Sunday, October 20, 2013

Click2Go eCommissary - review

A few months ago I was thinking about deployments and how we could make it easier on the parents who are at home with children.  I told my husband that it would be great if we could find a local grocery store that lets you order online.  About a week later, I learned that the commissary (grocery store on military bases) was doing the exact same thing as a trial program AND that Offutt AFB (where we are stationed) was going to be one of the test locations!

I was excited to try it, but the timing wasn't great - about a week after the trial started, the commissary was furloughed due to the government shutdown!  This week, however, everything was back to normal and it was the perfect time to try it out as my family was sick and I didn't really feel like taking a sick toddler in for groceries.

One night after our son went to bed, I sat down at the computer with my grocery list and started clicking away.  Click2Go was easy to use, but I'm sure the more often I used it, the faster I'd become at finding things.  Items are well organized within sections (Produce, Fruit, etc), but sometimes it took a try or two before I found what I was looking for.  There is a search bar at the top and that made it a lot easier to find a specific item - just type in the product name like Horizon Organic Milk.  I submitted my list online and chose a pickup window (e.g. 11:30-12pm) between 11am-6pm.  About 30 minutes after I "checked out", I realized I had forgotten a few things so I signed back in and added those things to my cart.

The next morning, I pulled up to the side of the commissary and pressed a button to talk with the person working Click2Go.  They asked for my last name and told me to pull ahead into a spot.  When they brought out my groceries, they checked my ID, ran my credit card and loaded everything in my car.  It was great!!  There is no charge to use Click2Go and you're not allowed to tip the commissary employees so I only paid for the things I bought.

What I Liked:
Click2Go was easy and convenient!  The website allows you to "favorite" items so if you knew you were going to be buying the same items often, you could save time that way.

You have the option to "allow for substitutions" which means that if the commissary is out of a particular item, they will call you and ask if they can substitute a similar item for your order (e.g. Organic Valley Skim Milk instead of Horizon Organic Skim Milk).  I didn't check this option, which meant they were missing a few things I need (I was informed of this ahead of time by email).  Next time I'll allow substitutions to make sure I get everything on my list.

What I Didn't Like:
I was a little unsure of having someone else pick out my produce, so I didn't buy a lot.  What I received was in good condition so I would trust them again for a few things.  If I knew I was buying a lot of fruits and vegetables though, I would probably prefer to pick them out myself.  Also, you have to pay attention on the website when ordering produce and be specific (there's a notes section on each item so you can explain what you want).  I heard from someone else that when you put bananas in your virtual cart and request 1, they will give you one banana, not one bunch! :)  I had the same problem with onions - the website asked for the number and weight of onions I wanted.

At this point, we can only pick up groceries on three days (Wednesday, Thursday and Friday).  It's a great start, but it would definitely be nice to have it available on more days.

Assuming that Click2Go grows to other bases, I can see myself using and recommending it to others.  It will be great during deployments (especially if you have several children) or when you're sick and don't want to expend extra energy.  Last winter I cooked two months of meals at a time (which meant one biiiiig trip to the commissary).  I definitely would have used Click2Go had it been an option at that time to save hunting around for various items.  I also like the option of having my husband pick up our groceries on his way home from work without it taking up his time or having to send him a list of what I need - I can get exactly what I need and it would be very easy for him to pick up.  That being said, I don't plan to use Click2Go on a weekly basis because I still like to go in to the commissary and pick out a lot of my own things.

If Click2Go was available at your commissary/grocery store, would you give it a try?

Monday, October 14, 2013

trophy or teacher?

I'll be posting a review of this book in a few days, but wanted to share this quote tonight.

the quarantine has been lifted!

Last week, the day before I was hosting an event, Hadden seemed to be getting sick.  We kept a close eye on him and thought he was doing better, so Caleb took him out for the evening during my party.  Sometime between when we all went to bed and when the sun rose the next morning, Hadden and I got horribly sick!

We spent the last five days or so recovering, but I think we might be over it!  Hopefully I'll get back to posting soon.  We've been doing the bare minimum each day to save energy so blogging wasn't even on my mind!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Government Shutdown Day 5 - How You Can Get and Give Help

Everyone is full of doom and gloom about the government shutdown.  While I can't necessarily blame them, I don't really care to add my voice to that mix.  Instead, here are a couple of things to be aware of, especially if you are a military member or dependent.

1.  No Commissary?  Try Sam's Club
Since all stateside commissaries are closed during the shutdown, Sam's Club has gracious offered a free (temporary) membership to anyone with a military ID.  We don't have a Sam's Club membership, but are planning on taking them up on this offer! 

2.  USAA Loan
According to their website, USAA is "ready to offer a zero-interest, 0% APR payroll advance loan to affected members if the next federal budget issue — the debt ceiling — disrupts pay to active-duty service personnel."  Keep this in your back pocket, in case you end up needing help.

3.  Give.
This would be an awesome time to donate to a local food pantry.  Go through your cupboards and pick up a few extra things at the grocery store.  Since government programs (including WIC) are shutdown/delayed, people may be going hungry.  Not sure where one is?  Use this handy website to find one close by!

And now let me just hop up on a soapbox for a moment: I have often heard Christians complain about government programs.  When questioned about all the verses in the the Scriptures about helping the poor, they say that it should be the Church's job, not the government's.  Well, right now is that time for all those people to step up and live out what they said.

How are you dealing with the shutdown?  Have you felt the effects?

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