Cracking The Code….

I think I have finally cracked it. Online shopping.

My life can be, and usually is a juggling act. I like to think I am pretty good at keeping all the balls in the air, but recently I noticed life was costing me a fortune. Namely my shopping bills. Admittedly I would nip into the Co-Op at the petrol station a few times a week as well as doing a main food shop over the weekend, usually on a Saturday or Sunday when I am starving. You can see where I am going wrong.

I use online shopping now and again, for food, coming up to Christmas, but sporadically when I am really pushed for time, which in itself made the experience not very pleasant. I always use Amazon and Argos for kids toys and stuff so that is ok, but clothes, I almost never order online. I am not the tallest person around so always find trousers hard to get to fit properly and tops have silly long arms.

So, a few weeks ago I seen Tesco had a monthly thing of paying £12.99 a month and you get all online groceries delivered, even same day (if ordered early). Now this is what I liked, as I would shop a few times a week and if I was using slots I wanted it could cost up to £7 a time, not cheap at all.  So I thought, even at once a week, I can win at this….

Ok, so Tesco just want to tie your shopping purse to their stores but I’m not a loyal shopper, I do what suits me. I have loyalty cards with every Tom, Dick and Harry.

So I sat down one evening and started my first proper shop after signing up to a trial month of this Tesco plan. I found it ok but I seemed to have ordered lots of my usual stuff and it seemed a whole lot of nothing, I was a little pushed on time so after, I felt like I hadn’t really done my usual weekly shop. And I was right, after it came I realised I had forgotten lots of things, like the kitchen roll, tin foil and some brown sauce….I was doing this all wrong.
I knew what I needed to do. Plan. I needed a list, a proper shopping list. So I found the nice little hard backed meal planner book I had bought in January, the one with about one page used…

Breakfast, lunches, dinner and snacks. I looked through a few recipe books and checked my cupboards. I threw out stuff, wrote down some notes, made a list and got quite into it all.
I got a slot for Friday night, got some nice weekend treats and then stuck to my shopping list. As I had a few days to spare now I had my slot nice and early, I could add to it over the next few days when certain people used up all the shower gel and I realised pancake day was approaching. During the week I used up all the stuff we had ready to start afresh.

So on Friday, instead of racing home to get the shopping before picking Kieran up, I finished work, picked him up met daddy and we went for a walk along the canal, fed the swans and ducks and then popped into the little canal side pub for a sneaky drink and snack before Mr Tesco Man was due. Just after 7pm I seen the van pull up and my goodies arrived. Excellent.

That week I only stopped at the Co-Op twice, and that was more out of habit, for a bottle of wine and some ham for lunches that we ran out of. Note to self, order more wine….

The following week I had Mr Tesco Man come at 9pm on a Sunday night (who knew they did this!) as we were up at our caravan for the weekend. I sat on the Friday night watching telly, got my order on and by now the little app is clever. It knows what I like, what my usual brands are, it still throws me the odd special offer but it is easy to ignore. It reminds me of things I usually order and may have forgotten…and who goes shopping at 9pm on a Sunday??? We arrived back from the van, got the little person bathed and ready for the school week and my weeks groceries were delivered.

With this all going swimmingly I thought I would have a crack at clothes. Kieran has a need for new jeans as in nursery it seems the age old game of sliding about on your knees is alive and well. Kieran is like me and not the tallest little chap so I know Matalan clothes are good for him and I know the sizes that fit him spot on. So I venture to the website and go to the dark side. Ten minutes later job done, and 20% off, free click and collect, job done as I need to pop to the opticians over that way in a few days anyway….

Then an ad caught my eye (I know this is how it all works…) for Monsoon, I do love the store in Wilmslow where I work. I raided it for my recent trip to Venice and so I have some loyalty points to turn to vouchers. A lovely, grey, light wool coat was £150, now half price. With 25% off all purchases and £20 in vouchers. £36.25 for a £150 coat. Sold to the lady doing her shopping in her jammies.

This morning, Saturday, Mr Tesco Man arrived at 9.06. Shopping away, coffee and Danish for breakfast, all before the nipper comes downstairs. We have a birthday party to go to, maybe we will nip to the caravan, or maybe just have a lazy weekend. Online shopping has made me plan ahead more, giving me much more quality time, and also makes me try more recipes and cook a lot more rather than just grabbing a ready-made chicken dinner. I also have a nice new coat and a four year old without holes in his jeans!


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