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Wed Jan 13, 2021, 09:07 PM

My wife and I have made a wonderful discovery.

Since we both retired some years ago, and we both love to cook, much of our life revolves around food shopping. It's become more of a hobby than a chore. We use coupons, know which stores have the best prices on certain items, etc.

Well, a few weeks ago, at the insistence of our daughter, who is an RN, we agreed to start having our groceries delivered. We thought we wouldn't like this, because we like hand-picking our produce, knowing which generic products are as good as the brand names, etc. But the service has been really good, only takes one or two hours for delivery, and only costs $9.95 per month, and we do tip them.

But what we have found out is we are spending far less on our groceries, even after the tips and fees. About 30% less. What is happening is we are no longer making impulse buys, and not shopping nearly every day. I spent a little time in the retail business and I know stores are laid out in such a way as to trick you into buying some things that were not on our list. Well, with delivery that tactic has been completely eliminated. We are not rich, so we could use the savings.

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Reply My wife and I have made a wonderful discovery. (Original post)
Mr.Bill Jan 13 OP
iemitsu Jan 13 #1
MontanaMama Jan 13 #2
Mr.Bill Jan 13 #4
MontanaMama Jan 13 #9
mercuryblues Jan 14 #40
MissB Jan 13 #7
lpbk2713 Jan 14 #36
mountain grammy Jan 13 #27
MontanaMama Jan 13 #32
MissB Jan 13 #3
Mr.Bill Jan 13 #8
MissB Jan 13 #10
Mr.Bill Jan 13 #19
BComplex Jan 14 #43
Dem2theMax Jan 13 #5
lunatica Jan 13 #6
Lars39 Jan 13 #11
JCMach1 Jan 13 #12
Mr.Bill Jan 13 #13
Native Jan 13 #17
moonscape Jan 13 #34
BigmanPigman Jan 13 #14
madinmaryland Jan 13 #15
Mr.Bill Jan 13 #16
Generic Brad Jan 13 #18
Mr.Bill Jan 13 #20
Generic Brad Jan 13 #22
Mr.Bill Jan 13 #23
Traildogbob Jan 13 #21
birdographer Jan 13 #24
Liberty Belle Jan 13 #25
Mr.Bill Jan 13 #30
raising2moredems Jan 13 #26
Mr.Bill Jan 13 #31
packman Jan 13 #28
Maru Kitteh Jan 13 #29
Mr.Bill Jan 13 #33
JeaneRaye Jan 14 #35
Mr.Bill Jan 14 #37
Native Jan 14 #38
Native Jan 14 #39
Progressive dog Jan 14 #41
Mr.Bill Jan 14 #42
nitpicker Jan 14 #44
nitpicker Jan 14 #45
Mr.Bill Jan 14 #46

Response to Mr.Bill (Original post)

Wed Jan 13, 2021, 09:09 PM

1. I've noticed this too.

We spend significantly less and have had really wonderful homemade foods.

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Response to Mr.Bill (Original post)

Wed Jan 13, 2021, 09:11 PM

2. How fun!

If you donít mind sharing, whatís the service that you use? I, too, think I could never let someone choose my produce etc...but I live in a state with a new repuke governor who is opening up our state...weíre in some danger.

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Response to MontanaMama (Reply #2)

Wed Jan 13, 2021, 09:15 PM

4. It's called Instacart.

They deal with several stores in our area. The wife is the one with the smart phone in the house, so she handles it. It's an app on her phone.

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Response to Mr.Bill (Reply #4)

Wed Jan 13, 2021, 09:22 PM

9. I think we have Instacart at our local Costco.

Thanks.

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Response to Mr.Bill (Reply #4)

Thu Jan 14, 2021, 08:30 AM

40. I have a cousin that works for them

She makes a killing on tips and customers have told her they wish they could request her for their shopping. She takes her time and gets them the best possible deals and selections. She absolutely loves her job.

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Response to MontanaMama (Reply #2)

Wed Jan 13, 2021, 09:18 PM

7. Not the OP

But Iím in an area with Fred Meyers stores (Kroger). Their app allows me to add comments - like slightly green bananas please.

Since March, Iíve had two instances where the produce was just simply not ok and one where I clearly needed to assert my preference.

