With my husband and I working full-time, and a new baby at home, time is in short supply.

Time is actually a little bit more than scarce, it’s like unobtainium from the movie Avatar. However, one service I have found which not only saves me time, but improves the end results, is curbside pick-up from the grocery store. It saves me time because I can review my list and submit my order in a quiet, focused environment. Most parents can appreciate the struggle of keeping a child occupied in the shopping cart while trying to review your grocery list and follow an efficient route around the store. With online ordering, I can place my order after my son has been put to bed. Being able to focus in peace allows me to cross-check my order with my shopping list and double-check what I have in the kitchen so I won’t needlessly buy something I already have.

Curbside service at my grocery store (Giant Eagle) costs $4.95 for pick-up or $12.95 for delivery. So far, I have stuck with curbside pick-up, but with online ordering, the actual visit to the store to pick up my groceries is much easier too. Rather than walking around the store and trying to figure out where they moved the cream cheese (stores reorganize their shelves every 6 months or so to make sure you have the opportunity to walk by every impulse item), I simply park at a reserved spot and call the pick-up hotline. A curbside team member rolls a cart to my car and loads everything in the trunk – I don’t even have to get out of the car. Once you’ve placed your initial order shopping is even faster, as you can copy and edit previous orders, so staples like your preferred type of eggs, milk and deli meat are already specified. And if you like to scan the weekly circular for specials or use coupons, all the sales are featured on the online interface, and coupons can be entered when you place your order.

Gargantuan parking lots, infinity lines at check-out, and changing store layouts can be aggravating – throw in an eleven month old who really wants out of the shopping cart and you truly have a situation to avoid. Luckily, curbside grocery pick-up allows you to do just that.

Ali Swart, CFP®

Director - Wealth Planning

Hall of