By Lisa Witherspoon, author of

Have any of you ever tried online grocery shopping?? I started doing it just over five years ago when I was pregnant with my daughter, Emily. I had some monster varicose veins that made walking around the grocery store physically painful. At a friend’s suggestion, I hesitantly gave it a try and it was FABULOUS!!!

Basically, you go online and order your groceries. Then, you specify a time for pick up, giving at least four hours notice. At the requested time, you pull up to the drive through lane, use the call box to tell them you are there, and then the magic happens. Someone from the store will bring out your groceries – already pulled from the shelves, already bagged. You just hand them a check or credit card and they load the groceries in the car for you. You never have to go in the store or even get out of your car! You can order them from your couch at midnight if that’s what fits your schedule. Instead of spending an hour walking around the store, you spend fifteen minutes (tops) in the parking lot. It is seriously the best invention for busy families since the creation of sliced bread or station wagons.

(My grocery store of choice around here is Harris Teeter. Lowes Foods also offers this service at some locations. There is a small fee. At HT, it is $4.95 per order and it is TOTALLY worth it!)

There is one down side, though. I am so used to grocery shopping online that I tend to forget just how miserable a trip to the store with all three children in tow can be. Because of that, I occasionally lose my mind and take the kids with me on a grocery run. Today was one of those days.

I knew they would not be too thrilled with this outing, so I tried to insert a little fun by taking them for frozen yogurt first. All was going well until we actually arrived at the grocery store. Like a light switch that was flipped into the “ON” position, the fighting began. They argued over who was going to push the cart. Then, they (mainly meaning the two oldest) did anything and everything they could to annoy one another – singing, stepping in front of the other, lurching for the cart anytime I took my hands off of it. All this on top of the expected “Hey Mom! Can we get these? or these? or that?” We finally made it to the check out and then headed out to the car.

At that point, we were all completely out of patience which only perpetuated the bickering. The ride ended with one child (who shall remain nameless) hitting her sister with a baby doll and telling that same sister she wished she would grow up faster and die!! (Seriously – where do they get this stuff?!?!) It was all I could do to keep the minivan between the white lines when I heard that and, obviously, there was some heavy punishment doled out as a consequence for those horrible words.

Once we made it home, the punished child went to her room, one went outside to get away from it all, and the other headed out to the playroom. Finally, as I was putting the groceries away, there were a few moments of silence in which I could do some deep breathing to lower my blood pressure and reflect on the events of our trek to the grocery store. It was then that I remembered wholeheartedly why I love online grocery shopping so much.

Thank you Harris Teeter!!! Thank you to the person who invented the internet and the person who came up with the idea of online grocery shopping!!! (I am convinced that it must have been a mother coming off a hellacious trip to the store with kids in tow.) Most of all, thank you to my kids for the poignant reminder and for accompanying me on what will be our very last trip to the grocery store together EVER!!! (Well, a girl can dream, can’t she??)

* Image taken from