Today, a personal shopper did all of my grocery shopping for me, and it was amazing.

We are all so darned busy these days.  Make breakfast, get the kids ready for school, race to beat traffic, work, get back from the office, drive the kids to-and-from dance/soccer/swimming classes, and hope that you will somehow and miraculously get a sliver of “me” time to do the important stuff.  You open the fridge and panic sets in as you just used the last slice of bread, poured the last drop of juice… and you’re out of almost everything! You don’t have time to grocery shop tonight after today’s hellacious hour-long commute (both ways) and tomorrow is looking even busier.

But there’s hope.

Inhale. Exhale. Just, breathe.  Enter: Loblaw’s Click & Collect online service. Not all heroes wear capes, and that’s why approximately 90 Loblaws, Real Canadian Superstores and Zehrs stores across many Canadian provinces offer you this cleverly-named online service that gives you a dedicated personal shopper.

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Imagine a service that gives you a personal shopper (you know you’ve always wanted one), the ease of online ordering, and the best parking space in the store’s parking lot.  Yep.  That’s Click & Collect!  You can use your computer, cell phone, or tablet to access the website and get shopping. The Milton Real Canadian Superstore recently got this great service so I thought I’d try it out. So, let’s go ahead and do that!

Once you’re on the RCSS website, sign-up for a new Click & Collect account.  If you have a PC Plus card, you can link it to the Click & Collect account as it tracks your most frequent purchases and makes your shopping experience that much easier.  You can see your last purchase, most frequently-purchased items, your PC Plus offers, and you can even save recipes and create shopping lists (YAS!)

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If you don’t have a PC Plus account (get one! In 1 year I’ve redeemed over $80 worth of free groceries) you can still shop very easily. Click on the search bar and search multiple items that you’d like to purchase. Or, you can browse through by brands or categories like “Bakery”, “Frozen” or “Bounty” and “Nestle” for the brands.  Once you’ve found the items you like, add them to your cart. Side note: you need to purchase at least $30 to use the Click & Collect Program. The shopping doesn’t end at food.  You can also purchase beauty supplies, housewares products, over-the-counter medicine, baby need items, and even pet food. Hopefully they’ll include the Joe clothing line, one sweet day!

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Once you’ve finished adding items to your shopping cart, click the ‘Checkout’ button, and select your pick up time slot. You can place your order up to 4 hours prior to the pick-up time. The pick-up window pricing ranges from $3 for the non-peak times to $5 for peak times (like after work or during the weekend).

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After selecting your pick-up time you can review your order before the final checkout. This is one of my favourite parts- you can select whether or not you like a substitution on your product. So, if you’ve opted for “Yes” on substitutions and you’ve ordered an item that’s out of stock they’ll substitute the closest alternative for that item. If you’ve selected “No” for substitutions they’ll remove that item from your shopping list and send you a notice.  Another neat feature is that you can add notes to each of the items. For example, I wanted green, unripened bananas.  So I typed in exactly that for the personal shopper to be aware of while they hand-picked my bananas.

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After you’re done adding your notes, you can again click ‘Checkout’.  At this point, the website will ask you for your preferred payment option.  If you select credit card, your card doesn’t get charged until you pick up the order.

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At this point, you’ll receive a confirmation email outlining your order and pick-up time.  And with that part out of the way, here’s some behind-the-scenes photos on what happens when your Click & Collection order is being put together! *(queue the Willy Wonka music)*

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When it’s time for pick up, simply go to the location you selected and park in one of their designated Click & Collect parking spots (it’s the big spot marked ‘Click & Collect Customers‘).  Once you’ve parked, call the store and let them know that you’re ready for the pick-up.

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Then sit back and wait for them to bring and load your car up with your order! Within minutes you’re done your grocery shopping and on your way home.  No more line ups, no more navigating around a busy store, and no silly impulse buys.  You didn’t even have to leave your cozy, air-conditioned or heated vehicle. Ain’t life grand?

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I really enjoyed my first Click & Collect shopping experience and I’ll definitely be using again, especially during the busy times of the year like Christmas and Thanksgiving. The small convenience fee of $3-$5 is well worth the time and energy saved.

Some fun facts about Click & Collect:

  • You can use coupons. Just inform the concierge when you are picking up.
  • You can view the product descriptions, ingredient listing, and nutritional information for almost all the items

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  • You can place your order up to 2 weeks in advance – Christmas shopping, anyone?
  • You can change or cancel your order by simply logging onto your Click & Collect account before the cut-off time. If you’re beyond the cut-off times, you can still call the store and inform them of the changes (cancellation fees may apply if you’ve cancelled after the cut-off period)
  • They have a dedicated area with fridges to store all the Click & Collect items
  • Each store has hired brand new employees specifically for the Click & Collect Program.  Yay for new job creation!

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Loblaw but as always, opinions are my own.   A special thank you to the Milton Real Canadian Superstore team for the inside scoop about this cool program!

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