It used to be that hiring someone to do your grocery shopping for you was only reserved for the super rich, but for a paltry $5 you can get your groceries done for you too without ever stepping foot in the store! I tried Hannaford To Go for the first time yesterday and here's how it worked:

You start by going online at Hannaford.com at least four hours prior to when you want to pick up your groceries and type in what you need (at the Commercial Drive store only.) Once your shopping list is complete, you dump the items to your virtual cart and then choose a pickup time. I built my shopping list at 11ish and picked it up at 4p yesterday. By the way, your timeslot is for a full hour, so you can pickup your groceries anywhere in that time in case your schedule gets away from you a little. Oh, and did I tell you that your shopping lists are saved for future use so you don't have to rebuild them each time?! Genius.

Photo: Keith James

Now for the pickup: you drive up to a callbox in the parking lot where they'll ask for your name and then you pull up to the loading station. Just a matter of seconds later, they wheel a cart out to you with your stuff (in paper bags no less) and put it all in the car for you. Then you pay for your groceries, all without leaving the driver's seat and you're on your way. How long did it take? Just four minutes from driveup to drive away. The cost? Just an extra $5 convenience fee which I gotta tell ya feels like a steal... I'd happily pay more!

If you're curious how things work on their end, instead of whisking all around the store to grab your stuff like some kind of timed shopping spree, they essentially have their own individual store within a store with their own refrigerators and freezers and shelves where they select your items and put them in your cart as close to your arrival time as possible.

I guess the only drawback to this service is that whatever calories you burned by walking all over the store will now have to be lost another way because your butt stays seated for the ENTIRE exercise. I'm definitely using this again and just wish they offered it at the other stores too!