I referenced my love for Harris Teeter in my post about grocery savings, but allow me to tell you more about this relationship of ours. I can summarize in two words: Online Shopping. I love home and, therefore, I love online shopping. It does not require structured pants, matching clothing, checkout lines, or hauling infants in car seats with giant diaper bags of paraphernalia to keep the tiny people alive and happy for an hour. There are no searches for bathrooms in the deep recesses of the store to change diapers. No aimlessly wandering the aisles while searching for an item because you have the luxury of the search engine at your fingertips. All around, it is my favorite thing. Harris Teeter does not have a referral program, but I so wish they did because I have recommended it to everyone I have ever met and I could retire at this point if they had paid me for that. Alas, I am still working and I still need this service. Perhaps that is their reason for not having a referral program.
Getting started: Go to the website and choose your store pick up location. This will redirect you to the home page. Select Register to set up your account.
Cost: The cost for this service is $4.95 per order. Your first online Express Lane order will be free so that you can try it out without commitment. I tried it and loved it so much that I purchased the yearly subscription of unlimited online orders for $100. That is a whopping expense of $1.92/week. If you have been on my blog for more than 29 seconds, you know that I am seriously frugal. I subscribe to very little, but this is one of those services. My time, sanity, and weekends with my people are worth $1.92 to me. Quite honestly, the ability to shop on my couch in my pajamas with a cup of coffee on my side table and my baby in my lap is worth $1.92. I have heard a couple of my friends say that they enjoy the aisle-wandering and find it therapeutic. If that’s you, feel free to move on to the next post because this one will not have much to offer you. I may never understand this about you, but we can still be friends.
Advantages: As you can see in the above picture, there are freebies involved with Express Lane shopping. Online orderers get a few offers each week that are only available to them in addition to all the e-Vic specials and regular store sales. The customer service is all-around superb. If I order an item that is not available, they will price-match substitutes even if it is a larger size or a more expensive brand. My orders have always been ready before my chosen pick-up time and they are delivered to my vehicle. Any coupons that I have for that order are applied to the following week’s order. If it is one of those glorious Super Doubles weeks, they will still double those higher coupons the next week. If you are an impulse shopper, this may be your saving grace. You do not pass displays and are not tempted to add-on items at checkout. Your kids are also not throwing things in your cart on every aisle. This has the potential to save you a good chunk of change.
Disadvantages: Be careful when throwing things into your virtual cart. Make sure you are buying the item and quantity that you intended to purchase. It is easy to accidentally get the wrong thing, but if you are attentive, this will only happen rarely. Another disadvantage is the inability to scan the meat section for packages reduced for quick sale. We discussed that money-saving tip in my previous grocery post. Every now and then you may have to go to the actual store and walk all the way to the meat section to scour for deals and stock up your freezer. Or you can have one of those friends who enjoys store-wandering to look for these things for you.
Smart shopping: ALWAYS start by adding any Express Lane shopper freebies to your cart. They’re FREE. If you don’t want it, donate it. Then I add any super reduced e-Vic items from that week’s email that I want or need. Next, shop your “Weekly Sales Flyer” shown here in orange. Use the coupon match-ups from southernsavers.com along with the store sales to get the lowest prices possible for these items. Our fresh produce for the week comes from what’s listed on this flyer (except bananas because they are always cheap). I review the Buy One, Get One meats to keep our freezer stocked. If you don’t have time to review coupons for the week’s groceries, at least shop for the best discounts listed in the flyer.
You can also search for items in the search engine or by store section in the category list. After you fill your cart, make sure you review your order to check for any mistakes and reserve your time slot for pick up. Happy grocery shopping in your PJs!