Whether you’re vaccinated or not.

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While we aren't out of the woods on this pandemic yet, most of us, even the most careful, are back to regular in-person grocery shopping. It is a delight to get back to my favorite markets, to choose my own produce, to discover something new or unexpected to try. Let's be honest, just knowing what new wacky potato chip flavors have launched is kind of exciting! But that doesn't mean I have stopped getting groceries delivered by services like Instacart. Grocery delivery services, always a great convenience, really came into their own during the past year and a half, and the game is STRONG. There are many to choose from, so you can find the platform that works best for you. 

Grocery delivery
Credit: Getty / Oscar Wong

Here are the top 5 reasons for getting your groceries delivered.

1. Stay safe and healthy

Limiting exposure to large gatherings of people you do not know is back on the agenda these days, with the Delta variant spreading dangerously around the country. Even if you are fully vaccinated, you can still contract Covid and potentially give it to others. This is especially complicated if you are immunocompromised, are a caregiver to someone who is, or have small children who have not yet been vaccinated. I am able to do my grocery shopping midday, midweek, when crowds are minimal. But if I need something and my only availability is during a peak shopping time? You can bet I am getting those groceries delivered.

2. Refocus shopping locations

The most enjoyable way to shop is to buy items from a place that specializes in them: visiting the independent butcher for your meats, hitting up the farmers market for produce, and stopping at the bakery for your breads. And if you have time to do all of those stops and get to the supermarket for cleaning supplies and staples, lucky you! But most of us cannot fit it all into our schedules. And let's be honest, which is more fun, chatting with your butcher about a new cut of meat and the best way to cook it or stocking up on paper towels? Get your household supplies, pantry items, and other basics delivered and free yourself up to source the best quality proteins and produce in environments that are a pleasure instead of a chore.

3. Reclaim your time

Depending on where you live, grocery shopping might be as simple as a short walk, or as complicated as a journey of many miles, and for those reliant on public transportation, this necessary errand can sometimes suck up hours. Whether you are a parent with kids now home for the summer, or a busy professional with limited non-work hours, getting your groceries delivered is a way to get some of your precious minutes back. Whenever I am slammed, the first thing I give up is in-person shopping, so that I can protect as much of my day as possible.

4. Save money

It might sound counterintuitive to pay for a delivery service in order to save money, but when you add things up, you might be surprised! With online ordering, there is minimal impulse buying since you are searching for the items you know you need, and nothing else finds its way into your cart. In-store savings can be complicated to seek out, especially when comparing similar items of different sizes, but the online platforms are great about telling you what you are paying per ounce for something, so that you can easily make the right budget decision, and they often have extra savings or specials you can take advantage of. If you drive to the store, you are saving on gas money. And if you always wanted to take advantage of the savings of a big box store, but either didn't want to pay the annual membership or rely on public transportation and cannot schlep large format items, delivery services are the way to go!

5. Let someone else do the heavy lifting

Does your household go through cases of heavy canned beverages or gallons of milk every week? Is your market having a sale on laundry detergent that could stock you up for the whole year? Whatever the reason, if you have a huge shop to do, whether it is items that are bulky or just an extra-large supply run, letting someone else bring it to you is a luxury you absolutely deserve...especially if you live in a walk-up or have any mobility issues or an injury. Just remember to tip extra on these shops -- they are hard work for your delivery person!