Five Days and Five Time- and Sanity-Saving Ideas: Day 2
Day 2: Scheduled weekly grocery shopping and a little help from some friends...?
(The following is provided for informational purposes only; the information is accurate and true to the best of my knowledge, but there may be omissions, errors or mistakes, and no guarantees are made.)
Today's post focuses on scheduled weekly grocery shopping. This and regular meal planning have made such a difference in our family life. This is a very simple, practical idea, but it took our family some time to fully commit to it. The key is to choose a day to make your grocery store list weekly (based on your weekly meal planning) and to grocery shop for the week and stick to it consistently.
I also highly recommend considering the use of an online grocery shopping service like Instacart. This changed our lives and that is only slight hyperbole (no ads or sponsorships here; I just genuinely love this service). Imagine, no more spending 1-2 hours on the weekend driving to different stores and grocery shopping with kids in tow, or running to the grocery store last minute to buy "something" to make for dinner that night when you and the kids are already tired and hungry. This is a recipe for disaster and a whole lot of impulse buying. You know what I'm talking about.
If you haven’t used it yet, Instacart allows you to create an online shopping list for a variety of stores (here's a partial list of stores available to me in my zip code in Austin: Whole Foods, HEB, Central Market, Costco, Petco, CVS Pharmacy, local food co-op, et cetera) and then an Instacart employee shops for the items you have selected and delivers your groceries to your home, in some cases within just a few hours. Amazing!
An annual Instacart Express membership costs $149/year (or $14.99 for a monthly plan) for unlimited, free delivery on orders of $35+. Worth it! This more than pays for itself when you think about time spent, as well as reductions in impulse buys. I recently read in Real Simple that the average shopper spends approximately $2.71 for every minute in a store (Rachel Cruze, Real Simple, February 2018).
Combined with meal planning, using an online shopping service has actually saved us money because we are more thoughtful about what we buy and less wasteful as ingredients are used throughout the week in our pre-planned meals. We are also able to be more thoughtful about the money we spend and better stick to our budget as we can see the total cost of our online shopping list from one or multiple stores. It is easy to remove items from your online shopping list before confirming the order if the total amount is over your weekly shopping budget (obviously much easier than putting items back when you are already at the check-out line and your groceries have been rung up).
In addition to Instacart, there are other online grocery shopping options. In Austin, for example, there is HEB Delivery (order online and have the groceries delivered) or Curbside Pickup (order online and pickup at your local HEB). HEB charges a $4.95 online order fee for all orders; for home delivery an additional $7.50 service fee is applied (this is the rate quoted in my area at the end of January 2018). Many grocery stores are providing this convenience or are considering it in the future, so check where you shop most frequently.
You can do it and good luck!
*Remember, if you ever want help with planning or implementing family organizational strategies, Enriched Family is here to support you. I offer a free, 20-minute initial phone consultation to all new clients to discuss matching your needs and priorities with my services. In addition, I am offering a 15% discount to all new clients through March 2018. Click the "Let's Get Started!" button at the upper-right corner of this page to contact me.
Here's to getting more organized in 2018!