought FOUR cases during another Kroger sale. I blocked several shoppers in the soft drink aisle as I stuffed the cartons of Cherry Coke Zero into my tiny cart.

Is all this embarassing to admit, all this admiration for an inanimate object, a beverage no less?

Yes.

Is it worth it, for just one can of Cherry Coke Zero?

You betcha.

[My Favorite Things] The foodstuffs for which I am thankful this Thanksgiving

This month, my Facebook feed has been filled with friends listing all of the people, places and other nouns for which they are thankful in honor of the biggest day of thanks.

There are the usual suspects (family, spouse, pets), but food seems to get left out of the equation.

To make up for such a grievous omission during a holiday season that centers around a big meal, here are the food-related things for which I am thankful for this Thanksgiving:

  • Seasonal coffee drinks at local coffee shops
  • Pumpkin EVERYTHING
  • Discovering new and delicious food combinations (peanut butter and apple butter FTW)
  • Ordering the special
  • When bacon cooks bone-straight with little to no fat at the ends
  • Baskets of bread that come with the meal
  • Flipping a pancake without making a mess
  • Achieving the perfect cereal-to-milk ratio
  • Coffee makers with automatic timers
  • Being able to give a server a big tip
  • Miniature Snickers bars left over from Halloween
  • When a bite of food falls on your napkin instead of your pants
  • Taking a break from artificial sweeteners and enjoying real sugar
  • An extra fortune cookie with your bill
  • Secret ingredients
  • Recipes written on paper that is stained and wrinkled from years of use
  • Moist towelettes after eating barbecue
  • Having friends and family with whom to share wonderful meals

What food-related items are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?

My Favorite Things: The tiny carts at Kroger

(Blogger’s note: Every once in a while, I come across something so awesome that I must shout it from the blogosphere. If Oprah can have her favorite things, why can’t I?

“My Favorite Things” is an occasional feature in which I gush about a product, store, gadget or other food-related item that has made my life a little sweeter.)

Oh, tiny cart. So petite, yet efficient.

I fell in love with Kroger’s tiny carts when I started living on my own and grocery shopping for one. I ust had to play a game of Goldilocks and the Three Bears to figure that out.

Kroger’s hand baskets are suitable until you decide that you HAVE to buy the 12-pack of Diet Coke. Then you end up with a Grand Canyon-sized dent in your arm. The regular-sized carts are hard to manuever, and lend themselves to some unneccessary purchases (why, yes, I WILL buy the three boxes of Raisin Bran Crunch that’s on sale — I have the room in my big girl cart!).

The tiny carts, however, are the Mini Coopers of consumerism. These tiny wonders are the perfect size for singles buying food just for themselves. They hug the curves as you round the corners of the aisle. And they’re just so darn cute.

These carts are usually stranded on the grassy knolls of parking lots or abandoned on the fringes near the streets. Cart collectors don’t make much of an effort to get these little guys back in the store because they don’t neatly fit into a row with their big brothers, the behemoths designed to haul both children and groceries. But if you’re single, or just need to pick up a few items, it’s worth a trip to the back of a parking lot to use one of these carts.