Disclosure: I am a P&G Mom ambassador. As part of my affiliation with this group I have been compensated to test the Loblaws Click & Collect service. As always my words and opinions are my own.
P&G challenged me to change my grocery shopping habits for four weeks. They asked me to do all of my grocery shopping online with Loblaws Click & Collect service for a period of one month, and to track how many “Mommy Minutes” I saved by shopping from home.
(I’m going to come clean here and say I cheated a bit. We had vacation planned, which means we were out of town, and eating out on the town, for five days of my thirty day challenge. I also hit the local farmer’s market twice during the challenge, which means technically I didn’t do all of my shopping via Zehrs. Sorry, but there was no way I was passing up homemade jams, garlic scapes and fresh local strawberries, challenge or no challenge.)
I was glad that this challenge gave me the excuse to test out Zehrs Click & Collect, and I have to say using the service for the first time was a total “Oh my goodness, I love you. Where have you been all my life? How the heck did I ever do this without you?!” type moment. However, the truth is I didn’t save any Mommy Minutes. Zero. When it comes to how much time I invested into grocery shopping over this past month versus my old shopping habits I think, at best, that I might have broke even. BUT… and this is a big honking but… what I did save was money, and also my sanity.
I ended up shopping more often. My old shopping habits often saw me going two weeks or longer between grocery shopping trips, getting by through a combination of take out meals and working with what we had on hand. The ease of being able to shop online and schedule when I pick it up means that I am no longer a grocery shopping procrastinator. Even with being out of the country for part of the month I still used Click & Collect three times in four weeks. For me that’s an unprecedented amount of grocery getting!
I ending up spending more on groceries, but I also saved quite a bit of money by using Click & Collect (and yes, I realize that sounds a bit off ). First, because I was buying groceries regularly, we ate out, or had take-in, less, but this means that overall while I spent less overall, I still spent more on groceries. I had to explain this one to hubby, twice, “If we aren’t eating out, we’re spending more on eating in, but less overall, because eating in is cheaper than eating out.” Whew. It’s like a tongue twister, but I think you get the gist.
Secondly I saved money because I was shopping the flyers and online deals. I used to clip coupons and shop flyers, but it’s something that’s fallen by the wayside as I’ve found all of my time taken up with this whole motherhood thing. Shopping online with Click & Collect made finding deals a cinch. I was able to shop through the weekly flyer, browse the in-store deals, and pick things based on what was on sale. I loved seeing the running tally of “You’ve saved $xx.xx” showing up in the right hand corner of my screen as I shopped. I also stocked up my pantry with things that were on sale, taking advantage of multiple buy deals. So again, I spent a little more, while also saving more. (I saved over $40 on each shopping trip. Even if you add in the $3-$5 pick up fee for using Click and Collect I still saved well over $110. The difference in how much we spent because we weren’t eating out is a little harder to track, but I am certain we saved money overall.)
I actually found the process of shopping for my groceries online to be very slow and time consuming. I am sure there’s a learning curve here, and I suspect I’ll get quicker over time, but my first few times using the service I spent upwards of an hour filling my cart. Now I will say a huge chunk of my time was spent going through page after page of deals (over 2000 items). I could have skipped this part, but then I probably wouldn’t have saved as much money.
Also, I think things will get quicker over time because Click & Collect is learning my preferences. All of my past orders are saved in my account. When I log in I can click on the “My Shop” section, sort through my past orders, view which items I’ve purchased the most often, and quickly add our regular staples to the online cart.
And of course there is not just the quantity of minutes I used to grocery shop to consider, but also the quality of the time spent. Getting to shop from home while sitting in my cozy chair and drinking a tea pretty much can’t be beat. Happy stress free grocery shopping online trumps crazy panic attack grocery shopping any day.
Some of the highlights of the Click & Collect service:
It’s not just edibles. You can get all of your standard pharmacy items here too, just like you would if you were shopping in store at Zehrs (even your standard over the counter meds, like say NyQuil cold tablets) Many of the things that I would normally have been running to my local pharmacy for I was able to order online via Click & Collect. Secret deodorant, Venus razor blades, Puffs facial tissues, Old Spice body wash, and more, it’s all here.
They have a separate area in the store where your order is stored until pick up, complete with it’s own bays of fridges and freezers. The one day I forgot to bring my cell phone with me, and ended up going inside the Zehrs to the tell them I was there to pick up my Click & Collect order. I got to see the Click & Collect area, with it’s own computer, it’s own little check out, and a wall of shiny steel fridges and freezers. It was kind of neat (I should have brought my camera!).
There are no hidden fees. The prices are the same as they would be if you went shopping in store in person. They do charge a pickup fee, which is either $3 or $5 depending on what time slot you pick.
You can read the nutrition labels online. You can see photos of the items, zoom in and read the box, and even read the full nutrition labels. I was able to sit and compare between twenty-six different varieties of tomato sauce, to find which one had the lowest sodium, all without getting out of my favourite cozy chair.
You can earn PC Plus points. You can enter your number online, linking your PC Plus account to your Click & Collect account, and automatically earn points on every purchase.
To make an account you do need to have a credit card. You don’t have to pay via credit card, you can pay by cash, or debit, or President’s Choice gift cards, but you do need to have a credit card on file as a security.
You don’t even need to get out of your car to pay. The first time I picked up an order with Click & Collect I paid over the phone, telling them to charge it to my credit card on file. The second time I didn’t have my cell phone with me and ended up going inside and paying at the desk. The third time I paid with a combination of Visa gift card and debit, and I didn’t even have to leave the car. They brought one of those nifty wireless debit machines out to my vehicle and I paid through my window, which I thought was pretty darn awesome.
Yes, they take coupons. So yes, you can go grab your P&G Everyday printable coupons and use them to save on things like Tide and Head & Shoulders, while shopping online via Click & Collect. I had read online in the FAQs section that you could use coupons with Click & Collect. I tested this out myself and found that they were more than happy to take my coupons. (I do however have the feeling that not too many Click & Collect customers are taking advantage of the fact that you can use coupons. The two people I dealt with in the Click & Collect department had never entered a coupon before, and ended up needing to call for help. But they were really pleasant about it.)
You can trust them to pick “good” produce, and to follow your shopping preferences. I did cheat and get some of my produce at the farmer’s market over the past few weeks. However I also ordered bananas, raspberries, avocados, brussel sprouts, potatoes, red peppers, tomatoes and more via Zehrs Click & Collect, and everything I purchased was perfect. It was spot on, as if I’d picked it myself. You can even leave notes to let them know things like “I want bananas that are still green”, “I need an avocado that is already ripe and ready to eat” or “If the brussel sprouts don’t look super fresh grab me a bag of the President’s Choice frozen ones instead.”
Did I cover everything? If you still have questions about Click & Collect leave them in the comments below and I’ll answer as best as I can.
While I didn’t save up many “Mommy Minutes” by shopping with Loblaws Click & Collect using the service did save me from stressing out about grocery shopping, and it also helped me to save a good bit of cash. It was just a better shopping experience overall, and I am definitely going to continue using Click & Collect regularly.
What about you folks? Have you tried Click & Collect yet?
This giveaway has ended. Lynda C. of Delhi, Ontario was the lucky winner of a $100 PC gift card.