I’m Not Rich. Having My Groceries Delivered Actually Saves Me Money.

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(Image credit: SpeedKingz)

When I first heard about grocery delivery services, I laughed. I wondered How fancy do you need to be to get your groceries delivered? Talk about lifestyles of the rich and famous! I did my grocery shopping on the weekends or after work. I thought everybody did.

That was before my life changed.

I gave up my car and moved further away from the store. I also started a new career as a freelance writer. It was a large pay cut and I needed to count every single penny. Groceries were an obvious place to start. I was averaging about 400 dollars a month at the grocery store. I needed to get that amount down to 300, despite the fact that I’d be working from home and, therefore, eating more food.

Luckily I found a discount online for first-time-grocery-delivery users for Instacart and decided to try it out. That’s when I discovered I was wrong about grocery delivery. It isn’t just for people who want to keep up with the Kardashians — in fact, it saves people like me a great deal of money every month. Here are a few reasons why.

It allows me to not have a car.

I thought long and hard about my decision to become a full-time freelance writer. It’s my dream job, but it’s a tough way to earn a living. I knew in order to increase my chances for success, I’d have to eliminate all unnecessary expenses. No more fancy wine, dinners out, or expensive hair appointments.

I also realized since I’d be working from home that I could make do without a car. I still need to eat, however. The availability of grocery delivery services was a key part of making the decision to sell my car. Tipping a hard-working driver once a week is far cheaper than gas, insurance, and maintenance for a vehicle I no longer use on a regular basis.

It forces me to pre-plan meals.

In the past, I always made a loose list before I headed out to the grocery store, but somehow I never managed to be quite precise about it. Some weeks I ended up buying far more produce than I needed, and I’m embarrassed to admit some of it rotted and ended up in the garbage. Other weeks I’d make second or third trips to the store because I ran out of coffee creamer, eggs, or bread. I don’t have that option now that I use a grocery delivery service.

Each week I sit down and pre-plan my meals. If I buy an eggplant, it’s because I know exactly how I’m going to use it. Everything I select has a purpose and I no longer let food go to waste.

It keeps me from impulse buys.

They tell you not to shop while hungry for a reason — everything looks so darn good! I found myself buying strawberries and only eating one or two before the rest went to waste and fancy cheeses just because they were on sale. It was difficult to leave the store without overspending. Personally, I was prone to impulse buys even when I wasn’t hungry because I have a hard time passing up anything I deem a bargain. Even if that bargain isn’t something I really need.

I don’t have to worry about temptation leading me astray now that I place my order online. I make my list in advance and point and click.

It saves me time.

The old saying goes, time is money, and it’s true. It takes time to push your cart up and down the aisles. Factor in parking and getting back and forth from the store and it’s almost impossible to complete a shopping trip in under an hour. It usually ended up taking me two. Grocery delivery allows me to spend this time making money at work instead.

It helps me learn how to store my food properly.

I always treated my refrigerator drawers kind of like the drawers in my dresser: They were simply a place to put things in. It turns out they are there for a reason. Once I started getting my groceries delivered I set out to learn to use them properly. My meager budget and once-a-week delivery routine didn’t allow room for wilted lettuce or mushy asparagus tips. I also did a little research and discovered many of the items lasted longer if I didn’t refrigerate them at all.

Have you tried grocery delivery? Have you found it saves you money in the long run? Sound off in the comments!

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