When my husband and I started earning more money a few years ago, we gave ourselves permission to simplify our lives. That meant hiring a housekeeper first and foremost, but we also decided to eliminate our most-dreaded chore – going to the grocery store.
Instacart, a grocery delivery service, started offering service in our area at the time, so I immediately latched on and have never looked back. I avoid the grocery store like the plague these days, and instead pay more for groceries delivered to my door. But the time and energy I save makes it so worth it that I would do almost anything before giving this perk up. I would much rather spend time with my kids than make multiple trips to the grocery store to get what we need each week.
Why I started using Boxed
But there are a few limitations that come with using Instacart, the most important of which is that bulk supplies can be pricey. Toilet paper, 24-packs of drinks, and bulk food staples are difficult to order through Instacart unless you want to pay an arm and a leg.
That’s why I now use Boxed for all of my family’s bulk shopping needs. This service is basically an online version of Costco Wholesale, except that you don’t need a membership to use it. With Boxed, you can buy all your bulk foods and household supplies and have them delivered in a box to your front door.
While I still order my regular groceries, such as meat and produce, through Instacart, some of the basics I order through Boxed include:
- Toilet paper
- Paper towels
- Giant containers of coffee
- Bulk snacks for the kids
- Bulk cooking staples, like extra virgin olive oil
- Laundry detergent and fabric softener
Using Boxed for bulk supplies lets me keep my grocery orders to a minimum while getting good prices on the staples my family loves. I know because I have taken the time to compare pricing for bulk purchases at Costco and Amazon, and Boxed is comparable or better most the time. For example, I really love RISE Oat Milk lattes, which are $13.99 for four on Amazon (or $55.96 for 12). A 12-pack of the same drinks on Boxed, on the other hand, is $34.99.
Another example is Fruit Roll-Ups, a fun treat my kids eat. Boxed charges $11.99 for a box of 72. Over on Amazon, you can get a pack of 30 for $5.88 on Amazon, which makes the larger package from Boxed a much better value.
In addition to competitive pricing on bulk supplies across other bulk retailers, Boxed pricing blows Instacart out of the water when it comes to value. Really, it’s not even close. This is mainly because Instacart charges a service fee and you have to tip your driver, two expenses you don’t have to worry about with Boxed.
And while bulk retailers have their own niche, Boxed is a good option for anyone who doesn’t want to pay the fee for a discount club membership – and for people who don’t live near one to begin with. There’s a Costco around 25 minutes from my house, for example, but that means spending an hour round-trip every time plus the cost of gas. And that’s just to get there and back. I would also have to walk through the giant store to find what I need, wait in line at the checkout, load all my purchases into my car, drive home, then get it all inside. And that’s only after I paid at least $60 per year for a Costco membership.
With Boxed, I don’t leave my house. I order what I want on their app, and it gets delivered to my doorstep in just a few days. Sometimes my order comes in a few boxes, but it is always packed well, and so far, I haven’t received any damaged products. You also get free shipping on orders $49 and up, and there are plenty of coupon codes floating around if you want to try it out.
How to make the most out of Boxed
If you’re considering using Boxed for your bulk shopping, take note that you can maximize your purchases with the right rewards credit card. Many cash-back credit cards let you earn 1% to 2% back for each dollar you spend, and some travel credit cards let you earn considerably more than that. Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card offers 1% cash back along with a $300 cash bonus after you spend $3,000 on purchases.
The bottom line
I’m under no illusion that using services like Instacart or Boxed saves me a lot of money, but I do know one thing – these services save me time. They save me from having to drive to stores I absolutely loathe, walking up and down every single boring aisle, then waiting in line to buy all of it only to have to lug it all home and put it away.
Boxed makes ordering annoying bulk supplies a breeze, and prices are comparable or better than shopping at Costco. And with the right rewards credit card, you could even earn cash back or travel rewards on each dollar you spend.
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