The following post was put together with the support of Whole Foods.
Cooking an average of 15-20 meals a week depletes the cupboards pretty darned fast, so grocery-shopping is a non-negotiable part of my (and every home cook’s) life. My bi-weekly CSA share, farmers’ market shopping, and food swapping has shortened my grocery store lists significantly, but I still rely on brick and mortar grocery stores for staples (non-dairy milks, tofu, bulk legumes/grains, etc.). I’ve gotten better at surviving these frequent trips – list in hand, ear buds in, personal bubble of translucent steel erected – but finding the right time of day to navigate the aisles is getting trickier now that I am managing a larger workload.
Entre Whole Foods and Instacart. The one-hour grocery delivery service, Instacart, and Whole Foods have recently announced a new partnership that expands Instacart’s delivery service to also include convenient in-store pickup. I’ve tried the home delivery option (thank you, Whole Foods!) and although really nice, I don’t see myself using it on the regular. In-store pickup seems more my speed. I can pull my grocery list together as I plan my meals at home, take stock of the fridge/cabinets, and assemble a cart for pickup later in the week on a day that work life carries me downtown. You still have to manage parking at Whole Foods, but saving the 30-45 minutes it takes to navigate the aisles and checkouts is worth it.
Finding groceries in their virtual grocery store was surprisingly easy and knowing that this convenience only costs me $1.99 (when I spend at least $35 in groceries) helps the guilt subside as well. Pickups can be scheduled for same day or as far out as a week, so you can totally plan ahead from the comfort of your kitchen. Austin and Boston are the lucky pilot markets for the new in-store pickup so give it a swing if you find yourself strapped for time in the coming weeks.