Save Time Online: Options for Grocery Shopping and Prepared Meals

Happy New Year Everyone! Given the time of year, I’ve been thinking about goals I want to set to help myself be even healthier and happier. I prefer setting intentions to making resolutions (I think it’s more forgiving and more realistic). My intentions this year center on saving time on cleaning and shopping, and being more prepared by having plenty of food at the ready.

On the time-saving side, I’m excited to report that I received an Instant Pot for Christmas this year from my wonderful husband. We already have a manual pressure cooker that truly has saved us a lot of time cooking beans, but it’s got a loose handle and it’s also a little bit of guesswork as to how long to cook things. Batch cooking with ease here we come!

The other major accomplishment I can share so far is that I purchased a gently-used Roomba (Craigslist) on New Year’s Day. (If you haven’t heard of a Roomba it’s a robot vacuum and you should definitely check out “kittens on Roomba” on Youtube when you’re done reading this). It may not be able to scrub the bathtub, but I think it’s going to elevate the baseline level of cleanliness which always makes me feel more organized and should eliminate at least half the time we spend cleaning the floor.

In terms of food, I think I can save a bit more time with setting up automatic grocery delivery for at least a few items. This is something you may want to consider too – but I suggest making a short list of the foods you know you go through each month and the looking for those items in the websites below to price compare with your local grocery store. List before you look! Otherwise the number of choices are overwhelming. Set up a few automatic deliveries – if you aren’t sure about the quantity, just make your best guess and the adjust the next month.

What’s on our list? Definitely oats, brown rice, quinoa, and dried chickpeas, black beans, and green lentils.

The other important piece of being prepared is making sure I’ve got some frozen meals on hand for emergencies. We definitely do freeze leftovers from our cooking, but it never hurts to have some other ideas. I’m a hungry person and I need at least four full meals each day, plus snacks.

So here are my best ideas to help you stay calm, fed, and ready to be your best self in the new year!

Online Grocery Shopping

  • Amazon does more than consumer products – have you looked at Amazon Prime Pantry? Prime Pantry has a multitude of groceries, including cleaning products. I should probably add toilet paper to the list of things on automatic delivery.
  • Remember what I said about making a list first? There is so much to browse. Be focused. Here’s an example: a search for whole grains in Amazon Prime Pantry
  • As an alternative to Amazon, Thrive Market offers tons of natural and organic food products. It may not all be cheaper than your local store, but it’s very price competitive even including shipping. You may also be able to find some things you can’t get locally.
  • If you live in the delivery areas, Instacart is a fabulous option for saving time grocery shopping. They service multiple stores and usually offer a sign-up discount.
  • Live near a Stop n Shop? Try Peapod Delivery! Stop n Shop’s in-house service, it only costs a few dollars per trip! Stop n Shop is a huge supermarket with a growing selection of plant-based and organic foods.
  • Looking for online bulk shopping? Try Kalyx Natural Marketplace. You may need to price compare but if you know you go through substantial quantities of staples, this is your spot. I’d suggest freezing beans and grains you aren’t going to within the month just to keep things more fresh.
  • Finally, there are too many options to cover in one article. Here are some additional ideas in another great blog on online shopping – the Best Organic Food Stores Online.

Prepared Meals

  • I think the best option for frozen, prepared meals are the PlantPure Nation meals. They are oil-free, whole food, and generous portions. Annie’s frozen meals are okay for true emergencies (we’ve all had them) but frozen meals like that tend to be kind of …. Small. PlantPure offers whole food, plant-based sized portions (big) for a really affordable price – $8 or $10 depending on how many you buy, and free shipping in the lower 48 states. Definitely stick to the “Comfort Entrees” if you’re not big on spicy foods.
  • Slightly more expensive, but with a delicious, rotating menu on a weekly basis, Fresh n Lean Prepared Meals can easily accommodate gluten-free as well as plant-based. There are options for 1 meal, lunch and dinner, 3 meals, or a la carte. It’s like having a personal chef in the mail.
  • Looking for more vegan meal delivery? This 14 Vegan Meal Delivery Services blog from PETA is a great list. Not all of these as affordable as the two above and may or may not exactly match your dietary preferences, but this is really worth checking out.

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