Thursday, September 8, 2016

It's ALL About Convenience

I've already shared our experience with "Hello Fresh." It amazes me that there are so many services available for our convenience. And more being added every day.

We've had drive through restaurants, coffee houses, dry cleaners, drug stores and banks for years. We've had drive up drop offs for library books, Good Will donations---and back in the day---video store rentals. And of course, it's very possible it all started with the drive up mailbox.

You can upload photos to Walgreens (and many other photo services), pay in advance and pick them up---often times within the hour.

Now businesses have stepped it up a level. You can order your groceries online and then pick them up at your convenience. You just pull up, pay, and they bring your groceries out. For our Kroger store, it's called "Clicklist." You can even use coupons--digital--as far as I can tell. But those digital coupons are offered right on the website. I haven't been able to figure out the charges for this service yet. But I'm seriously considering it. Your account is linked with the groceries you've already bought, so it's a matter of just checking a list. I hate grocery shopping--especially since they always seem to move things around and you spend half your time hunting for things. It sounds so nice to be able to shop from your laptop or phone and just pick it up. That means you could grocery shop while waiting for an appointment. Talk about multi-tasking!

Even more convenient is having your groceries delivered directly to your house---within an HOUR at that! So far, that's available through a company called Shipt. Even though this service has no affiliation with Publix, that's the only store that Shipt is shopping at so far. Maybe they plan to add other stores later. I have several questions that need answering. I haven't been able to find the answers on their website. Besides the annual fee of $99.00, are there any additional charges? Is there a minimum amount you have to spend on each delivery order? I find it hard to believe that if you discover you need milk---someone will deliver it to you within an hour. Besides the convenience of delivery, you would actually save a lot in terms of gas and time---definitely enough to justify the $99.00. Plus, one of the very best reasons I've heard for joining Shipt is this: since Publix is a chain, that means you can use it anywhere. My friend, Nancy's daughter used it at the beach. Shortly after they arrived, their groceries for the week were delivered. Now if you've ever grocery shopped upon arrival at the beach, you know this is GOLD!! It would be worth the $99.00 just for that!

And if you like to grocery shop, you can even get hired by Shipt to be one of the shoppers. I don't know if that also makes you a delivery person--I haven't looked at that. It could be just the little part-time job to give you a few extra bucks.

There's Amazon Prime where you can order just about anything and have it delivered the same day--often times within an hour. I'm pretty sure you can use it for groceries too. Again, I think the annual charge is $99.00. I've heard of someone using it recently to order a birthday gift needed for that evening.

It's so easy to be lured by these conveniences. There are many conveniences that we subscribe to on a monthly basis.  The costs may not sound like much, but they definitely start to add up. These are mine:
Sirius radio--$15.00 (I should also add the other 2 cars that we have on Sirius)
Spotify--(for commercial free music that you get to select) $10.00.

I had OnStar, which I loved. It was so handy when traveling. When I was taking the girls to Atlanta a few years ago, they wanted to go to a Red Lobster. I just asked the OnStar agent who directed us to the closest one--a couple exits from where we were. Of course, I can do that with Siri on my phone now. Anyway, OnStar was expensive---about $25.00 a month. When you consider I really only needed it when I was going somewhere unfamiliar, that only happened maybe once or twice a year. Besides the navigation system that comes standard in most cars these days and the numerous phone apps, OnStar really is unnecessary. However, it was pretty darn nice to have when a friend locked the keys in my car at 9:30 p.m. in some podunk town in  Alabama. It was nice to call and have OnStar open the car remotely. One thing about OnStar---you can activate it at any time from your car. Now I don't know about locking your keys, but I do know that if you are in an emergency situation, you can get immediate help. Oh, and I did run out of gas one time while traveling. OnStar sent a guy with a gas can!

Other monthly services---and I'm sure there are dozens more that I don't know about:
Pandora--for commercial free music, but you do not get to choose (although you can set up some pretty awesome playlists) $10.00.
Unlimited workout plans at a variety of gyms $$$ (Since I don't do this, I really don't know how much they cost--Stephanie and Mindy have this--it's called a "Class Pass." It's a great way to try all types of classes and workouts).

There are so many other monthly clubs you might join---books, scrapbooks, cooking, etc. They all have monthly fees.

We've got Uber---to save on cab fares. And now there's Uber Eats. They deliver food from a variety of restaurants around town directly to your door. It certainly would have come in handy for me while being laid up. Unfortunately, my house backs up to the cut-off line. But, it will be available here soon.

Most of these conveniences are accessed through your phone. I haven't even mentioned all of the "home" related conveniences available through your phone: set or disarm your security system, turn on/off the lights. unlock the doors---everything is getting easier and easier.

I have to say, I love convenience. But here's the thing. Since we're saving so much time, wouldn't you think we'd be more productive? Where is all that extra time going? I sure don't know. My days are still the same "busyness" as always! I'm just wondering how I managed to fit it all in when I actually had to do everything myself. Maybe I'm just wasting more of the precious time I'm saving. Yeah, like with Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, blogs...


  1. Yep: you are so right. Where are all the extra hours we're supposed to gain by using all this convenience. I hate grocery shopping and keep thinking I should give home delivery a try too

  2. I agree, where did all that saved time go? I do enjoy convenience, although, we don't have any monthly services right now. I am thinking of trying Clicklist since I always shop at Krogers . . . we don't have Publix here.

    My favorite "convenience" is pay-at-the-pump . . . remember when we actually had to go inside the station to pay, it usually smelled like cigarette smoke because back then it was still legal to smoke inside businesses everywhere.

  3. I love the shopping delivery and use it frequently. Was reading a blog post today, 'are you productive or just busy' which made me smile.


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