It seemed like a silly idea at first. I thought grocery delivery services would be strictly for the elderly or disabled. However, looking at the delivery rates, I thought, why not?
My fiancé and I have 1 thing that we constantly fight over: chores. Chores is one of the Top 5 Things Couples Argue About. We are lucky and we don’t fight over money, which is the number 1 thing couples fight over. Instead, we routinely bicker over chores.
At the old apartment, we fought over whose turn it was to do the dishes. Note, we did not have a dishwasher. It was a small apartment on Capitol Hill in Seattle. Think small, expensive, old brick and hardwoods apartment with a tiny kitchen, no dishwasher, no parking spaces but you can walk to ANYTHING!
I LOVED that apartment. I loved taking the bus home and the bus stop was right in front of the grocery store’s front doors. I would pop in and buy only enough for one or two days. I had to limit myself to what I could carry for two and a half blocks and a flight of stairs. I loved it!
We walked to restaurants. Bars. Cafes. Thrift Stores. Salons. Book stores. You name it, I was walking there. Did I mention that I LOVED it.
What happened? My fiancé moved in. I have a stepson that stays with us during the Summer. And the apartment I loved started looking too small and the no dishwasher became a deal breaker.
We moved into a 2 bedroom, 2 bath with laundry, dishwasher and reserved garage parking spot in the north end of Seattle. We can’t walk to anything, except maybe the 7/11 down the street (which we have during a snow storm). Our newest chore argument now is whose turn is it to get the groceries.
When we first moved in, we would both go together. We started doing it on Monday evenings after work. We would get something to eat first, then get our groceries. This worked out pretty good, but in early 2012 my fiancé got laid off from work and started grocery shopping to help pull his share. After a few months, he started back to school to get a degree in computer programming. He started feeling resentful that he was always getting the groceries and I started feeling resentful that he wasn’t willing to help me out when I’m bringing home the bacon. Not good thinking for a healthy relationship. Right?
I started looking up some reading material on relationships (see the resources section below!) and dealing with bickering on such pointless topics. I read a lot of stuff that just says you have to stop keeping score. I found other articles that suggest making a game out of chores. I also read a great article about a three step process to Stop Having the Same Fight.
But what to do about the grocery shopping?
So, its 1/1/2013, and guess what time it is? It’s time to start thinking about grocery shopping. Of course, we don’t want to spend our first day of the new year grocery shopping, the most hated chore of all time. So the natural thing starts to happen… My fiancé starts grumbling about how I’m going to make him do it (but he does it so well!).
Instead of suggesting he go, I decide to put the brakes on. Let’s try delivery!
Safeway Delivery Service
Here is a summary of my experience so far with Safeway Grocery Delivery Service:
I had visited the site a week or two earlier looking for something else and noticed their advertisement for delivery. Out of curiosity, I checked out their delivery rates. The first order is delivery charge free. After that, delivery charges range from $12.95 to as low as $3.95, depending on the value of the order and the delivery window requested.
There is a $49 minimum order and the better delivery rates kick in at $150. Also, you can be as specific as scheduling for a 1 hour window (for example between 4 pm and 5 pm) or a 4 hour window (between noon and 4 pm). The larger the window, the cheaper the rate.
At first we thought we would need to tip on top of the delivery rate. We looked up online and found suggestions for 10% tips up to $10. This is not the case! Our first delivery person seemed surprised that my fiancé offered a tip. The second person flat-out refused it and said he couldn’t accept it; it was against policy.
Sure, these charges do add up, but for the sake of our sanity, maybe it is worth it?
My first order was free with a promo code advertised on the site for your first purchase. After my first purchase, I received another promo code via email for $5 off and free delivery on my next order. After my second purchase I received another promo code! This time for free delivery and a case of bottled water.
Also, the site has a section for coupons which often offers free delivery if you buy a specific product or number of products.
I filled up my grocery cart while watching TV with the fiancé. This meant I spent a couple of hours slowly pulling my grocery list together, but this is what I would normally do when compiling a grocery list. I first went through with things we need (paper towels, toilet paper, etc) then started in on the meal planning. You can also save your cart and come back to it later.
The shopping site is organized the same way the normal grocery store is. If you would find an item in the meat department, then that is the link you click on. They have little pictures representing the types of food from the general category to the specific. The pictures of the products are helpful and a link is provided to see the nutritional information or directions on packaging.
There is also a tool called Express List. This tool allows you to write down everything from your list on a digital note pad. You can press save and come back to the list later. Once you are ready to shop, press the “save and find” button and it will do a search for all the items on your list.
