I looked out my window but pigs were not flying. Money was not growing on trees. The landscape was not frozen over. Yet, my 7-year-old son came up and asked me to go grocery shopping. He who throws a fit every time I have to drag him to the grocery store. He who I have to bribe with the deliciousness of chocolate milk just so he will run in with me to pick out snacks for his baseball team. This son of mine asked me to go grocery shopping.

Thank you, Instacart.

As you may know, I am all about efficiency and figuring out how to do things as quickly as possible. It’s a game for me. One I like playing more than Sudoku. Every restaurant I go into, every store I step foot in, every place there is a line, I analyze it to find all the different ways they could provide faster service. Now, I don’t have to analyze the grocery store again.

Picture this… it’s 6:00 at night. You’re exhausted after a very hard day at work. Your husband is traveling. You’re starting to make dinner and you realize you forgot to go to the store (again). Now you really have nothing for breakfast in the morning – not even toast. You don’t have stuff for lunch either. You really don’t want to make pasta for your kids’ breakfast.

This happened to me a few weeks ago. Previously, I would have packed the kids up in the car kicking and screaming and drug them to the grocery store. The whole process would have taken an hour. This time, I remembered I downloaded Instacart on my phone.

Having no idea how it worked, I decided that I would just give it a try and see what happened because I really didn’t want to go to the store. I told Ben we had to go grocery shopping to which he proceeded to do his usual rolling of the eyes, followed with a big dramatic sigh, and an, “UGH. I don’t want to go!” Then, I told him to come over and sit with me on the couch and told him we were shopping on the phone. His eyes lit up, I got a big, “Sure! I want to do it!”, and the phone was ripped out of my hand.

So we brought it up (very nice interface), selected a store (there were four we could choose from), and started shopping. Five bananas, a cantaloupe, cucumber, cereal, bread, a few granola bars Ben threw in, etc. The prices were slightly higher than the store. On some things they were much higher so make sure you check the price and look for substitutes if you need to to keep the costs reasonable. But, it was all there. There was nothing I wanted but couldn’t get except my contact solution. There’s a $3.99 delivery fee but it’s waived for your first delivery and, really, I’d gladly pay $3.99 to not go to the grocery store. The time I spend wandering aisles is worth a lot more than $3.99.

After some issues with my bank and Apple Pay, I was able to tap ‘Pay’. They have you choose replacement items just in case something isn’t in stock. At first, I thought that this was a pain, but then I thought about how inefficient it would be if they had to call me from the store to tell me they couldn’t get something. Setting up replacement items ahead of time is way better.

Then, I didn’t have a clue what would happen next. It said my groceries would be delivered at 8:00pm – two hours after I ordered them. What?? How?? Drone? Magic porthole? I thought Amazon’s next day was fast.

I went back to cooking dinner having spent a total of ten minutes to do all my grocery shopping and eagerly anticipated the arrival of my groceries.

Sure enough. At 7:00 (an hour before their estimated time), I get a text from my shopper, Maggie, who says she got everything on my list except for my watermelon so they substituted an organic watermelon for the same price and asked if she could come over early. Sure!

Ten minutes later a very sweet woman driving a Jeep (not through a magic porthole) showed up on my doorstep with two reusable grocery bags full of groceries. Everything was there. My produce was fresh. I didn’t have to deal with dragging my kids through the grocery store. And now we won’t be eating pasta for breakfast.

Then Ben says, “Awesome, Mommy! Can we do that again?? Pleeeaaaaase!!!” For sure. Now, that’s magic.