Once, I got a split butternut squash. The person picking it should have seen the very very long gash. Another time the English cucumber was, um, yellow? Just wrong. Each time I used the app to send a note and they refunded the costs of those items.

DH and I always joke about how green our bananas are going to be exactly. Iíve stopped even saying slightly green because now no matter what. I get very green bananas. Since Iím not going into the store, I donít know if there are any that are actually yellow. But we can let them sit and ripen.

Anyway, Iíd guess that most places have a mechanism to comment and get a refund if unhappy.

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Response to MissB (Reply #7)

Thu Jan 14, 2021, 12:12 AM

36. I'd have to pick out my own avocados.



The color and the feel has to be just so.

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Response to MontanaMama (Reply #2)

Wed Jan 13, 2021, 11:16 PM

27. I sure hoped Montana would send Bullock to the Senate.

I've always liked him.

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Response to mountain grammy (Reply #27)

Wed Jan 13, 2021, 11:43 PM

32. Oh me too MG.

Iím heartbroken. Thug governor Gianforte is going to be a mess for Montana.

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Response to Mr.Bill (Original post)

Wed Jan 13, 2021, 09:14 PM

3. Same of course

We donít do delivery- just curbside pickup but the effect is the same. I do have to plan meals though and thatís kinda boring each and every day. First world problem to have.

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Response to MissB (Reply #3)

Wed Jan 13, 2021, 09:20 PM

8. I have a brother in another town and he picks his up too.

He says that they do it because it's the only time they get out of the house.

Talk about first world problems, My brother is quite wealthy and he's "locked down" in a 6,000 sq ft three story house on 75 acres in California's Gold Country with a 500 bottle wine cellar, Gym and carpentry workshop that is fully equipped. We're doing this in an 800 sq ft mobile home in a Senior Park. At least we do get to talk to neighbors that are walking past.

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Response to Mr.Bill (Reply #8)

Wed Jan 13, 2021, 09:23 PM

10. I would think that your experience is better simply because

you see more people! Your brother is probably tired of Blursday even with the wine cellar and workshop.

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Response to MissB (Reply #10)

Wed Jan 13, 2021, 09:53 PM

19. All I know is it's a good thing my wife and I

along with loving each other also really are best friends. We haven't had even a small argument since March 1st and I can't remember how long before then, either. It's been a real blessing getting to do this with someone special. I know others who are not as lucky and I feel badly for them. Lots of kids are having a rough time, too.

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Response to Mr.Bill (Reply #19)

Thu Jan 14, 2021, 03:20 PM

43. I always love to hear of couples that get along well. My husband and I do, too.

We just really love hanging out together.

It's nice to have a best friend to share life with when you're going through a pandemic, civil war, severe recession, and old age!

I've been married before, where I always felt lonely and unhappy, and I really do feel very fortunate now. It's something I don't take for granted for even one minute.

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Response to Mr.Bill (Original post)

Wed Jan 13, 2021, 09:17 PM

5. Same here!

Now I think about what I really need, versus what I want.

And I don't have the hundreds of Costco temptations in front of my face.

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Response to Mr.Bill (Original post)

Wed Jan 13, 2021, 09:18 PM

6. I've used them for years

It forces me to look at the prices so in a way that changed my diet a little. I eat a lot less meat and a lot more vegetables. Iíve never been disappointed in what my buyers choose. I can plan and shop for various meals. Iím happy with the service. And I also give a good tip.

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Response to Mr.Bill (Original post)

Wed Jan 13, 2021, 09:24 PM

11. We've discovered delayed gratification with grocery deliveries.

We keep an ongoing ďcravingĒ list and add and subtract things as our conscious and budget allows. We get as excited as a school kid sometimes, waiting to indulge in what we ordered.

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Response to Mr.Bill (Original post)

Wed Jan 13, 2021, 09:25 PM

12. My question to my family is, "What do we need?"

It's a different process... We also use the Alexa grocery list...

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Response to Mr.Bill (Original post)

Wed Jan 13, 2021, 09:25 PM

13. The only glitch we've had so far

is my wife ordered one pound of apples and they brought us one apple. No big deal, we just got more a few days later.

