You wake up early on Saturday morning and drive to the supermarket. For the next hour or so, you navigate your shopping cart around others picking items off the shelves. It’s a typical activity for most of us—but grocery shopping is not really a fun way to start the weekend for everyone.
Regular tasks like this drain us of precious time. Is it worth spending a few dollars to get back the hours expended on these shopping adventures? If so, how much are you willing to pay to get it all back?
If you had used one of the growing number of grocery delivery services, you could have saved that hour—and maybe a bit of your sanity to boot. Someone else could have traversed those crowded aisles checking off your list for you for a fee of a few dollars.
There’s (Probably) an App for That
At one point or another, many of us have sought out someone to take care of our lawn care, house cleaning, and even the laundry. These services save us time. Then the advent of online shopping at the turn of the century offered to recoup even more of it. It allows us to buy whatever, whenever we want and have it all delivered right to our door step.
Thanks to digital advancements, a growing number of on-demand delivery services now take things one step further. They combine the time-saving aspects of those old-school services with the newest online tools. Even the tasks you had to step out into the real world to deal with can be made easier for you.
Groceries to Your Door
Let’s start with that trip from earlier. Grocery delivery is a booming business because of how easy it is to use. Make a list from the inventory of your favorite store and a grocery delivery service will send a full-service shopper to pick out your order. Your shopper may even text with questions or ask about substitutes. Two hours later, that person will drop off everything at your home. You select your items, pay for them (plus a delivery fee), and add an optional tip (if applicable) right through the app. No cash is physically exchanged in the transaction.
Examples: AmazonFresh, CostcoGrocery, FreshDirect, Instacart, Peapod
Meal Prep Made Easy
Want to save even more time when it comes to feeding the family? Meal prep delivery services can save those valuable hours after work by offering up kits of fresh food. Many offer options for those who follow paleo, vegan, and other special diets. All the ingredients you need to make dinner are delivered right to your doorstep. Instructions help you make a home-cooked meal.
Suggestions: Blue Apron, HelloFresh, Plated, Sun Basket
Getting Food to Go
Delivery is more than just pizza these days. Want your favorite dish, but don’t want to drive to get take out? There are a number of delivery services that will pick up food from your favorite restaurants in your area. Order what you want ahead of time and someone will head over, wait on your behalf, and bring it to you.
Examples: Grubhub, UberEats, Yelp Eat24
Clothes Without the Shopping
Why spend time roaming the local mall shopping for clothes? A number of services can do it for you. Trunk Club and Stitch Fix help build better wardrobes with personal stylists that mail you a box of items. Don’t want to even go to the effort of buying those clothes and getting them cleaned? Rent the Runway is a service that allows members to borrow high-end pieces. You just pick out what you want, and it’s mailed to you. Return it when you’re done. Then you get more sent back.
Examples: Le Tote, Rent the Runway, StichFix, Trunk Club
Many brick-and-mortar stores are getting in on the time-saving action, too. If you need something right now and don’t want to wait for it to be shipped, order and pay ahead of time. You’ll be notified via text or email when it’s ready. All you have to do is walk in to the store, show your ID, and pick up the merchandise.
Examples: Many retailers offer this now—including large box retailers, such as Best Buy, Target, Walmart
More Valuable Than Money?
If time is money (and it is), ask yourself, “How much is mine worth?” By using a service to help, you’ll be freeing up some of your day, helping someone else earn an honest salary, and supporting the economy. It’s a win-win-win scenario all around.
Reclaim your Saturday mornings (and beyond). Your financial advisor can discuss budgeting for all the various options out there. You may even get some personalized recommendations of other great services that can save you your most valuable resource—your time.
This material is provided for educational purposes only. Hartford Mutual Funds may or may not be invested in the companies referenced herein; however, no particular endorsement of any product or service is being made.