While adding an item to your cart, you can add directions to your personal shopper. For instance, when you add bananas to your cart, you can write a note that you want over or under ripe bananas.
Your shopping history is saved online, which is helpful for future orders. Everything you have ever ordered or only your previous order is available to look at and add to your cart. You can duplicate your last order in its entirety too.
When I’m at the grocery store, I don’t ever pay attention to prices. I tried once. I said, I’m going to spend less than this much money. I normally have a digital grocery list on my smart phone, so I am used to walking around with it in hand. I used the calculator app to take note of prices. Let’s just say this was a one time shot. And I NEVER have coupons with me.
Shopping online, however, is a totally different story. One of the first things I see online is the price tag. I can see my total growing as I add items to the cart. This GREATLY helps me with budgeting. I want to hit that $150 mark so I get the better delivery rate, but I can give myself a budget and say it has to cover this many meals. They also offer coupons online, so I can see them before hand and add the items into my cart.
We were able to schedule when we would like our groceries delivered. The windows ranged from a 1 hour window to a 4 hour window. The 4 hour window being the least expensive delivery charges. For our first time free delivery we chose the 1 hour window. They arrived within that time slot. They brought all the packages up our one flight of stairs to the apartment. It really worked within our busy schedules.
The produce is fantastic! We almost always shop at QFC (Kroger owned store), but the produce alone will most likely have us switch permanently to Safeway. We have been really disappointed with some of the produce at QFC, so this was a really pleasant surprise.
The One Pitfall: Blind Shopping
The one and only thing I don’t like about shopping for groceries online is that you don’t get to see the product before purchasing. For produce, it hasn’t been a problem. We almost feel that the personal shoppers are actually better at picking out prime produce. However, you aren’t there to decide between produce. For instance, if I was there, I could choose between the different types of apples or choose a different fruit.
I have also misunderstood what it is I was purchasing. I purchased some chicken breasts. The description said thinly sliced, which I thought should be pretty good. I didn’t know that they were going to be almost as thin as a sheet of paper! Haha!
This hasn’t been a huge problem. It is just a learning curve. I will eventually understand the descriptions better and won’t make these mistakes. For all the benefits of online shopping, the cons are pretty small in comparison.
Well, so far so good. My fiancé was thrilled over the idea of getting groceries delivered. We did our meal planning for the week. I told him the list of yummy food I was planning on making and he offered to make our Saturday night date night meal (we were going out to a pub/grill every Saturday, but to help our budget we decided date night can also be an eat in night with a movie). Score for me!
Relationships are never perfect, so finding what works right for us is what is key to a happy, healthy relationship. I would normally cringe over the idea of spending extra money to have it delivered, but relieving the stress of that constant bickering over grocery shopping may be worth it. Who knows, maybe this will be a once a month deal, or maybe we will have more time for it later, or maybe we’ll start popping out kiddos and rely on this even more! We’ll see what happens.
Aside from relieving the bickering, I really liked how aware I was of prices while shopping. This was just a bonus to the experience as a whole. I can really see this helping with keeping to a budget.
What is something you splurge on for the good of the relationship? Do you fight with your SO over chores?
We have been thinking about adopting a chore schedule or trying to make a game out of it. Have you ever tried Chorebuster, Chorewars, Upsees or a different online system? Or do you use an old school (analog) system?
I’ve seen a ton of command centers, chore schedules and ideas out there to turn chores into a game. Part of me hates the idea of us keeping score… but we are already doing that in our heads. What if we made it into a game? Like whoever racks up the most points by the end of the week gets to choose our date night movie?
Tips on ending the bickering:
- The Chore Wars: Tips on defusing the wars.
- Chores, Chores, Chores: Tips on divvy responsibilities. Suggest reducing the number of chores as a way to relieve the pressure of doing chores, which is what we are doing by having our groceries delivered!
- Stop Having the Same Fight: A three-step process to end the reoccurring fight.
Grocery Planning and Budgeting:
- The Menu Planner to Rule Them All: Check out how Lauren from The Thinking Closet rules her household meal planning.
- Evernote for Menu Planning: Check out The Crying Cook and how she uses Evernote for meal planning. I’m going to adopt this!
- Grocery Budget Tip: Check out this tip from Prepared to Eat. She suggests keeping track of food that is wasted. You can save a ton of money on food by simply reducing the waste produced. Not only does this saves wasted food that gets put into the landfill, but it also saves you money!
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