You guys! It dawned on me that our family has now been using Instacart and getting our groceries delivered at our home for a full year!…and let me tell you, I don’t think we will ever NOT use an online grocery service from here on out. I think I even have the hubs hooked! We are both obsessed with using Instacart not only for the hassle and time savings, but we found that we actually started saving money. Yes, you read that right! We started S.A.V.I.N.G. money! Instacart for us means more homemade meals, less food waste, more money in our pockets and more time spent on stuff we need or want to be doing each week like RVing and spending time with family.
I started venturing into grocery ordering services 2.5 years ago when my daughter was born. I was honestly just looking for a way to not have to drag a newborn around a grocery store for hours on end. We were always ready to go to the store at prime time on a Sunday and it would take F.O.R.E.V.E.R. to get in, get what we need, and get out. Not to mention, I always shopped off the list, never got full, complete meals, and always blew the weekly budget. After 2 years of trial and error with local in-store pickup services and other online ordering services, I finally found the holy grail- Instacart for the win!
Here’s how ordering groceries online with Instacart is helping us absolutely CRUSH our financial goals this year, leaving more time and money to go on our weekend RV adventures:
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Massive Time Savings
This is one of the biggest positives when choosing Instacart as your grocery pickup or delivery service. Instacart is available through your web browser or you can use their mobile app for ordering. Both are pretty similar to one another and super easy to use.
Just type in your zip code or address and find each store that is available for pickup or delivery in your area. Quickly and easily add items from that store into your shopping cart. When your ready to checkout, pick the date and time that you want to pickup or the window you would like for delivery. Some stores even have a 2 hour grocery delivery which is pretty amazing!
As a working mom and wife, it is super easy for me to just add something to my cart through their app during the week. If I remember we need milk, I will go onto the Instacart app right from my phone and shop for it before I forget to add it to the list when I get home. I finish out my “grocery shopping” on the weekend. I will typically set my delivery for Sunday afternoon. So what that means is no getting in the car. No driving to the store. No bucking any grocery store Sunday shopping madness. No standing in lines. No lugging groceries inside once I get home. Groceries just arrive at my door and go right in the fridge or pantry. Honestly, what this means for me is I get my Sunday back- more time with family and more time to prep for the upcoming week.
More Time For Meal Planning
Instacart’s time savings allows us to put more emphasis on meal planning each week. This means each and every meal of our week is written down and ingredients listed out. We put way more emphasis on cheap, easy to make, and healthy meals to fill our days.
I will typically spend some time on Friday or Saturday each week perusing our fridge and pantry to see what we have on hand or what is leftover from the current week. I plan my meals according to what we have. All the ingredients that I need for each meal are written down and anything I don’t have in house, I will add to my Instacart shopping cart. To find out more about how we meal plan each week, read this blog post.
For the past year, we have really noticed that creating our meal plan and using Instacart to shop has allowed us to have way less food waste. Since we also have all our meals planned out, there’s no asking “What’s for dinner?!” and there’s no need to eat out unless we plan for it!
Sticking To Our Grocery List
Speaking of meal planning and having a list….we have also noticed we actually STICK to that grocery list we create each week. Seriously, how many times have you walked into the grocery store with your list and end up with a box of Oreos and a bottle of soda and somehow it’s $94 when checking out.
Me…me every single time! And don’t even get me started on grocery shopping at Target…
So, for us, Instacart is a lifesaver when it comes to sticking to our list. Your assigned shopper is only shopping off your completed grocery list from your cart. This means more of what you actually want and need each week. It also means full, complete meals without the added expense of other stuff ending up in your cart.
Sticking To Our Grocery Budget
Ok…this one is BIG. I mean monstrous BIG. LIFE CHANGING BIG!
Sticking to your list each week= $ saving
$ saving x 52 weeks a year= $$$$$ saving
The habit of sticking to our list took some time, dedication and will power over the years, but using Instacart has been super helpful in allowing us to stick to our grocery each week. You can literally see the cart total go up as you are adding items to your virtual cart. So, so important! We set our grocery budget each week to $100. I will add all our ingredients we need for our planned meals to my cart. Then, if that total is lower than our budget of $100, I’ll add more on sale or stock up items until I reach $100. It is super simple.
I really used to think $100 per week was impossible for our family of 3…one of the three is a growing little human being that constantly eats fruits, veggies, and lots of snacks. But it’s happening! Our grocery budget used to be around $1,000 each month. I am super happy to say that because of using a meal planner and Instacart, we have reduced it to $600 per month. (I know, I know, $600 isn’t $100 per week, but the little lady needs diapers and wipes and the pup needs food so… $600 grocery budget it is!).
A savings of $400 per month gives us back $4,800 per year! Holy bananas! I told you hubby was on board…and for good reason! What could you do with some extra $$ per year? Talk about CRUSHING some lofty financial goals!
Dialing Up The "Fun" Budget
Ever heard of the financial dials? Well, it’s simple. Think of your monthly budget numbers as dials. Prioritize them in order of importance. For some people, buying stuff for their cars is important and is what makes them happy. For others, its getting that morning coffee from Starbucks. I will bet, most people would favor their grocery budget to be the least “fun” and enjoyable, but guess what….we all have to eat. So, if there’s a way to turn down your grocery budget dial and still keep your same lifestyle (maybe with just a little less waste, more home cooked meals, and time back on your side), would you do it?
Since our family has essentially turned down our grocery budget dial, we have been able to turn up our “fun” and “saving” dials. For us, that means increasing our RV adventure budget and savings budget! We set our RV campground budget a little higher last year and will continue that into this year. Why? Because that kind of stuff is super important to us. Instacart has definitely been one of the so-called ingredients leading up to our monthly budget overhaul! This year will more fun, I told you we were obsessed!
WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?! GIVE INSTACART THE GOOD OL’ COLLEGE TRY THIS YEAR!
Crush those New Year’s Resolutions- whether it be more time with your family, decreasing your grocery bill each month, or dialing up your fun!