Supermarket food shopping: how I’m avoiding it in 2016

There was a time when I really enjoyed supermarket food shopping. Probably sometime after I finished my masters, when I had enough money to buy whatever food I wanted and everything was new and exciting. But over the last few years it’s got to the point where I actively resent having to go in the supermarket.

Recently I read a post in the simplicity-minimalism blog-o-sphere where the author, Tsh Oxenreider talked about three things I’m resolving not to do in the new year (or something similar). She didn’t directly mention food shopping, but whilst reading her (somewhat relentless if you’re on her email list) plugging of something called ‘ePantry’, I got thinking about getting my food shopping delivered. Wouldn’t it be great to no longer waste hours of my life every week walking around the supermarket buying the same old things every damn time?! This week one of my colleagues also mentioned that she has switched to it permanently, and she explained how it worked for our local big supermarket.

Armed with that inspiration and information, I explored my local superstore’s online offerings. To save money I opted for the ‘pick-up-from-store’ option, and I have to admit that driving in today did make me feel pretty damn smug – there was a queue just for parking and the whole place looked packed and stressful. I was so pleased not to be participating in that!

So far it looks like a really good option, saving on hassle, time, stress and money, considering the following pros:

  • It will probably take me about ten minutes to order my usual weekly shopping, as we tend to buy the same things consistently, saving time.
  • It took 15 minutes door-to-door to pick up, again saving time.
  • I didn’t have to use carrier bags (though sadly my loose veg was packed in extra plastic) so only a small net increase in waste.
  • It allows me to review the order in a calm, peaceful, well-fed frame of mind which helps me be critical and pick out those things we don’t really need, saving money.
  • Not being in the store itself saves me from picking up impulse ‘treats’ as a reward/pacifier for surviving the experience, or because I’ve ended up really hungry whilst walking around. This is good for our health as well as our bank balances!
  • It is so much easier to check the ingredients of food online than it is in the store. As we tend towards a vegan diet, this is really helpful, as is the (slightly shonky but still informative) ability to search for ‘vegan’ food on the store’s website. This actually opens up greater variety of food to us, which is a real bonus.
  • I can easily check what we have in the cupboards/fridge and avoid getting things we don’t need, and as I can add to the order as the week goes by I can easily add things that we run out of as-and-when. This saves us money and avoids waste, and I’m hoping will avoid additional trips/frustration over forgotten things.

All in all, I’m tentatively hopeful that this may be a long-term solution to the grind of supermarket food shopping. I think there’s even a chance that, if we rarely actually go into a supermarket, the few times we need to we might actually enjoy it again! I certainly think it’s an excellent way to keep track of how much money we’re spending on food, and to avoid buying unnecessary things.

Overall, if you’re looking to reclaim some of your time from this boring task, I’d totally recommend it. I’ll let you know how it goes in the next few months.

Supermarket food shopping: how I’m avoiding it in 2016

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