Sunday, 1 December 2019

Grocery shopping list for November 2019

This post is the eleventh in a series. It describes buying groceries online from Woolies and, at the end of the month, a purchase from a free-range butcher.

1 November

Went to the Woolworths website and put in an order for sliced ham, lettuce, a capsicum, eggs, Truckle Brothers “Roaring Forties” Cheddar cheese, taramosalata spread, pumpkin and couscous salad, potato salad, flavoured mineral water (no added sugar), some Calbee “Harvest Snaps” (wasabi flavour; the salt and vinegar ones I bought before weren’t overwhelmingly good), and Jatz crackers. Delivery charge added. An SMS came, as expected, at 8.05pm to notify me of the delivery the following day.

2 November

At just before 7.30am the intercom buzzed and I told the deliveryman I would be down. “Ok, you’ll come down,” he said. Outside the building he put the goods in the bags I had brought with me. He said the invoice was in one of the bags, and pointed with his finger. I looked and saw that the piece of printed paper was lying in the bag with the groceries. The man whipped out his phone and asked me to sign with my finger on the screen, which I did. As I was picking up the bags he asked if I needed a hand with the door and I demurred, saying I would be ok. He bad me farewell and I went up to unpack.

3 November

On the way home from the Egyptian café, where I had had coffee with friends, I went to Woolworths and bought a sultana butter cake, milk, mangoes, and flavoured mineral water (no added sugar).

4 November

Went to the Woolworths website and ordered Scotch fillet steak, lamb chops, ling fillets, barramundi fillets, Truckle Brothers “Roaring Forties” cheese, carrots, capsicum, garlic, mushrooms, lentil salad, coleslaw, Jatz crackers, Calbee “Harvest Snaps” snacks, and flavoured mineral water (no added sugar). Delivery at no charge scheduled for the following day. At 8.04pm the SMS came from the retailer about the next day’s delivery.

5 November

In the morning when I got up there was the expected email from Woolworths in my inbox referring to variable weight products. “The pending charge on your credit card used for payment will be reduced by $13.64 prior to payment finalisation,” the email, which was timestamped 2.05am, went on. 

Just after 7am the intercom buzzed and I told the deliveryman I would come down. I repeated the phrase twice so he would get my message. I heard him say, “Ok, no worries. Thanks.” I went down in the lift and he was waiting outside the street door with a trolley and three green crates. He loaded my groceries into the bags I had brought with me, then said, “Can I get a signature please?” After he had tapped a couple of buttons on the screen of his phone I signed there with my finger, then picked up my bags and turned to go inside. He said, “Have a good day,” as he left to go back to his truck. I went upstairs and unpacked everything. The paper tax invoice, which looked like this, had a total amount of $115.24.

In the afternoon I had some errands to do locally and on the way home bought some zero-alcohol beer at a bottle shop.

6 November

Ordered some coffee using the Campos Coffee website and some Fleurieu Peninsula (South Australia) chardonnay using the Laithwaite’s Wine People website. The wine a treat for other people, not for me (I hadn’t had a drink since the beginning of August).

7 November

Saw an article in Business Insider about the new Coles “Delivery Plus” subscription service. The Coles plan is similar to the Woolworths plan. With Coles you can also pay $19 per month to get free deliver (on orders over $100). Coles also offers a “Mid Week Saver”. This plan is $14 a month and gives you deliveries on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. So a slightly lower cost if you go off-peak.

In the afternoon after meeting someone about a story, I went to Woolworths and bought some flavoured mineral water (some with no added sugar, and some no-sugar).

8 November

Email arrived from Australia Post about a delivery. A box of coffee was ready to collect from the local post office, it said. Strange that no-one tried to buzz me …

Went to the Woolworths website in the early evening and put in an order for T-bone steak, pork chops, ling fillets, bacon, sliced ham, couscous salad, potato salad, eggs, mushrooms, a cos lettuce, a carrot cake, flavoured mineral water (no added sugar), and toothpaste. Delivery free and scheduled for Sunday the 10th.

9 November

This afternoon I went across the road to the convenience store and bought bread and a bottle of Pepsi Max. Later, at 8.04pm, the SMS from Woolworths arrived in reference to the following day’s delivery.

