I wrote about my freezer meals in the last post. I got a lot of good feedback about the post. Immediately after I posted, a friend emailed saying she had read my blog and is very interested in starting a "cooking co-op". So we did! The first swap meeting is mid-January. We both did a lot of googling and research and came up with what we think are very thorough "Guidelines/Procedures". Because I want to spread the JOY of simplifying life and enjoying the day-to-day as much as possible, I'd like to share our google doc showing how we will be operating so you can start a co-op if you want! If you'd like more details, let me know and I'd be happy to share. I'll keep you posted with how it goes. Here are our guidelines:
Freezer Meal Cooking Co-Op Guidelines and Procedures
What I'd like to discuss today in this post is the "Harris Teeter Express Lane". This has been equally critical in my attempt to make things easier and life more enjoyable. I've tried Peapod (which actually delivers to your home for about $8 plus tip, depending on location) but HT Express Lane far surpasses the other services, in my opinion. Let me show you a letter I wrote to their corporate office, so that I don't have to retype why I loveeeeeeee HT....
...Shoot, I can't find what I wrote to them. Well I basically I went on and on about how their service has really been a life changer. It's so convenient, the service is fantastic...I love that they offer this service and not only do I get convenience, I don't have to sacrifice quality. Everything available in the store is available online. Produce is carefully selected and always excellent. Even the way they put everything in the bags makes me feel happy when I unpack.
And their response to my email:
What a nice email! We're thrilled to hear from our customers who've had a great experience in our store. We'll definitely pass along your comments to our senior management and make sure that our Home Shoppers get special recognition for providing great service.
Thanks for your praise...and for shopping at Harris Teeter!
Harris Teeter Customer Relations
Ever since I wrote that email, whenever I pick up groceries, whoever puts the groceries in my trunk thanks me for writing the "sweet" email and asks how old my son is, etc. (The email explained that once I had a baby, grocery shopping became much harder...plus, who wants to give up a couple hours a week with your kids so you can go grocery shopping? Not me! Also, I'm usually just plain exhausted.)
So, what is Harris Teeter Express Lane? Express Lane is simply a service where you order your groceries online. The website is EASY! After you place your order, it takes them about 3-4 hours (sometimes about an hour!) to assign a personal shopper to your order and prepare your order. This service is available seven days a week. When your order has been prepared, they call AND email you when your order is ready. If you ordered a generic brand and they are out of generic, they will give you the name brand for the same price. When you order, you can specify if substitutions are okay. When they call you to tell you the order has been completed, they run through your order if there were any items they were out of. Its very rare for them to be out of an item but every so often there will be an item or two they substitute with a different brand, as long as it is okay with you. When your order is complete, you drive to the store, pull up into a specified parking spot, push an intercom button, let them know you're waiting, and they come out with your groceries. The cost of this service is $4.95. WORTH EVERY PENNY. I'm forced to sit down and plan my meals for the week before I order online. Otherwise, I don't plan and IF I'm lucky enough to get dinner on the table at all, I will have to run to the store what seems like every night. All of this is a big pain and it takes time away from Jack and John. In addition, I'm sure we all splurge on $4.95 worth of stuff when we go into the store...magazines, junk food...whatever. So this $4.95 fee is really nothing. Now, not ALL Harris Teeter locations offer this service so let me show you the steps you need to take.
Step 1: Go to http://www.harristeeter.com/, click "Home Shopping Express Lane", select your state, and check out which location you will be using.
Step 2: Click the location most convenient to you, click "Proceed to Store", click "Sign In" and then click "Create Account". Make sure you sign up for a VIC card so you can get all the specials. Once you have registered, log in...
Believe it or not, as I typed this, the mailman came. I went up to get the mail and make the dogs start barking (ugh) and I had a Christmas Card from harris Teeter with a coupon for $5 off my next order. Nice!