Friday, August 20, 2021

buying online

Since early in the pandemic, we've been ordering our groceries online. This has proved so convenient we intend to continue. B. had been finding the physical process of shopping to be increasingly difficult for aging bones, and the scooters the stores supply are awkward to use and often run out of power. So she writes up a shopping list for her items (mostly breakfast and lunch supplies), I add in things I need to make dinners, and I look them up online.

We don't have the order delivered: that would be decadent, leave delivery time up in the air, and run the risk of the deliverers not being able to find our house. Admittedly the professional delivery services, the PO and Amazon and all, don't have trouble, but back when I was taking shuttles to the airport, they never could. (One reason I quit taking them.)

Instead, I drive to the store, park in one of a set of designated spaces, and phone them. They come out and put the stuff in the trunk. This works well with Safeway (and we're still satisfied with the fourth outlet we tried after the first three had trouble with the concept of bringing the order out), but other chains I've gone to have more complicated systems requiring a smartphone instead of a dumbphone.

And usually we know as I shop, or at least when they e-mail to confirm the order is ready, if there's anything we want that they don't have. Usually I can find it at another outlet.

But here's something that I was stuck on. I've acquired a recipe that includes a can of cream of onion soup. What? Campbell's still makes this, but nobody carries it. I had to resort to a mail-order grocer; let's see how that goes.

Another thing I've been buying mail-order for a while is postage stamps. We still use these, mostly for bills. I enjoy pasting attractive stamps on the envelopes, whether or not the recipient cares. I used to buy these at the PO counter, asking the clerk what have you got? But the selection was often poor. The online store has a full stock.

But only of what they currently carry. Our last purchase, a year or two ago, yielded Star Trek stamps, Wonder Woman (B. likes those), cute pets, Mexican food, and a set of Disney villains, the last of which I was careful not to use on rent checks to our landlord.

But we're running low, and I wanted to order a sheet of the new Le Guin stamps, even though I have little use for a three-ounce stamp. But everything I bought last time is out of print and not much that interests me has replaced it. I had to content myself with Star Wars droids (eh, ok), x-ray (or something) images of the sun, and something that catches my interest, admission date anniversary stamps for states. Having had Indiana and Nebraska a while back, this time I got Missouri - the state I was in to view the big eclipse of 2017 - and Alabama. Well, even though of all 50 states Alabama is the one I have least experience with. About 20 years ago, I drove in one afternoon from Mississippi to Mobile, and departed the following morning in the direction of the Florida panhandle; that's it.

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