10 November

There was an email from Woolies in my inbox when I opened up my email client in the morning. It was timestamped 3.11am and was about the variable weight items in the order. This kind of email is normal with orders that contain things like fresh fish and meat because the picker cannot know how much to charge until the goods have been packaged ready to deliver. 

At 7.13am the deliveryman buzzed me on the intercom and I told him I would be down. I got two tote bags and got in the lift and went to the lobby. When I got there I saw the guy standing outside with his trolley. I opened the street door and greeted him and he said to me, “Morning mate, how are you?” 

I got one of the bags ready in my hands and told the man to put the drinks into it. The bottles were sitting in the top crate on the trolley. He put the bottles in my bag along with the toothpaste. Then I got the other bag ready as he removed one crate from off the top of the other. He put most of the rest of the groceries in the second tote and then said, “I just need your signature.” He took out his mobile phone and I signed on the screen with my finger and he got ready to leave. “Thank you mate have a good day,” he said. I thanked him. As I was using my tag to open the front door he added, “See you!”

I took the stuff upstairs and unpacked. The tax invoice that came with the delivery showed a total amount of $103.93. the ling was exactly 500 grams in weight; I had ordered 500g but it seemed odd that the actual amount matched precisely the ordered amount. The T-bone steak was 722g and the pork chops came in at 542g.

11 November

At around 9.30am I got a call from a deliveryman with Fastway Couriers who asked me over the phone to come downstairs because he had something for me. I got my phone and keys and went down. Outside I saw a van parked up the street just as I was making a return call to the guy, and walked along the footpath to meet him. He was carrying the wine I had ordered and, to acknowledge receipt of the box, I signed using a stylus on his handheld device. I took the wine upstairs and put it away.

12 November

I went to the post office to pick up my box of coffee at around midday. Then I went to Woolworths and bought milk and some flavoured sparkling mineral water (no sugar).

14 November

Went to the Woolworths website and put in an order for ling fillets, bacon, Bega cheese, sliced corned beef, eggs, tomatoes, a capsicum, a cos lettuce, lentil salad, potato salad, a butter cake, hot English mustard, olive oil spread, shortbread biscuits, flavoured mineral water (no added sugar), and a packet of sticking plasters. Delivery free scheduled for the morning of the following day.

After completing my order I walked to Woolies and bought bread and some drinks. There was Solo lemon drink and lemonade with no sugar; I also got flavoured mineral water with no sugar.

15 November

The SMS had arrived from Woolies at 8.03pm the day before alerting me to the delivery and at 6.37am this morning the intercom buzzed. I told the deliveryman I would come downstairs and he said, “Ok, thanks.” Outside the building he said he would put the heavy things in a bag first, and loaded up the bottles with the biscuits and the Elastoplast on top. Then he put the eggs on the ground and loaded the second bag with the rest of the stuff, placing the eggs on top of everything so as not to break them. I put the lettuce in with the bottles as the second bag would, I saw, be too full to accommodate it. The guy whipped out his phone and I signed on the screen with my finger, then he turned and left. I unlatched the front door and went upstairs to pack everything away. The printed tax invoice that came with the delivery said the total amount was $109.19.

17 November

Went to Woolworths and bought milk and some flavoured mineral water (no-sugar) as well as a carton of coconut water (yes, real liquid from inside a coconut).

18 November

Went to the bottle shop near Miller Street and bought two six-packs of zero-alcohol beer. In the evening after dinner I went to the Woolies website and ordered fillet steak, lamb chops, sliced corned silverside, potato and sweet potato salad, couscous and pumpkin salad, coleslaw, eggs, mushrooms, a capsicum, tomatoes, a cos lettuce, a fruit cake and a Christmas cake, kitchen paper towels, and flavoured mineral water (the kind with no added sugar). Delivery at no charge (the amount to be paid was $104.70) due on the Wednesday, two days hence.

20 November

At 8.05pm the previous evening I had received an SMS from Woolworths about the delivery this morning, then there was an email, also expected, about variable weight items in the order. The email, which was timestamped 2.16am, referred to the meat, and said that the amount charged would be reduced by $14.30 before payment finalisation. 

An SMS arrived from Woolies at 5.59am telling me that their delivery would be delayed and at 8.25am the intercom buzzed. I said to the guy downstairs I would come down and he said, “Ok.” In the lift I met my neighbour from the unit above mine, who is also my usual dishwasher repairman, and I repeated an offer I had made the other morning for him to come down to have tea with me at the end of the year. He said I should come up to have a drink at his place. He also asked me about flyscreens on the sliding doors in the living room. He wanted to leave the door to the balcony open at night while keeping out insects, and I told him I have a screen on one of the sliding doors in my living room. He should come down to see it, I said. “So it’s possible,” he said.

