The Battle of the Online Grocery Pick-up

Say what you will about Wal-Mart as a corporate entity, I’ve had my own fair share of gripes with their business practices. If you live in a rural area though, sometimes Wal-Mart is your closest option around to buy just about anything you find yourself in need of.

I almost exclusively by my groceries at Kroger. I love their member card benefits and I used my 3 free trials of their pickup already This last shopping trip, I was pretty much willing to pay the 5$ for my next pickup because I value the convenience, but then I heard Walmart’s pickup was free. ohhhh-kay I’ll download the app and see what’s up.

I found browsing the app (Walmart Grocery not Walmart )  easy to navigate the different departments (not just grocery) really intuitive and the search function brings up related items as well. Kroger does this too, but the department categories aren’t as broad and easy to find.

I selected my items as per my two-week meal plan and found everything I needed. Except store-brand fritos, because it didn’t occur to me to search for “corn chips” instead of fritos. (Hellooooo frito burritos, anyone??)

I started shopping around 7am (this was the Friday before Easter) and it gave me several time slot options, and seemed to have sooner openings than Kroger usually does on Friday mornings. I ended up choosing a 12pm-1pm spot as I had some chores to catch up on and it asked if I wanted to be notified when my order was available. They had 3 options: email, text and app notification and I ended up choosing all three.

There was a place near the payment options to insert a promo code, and I searched Google for “walmart pickup promo code” and found one for 10$ off your first order. I entered it in and it took my 91$ bill into 81$ Pretty cool!

I was on my way when I got all 3 notifications at 11:56, so 4 minutes before my scheduled time which I was really happy about. When you arrive, you can check in with the app, or call the number on the parking spot marker. It will ask you on the app what space you’re parked in and what color your car is.

There was 10 or so spots, each numbered with a sign. The whole area is an orange color and there are signs pointing your way, but since Wal-Mart parking lots are always a cluster of people who don’t know how to drive, seeing the tiny signs was not super easy. Thankfully, it shows you on the map which side of the store it’s on, so it really wasn’t difficult to find the space.

I sat for about 10 minutes which is a little bit more than I would have liked to, but that’s the price of convenience and was a teachable moment for my daughter about patience. ha!

There seemed to be at least two people working, and there were two other cars besides me, so I understand they need to take their time with other people. No biggie! The man who gave me my order was super nice and gave me a little baggie with treats and wildflower seeds and a pen since it was my first time ordering. Nice touch, I thought.

He told me he was originally an IT guy just helping figure out the new computer system, and was very deliberate in where he put my bags. I asked if he was allowed to accept tips to which he said he wasn’t allowed to. I understand tax reasons blah blah blah but it’s kind of a raw deal for them if you ask me.

He asked if I would complete the survey on the app and when I got home I tried, but I accidentally answered that I did have a family member who worked there and it shut me out of the survey. That was my error as I actually don’t, and I would have honestly given a pretty good review. I’m pretty satisfied with the service.

The quality of the food was as to be expected, I didn’t need any substitutions and everything seemed fresh and in-date. I sometimes have trouble with longevity of onions when I order from Kroger’s pick-up.

I absolutely don’t mind paying more for a service like this, but I’ve concluded that Wal-Mart’s is comparable if not slightly better considering the app navigation. And it’s free, so my hands are kind of tied here!

I struggle with the ethics of the company, and admittedly am not as educated on their current practices as I maybe should be. Being an informed consumer is really important to me, and supporting businesses who have values I agree with is one of the only ways I have control over a world where companies have so much power over the people.

Is my affinity for convenience causing me to overlook things I don’t agree with? What impact do people like me have on their local economies?

Food for thought! Thank you for reading.

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6-Ingredient Bread Recipe Tutorial – EASY

I’ve made this recipe a million times, I could make it in my sleep. I might be sleeping right now, who knows? I’ve added this and that to transform it, but every bread I’ve made, starts here.

When I was breastfeeding my daughter, we realized she had trouble digesting dairy and soy. We had a hard time fitting special dairy and soy-free pre-made breads into our budget, so I resolved to make my own. I just really love sandwiches!

I had never made anything with yeast in it before this whole dairy-free soy-free ordeal, and I had very little experience baking at all.

I dove right into it, I made 850 million loaves. I ate bread, soy-free hummus, and lunch meat for 18 months straight. Then, all of a sudden she weaned, and I’ve now turned myself a pretty whippy chef. We still buy loaves of cheap regular bread, but sometimes I make a little extra effort and pound this out.

Ingredients:

2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast

2 Tbsp sugar

2 1/4 cup warm water

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 Tbsp salt

5-6 cups unbleached flour

Here we go

First, proof the yeast. 2 ¼ tsp (or one packet) yeast with 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar and 2 ¼ cups 120-130 degree water (just hot enough to hurt your wrist a little when you run water over it)

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After about ten minutes of proofing, add the 2tbsp oil, 1 tablespoon salt and 2 cups of the flour.
Mix until combined.

 

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amount of flour top left to bottom right- 3 cups, four cups, 4.5 cups, 5 cups

Work the rest of the flour in, one cup at a time, until dough is sort of smooth.

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This is too sticky

It should be juuuuuust barely still sticky. If your hands get sticky, slap that flour pile, and keep working a little flour in at a time.

You can coat with a small amount of oil in a large bowl and cover to let rise for about an hour or until it’s doubled in size. I just let mine rise on the counter with no oil, because I like the crust it kind of makes.

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The amount of added flour depends on a few different things, including the humidity in your house. What’s important is the texture of the dough. I had a lot of flour left over but I didn’t waste it, I made two little tortillas, ha.

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Punch down and divide into two rolled loaves and set in oiled bread pan, and cover to rise an additional 45 minutes.

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I manhandled one of the loaves, but it ended up rising evenly. What a metaphor…

Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for about 35 minutes, when tapped it should sound hollow and the outside should be a golden-y color

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See, the lumpy loaf ended up being totally fine!

Let cool on rack, then you can either freeze it or cut it right then and there for a sandwich or something. If the bread doesn’t come out on its own, you can wiggle a knife around the edges to loosen it, just remember to oil that pan a little more next time.

 

I like to dip mine in soup since I tend to under knead, and sometimes that makes for a more loose texture.

I hope you try this recipe, it may seem like a lot to take on, but you really have only about 20 minutes hands-on time. Even less if you use a stand mixer! I used to use a stand mixer for this, but for some reason cleaning the machine hurts my brain and I end up neglecting it. I knead the bread on a roul-pat, so clean up couldn’t be more simple!

Bread is my favorite food, there’s a million different types of bread and you can eat it with basically any meal. Homemade bread can turn any boring BLT into a masterpiece, or any vegan soup into a belly-filling weekly fav.

You may be able to substitute the ingredients with different types of flour, or even use more sugar for a sweeter bread. Playing with it is half the fun!!

Have you ever made homemade bread before? Did it turn out? What problems did you face? I could ramble about it forever if you’d let me, so feel free to share in the comments!
Thanks so much for reading, have a great day!