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Giant Shop From Home

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I’m one of those weird people who likes to grocery shop, in the store, on Sunday mornings. Granted, I try to beat the post-church crowd, but I don’t want to go too early either because frankly, I like samples, too.

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Perhaps it’s my born love for shopping in general, but I enjoy comparing prices and ingredient lists, coupon clipping and trying new items (“It’s on SALE you say? Sure!”). However, this is also a great way to destroy your food budget and end up with random ingredients and no plan. And let’s face it – times are tight these days.

I recently was asked to try Giant’s Shop From Home program. Normally, as I said, I enjoy my weekly trip to the store, but holiday weekends – and after just having returned from a week out of the country – this seemed like an easy way to check off one of many errands. Too bad I did it wrong.

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Try it yourself today and save. Get $10 off $50 with Giant Food Stores Shop From Home. Use promo code PUPSO10.

I won’t bore you with the intricacies that make up my daily routine, but let’s just say I didn’t just sit down and make my list at once. I had several lists started – in my head, on my iPhone, on paper – and eventually got to finding the items and adding them to my cart … or so I thought.

Instead, I was adding them my Shopping List, another neat online feature Giant offers. While I couldn’t transfer one to the other (though I learned later that this clutch feature does exist), it was easy enough to re-find my items (Note: This is completely my fault for not following provided directions and thinking I know everything).

Shop From Home Demonstration Video

If you’ve had a Bonuscard for any length of time, Giant has a record of your previous purchases, and this made choosing staple items easy. Plus, you can view the circular and click directly on any image to add a weekly special to your order. For items that don’t appear in this fashion, searching is relatively simple. Bonuscard offers pop-up first, but just scroll down to find more related items.

My next mistake was waiting until Easter Sunday morning to do this. Giant Shop From Home requires at least 4 hours between order and pick-up. During this time, a personal shopper takes your list and goes around the store to select your items. In your online cart, you can make notations — say you like greener bananas or want deli meat sliced thin — the shopper basically shops from your shoes. This also includes the ability to share appropriate substitutions. If they’re out of one brand and flavor of oatmeal, do you want a second-choice – or none at all?

During the final stages of your online order placement, you choose your pick-up time, the earliest within four hours of your order. I did this, not realizing Giant was closed for Easter – oops! Fortunately, within about two hours, I received an email alerting me to this error and asking me to choose a new pick-up time, which I selected for Monday after work.

I picked up my order Monday around 6 p.m. We pulled into the drive-through “valet” lane, and young Giant employees were ready for my order, asked for any coupons, walked me through a few substitutions and were very friendly about the whole ordeal, as we swapped out a Smart Balance margarine (or so we thought) and tracked down missing squash. I even tried to tip the young man who helped us, but he politely declined and said it was just part of his job.

We unpacked our order at home, mostly pleased with our bounty, though I noticed a few flaws. One of my fears about shopping from home was whether a “personal shopper” would pay attention when selecting my produce or just grab and go? Sadly, my pint of fresh strawberries was pretty nasty looking (moldy berries and all), so they went right in the garbage.

Though I asked for 1 (lb) of zucchini, I only got one tiny zuke. There was a discrepancy on the online form between (quantity) and (by pound), and I wanted “by pound.” I also requested 3 medium yellow onions and only found one large one in my bag.

On the other end, I received a few extras: an extra bag of Baby Spinach (no problem), an extra tub of the Smart Balance (into the freezer it went) – plus 1.5 lb ground beef and marinated turkey tenderloins, neither of which I ordered.

I know had I contacted Giant about any of this, they would have made good on my order. In fact, they guarantee customer satisfaction. However, since we could use it all, we felt it wasn’t worth the hassle — or the return drive to the store.

I’m certain that these kinks in the system will be worked out as the program grows, as shoppers get used to sharing their comments, as the staff gets used to working another person’s grocery list.

This program is ideal for a busy, working parent; the lazy bachelor; and anyone who is otherwise too tempted by extra purchases as they browse. It certainly can help you keep to a budget – and you can still use coupons.

In fact, try Giant Shop From Home this week for these specials:

  • The $4.95 service fee is currently waived for all orders.
  • Get $10 off any order of $50 or more by using the promo code PUPSO10 at checkout.

As for me? I relish my Sunday morning trip, so it’s back to the old school way, the in-person cashier and my reusable grocery bags for me.

Sara Bozich
Author: Sara Bozich

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