Seven ways to keep food delivery services from eating your cash
We love food delivery. But we don’t love paying so much in fees that it negates all convenience of food delivery in the first place. There is a balance to be struck – and we have some helpful ideas on ways you can find it. Read on to learn how you can make the most of your food delivery without busting your budget.
1. Compare services
Many times we find that we still subscribe to a service without even thinking about it. We pay for multiple streaming channels only to realize we haven’t even used one of those channels in months. The same concept applies to your food delivery service. You may have been with one company for a long time and you may be highly satisfied with the service – but you could be overpaying for what you need. Shop around and discover which services offer which benefits at what cost to determine which food delivery makes the most sense for you.
2. Put the payment in your budget
Your budget should include groceries, and, if you rely on meal or food delivery on a regular basis, it should also include delivery service fees. Incorporate those fees into your budget and look for something you can remove from your expenses to make up the cost. It might mean making coffee at home or switching up your shampoo; the item doesn’t matter as long as it makes up the delivery costs so you budget can stay on track.
3. Plan your meals and groceries
Meal planning isn’t always easy – but people who meal plan are more likely to spend less, not to mention eat a little healthier since they are preparing the food themselves. Try to plan your meals out as far as you can so you know which ingredients you need delivered. The farther out you plan, the fewer deliveries you’ll need, which means more savings for you.
If you have kids in the house, it may seem impossible to plan for your grocery needs since your food seems to disappear overnight. But looking at which groceries you think you’ll need over the next few weeks can go a long way in reducing the number of deliveries you’re paying for – see above about all the extra cash that can bring you. Challenge yourself to plan your grocery needs out over the next month and see if it makes a difference in your delivery budget.
4. Go for the store brand
It can be hard to swallow your grocery total by itself, let alone coupled with the delivery service fee you pay. While you can’t always change the delivery fee, you can work to reduce your grocery cost. Look at the items you buy the most – are you able to switch from a name brand to a store brand or other off brand instead? Often grocery stores will give you incentives to buy their brands (thank you, Kroger card!) so it’s worth investigating whether this change can help you save.
5. Find subscriptions
Did you know that some stores offer the option of paying one flat yearly fee for grocery delivery? Walmart, for instance, has a program where customers can pay $100 a year for an unlimited number of grocery deliveries. If you order a lot of food and staples, this might be a great option for you to consider.
6. Shop smarter
We’ve all heard of the extreme couponers, who somehow manage to purchase 18 gallons of milk for $.89 each. That level of dedication is very time consuming, but you can still get some inspiration of your own when it comes to finding savings. Take time each week or month to look for deals on some of your household staples. Even if you don’t find the same deal each month, you will still enjoy the benefit of a discounted grocery item.
7. Get a rewards code
Do your friends use a grocery or food delivery service? If so, they may receive some promotional codes that allow them to gift a free delivery or specific amount to a friend – and that friend can be you. Work together to make this mutually beneficial and send any codes you get to your friend while they send theirs to you.
It’s hard to beat the convenience of having your groceries delivered, and you can make it work for your budget if you plan out your grocery needs and look for the best deals. Make it your mission to have only the most cost-effective services deliver your groceries this new year.