Have you ever thought what life would be like if you all of a sudden didn’t have a car. It’s quite fascinating because I’m dealing with this scenario right now.
I find myself thinking, “Oh I need to pick up a gallon of milk on my way home from work. Oh wait, I don’t have a working care anymore!?!?!”.
Well, living without a car isn’t the end of the world. But it takes a different way of thinking about social activities, life with family, going grocery shopping, and most importantly planning way ahead.
Everyone in my family has a bus pass/orca card, but we live without the conveniences of being able to get places quickly, and purchase things when we run out of something at the last second.
We have been purchasing groceries using Instacart. It’s been convenient, and a learning experience. For those of you who are not familiar with instacart, it’s a website where you pick available stores (who have partnered with instacart) to shop from. You add grocery or household items to your cart. You can pick a window of time to have those grocery items delivered. About an hour before your grocery items are scheduled to be delivered, someone picks items from your order (and through the website you can communicate via text with the person shopping for you), and when they have completed shopping for your items, they pay for them, and then checkout. You can also track your grocery delivery through the website in real time. A really cool feature is that you have the option to choose alternate items if an item you chose is out of stock or if the shopper is unable to find it. The shopper will send a text and you will get a notification of the alternate item and you will need to approve or reject the alternate item choice. If you reject the item, the money gets refunded to your card.
Overall it’s been a pleasant experience. We had a few hilarious moments of lessons learned. For instance, we picked out some hot dog buns, and I asked the shopper via text if the pack was a 4-pack of buns or 8-pack of buns. He said 4-pack so I told him that i wanted 3 packages of buns. Well when all was delivered, we ended up with 32 buns in total and they were actually an 8-pack of buns. Another time, we ordered granny smith apples. The funny thing with ordering items that need to be weighed is that you have to estimate the number of pounds you would like to purchase. Well I put in I wanted 3lbs of granny smith apples. I ended up with 3 granny smith apples. Which is not nearly enough apples for my family for a week! So if you do purchase items in bulk overestimate the pounds you are seeking otherwise you may wind up with too little of what you needed.
I would love to hear your thoughts and or tips and tricks for Instacart! Please leave a comment below and let me know your experiences with online grocery shopping and what services you use! Or if you are in a similar situation (without a car) and how you are adjusting to life without a car.