Last week, my husband was in England for business and our meals were down to canned tuna fish and soups I had stashed away in our basement deep freezer. I only go food shopping twice a month and I am a regular Acme shopper, yet the thought of taking my rowdy crowd of kiddos through the store on my own was not appealing. Acme Fresh Market now offers grocery delivery and pick-up, so this was the perfect time to give it a shot.
Getting my online order started
It’s really easy to get an Acme online account and login (like any other website).
Next, the website spells out the steps for delivery or pick-up. When I tried to choose delivery, I received a message about it not being available in my zip code yet (as I’m writing this a week later, delivery is now available – go figure).
Still, I selected “pick-up” and considered the $4.95 cost a convenience fee for my sanity. This still saves me the effort of getting the girls out of the car.
Then, I picked my date and time slot, which is given in 2-hour increments. There are tons of dates and time options offered in one week. I like this convenience. I chose the next day, Thursday, May 17 at 5 p.m.-7 p.m. This gave me enough time to get home from work, pile the girls into the car and head out.
Filling my virtual grocery cart
Next came the fun part of filling my online grocery cart. As a regular shopper, I know what I like to buy there (I frequent a few other stores, too). To help me zip through the online order, I made a list of what I wanted from the circular that was mailed to my house, by drawing big bold circles around the items I wanted. I stick to the circular sales like white on rice, and I take advantage of the sales as a way to stock up on pantry items and things I can freeze (like meat and frozen veggies).
Navigating the virtual grocery store took a little getting used to. The search feature does not work as well as using the pulldown menus on the left of the screen. Note: I was doing this on my laptop, so it may be different on a smartphone or tablet.
For this shopping trip I put yogurts, shredded cheese, canned fruit like peaches and pears, orange juice, ground turkey, turkey kielbasa, applesauce, eggs, frozen salmon, canned black beans, canned garbanzo beans, salad dressing, and Oreo cookies in my cart.
Bonus: it was nice to see these items highlighted as “SALE” in my cart, so I knew I was getting the price I wanted. I like the reassurance.
At check-out I could review my cart again, but I noticed a clicked checkbox for “Allow substitutions.” Be sure to unclick this box if you do not want substitutions, which I did. I’m not comfortable having someone pick items for me to replace something that may be unavailable.
If I made changes to my cart at this point, I had to go back and unclick the box again because the website default is “Allow substitutions.” I would prefer the box be unclicked to start, then I can choose if I want substitutions or not.
Another perk of online ordering is the ability to fill your cart well in advance of actually placing your order. Regardless of how many times you login or out of your account to order groceries, your cart is waiting for you. It’s nice not having to start over completely. The whole process is pretty timely because you can order the same day, too (I think they need about 5-6 hours lead time).
Pick-up at store
For grocery pick-up, I parked in one of the designated spots (at the very front of the aisle – nice) and called the phone number listed to let them know I was there. It took about 15 minutes for my groceries to arrive.
In kid time, 15 minutes strapped into a 5-point harness and not going anywhere is an eternity. I was struggling to think of ways to entertain them while we waited in the parked car. I was not going to unbuckle them; the whole point was getting the groceries without getting out of the car. I was really close to thinking “This is for the birds!” when I saw a teenage clerk wheel my groceries out on an industrial pushcart (for some reason, I envisioned a grocery cart).
As I helped load all the bags into my trunk, my heart lurched when I saw how many items were double-bagged. I typically shop with reusable cloth bags (environmentally friendly and holds a lot more than plastic bags). I thought, “I wonder if there is a way to use cloth bags for this order?” Lesson learned: next time I could try to add a special note to my order, like: “I will provide reusable grocery bags at pick-up, do not bag groceries.”
Overall, my goal was achieved
I came home with groceries without having to run around the store with my three daughters. When I’m flying solo as a parent, Acme pick-up/delivery is a really nice option, but I do not see myself making this a regular grocery experience. Next time, I may call 5-10 minutes before I actually arrive to avoid the parking lot wait.
Editor’s note: Acme Fresh Market grocery pick-up is available at the following locations: West Market St., Montrose, Ellet, Green, Hudson, and Parma. Grocery delivery areas frequently are being added; to see if your zip code currently has this option available, click here: orderacme.com/how-it-works. To try your first order free, click here and use promo code TRY1FREE through May 30.