Grocery shopping. It just isn't a task that I look forward to gleefully. Usually it involves trying to keep a squirming toddler in the shopping cart or explaining to my gradeschooler why we can't buy every salty snack or sweet treat we walk by. By the time the task is completed and I arrive home, I'm exhausted, realize I somehow missed a few items on my list and have many extras I didn't want to buy. I came home with 2 pool noodles last time. =)
Grocery delivery seems like a frivolous expense and I resisted it for a long time. However, I now use it regularly and find it to be an incredible time saver and have found some creative ways to make it cost effective. I'm going to share my 3 favorite cost-saving "hacks."
1. Try out a few services and see what fits best with your needs. You may use different ones depending on the week and/or items you're shopping for. I have utilized Amazon Fresh, PeaPod from Stop and Shop and Instacart. Some allow you to purchase from a variety of grocery or stores while others are a service for a specific grocer. Take advantage of the special discounts they repeatedly offer you if you play hard-to-get and don't sign up. Also, each service has different benefits and depending on your week or schedule, one might be a better fit. For example, I often use Instacart if I haven't been great about pre-planning my weekly meal. I can just order in the morning and items arrive in the afternoon. If you find one is just perfect, feel free to sign up for their special membership programs and enjoy extra savings.
2. Each service has different features and pricing. For example, PeaPod provides a steep discount on delivery if you order 4 days in advance and more than $75. Also, it offers a further discount if you choose a larger delivery window. I can get delivery for $2.99. That is well worth it to me. PeaPod allows you to update your order until the day before and sends you reminders about cutoffs. My little "secret" to save money is to create an order with $75 worth of items (I often just put in 30 gallons of milk), choose the delivery day and window with the best price. The day before the delivery, I update the order with my "real" list of items. This allows me to have the low cost delivery AND the day before ordering.
3. Delivery services do cost extra and often the prices aren't eligible for the in-store discounts. However, I find that I actually save money because I only order what I need. I can sit in a comfortable place, look in my cupboard, refrigerator and review my cookbooks or Pinterest board and plan my meals. It prevents those "buy it just in case" situations and buying things because "you think you'll use it" and it's a good price.
Grocery delivery can save you time and not break the bank. You might just start looking forward to a stroll down the grocery aisle from time-to-time.