How I Save Time by Grocery Shopping Online
I’m not sure what it is that makes buying groceries at the store rank so low on my list of likable errands, but I do know that I’ve been able to save a ton of time and headache by doing my grocery shopping online.
I love to eat. I don’t mind cooking. But I generally don’t have fun with grocery shopping. Aside from the well-timed visit to Trader Joe’s when everything is freshly stocked and irresistibly cart worthy, or the hallelujah experience that is the Wegman’s produce department, grocery shopping is just one of my least favorite activities to do. Now, your girl does love strolling through a good farmer’s market for wares, but that’s a totally different experience, so I digress.
Peapod by Giant
Peapod was the very first grocery delivery service I tried, maybe 5 years ago?, and it was okay. The groceries come from a big warehouse and land at your doorstep in about a million plastic bags (Hello? Heard of the environment much?), at a date and time that you specify. At the time I was using it there was a minimum $70 spend and there were never any same day deliveries slots available (so no quick grocery order for that night’s dinner!). They also didn’t do substitutions much—if something wasn’t available you got nothing and weren’t charged for it. Their produce and fish choices were usually pretty good.
I signed up for Amazon Fresh while I was pregnant and at the peak of my Amazon Prime obsession, nesting and ordering from Prime literally every other day. It made sense to keep the ball rolling in one app! The Fresh add-on was a $15 / month subscription for unlimited deliveries. I liked that I could choose either a monitored (while you’re at home) or an unmonitored (while you’re away) delivery. If I chose unmonitored, deliveries arrived at my door in lovely custom green, temperature controlled Amazon Fresh coolers. Very fun, and because of the temp control, food was okay to sit for a couple of hours until we’d arrive at home. The only downsides to this service for me where that there weren’t always options for the brands that I’m used to seeing in my local stores and that they literally never once came back and picked up those darn green coolers like they are supposed to with your next subsequent delivery. They were cute until they were making a whole, literal fort in our kitchen. We ultimately had to recycle them, which felt kind of like a waste.
Instacart is my latest obsession and a key tool in my time saving #momhacks arsenal. The app is insanely easy to use and I feel like I’m always in the driver’s seat, as opposed to a passive participant in the process. Once I’ve placed my order in a fairly normal fashion for online ordering, it’s submitted to a shopper whose job it is to literally go to my store of choice and shop my order. They stay in touch the entire time, checking in if things are out of stock, if they need to make substitutions, or if they have questions, via a built-in chat feature. I can see what they’ve picked up and what they’re still shopping for, I get notified when they are checking out, and I can even watch their progress to my house via a live map. As a “recovering” control freak, this level of insight while my order is on its way to me is extremely gratifying. And yet, I can still take care of other tasks while I wait! I think the best part has been the ability to shop same day, so if I need items for dinner that night, I can order them with a couple hours notice—so clutch. AND, I can skip the whole toddler power struggle that can sometimes occur when Brooklyn sees me picking up her favorite foods and decides she wants them, not now, but right now!
Though I’m currently stanning for Instacart, there’s a couple of other online services that I want to check out soon too: Thrive Market and Brandless. Both are subscription based services—Thrive Market carries tons of brands that I love and caters to organic, gluten free, paleo and vegan diets, all at wholesale prices; Brandless carries tons of food and household products for super inexpensive prices by cutting down on the marketing and distribution prices that come with buying brands / labels (yes, you’re paying extra for that pretty sticker) at the store, and also caters to specialty diets, carrying organic, non-GMO, fair trade and gluten free products. Needless to say both are all the way up my alley!
So, online grocery shopping is certainly not a new concept or offering, but there are still so many people not taking advantage of it! It’s like having a personal shopper, without paying their salary, so seems like a no brainer to me! But what do you think: do you order your groceries online? Or is it worth the time to you to make that store run yourself?
This post is NOT sponsored, but I do have a fantastic little referral code that you can use to get $10 and free delivery with your first Instacart order. Just use code kbarfield166144. Let me know what you think!