I am never going to the grocery store again. I finally just had my first ever home delivery, and it was magic.
Dash’s Markets, Price Rite and Wegmans all offer grocery delivery in various parts of Western New York now. Whole Foods and Tops will offer it soon. Walmart, BJ’s and Sam’s Club offer pickup. I work full time, have two small kids, a home and yard to take care of, and DVR’ed episodes of “Big Brother” that are not going to watch themselves. It’s a match made in heaven.
If you’ve been thinking about ordering your groceries online but haven’t yet pulled the trigger, I’m here to tell you: It’s worth it. Here’s why.
• It was fast. My groceries were sitting on my kitchen counter less than an hour after I ordered them. It takes me that long just to wrangle my kids and drive to the store.
• It was a good value. Even with the roughly 15 percent markup Instacart adds to the items you buy, the added cost was worth it to me.
I signed up in time to get a free annual membership, which gets me free home delivery for a year. If you didn’t heed my advice in an earlier column and missed it (sorry! I tried!), you’ll pay $7.99 for one-hour deliveries and $5.99 for two-hour deliveries. Your first delivery is free. You’ll only pay the markup and the tip.
Just beware. Instacart automatically adds a 10 percent optional service charge to your bill. They put that money toward paying their delivery drivers, but it goes to the company, not your driver. If you’d rather Instacart pay its drivers with its own money (thank you, capitalism!), you can remove the service charge during checkout. Just click the arrow or the “change,” or “edit” option next to where it says “service” and change it to zero.
• It was efficient. I walked from fridge to cupboard to pantry, taking stock and ordering only what I needed.
There was no second-guessing whether I had all the ingredients I needed for a recipe. No being in the aisle like, “Do I have cumin? I don’t know! I’d better buy this $6 bottle just in case,” only to get home and find three half-empty bottles in the back of the spice cupboard.
There were a couple of items that were out of stock, but the driver called and asked if I would like to replace them with something else. Just keep an eye out for texts or calls, or they’ll decide what to replace it with themselves and you might not like what they choose.
• No impulse purchases. I have never walked out of Wegmans without dropping at least $200. Granted, I usually go there for stock-up trips, but I tend to grab random tempting vittles that catch my eye. When I shopped online, I was all business. I ordered only the stuff I needed, and spent just $137.05.
If you still want to check out which exotic fruits are in stock or see which cheeses grab your fancy, you can still browse the store’s offerings by category.
• It doesn’t mean you’re lazy. It’s merely the latest modern convenience. Unless your critics grow and grind their own wheat and use it to make their own bread, built their own house out of mud and sticks, walk instead of driving, and deliver all their messages by raven instead of writing emails or making phone calls, don’t let anyone call you lazy for taking advantage of online grocery shopping. In fact, grocery delivery was the norm until a few decades ago. Consider it the return to a simpler time, if you must.
And how do they know you’re not using that extra couple of hours to run a 5K for charity or invent a cure for bunions? Even if you’re just cuddled in bed watching Netflix with your kids, you dang well earned it, because you work hard.