Outside, the deliveryman told me to put the bags I had brought on the ground, and he started filling one of them up with goods. Then the drinks and the paper towels went in the other bag. After signing to acknowledge receipt of everything I took everything upstairs and unpacked, putting the protein away in the freezer as usual. One of the eggs was a bit cracked. 

The total amount for the order came to $90.40 and they hadn’t charged for delivery or added a fee for the “crate-to-bench” option I had selected. “Thank you for working with us towards a greener future,” was appended to that line item on the printed tax invoice. I hadn’t seen this piece of text before so, I mused, they must have recently added it to their system. Some of the things were bagged in the little green bags they use. The eggs, for example, and the veges. The plastic tray for the lamb chops I would recycle but I put the tray for the steak in with the general waste, which would go down the garbage chute.

Later I went to drop off some things to be fixed at the tailors’ shop and left one of my tote bags to be repaired. The guy whose name, on the receipt, was “dawod” said he wouldn’t charge me for the bag repair. The seam had started to come away a bit so I asked him to redo all the seams on the bag. Then I walked down to Woolworths and bought two loaves of bread, some Persian goats’ cheese, and two containers of soup (Italian minestrone, and mushroom).

21 November

Went to the Woolies website and ordered fillet steak, lamb chops, T-bone steak, Bega cheese, lentil salad, potato salad, coleslaw, a cos lettuce, canola oil, flavoured mineral water, insect spray, Post-it Notes, tissues, and a soap dish. Delivery at no charge due the next day.

Since the last time I had used the interface the check-out process was new. Now, the menu where you select the delivery time was put side-by-side with the payment fields, which was a bit confusing at first. I worked out what had to be done but it involves scrolling down the page before the payment button can be clicked, and pressing a button to finalise the delivery options first. The website gave me a survey to use once the transaction had been completed, and I gave the new interface a lukewarm review adding, at the end in a comment box, “Bit confusing …” I didn’t see how the new design improved the process for the user, although it did reduce the number of screens you have to use.

At 8.04pm the anticipated Woolworths SMS arrived to remind me of the next day’s delivery.

22 November

When I got up this morning there was the expected Woolies email, timestamped 3.53am, about variable weight items in my order. It said the charge would be reduced by $19.29 before payment finalisation. Then at around 7.05am the intercom sounded and I told the deliveryman I would come downstairs. I saw him turn to his right to head to the door as I repeated, “I’ll come down,” three times to make sure he got the message, which he finally did. It would take too much time and effort to explain to the guy about our faulty lift buttons and a risk the lift might not get to my floor. I could have let him into the lobby but this, again, would have required too long to explain if he wasn’t going to come upstairs.

When I got outside the street door we loaded the goods into the bags I had brought along. First, the drinks and the tissues and some other non-perishable items went from one crate into the Ikea bag I had brought with me, one of the large blue totes the Swedish retailer sells in its stores. Then the deliveryman placed the rest of the groceries, that were in a second crate, into a Freedom Furniture bag I had been using for this purpose since I began to buy things online. He whipped out his phone and I signed, then I thanked him and he said, “Thank you,” with a rising inflection to his voice as if to say, “I appreciate your custom and I am gainfully employed today with other people to serve.” Upstairs I unpacked, putting the protein away in the freezer in sandwich bags. The printed tax invoice that came with the delivery showed a total amount of $137.85.

Just as a matter of interest, this is Google Maps’ store locator for Freedom Furniture in the Sydney metropolitan area. The central office is at North Ryde (it’s not labelled in the image below). Not sure what JojoBaba Furniture is, must be a competitor which has paid Google to be shown on their map along with Freedom’s results. The Auburn Freedom Furniture store is tagged in this image but is not labelled. So there are nine Freedom stores in Sydney. Their store in the central business district, where I used to go to buy things, closed.

23 November

Went to the pharmacy and to get a haircut and on the way home stopped at the bottle shop and bought a six-pack of zero-alcohol Heineken and a six-pack of Coopers original pale ale. The second item for my son, who had bought a ticket to Australia so that he could spend a few days with me in Sydney at the end of the year.

