Why Moms Love Clicklist

I really wanted to use this space to bash the haters on social media who attack Kroger Clicklist users. But I realized after typing the first sentence (it involved the words “50-year-old male troll”), that it would be a column full of vitriol, and that’s not the vibe I wanted to project on you unsuspecting readers who are just trying to enjoy your Monday morning coffee.

I decided it would better serve you, me and moms everywhere instead to explain why moms love Clicklist. You’re welcome.

Clicklist, if you don’t know, is an online service provided by Kroger that allows the shopper to click on the items they want to buy, purchase them, and then at a chosen time and day go to the store — in our case, Mount de Chantal Kroger in Wheeling — where a Clicklist employee loads your groceries and off you go. There is a nominal fee for the service, although the first few trips are free.

Going grocery shopping is the most dreaded part of a mother’s week, by far, even without kids in tow. First, you have to find the time. Anyone who has shopped for a family on a budget knows the hours of prep involved, from clipping coupons; to scrolling through coupons and deals online and on the store’s app; to taking inventory of the pantry, the freezer and the fridge; to ensuring your meals account for all allergies and special diets so no one has to be rushed to the emergency room; to checking the calendar to determine how many meals you will need to prepare and planning for any special occasions such as birthdays, class parties, church potlucks or dinners with the in-laws.

After carefully crafting your list (organized by aisle because you’ve memorized the store layout … until they change it … again), then you are ready to shop. This involves melon thumping, label checking, price comparing and scavenging through the clearance shelves — one of the most gratifying parts of the shopping experience, in my opinion.

Then, there’s unloading the cart at the checkout, making sure all your coupons are valid and that you nailed all the advertised specials, loading the car, unloading the car and putting the groceries away. The whole process easily can take an entire day.

If you have to take your kids, you can add at least an hour and a couple dozen blood-pressure points to strap them in the car; extract them from the car; herd them through the parking lot jungle where they are easy prey to 3,000-pound metal beasts on wheels coming from all directions; wait 10 minutes until a kiddie-car cart is available (because Lord help you if there isn’t one); referee who gets to push the cart and who gets to sit in the cart; keep them from eating all the grapes; stand your ground at the checkout when they want to buy $2 candy bars and $25 DVDs; navigate the death jungle again; strap them back in the car; unleash them at home; and keep them from eating Tide pods while you put the groceries away.

With Clicklist, you still have to take inventory, make a list and add coupons to the app or online. But after you use it once, it puts all your “favorites” at the top — click, click, click! You still have to get kids into and out of the car, but only once and in the safety of your own driveway. And you still have to put the groceries away. But the anxiety-inducing experience at the store has been eliminated. Someone else picks everything out, brings it to your car and loads it. The only thing you sacrifice is the thrill of the clearance-bin find. But you can always put that on your next girls’ night out itinerary!

Quite simply, Clicklist is a dream come true for moms.

We emerge from the jungle with all body parts — and sanity — intact. We have goofy grins on our faces as we ponder our great fortune to be part of this grocery shopping revolution.

Haters can and will hate. Older generations probably mocked women who purchased automatic dishwashers and washing machines when they were invented, too.

We moms know there is no shame in utilizing all resources and time-savers available to us, because they give us more energy to take care of ourselves and our families.

Betsy Bethel is the Life editor and editor of OV Parent magazine. She can be reached at bbethel@theintelligencer.net.