Forget everything I said about tunneling through the Earth's crust to park at the new Belle Meade Harris Teeter. Ditch the head lamp. Lay down the pickaxe. Cage the canary. The Teeter offers online ordering and curbside pickup!
Log onto the Harris Teeter website, find the Express Lane service, click on the Belle Meade store and start shopping. Select a time to pick up your groceries, and they'll be loaded into your car without your having to exit the vehicle.
If you're me, you'll start with the specials. I bought raspberries, blueberries, ground beef and other Fox family staples at rock-bottom prices, then proceeded to the main menu of regularly priced items, where I comparison-shopped to my heart's content. (Hint: HT products will always appear at the top of the list, but keep scrolling and you'll find name brands eventually.) Diapers, TP, batteries, ice cream, beer, steak, shampoo--you name it--it's there.
There are so many things that are beautiful about this process, I hardly know where to start, but here's a few of the top reasons to use the Express Lane:
1. By starting with the specials, neatly organized in one section, I was able to build a shopping list around the day's best deals. My $52 bill included $22 in savings.
2. I scheduled my pick-up to fit my own schedule, so I placed the order at 9 a.m. and picked it up at 3:30 p.m. on my way home from picking up kids--on the way to the library to check out the books I reserved online.
3. While shopping online, I couldn't remember if I needed mustard, so I walked to the kitchen to check. (I did not.)
There's usually a $4.95 fee for Express Lane service, but as an opening promotion there's no fee through Sept. 1 at the Belle Meade store.
This being my first time to use the service, I was a little clumsy about the details. I pulled up to the pick-up lane just outside the main entrance, pushed the call button to announce my arrival, and, before I knew it, a delivery person was at my car window with my receipt. It all happened so fast I didn't have time to explain to my child that we weren't even going to have to turn off the DVD player in the minivan for this errand. But in my haste I failed to think through the tipping process, and for that I apologize to the very efficient delivery person.
As they say, I'll get ya next time. But what is the going rate for curbside tipping?