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Response to Mr.Bill (Reply #13)

Wed Jan 13, 2021, 09:49 PM

17. I ordered 6 bananas and got 6 bunches (17 pounds) 😂

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Response to Native (Reply #17)

Wed Jan 13, 2021, 11:48 PM

34. Oh my ...lol! n/t

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Response to Mr.Bill (Original post)

Wed Jan 13, 2021, 09:26 PM

14. I worked in Display at Macy's

and the "impulse" items were always located near the doors. Women's shoes are #1 of impulse buys.

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Response to Mr.Bill (Original post)

Wed Jan 13, 2021, 09:32 PM

15. I have found the exact opposite...

We (I) take a list to Kroger and am surprised by how much less is spent. When we use the online order app, itís amazing how much more stuff gets ordered. And then you add the delivery fee and the tips.

It definitely did not save us anything.

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Response to madinmaryland (Reply #15)

Wed Jan 13, 2021, 09:39 PM

16. Well it sounds like you

are a pretty well-disciplined in-person shopper. That works, too. Another trick is never go to the store hungry. Eat a full meal before you shop. Another trick is to wear sunglasses while shopping. There's a reason stores are so well lit and things are packaged in bright colors. The sunglasses dampen that advantage for the store a bit.

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Response to Mr.Bill (Original post)

Wed Jan 13, 2021, 09:53 PM

18. I miss those impulse buys

Thatís how I find new products. Oh, well. Iíll return to in person shopping one month after m6 second dose of the vaccine.

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Response to Generic Brad (Reply #18)

Wed Jan 13, 2021, 09:56 PM

20. I miss the free samples at Costco

And often find new products that way. How else would I know how good pineapple sausage was?

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Response to Mr.Bill (Reply #20)

Wed Jan 13, 2021, 10:25 PM

22. Bi-monthly trips to Trader Joe's and Costco are dearly missed

My wife and I would make a day of it. Weíd drive into Nashville on back roads, shop at those stores, hit the big Asian grocery store, have a great lunch.

Now we order groceries at Kroger and pick them up once a week. And they typically are missing a main ingredient, omit something essential, or we get vegetables that are either microscopic or gargantuan. But as much as I loathe doing that, I would hate having COVID more.

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Response to Generic Brad (Reply #22)

Wed Jan 13, 2021, 10:29 PM

23. Our nearest Costco is about 50 miles from here.

We'll probably still make a monthly trip there. It's not very crowded early and they enforce the mask wearing very well there.

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Response to Mr.Bill (Original post)

Wed Jan 13, 2021, 10:07 PM

21. Wow. Never thought of that

Great idea. No impulse. I am gonna take that trail. Thank you. Plus I wonít get posed at mask holes and people in trump garb. Save money, safe distancing and my blood pressure mellows.

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Response to Mr.Bill (Original post)

Wed Jan 13, 2021, 10:44 PM

24. Same, but slightly different, here.

We have no choice but Walmart. We have opted for free curbside pickup after ordering online. We started not getting produce or meat there at all, nor wine since their choices are so slim. But nobody here wears a mask--nobody--and so we don't want to go to actual grocery stores. So far the produce has been fine from them, we only get chicken or ground beef, and we each found an acceptable wine so that is all we get now. If they are out of an item we either adapt the recipe or skip that recipe plan entirely. It takes us 5 minutes to pick up an order that would take over an hour to shop for in an actual store. We have been out in public exactly one time in the last 16 or so days, and that was to take trash to the dumpsters (no trash pickup either, small town). Since it's Walmart and we opt for their store brand if it is something like mushroom soup to go in a recipe, we are spending less on food.

I think a lot of people are discovering this sort of thing now.

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Response to Mr.Bill (Original post)

Wed Jan 13, 2021, 11:05 PM

25. We found a local farm that does home deliveries- best thing ever and saved us money, too.

For $35 we got:

Tomatoes
Cherry tomatoes
Avocados
Strawberries
2 heads of lettuce
Red Cabbage
Brussel sprouts
Broccoli
Yams
Potatoes
Cherimoya
Winter squash
Cucumber
Oranges
Tangerines
Limes
Fennel bulb
Onions
Mushrooms
Acorn squash
Apples
Green beans

This lasted us for over 2 weeks and I still have a couple of yams and the acorn squash left. It kept me from making extra runs to the store or ordering takeout food, and I don't think I could have bought this much produce for that amount at the grocery story. No getting exposed to COVID going out and the produce was amazingly fresh! Far better quality than at the store.

