4 Tips for Consistent Grocery Deliveries While Social Distancing
Before this year, I think I had only ever used a grocery delivery service once – and it was only because I had a credit and wanted to get diapers on the cheap. Now, I haven’t entered a store in two months and consider myself somewhat of a grocery delivery pro, getting more and more resourceful on ways to stay stocked up without ever going into a store. I’m here to share some tips for my fellow high-risk couponers, or just anyone who wants to minimized their exposure and keep their cabinets full.
- Check for delivery slots at off-peak hours.
Since the first weeks of the stay at home orders, I’ve never been able to secure a delivery spot on Peapod or Instacart in the middle of the day. The huge influx of new grocery delivery shoppers has meant the demand is way outpacing the supply, so you need to be proactive if you want to secure a delivery slot. Try checking at off peak hours, in the middle of the night or first thing in the early morning, as less people are logged on at these times and you’ll have more luck finding an available spot.
- Stagger deliveries across different platforms.
I learned this lesson the hard way during the early weeks – if you don’t have your next shipment set up before the first one arrives, you may not see another delivery for quite some time. For example, it’s nearly impossible to get a Peapod delivery slot less than 2 weeks away, so if you wait until your delivery arrives to set up another one, and it takes you another week to secure a spot, you’re going three weeks between deliveries. The best way to avoid that is to try to snag another spot (you’ll need another device/account to do this) a week or so before your delivery arrives. Another option is to secure delivery spots across different apps such as Peapod, Instacart, and Shipt. This way you aren’t going a month between deliveries.
- Use curbside pickups for small, non-perishable orders.
Many stores are now offering drive-up/curbside pickups to limit the number of people in stores. This is a great way to not stress about running out of specific items as well as help to keep the lines shorter at your local stores. I have been doing big orders of fresh items from Peapod every two weeks and then supplementing with smaller Target curbside pickup orders for things like coffee, toilet paper, and laundry detergent. Target doesn’t offer curbside pickup for refrigerated items, but it definitely helps in a pinch and you can see immediately on their app if an item is in stock. If I need other household items or clothes, I tack them onto these orders so I can limit my exposure and maintain social distance as best as possible. Even better, these orders are contactless – you let the store know you’ve arrived on their app and a store employee brings them out to your car, opens the trunk, and loads them in without you ever having to touch anything.
- Meal plans are your best friend.
The first week of shut down, I had some trouble creating dinners – I ran out of a few small things like butter and eggs, and had to be creative with what was available in my freezer and pantry until my next delivery came. I was too used to being able to run to the store to grab one or two items multiple times during the week. To combat this, I’ve found it really helpful to create a two week meal plan BEFORE I place my grocery order to make sure I have every little thing I need for a couple weeks worth of meals.
I hope these tips are helpful to everyone during these crazy times. If you have more tips and tricks to keep grocery deliveries consistent, please share them with us in the comments so we can all help each other!