In CrossFit, we work our weaknesses. Don’t have a pull-up? Spend 5 minutes a day working to address that weakness and you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the direct, and indirect results. Outside of CrossFit, we have a few more options to address and improve on areas of our life that will further our health and fitness. As an example, we can out-source an identified weakness to get help from a specialist. Take, for example, grocery shopping…
I am terrible at grocery shopping.
I’m just not good at it and this has been an ongoing issue. Long before kids, my Sundays included a peaceful trip to the grocery store. Upon arrival, I would purchase a cup of coffee, sit down and review my list, look up a recipe or two, plan the week, and then go get lost in grocery shopping bliss – sort of. Even in those days, I was often victim to grand visions of cooking and prepping for the week while shopping, but then once I got home, I was tired and that was a lot of food to cook! The end result was over purchasing and under consuming.
Then we had kids and things got worse. For the past few years, grocery shopping has been 100% reactive. I rarely plan to go to the grocery store and when I do, it’s usually with a 20-minute window. It’s a mad dash to the grocery store to select the things we need or are out of – and all from memory, because who has time for lists? Last week I made it home with a complete dinner – except I forgot meat – so Eric had to go back to the store.
And then, there’s grocery shopping with kids which does require at least a mention – it’s doable, it’s just not that fun. A typical trip to the grocery resembles some messed up game show where a parent tries to race through a store before a child erupts into some far-fetched meltdown over the difference between two boxes of raspberries, as an example.
As a side note, whoever thought that to supply grocery stores with kid-sized grocery carts was a good idea – I would like to speak with you. That was the worst invention since rollerblades. Whatever answer you have to “can we push a kid cart” will result in an ear-piercing choir of screams. Try getting a 3 and 1 year old to share a cart – ha. Two carts and it’s like you’re managing bumper cars from hell, and then there’s saying “no” which yields the loudest of screams. They’re really just bad for business.
All joking aside, my lack of grocery shopping abilities was taking its toll on my food goals. We were eating dinners without something green, we weren’t prepping food so we were eating out for lunch A LOT, and there was constant stress around penciling in time to actually get to the grocery store 3-5 days a week.
Luckily, those days are over. I out-sourced our weakness. Enter, online grocery shopping. I stumbled upon online grocery shopping and now I’m a convert. I pull up an app on my phone, select the grocery store I want to shop at, put the foods in my virtual basket, click purchase, and the food arrives at my door in 2-4 hours.
Here are a few of the reasons it’s been a game changer for us:
I can grocery shop at 5:00 am.
With online grocery shopping, I can knock out the grocery trip while kids are still asleep and the day has not yet started. Now, my grocery trip
It saves time.
Previously, I was going to the grocery store 3-5 times per week. Those 20-minute trips add up! In addition, I save the time that it takes to go to the 2-3 stores where we get all of our groceries each month.
It eliminates the temptation to purchase bad foods.
In my experience, purchasing food through the online portal eliminates much of the temptation to buy foods that I don’t really want to eat. The less I walk the aisles, the less I have to say “no” in my head and resist temptation. Out of sight, out of mind.
It has saved us money on our grocery bill.
Sometimes I look at our grocery bill for the month and have a small heart attack. What the hell did we eat!? With online food shopping, I instantly see the bill in front of me as I add items to the list. I can make changes based on whatever amount we’re trying to stay under. I can also compare prices across stores and do it right in front of me. Numerous times I’ve been at one store, trying to think about how much an item costs at another store – with no success. YNAB recently wrote a great post on how online grocery shopping is effective for budgeting goals – A Simple Way to Cut Down on Impulse Purchases at the Grocery Store. It’s worth a read!
I don’t have to feel guilty, or that I’m a bad person when I don’t remember my reusable bags.
Ugh, that’s the worst feeling. But with online grocery shopping, my Costco and Natural Grocers orders are delivered in re-used boxes.
It eliminates the Sunday vibes buzz kill.
You know what kills Sunday weekend vibes? – going to the grocery store. It’s like a giant rock sitting in the middle of your enjoyable Sunday. Not to mention coming home and prepping all of that food.
I believe there are a number of online grocery delivery services out there. We’ve used Instacart which now delivers King Soopers, Safeway, Natural Grocers, Costco, Whole Foods, and Petco. If going to the grocery store is blocking your ability to prep good food – I highly recommend trying it out.
Have you out-sourced a weakness of yours that enables you to stay true to your health and fitness goals? Post to comments.
Literally just had this conversation with my husband regarding the grocery store runs.
Outsourcing is absolutely such a time saver. My new advice: Say no to things, outsource and calm the hell down because you can’t do it all… (even though we try).
Instacart is great, certainly worth the small investment. Another fantastic addition to our life has been Sun Basket. It is delivered to the house and we do three vegetarian meals in the middle of the week. The food is all organic, fresh, delicious, and it is fun to cook. It has saved my wife and I from the classic nightly discussion of, “What should we have for dinner?” Additionally, we save money from not wasting food since the portion sizes are perfect for our family. Plenty of options including specific diets like Paleo.
Good call! Like Brett below, we (well, let’s be honest here…my wife) would spend significant parts of her Sunday thinking about recipes for the following week and try to find time to hit the grocery store. So yeah, talking about harshing Sunday’s buzz…
We’ve taken it even a step further, at least for dinner, with a combination of Plated (similar to Blue Apron, but better food) and Spicy Radish (local meal prep service). They give us more time together and reasonably healthy meals. While not super cheap, it’s worth the sanity, and we don’t have to worry about food waste for over-bought vegetables. Now I just have to think about packing salads for lunch, a relatively easy task.
Seriously, Nic – it’s like you READ MY MIND. As a food blogger who cooks a millions things a week and considers herself a pro (literally) at meal planning, I started to feel the squeeze on my time, my budget and my patience (ahem, grocery shopping with kids!) from all the grocery store runs to alllll the stores – and just started using Instacart to have the bulk of my groceries delivered. At first I was turned off by the service fee and by not being able to ‘shop the sales’ and the perfectionist in me wants to pick every bit of produce over for the most photogenic items but I’ve learned to use the “Notes for shopper” feature to let the shopper know what I”m looking for and so far, they’re all been great. As for the extra cash, the time I save has more than made up for it.
About 6 months ago I stopped writing my own meal plans and started using an online meal planning tool called Real Plans (which I reviewed here –> http://therealfoodrds.com/real-plans-meal-planning-made-simple/) to plan meals and my weekly meal prep (and create my grocery lists with quantities needed) – it takes just 15-30 minutes a week to do the planning using my laptop or the app. So that tool + Instacart has been a game changer for me.
Ugh, those carts. Seriously. All the parents pushing little carts because their kids decided they didn’t want to halfway through the store…somewhere, someone is laughing their asses off at us.