My husband and I have had a consistent goal, pretty much since we first moved in together years ago, that we want to cook at home more. We both enjoy cooking, trying new recipes, and appreciate the cash savings and healthier offerings that often come with home-cooked meals. So why do we still eat out so much? (We spend over $1000/month eating out. That’s buh-zonkers.)
Every evening, we come home from work, ask each other, “What do you want to do for dinner?” and invariably, realize that anything home cooked is going to involve a trip to the grocery store. Alas, our cupboards are perpetually bare.
One big thing we could do to remedy this problem would be better meal planning. I know that we need to start planning our meals out in advance–or at least, have a general idea of what we might want to eat and ensure we have a decent stockpile to make that possible. The other thing is to make sure that we have plenty of the things that we often use in our meals–beans, tomato sauce, olives, onions, rice, pasta, protein, cheese–are part of our permanent pantry/freezer inventory.
This still doesn’t help us get around that one big barrier that keeps me from cooking so often: the grocery run.
I hate grocery stores. They’re always inconveniently located in places that are close, but take forever to get in and out of and so become an ordeal to visit. I hate when I can’t find what I’m looking for, and end up wandering up and down aisles looking at every single label on every single product. I hate the impulse buy temptations. I hate that it always involves tromping through the rain (I live in Oregon–it’s always raining), loading up the car in the rain, and then lugging all of the groceries up to the third floor of our apartment complex in the rain.
Above all, I hate the crowds, and I hate waiting in lines. I’m a total hermit, and having to deal with so many people is extremely stressful for me. The fact that I work an 8-5 full-time job during the week means that I always end up going to the grocery store when everyone else is there.
Enter grocery delivery.
At our last apartment complex, one of our neighbors regularly had groceries delivered by Safeway. I’ve commented repeatedly over the years that this seemed like a brilliant idea, and we should definitely try it out. Still, for whatever reason, we didn’t.
After 3 aborted grocery run attempts this week, though, I decided it was time to get serious. I found Safeway’s online shopping/delivery site, registered an account, and began to search for the groceries and other items (toilet paper, laundry detergent, etc.) that we need.
It was so easy. Magical, really. I can find all of the groceries I’m looking for without having to step foot out of my house? Without having to wander up and down aisles? Without impulse buy temptation? Without having to wait in line? Without having to lug groceries around in the rain? This is amazing! I can even go through their online coupon page and get discounts on products just like I would in the store. And I don’t have to have a huge line of angry people standing in line behind me while the cashier scans my 5,000 coupons!
The only bad thing was the $7 delivery fee (waived for your first delivery) and having to wait around my house for 4 hours on a Saturday to make sure I don’t miss the delivery guy, but even then, I get to pick the 4-hour window. And at least I’m at my house, where I can do other, more useful things. And if I start doing meal planning and can buy orders of over $150, my delivery fee will be cut in half.
In all, I feel like this is a genius move on my part. I don’t know why I haven’t been doing this all along.
If you’re a busy person, this is a great time-saver. It may cost you a few extra bucks and a few hours of waiting around in your off-time, BUT it’s totally worth not having to go to the grocery store and do all of the work yourself. You’re hardly out the cost of gasoline and your precious time. I highly recommend looking into whether there’s a grocer in your area who delivers. It’s so worth it.