Shopping with three small children is no easy task. I usually end up being *that* mum – the one with at least one child howling, one running around dumping random things in the trolley and the other being bribed with something on the ‘bad food for kids’ list.
But everyone has to eat, and so the shopping has to be done.
Then I saw Morrisons are offering a new online delivery service. And I thought, well, at least I could keep the howling within my own four walls that way! So we agreed to give it a try.
In general, even though I don’t like the stress that often comes with visiting the supermarket myself, I do prefer it because I like to choose my own fruit, vegetables and meat and I want to make sure that the expiry dates on things are the best that I can get. I also know the layout of the store so I can get round it as quickly as possible too. But equally, online shopping should theoretically mean no random trolley items, no impulse buying and hopefully less tantrums – and all of those are definite benefits.
Registering and logging in was easy, as I could do it with my Facebook account. It also means that I don’t have yet another username and password to remember, which I really like. So within just a couple of minutes I was ready to get going and start ordering things – and I decided to use the search option first and find things on my list that way.
In general it went pretty well. I found the majority of things I wanted, and it was easy to select them and add them to my basket. I like how the latest items are listed across the top of my page, something that comes in handy when you are doing the shopping with your four year old sat next to you and he keeps pressing random things (I thought I was going to get away with not having random things in the trolley but it turns out I was wrong…)
There were some things that I couldn’t find, either because unlike in-store they didn’t appear to be available online (the signature range of drinks, for example) or because Morrisons in general simply don’t sell them (I searched for ‘clam juice’ and it came up with Coca Cola as the closest match. That did make us all giggle!). But the option to browse categories rather than just searching for things by name really came in useful here, and I ended up tracking down everything I needed in the end.
It was also something that I could do for a couple of minutes and come back to whenever I got a moment spare, because all my selections were saved. That was really useful as I get sidetracked regularly. Being able to pick up the iPad, add a couple more things and then know I wouldn’t have to start from scratch again made life a lot easier. In the end, it turned out to be quite a nice family activity too, as we finished the shopping by all sitting on the sofa together one evening and everyone helped find and choose things – the Wee Man practiced his reading and spelling and Bubby D enjoyed virtually choosing things from the shelves!
Finally we were done, and we went through the checkout process, which was fairly straightforward but sneakily they got me with the impulse buys – there is a flash sale section and I couldn’t resist the quiche and the chicken fillets that were on offer. But they WERE a very good price…
The delivery was booked in for two evenings later, and I was impressed that I got regular texts updating me:
- reminding me of the cutoff for making changes
- telling me who my driver would be and what van they’d have
- letting me know of substitutions
- and an email with a copy of my receipt, all laid out in ‘use by’ date order as well as categorising by type (fridge, freezer and cupboard)
And on the evening of the delivery, I had a call from the driver asking if I’d mind if they came a bit earlier. That was a nice surprise as I’d booked quite a late slot to get the £1 delivery but the earlier arrival meant the kids could see the van appear which they were quite excited about. They were even more excited when they saw the free gingerbread man that was included with our order!
Personally, I was more interested to see how the shop compared to what I would have chosen myself. Before leaving, our driver did a doorstep ‘fresh test’ – personally handing us the receipt and checking we were happy with the use by dates for everything. I thought that was really useful, as it gave us the option to return anything we were unhappy with there and then, although as it turned out we didn’t need to.
Unpacking, I was generally impressed. The fruit and vegetables were all carefully wrapped, good quality and undamaged and the meat we had ordered to our own specification was just right. The ‘prepared by us’ pizza looked delicious! The only minor issue was that I found the eggs at the bottom of a bag – luckily unharmed, but I was surprised they hadn’t been packed at the top and made obvious to minimise breakage possibilities. Everything we ordered was present and correct though, and the substitutions were good even though they did cost me a little more than my original selections (we decided to keep them even though they cost more).
So then it was cooking time! I asked my sister and her husband if they’d be interested in joining me for a home cooked meal and they were keen on the idea, so I grabbed the ingredients and got to work on a Crispy Beef and Broccoli stir fry (£1.51 per person) which is one of my favourites so I hoped they’d like it too. For dessert I planned Passionfruit Mousse (£0.95 per person).
In general, we were all very happy with the online delivery service. Although I don’t think it necessarily saved time, the time that it did take to order was a lot less stressful and also usefully dotted about the day rather than requiring one dedicated chunk. Definitely a huge benefit, on top of the quality of food and level of service that really made the whole experience a positive one. We have been won over – we are looking forward to another courgette van coming down our street soon!