Carpooling the Groceries

Glenn Reynolds has more on getting your goods delivered — groceries, this time. He says he’s been writing about it for a decade, and I believe him. Amazon first changed my shopping habits with free 5-7 day delivery on orders over $25. Suddenly, I did a lot more shopping there, and thought a lot more about how to shop — how to get the most bang for my delivery dollar.

Then Amazon introduced Prime, where for $80 a year you get unlimited two-day shipping, and Amazon (even more suddenly this time) became the first place I looked to buy anything. Is it greener? Sure seems like it should be, especially since we live so far away from most shopping, and the UPS guy is going to make the rounds with or without us.

And that was great, so far as it went. But we were still stuck going to the grocery store every week — until Melissa found out our store delivers. But there’s a catch: Deliveries are $10 a pop.

That adds up to about $500 a year, which is a whole lot of groceries — green or not.

But as I thought about it, I realized we’re probably saving money, or at worst breaking even.

When you put together a grocery order, you really think about what you need, especially if you tally the prices as you go along. And it’s much easier to do that from the sofa than it is while pushing a shopping cart and wrangling two small boys. But what grocery delivery really saves you from is those impulse purchases of yummy things that weren’t on your list, but just look so good while you’re passing by. Or the things your two small boys don’t see, then demand. That’s got to be ten bucks right there, each and every week, saved on top of the half gallon of gas it takes to get there and back.

So, yeah, $500 is a lot of groceries — a lot of groceries we didn’t buy.