PREPERATION IS KEY!
I’ve always wanted to consistently meal plan, but the process is time-consuming – know what I mean?!
The process of shopping is time-consuming too… I would think “I don’t have the TIME to plan out our whole week of meals, I just need to go because I have a window of opportunity now before the next nap (or whatever)” so I always would just GO and get “the usual” stuff we get.
Here’s the problem though… grocery shopping for a family of 6 became a HUGE budget buster! I was overspending SO much. It turns out, grocery shopping for MOST families is an EASY area to bust the budget. I can’t afford to not take the time to plan ahead! Taking the time to meal-plan saves you money!!
I tried Amazon Fresh grocery delivery service along time ago and IT DIDN’T work BECAUSE I wasn’t prepared.
I would do my usual grocery shopping at Trader Joes then the things I forgot to pick up at the store (because I didn’t go with a plan/list), I would order thru Amazon Fresh. This is NOT the way to grocery shop online. It’s a money waster. Because you are paying a $14/month service fee plus a tip. (DON’T let the service fee/tip scare you away- keep reading!)
How to make online grocery shopping work for you and your budget and why I love it now.
*Something you need to know about online grocery shopping.. You have to schedule a delivery drop-off date and time and in our experience it’s usually a 1-2 days out (depends on your area and if it’s in stock for that day) SO prepare your order ahead of time. I love this feature because it allows me the time to refine my order if needed. After I have my order all scheduled, I can look at the total price and weed-out unnecessary items if needed. I love this! I can really stick with our budget because I have the TIME to manage /dial in our grocery order if needed. (Verses going to the registry at a grocery store and once it’s all rung up realizing you went over your budget AGAIN).
Here are some of my tips for online grocery shopping and how to do it frugally:
- Go thru your pantry & refrigerator – what can you pull together for meals? Often times when I do this I discover we can go at least a couple to few more days with what we already have on hand. Get creative. This will help save you money with getting creative with the little you have left. Eat what you have in your pantry. Cook that rice, those beans, those noodles, what can you use to stretch meals? What small purchases can you make to add to what you’ve already got to make a meal? Write those meals down in your Meal Plan and add those few extra missing ingredients to your grocery list.
- You gotta do the meal planning. DO IT! It’s worth it!!! Now that I purchase my groceries online, it saves time (don’t need to run to the grocery store every week) so there is enough time to do your meal planning and your shopping. And you can do it conveniently when the kids are playing or watching a show or after they’re in bed. Don’t go into your online grocery store and just randomly pick things, that’s a budget buster waiting to happen! Have somewhat of a PLAN.
- Purchase ONLY the items on your list (from your meal plan). When you first begin this process online, it may take some time because it’s your first time. That’s ok! They have a “Grocery List” that you can use on your Amazon Fresh account that you can add to as you notice items you are low on or out of. They also have a “Your Past Purchases” feature so you can easily refer back to what you’ve bough before. These features will make your next shopping experiences quicker and easier. (This is the same for meal planning, the more you do it – the quicker you can refer to your previous meal planning and the quicker you get at the process). You will have a day or two to make adjustments to your order if needed, if you change your idea on a meal or you forgot you were out of an item, you can adjust your order, which is great!
Common questions asked:
- Where do you purchase your groceries online? I purchase ours through Amazon Fresh. It is a $14.99/mo. Service charge. The first month that you sign up is free. Their was also a promo code available when I signed up for $25 off on my first purchase. And I’ve noticed other promo codes available as I’ve out in more orders as well. Usually there is at least a $10 OFF code available. (This practically waives the service fee!) There is also a Tip option available for your driver. Recommended $5’s per trip. I grocery shop about every 1-1.5 weeks.. That’s $10-20 in monthly tips. This is completely up to you if you do this or not. I have friends who order much more frequently than me and they do not tip every time because that would add up quickly. This is the person’s job and they do get paid good. Don’t bust your budget here. Do what is comfortable within your budget. You are already paying for the service.
Adding this all up is about $30-35/mo. for this service if you had a delivery each week with a tip. It’s free shipping if you have an order of at least $30.00. Do not place an order just for a couple of items – that’s a money waster.
- Is the produce FRESH and GOOD? YES! I was pleasantly surprised that it was very fresh! On one order I had ordered a bunch of clementine oranges and a bunch of bananas. 5 of the oranges in the whole bag were very soft, starting to go bad and a few of my bananas had gotten a little bruised. I quickly contacted customer service and they, without questions, apologized for that and reimbursed those items. It was very easy. I had a friend who had 1 rotten strawberry in her bunch of strawberries and she uploaded a picture of it and sent it to customer service and they immediately reimbursed her for the whole carton of berries. Amazon’s customer service is easy to work with and they provide great service. Again, these instances were a very small percentage 98% was GREAT! And that’s pretty normal to purchase a bunch of something at a grocery store and to have 1 or a few in a bag going. But what an inconvenience to have to go back to the grocery store. This is so much quicker and easier to simply call Amazon’s customer service to get a quick refund.
- Does it really help you save money? YES! Because I can really fine-tune my order and see the total amounts.. I have been saving a significant amount. It’s amazing also when you meal plan how much you realize you don’t actually need. So much would go to waste. Also with the promo codes offered, I really am finding that helps compensate for the service fee. Which if you think about the GAS it takes you to run back and forth to the grocery store several times a month and the TIME it takes you… the service fee is not extra.
- Are your deliveries on-time? YES! You schedule when you would like them to be delivered, usually it’s between a 2hr window such as between 7-9AM or 1-3PM, etc. and they are very good about sending text updates with a precise time as the time draws close. Also, they don’t ring your doorbell or knock on your door. You get a text on your phone the moment your groceries have been delivered on your doorstep. It’s really nice 🙂
- LAST TIP TO NOTE: There are “Pick up” locations! There are 2 in the Seattle area. If you happen to live near the pickup areas you can pickup your order within a couple of hours from when you placed your order… you just place your order online then you drive-up, pop open your trunk and they load your groceries for you! This is great if you live near by one of these locations or you happen to be out and about running errands that day anyway or if you needed your groceries before they are able to deliver them, it saves you time and you don’t need to take all the kiddos in the store (or wake your sleeping little one’s)!
ALL IN ALL I do highly recommend this. We are loving it! If you have any other questions or comments, let me know below! Would love to talk with you in the comments below!