Guest post from Megan of Prioritized Living
Having someone else do your grocery shopping? It sounds like a major luxury… right?
Instead of spending time alone or with small children in the supermarket, a friendly person takes care of your whole order and even packs it neatly into your car when you arrive to pick it up.
Even if the idea is appealing, you may be reluctant to try out a service that sounds pricey. However, our family actually saves time and money by occasionally using our supermarket’s pick-up service.
How It Works
An increasing number of supermarkets across the country are offering these types of services. In our particular area, we have ShopRite from Home.
To use ShopRite from Home, I log onto the website, check current prices, and click the items I want to purchase. Then I can choose my pick-up date and time, include a brief note of additional instructions for my shopper if I wish, and submit my order.
When it’s pick-up time, I head over to the store and park my car in one of the specially-marked spots by the entrance. There, I’m greeted by a friendly store employee who confirms my name and spending total, brings out my bagged groceries, and loads them into my trunk. A few minutes later, I’m at home unloading my groceries.
And yes, we do actually SAVE time and money! Here’s how:
1. We let the store handle our biggest shopping lists.
When there are big sales on our favorite items, it’s time to stock up with a big haul at the supermarket. Dragging around carts brimming with a variety of canned goods and pantry staples is both time-consuming and physically draining.
But I don’t have to spend the time and muscle to take advantage of big stock-up sales when the supermarket will do it for me! Instead of pushing around unwieldy carts and heaving clunky bags into my car, I rely on the friendly shopping helpers get all of my items, bag them up, and load them into my car for me. Then, my husband and I can quickly unpack everything at home.
2. We continue to use coupons.
Any coupon you can use in the store works with the pick-up service as well. With the pick-up service, I can still use store coupons, manufacturer coupons, and digital coupons loaded onto my store loyalty card.
When I’m greeted after parking at the store, the employee takes my coupons and rings them up for me inside. Then, while he or she is loading my purchases into the trunk, I’ve got time to scan my receipt to ensure that my order is correct, the prices look right, and my coupons all scanned (and multiplied) correctly.
3. We don’t pay the service fee.
In our area, ShopRite charges a $10 service fee for its grocery pick-up service. I think that $10 is a pretty good deal if you’re saving yourself the time of shopping for a particularly big haul or during stressful times. But I think NO service fee is even better.
How do we do it? Every week ShopRite runs promotions specific to its grocery and delivery and pick-up service that typically shave $5 to $30 off the cost of an order. There are usually three or four different promotion options in any given week, and there’s almost always one that works for our family.
We might get an instant $10 off our order by purchasing $25 of discounted Thanksgiving products before the holiday. There might be a $15 reward for spending $30 on sale-priced personal care and cleaning products. Just recently, we were able to save $25 just by hitting a $200 total at checkout time.
In almost every online shopping trip we’ve completed, I’ve used promotions on sale-priced items that we already use to recoup the cost of the service fee… and then some.
4. We don’t over-spend on take-out and delivery.
Some weeks are just too busy or stressful for food shopping. We’ve had weeks when our family has all come down with bad colds or when we’ve just returned home from traveling to be greeted by an empty fridge.
When I was pregnant with my son and suffering from terrible morning sickness, my husband was overwhelmed with an important work project while taking on the lion’s share of caring for our home and family.
At those times, we’d be tempted to spend a bundle on the convenience of restaurant foods. Grocery store-pick up service however gives a whole new meaning to take-out.
5. We don’t even waste the car time.
Grocery store pick-up saves you the time of running around the store yourself, but there’s still some waiting time while your coupons are being entered and your car is being loaded.
If we’re able to pick up our groceries when there are no other customers present, the whole process takes about 5 to 10 minutes. If we really need to do a pick-up during the evening rush however, we might wind up being parked for up to 20 minutes.
Waiting time doesn’t have to be wasted time though. While I’m waiting for my trunk to close on my purchases, I always have something to do. I get through a chapter of a book I’m reading, return a phone call, or even work on a blog post on my laptop. If I’ve brought my son along for the ride, we enjoy pointing out birds and singing favorite songs.
Do you use a grocery pick-up service? If so, do you have any other ways to save time or money?
Megan Nye is a freelance writer, blogger, wife, and mom who loves to help busy people live their priorities. She offers practical advice on seizing control of your time, making smart money choices, and saving your home from the brink of chaos on her blog, Prioritized Living.
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