It was fun trying out items I'd never had before, ie the fennel bulb (delicious roasted with other veggies) and the cherimoya fruit.

Bonus - since I ordered over Christmas, they threw in free honey and jam, too!

They sell a few other things like eggs that you can also add on if for a little extra.

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Response to Liberty Belle (Reply #25)

Wed Jan 13, 2021, 11:37 PM

30. That's great!

We have a Farmer's Market here with really good produce, but it's kind of a wine country tourist trap. Verrryy high prices. I mean like $5.99 a pound for tomatoes, and $10.00 for an 8 ounce jar of jelly.

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Response to Mr.Bill (Original post)

Wed Jan 13, 2021, 11:07 PM

26. Change can be good

And I am glad to hear you tip the delivery person. So often these days delivery people get the short end of the wage stick.

Happy healthy cooking, eating, and saving!

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Response to raising2moredems (Reply #26)

Wed Jan 13, 2021, 11:41 PM

31. And you know, I feel like I'm helping someone have a job.

One of the delivery ladies had her two kids in the car with her. They were doing their schooling/homework on their phones while they were riding around with her. No cost for day care. She said it was a perfect fit for her.

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Response to Mr.Bill (Original post)

Wed Jan 13, 2021, 11:20 PM

28. I love that Instacart from Publix

Hesitant and wary about using it, but now a confirmed user. BOGO,coupons, and items on sale make it an enjoyable and cost-saving experience. We place our order, pick a pick-up time, drive to the store and call in to have a clerk put it into our car. I also make sure we tip the clerk. Just one thing- make sure you remember brand names and look at the size of items -

Still, feel the need to go in to look at and pick out certain things like meat products

This is what shopping will be in the future.

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Response to Mr.Bill (Original post)

Wed Jan 13, 2021, 11:23 PM

29. Shout out to your awesome RN daughter- you guys did good 😌




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Response to Maru Kitteh (Reply #29)

Wed Jan 13, 2021, 11:45 PM

33. Thank you. We are pretty proud of her.

My wife is a retired RN and the daughter is the fourth generation RN in the family. She got her Masters degree awhile back and is running two departments at our local hospital. My wife and I both used to volunteer at the hospital but they shut down the volunteer program there when the virus hit. We miss it and hope we can do it again someday.

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Response to Mr.Bill (Original post)

Thu Jan 14, 2021, 12:05 AM

35. what about produce?

Once, at the beginning of the pandemic, I ordered my groceries and picked them up curbside. I was disappointed. I buy a LOT of produce and sometimes I change what I am buying depending on how good it looks. For instance, if the Romaine lettuce looks puny, I buy another type of lettuce. I ordered garlic, and instead of getting a pod, I got a bag of pre-peeled garlic. I guess, if you are buying canned and bottled goods, your method would work but I found that the produce pickers weren't nearly as discriminating as I am when I shop.

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Response to JeaneRaye (Reply #35)

Thu Jan 14, 2021, 01:12 AM

37. Yes, the produce and meat are the weak point in the process.

So far we've been pretty lucky, and we haven't been 100% reliant on the grocery delivery. We tend to buy meat in bulk with a monthly trip to Costco and the Safeway grocery store where we use the Instacart has generally high quality produce. There is some compromise to the system but it's a small price to pay for safety factor. One thing to do is to specify Organic produce, which costs a bit more but is generally of higher quality. We do that with some items.

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Response to Mr.Bill (Reply #37)

Thu Jan 14, 2021, 07:37 AM

38. I typically call and speak to someone in the meat department, tell them what I want...

and then ask them to wrap it up and put my name on it. I then message my instacart shopper to simply stop by the meat department and pick up the package with my name on it. That way the shopper doesn't have to worry about picking stuff out, and I typically end up getting the best stuff they have at the time. This way you can even get special cuts ahead of time. I do the same thing in the seafood department. When there's a big sale on let's say Key West shrimp, I'll have the seafood department set aside a 5 lb bag of of the shrimp that is still frozen and put my name on it for the shopper.

