How to save money and time on your groceries

I love when being wrong is lucrative.  You can easily save money and time on your groceries… using Peapod!

I have always assumed that getting your groceries delivered is a luxury that you pay more for, and so therefore, as a stay at home mompreneur, I couldn’t see that it would be something I’d find valuable.

It actually started purely as a financial experiment.  I felt like my grocery budget was growing, and wasn’t really sure how.  I’m a conscientious shopper for the most part.  I compare brands and prices when I shop.  I do shop quality and organic whenever possible and reasonable.  I do not clip coupons, because in my experience, they just lead you to purchase foods you might not otherwise, and often they’re not the healthiest foods (think: boxed, canned, processed).  (And if you have a coupon clipping system that serves your clean-eating priorities, I would love to hear about it!)

So, kind of on a whim, I decided to try Peapod.  It was really just the simple question:  if I was very deliberate about my grocery list, and only purchased the things I knew I needed and added to my cart, would I save money?

If you check out the menu posts I do, you know I do plan my menu out a week ahead of time.  I then build my grocery list around that menu.  Of course throughout the week we run out of or low on items, so I add those items to the list.  I then do one trip to the grocery per week, plus usually one to Sam’s or Costco.

So let’s look first at how I saved time this month.

  • I changed nothing about how I plan my menu and grocery list.  Each week I spend thirty minutes or so planning out my menu for the week ahead and then building my grocery list around it.  Time saved:  probably not much.
  • I also used the Peapod app, which I installed on my phone and iPad.  So, while I used to run to my desk in the kitchen and add an item to my little notebook when we ran low, I instead just opened up the app and added the item to my shopping cart.  Time saved:  maybe twenty minutes a week.
  • Once a week, I placed my order and my groceries arrived.  Instead of the time spent driving to the grocery, shopping, checking out, loading my car, driving home, and then unloading and putting away my groceries, that time turned into:  putting away my groceries.  Time saved:  at least an hour a week.  Maybe an hour and a half?
  • But there’s more.  I also didn’t go to Sam’s or Costco every week.  Because I was so deliberate when I placed my order, and because I really liked the quality and prices on a lot of the items through Peapod, I went to Sam’s twice this month, and Costco once.  Time saved: maybe three hours over the month?

Just as compelling was the bottom line on the budget:  I saved 20% this month over the average of the first ten months of 2014.  20% is no joke, right?  And there were months when it was much more!  I think that the savings happened in a couple of different ways.

  1. I only purchased what I put in my cart, and I only put in my cart what I needed.  This is not to say it completely wiped out impulse buys, even!  When you shop with Peapod, you can actually click on your previous orders and see what you have purchased in the past.  In this case, a few times my memory was jogged and I grabbed something I hadn’t already put in the cart.  You also can shop by aisle, and I admit: there were a couple times I did click on the “dessert” or “snacks” aisle.  So, even with an impulse buy here or there, I still spent less.
  2. There is a feature on Peapod where you can click the item you’re looking for and then sort by “Unit Price.”  Even with buying organic on all the same items I typically buy organic, I still saved money, and I think it’s because of this feature.  Peapod has it’s own brand, just like Target brand or Kroger brand, and often I’d purchase their organic.  Still saving!

A couple Peapod caveats:

  • They don’t have everything.  For example, I searched “pickled onions.”  No go.
  • They do have carry items like paper towels, cotton balls, and the drugstore/home items you shop for, but I don’t necessarily feel like the selection is outstanding or budget friendly. So you may find that a Target run will be needed every so often in addition.

But overall, I’m a Peapod fan.  I will keep with it for now, and see if the savings continue.  Either way, I’m a huge fan of the time saved, so I’m hoping that they do!

Have you ever used a grocery delivery service?  Did you love it?  Why or why not?  Share below, I’d love to hear!


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