By TMoM team member Sarah Blackwell

There was a time when I enjoyed grocery shopping with my children.

When they were still small enough to fit in the buggy or to ride in their infant seats, I would leisurely stroll the aisles of my local grocery store while making my choices, stealing kisses from their little cheeks and making silly faces so I could see their beautiful smiles.  Yes, I was tired and probably hadn’t changed out of my pajamas that day but those were easy trips.  Or at least that is how I choose to remember them now.

But, oh, how the times do change!

These days I do not enjoy grocery shopping with my children.  They aren’t restrained in a buggy or a car seat anymore, which means I spend most of the grocery trip trying to track down which aisle they are in.  I’m usually so frazzled that I miss the one or two items on my list that I really needed for that night’s dinner.  There are no kisses or silly faces, only bared teeth and violent threats under my breath.

walmart4So, when Thanksgiving week rolled around and I knew that my grocery trip would coincide with a day out of school, I knew I needed a better option.  I decided to give Walmart’s grocery pickup service a try.  Even though other local stores provide this same service, I never could bring myself to pay a service fee for doing a job that I could do myself.  When I noticed that Walmart provides this service free of charge, I knew it was time to give it a try.

I logged onto the Walmart website, chose my pickup location and time, and started adding things to my cart.  It took me a few minutes to get the hang of grocery shopping on a website but once I did I was off and running.  I was amazed at how easy their website was to navigate!  All I had to do was open my cookbook to whatever I was planning to make, search for that item on the website and then add it to my cart.  I left my browser open for a day and casually added my items as they occurred to me.  A task that usually fills me with dread turned out to be relaxing!

I was skeptical at first that Walmart would carry all the brands that I love but they did.  My favorite brand of hard-to-find Brunswick Stew was there.  Organic spinach was there.  Even my favorite sparkling water was there.  I was also pleased to see that I could decline substitutions so I wouldn’t be surprised by anything that ended up in my shopping bag.  And, of course, everything I added to my cart came with Walmart’s low prices, which very few grocery stores can beat.  Grocery shopping that was relaxing and saving me money-could it really be this easy?

I received a call the morning of my pickup letting me know that everything was ready to go.  When I pulled up to my local store all I had to do was call that number back and let them know I was in the parking lot.  Less than two minutes later my personal shopper appeared with a cart filled with my groceries.  She helped me load everything in the car and then presented me with a “welcome” bag since this was my first time using the service.  I received a handwritten note telling me thank you for using their service and a local phone number to call if there were any problems once I got home.  In all honesty, I was blown away at how simple Walmart made this grocery trip.

walmart1As easy as the shopping and the pickup had gone, I was still a little dubious about what I would find in my bag once I got home.  But everything I ordered was right there.  Fresh cilantro, as green and vibrant as what I would choose for myself, was packed along with my organic milk and the various items I needed for my Thanksgiving recipes.  All my cold items were still cold and the cleaning supplies I ordered were packed on their own, away from the food items.  Just as I would have requested it if I had been standing in the checkout line.

During this season of hurrying from one activity to the next I am thankful to discover Walmart’s new grocery pickup service.  It may seem like a small thing to some but their grocery pickup service freed up my time that day to be with the people who really matter.  And instead of putting ourselves through the agony of yet another stressful grocery trip, we could be together in the kitchen, cooking for our loved ones.  Those are the kind of memories I want to make with my children and thanks to Walmart, this holiday season we will.

*Sponsored by Walmart