I didn't realize how excited I would be for online grocery shopping! This school year I am trying to maximize my time and stick to a routine so our family (especially our children) can thrive! I was very hesitant, for YEARS, to try online grocery shopping and home delivery. I kept asking myself, "why am I so hesitant?" and I think it boiled down to three factors:
- I felt like I was "cheating." I loved going to the grocery store, farmers' market, and perusing to see what my local markets have to offer. Plus, I loved sampling the various items vendors had on display. BUT, it was not fun if one or both of my children had a meltdown and/or tried escaping from the cart. Then, there's the added factor that the children see things they want and either I spend money on something I don't want or spend time discussing why we aren't getting it.
- What if my "personal shopper" didn't care? To be quite candid, I am a very particular person. I like my carrots petite so my youngest child doesn't choke, my oldest child has seven missing teeth so my deli meat needs to be sliced paper thin...I'm the self-proclaimed "crazy lady" that digs to the back of the shelves to find the freshest bread, milk, yogurt etc. What if my personal shopper simply didn't care? I would be deeply saddened.
- What if I couldn't customize my order? I don't want 1 pound of turkey, I prefer 1/2 a pound of turkey some weeks. I need 3/4 pound of moderately thick cut cheese, not 1 pound. For some reason, in my mind, I thought people could only order in 1 pound increments. Um, embarrassingly enough, I learned I could customize this and make changes by the quarter pound. I simply make notes for my personal shopper and have been pleased with each order! Problem solved!
I researched so many delivery options, but it seemed like I kept coming back to the very same store. I wanted a "one-stop shop" where I could purchase meat, groceries, paper supplies etc. as I needed them.
There were a few pivotal things that I did to ensure grocery shopping online both stayed on budget and was successful:
- I learned when the ad drops. That means, I try and grocery shop once per week or every other week depending on what I need. I can keep adding items to my online cart before I actually place my order. Being able to add to my cart is very important to me because then I don't have to keep an ongoing grocery list. As I think of something I need I simply add it to my cart.
- Free delivery. Most local grocers offer FREE delivery if you have a minimum order amount (such as $100.00). Be sure to tip your driver too! So, if you think about it, I am saving money on gas. I am also saving my sanity so I don't have to complete a full grocery trip that takes a lot of time with one or both of my children. Some grocers offer complimentary curbside pickup as well!
- Prep "My Lists." I'm going to be completely honest, it took me a lot of time to create these. By doing this, I can quickly shop the sales ads and then go to "My Lists" and select the items I want. By making my lists (AKA frequent items I shop for) very complete at the beginning it makes my "shopping" experience so much quicker. Instead of taking 60 minutes at the grocery store and about 15 minutes driving each way/parking, I'm only spending 25 minutes each week. I'm also not spending 5 minutes dragging bags into my house from the car - I simply open the door for the delivery person and they prefer to place all the bags on my kitchen counters.
60 mins + 15 mins +15 mins + 5 mins = 95 minutes; 95 minutes before - 25 minutes now = 70 minutes saved. 70 mins x 52 weeks = 3,640 minutes per year. 60 hours!
- Budget. Let's talk about budget some more. I LOVE shopping at the market, but by completing everything online I am laser focused and don't end up spending extra money on the things that I "think" I need. I can also remove items from my cart so I’m not surprised at my total!
- Eat healthily. How do I ensure my family eats healthy? The grocer’s website typically has the nutritional content posted online.
- Shop when convenient 24/7/365, so long as I have an internet connection. I just placed my weekly grocery order a few minutes ago and I couldn't help but smile - my youngest child comfortably sat beside me having an "indoor picnic" because it was pouring rain. It was very comforting knowing he was sitting beside me doing something he thoroughly enjoyed, while I was being productive. It was also great knowing we weren’t getting soaked!
- Customer satisfaction. Most grocers ensure every single item meets my standard. If, for some reason, I am not satisfied it's a simple phone call or click away and they will instantly help me.
Save time, shop online!
More from guest writer Lindsay Taylor can be found on her blog predictablytaylor.com