Posted in Blog

2020 Goals and Progress So Far

As much as I identify as a planner, I never used to be into creating personal goals and New Year resolutions. But, I gave it a try at the start of 2019 and kept it simple. I had goals to drink so many ounces of water a day, cut out evening snacks, and other small steps to lead to healthier life choices. On the whole, I stuck to the plan and am happy with the results.

I wanted to build on my momentum, so at the start of 2020 I created seven personal goals and put them in my planner. I thought about what I wanted to do outside of work that would bring me personal fulfillment that relates to myself and my family. (My professional goals are a separate list.)

Again, I kept them simple or fun. I actually want to do these, not challenge myself so much I get disappointed or feel guilty for breaking them. Here are the goals and my progress so far.

  1. Take a family trip to Florida – On the books, as long as this coronavirus business doesn’t get more out of hand.
  2. Read 25 books – I’m 18 books in already. I’ve cut out a lot of wasted time scrolling online (goodbye, Reddit app!) to read instead and “magically” found the time to devour books. I’ll probably up this goal to 50 later on, if I feel like it.
  3. Donate a set amount of money to charity – This is a fun one! Our family has been discussing what efforts we want to support but haven’t made any final decisions yet.
  4. Go on at least 25 dates with my husband, with at least four of them being to new locations – We are at least seven dates in already, mostly to restaurants. We both work from home on Wednesdays and make lunch a date by going out to eat. So far, we have tried a new Italian restaurant nearby and visited The VOID (an immersive virtual reality experience). Side note, Matt loved The VOID. I was less impressed because it was short and expensive.
  5. Complete two home projects – No progress here yet. At the very least, I want to remodel our half bath and stain our deck.
  6. Complete a 5K race – I have a couple of race options for May. I just need to pick one and register, then I know I’ll train and actually do it. I need a goal to work toward or it will never happen. I’m not super interested in running or exercising in general, but I’m a fan of being healthy.
  7. Floss daily – I have a daily habit tracker (shown above) hanging in my bathroom to remind me to floss. The visual cue is essential or I’d totally forget. I’ve only missed a few days so far!

I review these goals about once a month, just to see how I’m doing and whether I want to focus on any of them for the month. For instance, this month I know I need to actually register for a race and start training. I haven’t run a mile in ages! It should be interesting….

Posted in Blog

Is Grocery Delivery Worth It?

My time is valuable. I prefer not to waste it doing tasks I don’t particularly enjoy, like filling a cart full of groceries in a crowded store with two young kids buzzing around me like bees. How lucky we are to live in a time where I can outsource this task and get back more quality family or personal time!

Our preferred grocery store chain (shout out to Wegmans!) recently started providing curbside pickup and delivery options near us, so I researched the costs.

I started by creating a list of 12 items:

  • Store-brand loaf of bread
  • Family pack of ground beef
  • Large pack of strawberries
  • Bunch of bananas
  • A dozen eggs
  • Family pack of store-brand pasta sauce
  • Gallon of 2% store-brand milk
  • Store-brand almond milk
  • Family pack of Cheerios
  • Large container of coffee creamer
  • Half pound of bologna
  • Package of pasta

If I picked up these items in the store, it would cost me $60.41 and at least an hour of my time to drive to the store, pick up everything, and then come home.

If I wanted curbside pickup, meaning someone else shopped for me then met me outside the store to help me load my car, then the price jumped to $69.59 (a 15% increase). However, I’d definitely be adding a tip on top of that of at least $5. So, the total comes to $74.59 (a 23% increase) and 30 minutes of my time to drive to and from the store.

If I wanted these groceries delivered, it would cost me $72.98 (a 21% increase) plus tip. I’d tip at least $10 for this service, so that’s $82.98 total (a 37% increase). Having someone else shop and deliver my groceries would save me an hour of my time.

So let’s compare the options. Shopping for myself is the baseline, and it costs $60.41 and one hour of my time. In this scenario, how much more money does it cost and how much time is saved by these choices?

  • Curbside pickup costs $14.18 more than shopping myself, but I save 30 minutes of time.
  • Delivery costs $22.57 more than shopping myself, but I save an hour of my time.

In this case, to save myself an hour of time, I’d pay $22.57. I could use that time to play games with my kids, read a book, or work an extra hour. (I’d pretty much like to do anything other than grocery shop.)

But, deciding if the price is worth it may depend on the quantity of items purchased. There’s certainly some economies of scale at play here. If you order just a few groceries, many services will add a flat fee to your price, making the markup greater than my example above.

I recognize the privilege I have to be able to say that an hour of my time is worth more than the cost of having groceries delivered. If I enjoyed the task, I may do it anyway. I wouldn’t pay someone $20 to fold laundry. I kind of like that task. (Yes, I realize I’m strange. Just roll with it.)

So, there you have it! I’m sure each store and grocery-delivery option is somewhat different, but here’s an exploration of one option for your consideration.