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Response to JeaneRaye (Reply #35)

Thu Jan 14, 2021, 08:00 AM

39. I had the same issues in the beginning, but the produce I now get is exceptionally better...

Through trial and error I've learned a lot. Like I only do my Whole Foods pickups on Thursdays. According to the produce manager at our store, that's when they get their largest supply of fresh produce. If I wait until Sunday afternoon or Monday morning, just about everything will be disgusting. I found that our Walmart here, as much as I hate shopping at Walmart, has the most gorgeous artichokes imaginable. And their bags of organic russet potatoes are always super fresh. And as for a few of the conventional produce items I buy, our local Publix grocery store has decent stuff. The shoppers have gotten much better at their jobs, and even though I get some duds, for the most part I've been pretty happy. I think what I appreciate most is how easy returns are. If something isn't fresh, I simply go online, click on the box for the item, and I get a credit. Sure beats packaging up rotten crap & having to drive to the store to return it. And what's even better is when they accidentally give you the wrong item but it's something you can still use because you get that item for free. Just the other day I ordered black forest, maple glazed turkey from the deli, and the shopper gave me ham. I went online and clicked the wrong item button and it was credited back to my card. Got to like that!

I buy mostly produce like you. Instacart allows you to write out your preferences for each item, along with substitutions. Green bananas, asparagus that aren't as thick as trees, etc. You can even ask them to take a picture of the item for you so you can approve it. And they're really good about substitutions. For example, when they were out of the eggnog that I like, my shopper sent me a picture of the entire display case and messsged, "We are out of that brand of eggnog, but this is what we have. Would you like any of these other brands?" Once they start shopping for your order and the chat function is up and running, you can basically shop along with them.

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Response to Mr.Bill (Original post)

Thu Jan 14, 2021, 11:26 AM

41. That is not an option where I live.

We have zero delivery choices and no curbside within 25 miles. If we had one, we would use it. We only shop once a week except for short trips to pick up milk, a perishable, or an item not in stock.
We go together for the weekly visit, use two lists and separate carts, and get out of the store as quickly as possible. We are spending more on groceries than before covid, but we are saving on not eating out.

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Response to Mr.Bill (Original post)

Thu Jan 14, 2021, 01:59 PM

42. Thanks to all who responded and all the tips.

I hope everybody enjoyed the thread and learned a few things like I did.

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Response to Mr.Bill (Original post)

Thu Jan 14, 2021, 08:37 PM

44. It very much depends

If there is only one (or two) stores nearby to shop, and you don't want to expose yourself or your loved ones, pickup or delivery may be the way to go.

BUT if there are multiple chains rubbing each other's shoulders with different bargains (x for veggies and chicken, y for half-price ground turkey specials, z for ramen and cookies) (oh yes, a for canned soup deals a can opener CAN open), making the circuit every few days can not be only cost-effective but quality-assuring.

((I'm leaving Whole Paycheck and Half-Paycheck (Wegman's) out this, but they are here too.))

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Response to nitpicker (Reply #44)

Thu Jan 14, 2021, 08:44 PM

45. And b has some veggie specials too this week

I'll just have to check if the food is withered!

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Response to nitpicker (Reply #44)

Thu Jan 14, 2021, 08:52 PM

46. And that's how we used to shop. We are retired, so we have lots of time.

We would start at the Dollar Store, where there are some bargains to be had, but there is a lot they don't have. Then on to the Discount grocery store chain, where the sell odd lots of off-brands and discontinued products or flavors. Also some merchandise that the regular markets sell, just cheaper because of low overhead. The carts are beat up, the clerks make less money, etc.

Then there are two major chain stores. One has the cheapest and best meats and an excellent Bakery. The other one has excellent and reasonably priced produce and seafood. Also the cheapest liquor and other drinks. Like I said in the OP, it was almost like a hobby to us and we had fun with it. One day when the danger of the virus goes away (we should get our first vaccine shit in a week or two) we will go back to our old way of shopping being an outing we look forward to. But for now it's all about safety.

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