By TERESA HAMMOND
On-line shopping is hardly a new concept.
As many prepare for the coming holiday season, there is little doubt that the click of the mouse or filling of one’s virtual cart has already begun.
I first became a fan on on-line shopping when we relocated to the Valley from Southern California 15 years ago. Furnishing and decorating a newly constructed home in an area which offered unfamiliar options was a bit daunting. Our area UPS driver and I quickly became acquainted as he visited us on a semi-regular basis.
Fifteen years later, a need of ‘stuff’ no longer plagues me as it did then. My days are now better suited to carting kids around and preparing lunches and meals. Convenience for everyday items are now what get my attention in the way of what a mouse click can bring to my home.
Over a year ago I was introduced to my first online big-box type store through a close friend. She had used it and had a discount code to share if I just gave it a shot. The timing was impeccable as she sent it to me via text, as I was sitting in a UCSF hospital room waiting for my PIC to be released from surgery.
I needed paper towels. We were out at home and I like to buy paper goods (among other things) in bulk. With a rotating grocery list milling in my brain, I quickly installed the Boxed app onto my smart phone. Less than 15 minutes and $40 later an order of paper towels, shampoo, cereal and lunch items had been placed. By the time I arrived home two days later, thanks to free shipping, the order had been delivered. This simple text saved me time, money and inconvenience. Getting to my favorite big box store is not always convenient. Boxed quickly became a godsend.
Since then, I’ve begun branching out a bit in the way of online market discovery. While I have yet to use services from Amazon, Wal-Mart or others, I somehow manage to find myself in a rabbit hole via favorite snacks or foods.
Thrive Market is also among one of my favorites. Opposite of the big box store, Thrive offers a great variety of organic, gluten free, vegan, raw and staple options — not oversized. Just about anything I need aside from dairy, fresh produce and meat I can find on these two sites and delivery is free for orders over $50.
So no, online shopping has not alleviated my need to go to the grocery, it has however cut the time and money I spend while there. The combination of the app, free shipping and delivery within two to three days has made this option a home run for this shopper.
Privy to my new addiction, my PIC has recently turned me on to GrubMarket. Grub also has an app and, just like the other two, hosts an impressive variety, as well as business model. Yes, I am that customer, I like to read a bit about the companies I choose to do online business with. They are, after all, bringing ease and convenience to my life; I want them to stick around.
So as the holiday hustle begins to take over, as you sit in the car, at soccer practice or in a coffee line waiting your turn, remember you have options. Life can be made easier and you no longer need to sweat the paper towels, ketchup or even cleaning products. We are living a vastly different life from 15 years ago. Make it work for you, not against you. You hold the power to progress. Enjoy!