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Grocery Delivery Service Guide

One of the most disruptive innovations of the past year has been the explosion of grocery delivery industry. To be honest, we have Jeff Bezos and the entire workforce at Amazon to thank for this. When they bought Whole Foods, everyone expected them to start shipping groceries direct to consumers and they did not disappoint. As per usual, everyone else had to follow the innovation train and now every store from Kroger to Costco is offering some sort of online ordering system. Most offer delivery. However, with so many options popping up so quickly, how do you know what grocery delivery services to use? It’s a tough question, and one I’ve asked myself a lot. Below, I’m highlighting what I like to use and how to do each to not only save time, but also save money.

Step 1: Decide which grocery delivery services you need.

It may be tempting to go all in from the start, and buy literally your entire list from the beginning. However, what if you really enjoy going to the grocery store? If you are someone who needs to pick out all of your own produce, you probably don’t want to use Amazon or a service like Clicklist from Kroger to have someone else grabbing your produce for you. Similarly, if you like to scan the meat counter and decide which cuts of protein you’d like for the week, using ButcherBox or Thrive Market’s new meat box to send you meat doesn’t make much sense.

So, from the beginning decide what you want to outsource and what you want to handle yourself. For some of you, you may go all out from the beginning and use Amazon for all of your dry goods, ButcherBox for all of your meat, and Whole Foods delivery for your produce. For others, maybe you just start with one. But decide from the start and try it for a month.

Step 2: Evaluate what you want to get from the grocery delivery.

I’ve always been big on choosing high-quality meat options. But that is JUST ME! Your goals out for the grocery delivery you choose may be very different. For example, my wife, Katie, is big on not wasting food so the first thing we signed up for is the Imperfect Produce box. This box uses produce which doesn’t go to stores because it isn’t shaped perfectly and sends it directly to consumers. We are able to go in and customize what is in the box, plan what we’ll make for the week, and feel good about using produce which otherwise may have just been wasted.

Maybe for you, your goal is to save time. You can use the grocery delivery service you choose to streamline your shopping, and give you a few hours of your week back. Compounded over the course of the year, this can add up to a lot of extra time in your life. As they say, time is the only resource we can never get more of.

For others, it may be beneficial to use these grocery delivery options for budgeting. It can be really difficult to keep track of how much you’re going to spend at the checkout while physically in the store, especially if you’re shopping with someone else. Is that cilantro $0.99 or was it $1.99? How much is the tax on all of this going to be? It gets confusing. Using the grocery delivery allows you to know exactly what you’re going to spend come payment time.

Step 3: Test your grocery delivery service and change as needed.

As with everything (fitness, nutrition, sleep, LIFE) test and reevaluate what you’ve been doing. Have you been throwing away a lot of produce from your grocery delivery service? Probably need to consider if you’re getting too much, or simply not what you want to be eating. Same idea with meats and dry goods. If you’re creating more waste than usual, it most likely hasn’t been a good decision for you.

Along those lines, maybe you simply miss going to the grocery store. Maybe it was the time you got to quietly spend with yourself, and you’re missing that. Or it was important time for you and your husband/wife/girlfriend/boyfriend/kids to spend together and now you all don’t spend as much time together. Little things matter. Don’t overlook whether this has actually IMPROVED your life or not. At the end of the day, it’s why you made the switch from physically shopping to using a grocery delivery service.

Your grocery delivery service is meant to make your life better in some way. If it doesn’t, change it.

This is the same thing with fitness and nutrition. It is a service meant to improve your life. If you aren’t happy with how it’s going, evaluate why. What can you do differently? Do you need to find a friend to go running with? Spend some time learning about what to eat to meet your goals? Do you need to join a gym and get a coach? This process of evaluation is useful in almost every area of your life, so don’t discount it!

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