Award Winning Fantasy with a Twist!

The Zen of Ordering In

Anyone who knows me will tell you I am not a big fan of Amazon. This is not because they’re so  horrible, but more because I’ve always had the worst luck with delivery. But lately, I’m becoming a fan of ordering in!

I’ve always done delivery. It’s practically a necessity in today’s world, but I’ve been a reluctant adopter because I’m either super fussy (very likely) or I lived through the development of the industry (equally probable). Take Amazon, for example. Ever since Amazon was a bookseller out of Seattle, I’ve had orders go missing or late or somehow wrong. I  used to routinely delay the first test of the semester by at least a week so all my students who ordered their books from Amazon had time to call Customer Service and find out where they went.  I ended up on a first name basis with those lovely ladies in the Philippines as well as UPS.

Nowadays, you can only get some things through mail order – 7.2 billion packages in the US in 2020. Physical stores have streamlined to what sells regularly and seasonal items to save on shipping and storage. They pass those costs directly to the consumer, but they can be avoided. Some people sign up for email discounts, etc. I recommend shopping around and going with whoever carries the most of what you need – Target, Walmart, Amazon, etc. There’s no loyalty when you’re hunting dental tape!

There can be frustration with ordering in. I regularly donate clothes that don’t fit but cost too much to return. Some things are worth paying shipping for though. Handmade or custom items from Etsy, unusual or one of a kind tchotchkes – I ordered from gift catalogs for holidays and birthdays for years and saved multiple trips to the Post Office! That’s where I started achieving harmony with ordering in. As I’ve gotten older and my arthritis worsens, I’m finding there’s a lot of value in saving time and labor. This past year, I had dirt, rock and plants delivered for a new garden that probably cost less than if I had to bribe a niece or nephew to help!

It wasn’t COVID so much as the return from COVID that motivated me to try grocery delivery. I’d forgotten how exhausting 8-hour days and commuting could be. The 1st order was a mess – paper towels and pork rinds instead of frozen vegetables and milk. But I felt so bad for the poor woman staggering up my driveway, I let it go. The 2nd order went much better, and now I keep a running list online for what I don’t pick up. There are some things delivery doesn’t do well:

  • Picking milk, fruit, or baked goods BEFORE their sell-by date.
  • Selection frequently limited to the more expensive brand or size.
  • The extra charges that add up – delivery fee and tip!

So still hitting up the store for bulk or fresh items. I’m even reluctantly starting to appreciate self-serve checkout where I can bag groceries WITHOUT putting each item in a separate plastic bag.

Still, more relaxed and not dodging trucks in the parking lot or pickers in the aisles has to be a plus. If stores ever master picking and packing, I might not leave the house. That’s not likely, but in the meantime, there’s a fun irony in that these huge advances in technology and industrial processes have essentially taken us back to the days of the Wells Fargo wagon. Sing it with me, everyone!

“Yes it could be
Yes you’re right it surely could be
Somethin’ special
Something very very special now
Just for me!

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