Sunday, August 5, 2012

Fast and frugal cooking - the shopping piece

For several years now, we've been getting grocery deliveries from Amazon Fresh. I love the convenience of it--you order groceries whenever, as long as it's at least six hours before you need delivery, and just like that, crates and tote bags full of food show up on your doorstep. The selection is pretty good, the prices are comparable to a grocery store sans club card savings, and with the exception of a week or two last year, the service is reliable.

That said, upon reviewing our household expenses last month, I realized we were spending way too much on food because the Fresh order never quite covers everything. There's often some random fresh herb or cut of meat out of stock. They don't carry a couple of brands/flavors of snack Miss Fraser especially favors, and Target is much cheaper for household and health & beauty products. So most weeks, in addition to the hour or so I spend planning meals and putting together the Fresh order, I've been running over to Target for toilet paper, shampoo, etc. and to the grocery store for the missing pieces.  And since I'm as prone to impulse buying as the next person, I rarely walk out with just those few things that were missing or overpriced on Fresh.

Anyway, I realize now that the system I'd adopted to save time, because ordering online meant not going to the store, and to save money, since searching for individual products online meant less impulse buying, was actually making me spend more time and money, since I was shopping at three places per week instead of one or two. So I've gone back to the old weekly grocery run. It feels weird to go back to a lower-tech way of living, but so far it's simpler and cheaper. It makes me wonder what else in my life could be simplified.

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