25 November

On the way back from the post office I stopped by Woolworths and bought flavoured mineral water (no-sugar) and milk.

26 November

Went to the Woolies website and ordered pork chops, locally-sourced barramundi fillets, sliced salami, mushrooms, couscous and pumpkin salad, coleslaw, a container of mixed potato and sweet potato salad, eggs, butter cake, green olives, kalamata olives, Jarlsberg cheese, flavoured mineral water (no-sugar), and mouthwash. Delivery free and due the next day.

In the acknowledgement email that came from Woolies the salami was labelled “sopressa” but it is actually Bertocchi’s soppressa with fennel though Wikipedia, for its part, has a page about what it calls “soppressata”, a type of dry salami from the south of Italy.

The sparkling mineral water I bought this time was a brand I had been buying from Woolies’ store in my suburb. It has no artificial flavours or colouring and no sugar. It does, however, have a “best by” date which, for bottles bought the previous day, would fall in September of the following year.

Around lunchtime an email arrived from Woolies offering a $10 discount on orders of at least $110, but the offer would expire on the 28th. Then at 8.01pm the usual SMS arrived about my delivery due the next day.

27 November

When I woke up in the morning there was the usual email about variable weight items in the order; it was timestamped 2.30am. The total amount for the order would be reduced by $3.78 before payment finalisation.

At 7.45am the intercom buzzed and I told the deliveryman outside I would come down. He said, “No worries,” and I grabbed my keys and two tote bags. At the building entrance I explained about the lift buttons and he loaded one bag with the drinks and the mouthwash, and the other bag with the rest of the things. He took care to put the eggs in my Ikea bag where they wouldn’t be damaged. 

I signed on his mobile phone and thanked him. He asked if I was ok with the bags and I said it was fine, then I took everything upstairs and unpacked. The pork chops came to 464g and cost $7.42, the barramundi weighed in at exactly 500g – the quantity I had specified when ordering; it wasn’t clear if this was a “variable weight product” referred to in the email I had received earlier that morning – and came to $14. The total on the invoice was $100.80. 

The printed tax invoice had a colour-printed offer stapled to it that was mainly green – the company’s branding colour – offering 30 days’ free delivery if you sign up. I imagined this was something I would be able to give to a friend. I learned by reading it that you can get a discounted option for midweek delivery – the same as Coles has for its customers – and that you can get next-day delivery if you order online before 6pm; I hadn’t understood this before.

28 November

On the way back home from the post office and the tailor’s shop, I stopped at Woolworths and bought some flavoured mineral water (no-sugar). Then I stopped at the bottle shop and bought a six-pack of zero-alcohol Heineken.

An email had arrived at my inbox, the evening before, about ethical food. It was a distribution from someone I follow on Twitter and it mentioned free-range pork. A producer had gone out of business in a town near Gympie, in Queensland, and there was a link to an Australian Broadcasting Corporation story about it. 

I read the story and then did a quick search online for this kind of retailer and found one in Sydney but when I phoned them I found that they cannot guarantee that the deliveryman will buzz you when they drop off an order. The business ships out orders on Friday to arrive any time between midnight and early morning on the Saturday each week. I decided that this would not work as the woman I spoke with said that they are unable to control how the delivery is carried out; they use a third-party company for this part of their business.

So I called another free-range meat provider, this one in Marrickville. They said that you can set up an account and leave a note on your order specifying how the delivery should be performed. I asked if they buzz you and the woman I spoke with said they do. The company is called Feather and Bone Butchery. I ordered some veal T-bone steaks, pork loin chops, bacon, a dozen pasture-raised eggs, and lamb and lemon thyme sausages. I set up a login in their database.

Delivery is charged at a rate of $10 per order but the charge depends on where you live, so the cost of delivery might be different for other people. You have to order goods worth over $80 to enable the delivery option to work when you check out. Given a set of options, you can choose which day delivery takes place. Not all areas are covered every day of the week, so if you buy from Feather and Bone and you want delivery you have to find a day that suits both parties: you and them.

29 November

On the way home from the tailor’s I stopped at Woolworths and bought a container of lentil salad and one of bean salad, as well as some flavoured mineral water (no-sugar). In the evening I went to the convenience store and bought a loaf of bread.

1 comment:

Ariyan Robin said...
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