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Monday, February 18, 2019

3 Reasons We Love Using Instacart for Grocery Delivery

Publix, has the the motto "where shopping is a pleasure". While I'm super grateful that we have a great grocery store, and I'm equally thankful we live very close by - grocery shopping has never been a pleasure for me. In fact I have often felt that it was a burden. I guess it has always felt like such a production. Maybe it's because I live in a small town and you are guaranteed to run into more than one person you know there. 

When I first heard of WalMart grocery pick up, I was stoked. Order your groceries on your phone, and go pick them up? Sign me up. Well, for some reason our WalMart decided not to participate in that. So, when I saw Instacart signs in our local Publix, I was wondering if they were actually going to have that set up for this area. Skeptical, I waited it out. My sister ended up trying it one day when she was stuck home with sleeping kids and she said it was awesome. So, I decided to give it a shot! It was such a nice experience, we decided to sign up for a full year of grocery delivery!

In short, you shop for your groceries within the Instacart app or website. Then you select a delivery time and check out. Once you check out, you let somebody else to the shopping for you!

3 Reasons to Love Instacart!

There are so many reasons we love this service, and even though it's a membership we feel it's 100% worth it. Here are a few reasons to love Instacart:

We've Saved Money
The same items on sale in the actual store are also on sale within the app. We've easily added Buy One Get One items and the total is automatically updated. There are coupons to clip and weekly sales just like in the grocery store. 

Additionally, I can't tell you how many impulse items I throw into my shopping cart when I physically go to the store. When you are shopping the app or on the website I don't feel the impulse to add random items to my cart. I think it makes it a lot easier to stick to the list. Plus, when you can see your total as you're shopping I think it makes it really easy to stick to a budget. You aren't having to add things up in your head while you go down the aisles. 

For example, my weekly grocery shopping budget is about $100. We are a family of two and that includes packable lunch items and 6 dinners. I have found that when I go into the grocery store I usually spend between $120-140 (the higher number reflects when Blake goes to the store with me, hah!). Since using Instacart, our totals have been more like $80-$90. Actually under budget! 

3 Reasons to Love Instacart! www.kristenwoolsey.com           3 Reasons to Love Instacart! www.kristenwoolsey.com

You Save So Much Time
Our lives are incredibly fully scheduled. Our grocery shopping window was already limited to either Sunday afternoons or Tuesdays at like 9pm. If we missed that window our whole week was thrown off. It sounds dramatic, but it's true. 

Instacart makes grocery shopping something that we can accomplish without sacrificing something else. It takes me about 15 minutes total to meal plan and find everything on my list. In fact it takes even less time than it did at first because Instacart saves the items you buy frequently. We are pretty consistent in what we buy so this makes it painless. Additionally, you choose the time you want your delivery. Each week is a bit different, but I have found that getting my groceries delivered on Tuesday mornings, a day when I work from home, is so convenient! 

Just a quick note on logistics: With the Instacart app you actually watch as the person shops for you and you know when they've finished. It will also tell you when they are on their way to your home. There is no 9-5 window like repair people give you. This helps you plan your day!

After you checkout Instacart gives you a total of how many hours you saved by using their service! I love to think about how much I was able to accomplish during those extra hours! 

You Aren't Sacrificing Control 
This was something I was curious about before I signed up. What if the store is out of a particular item? Or what about choosing good produce? 

After you select your items and check out, Instacart will ask your permission if certain items are acceptable substitutes should something be out of stock. For example, if they are out of organic roma tomatoes would non organic be okay? You also provide your phone number to your shopper, so they can text you if they want to confirm something is a good swap. Only a few items have been out of stock in my experience so far. If something is swapped, the price is adjusted, and you get a new receipt. 

My shopper has always chosen great produce too. I've never gotten anything I wouldn't have chosen myself! Remember you pick out what brand of an item and the quantity of the things you'd like. The shoppers pay very close attention to what you've chosen so you are going to get what you want!

If you use my referral link to give Instacart a try you get $10 towards your groceries! (Or use code: KWOOLSEY1F31AD)

Let chat! Leave a comment below if you are interested in trying out grocery delivery! Have you used Instacart or another similar service? Let me know if I'm not the only one who doesn't love grocery shopping! 
This post contains referral links! See more coupons for you!

Monday, February 11, 2019

Favorite Ways to Use Our Google Home

Every morning when I'm standing in our walk in closet I call out "Hey Google! What's the weather today?" It makes me smile because there was a time when I thought these Google Homes or Amazon Alexas were frivolous and not something I'd get much use out of. I'm not exaggerating when I say we use these things every single day, multiple times a day!

In case you were on the fence about making your home 'smart', I thought I'd share a few of our favorite ways to use our Google Home(S!) We have several. We have the traditional Google Home in our living room, a Google Home hub in the kitchen, and then Google Home minis in the office, dining room and our bedroom. The hub is my favorite, but the minis are just as useful and very inexpensive! (Seriously, shop around...we got one of our minis for free for signing up for Spotify.) 

To be clear, this post is not sponsored. I genuinely love our Google homes and I wanted to share some ways we use them. I would like to stress that I don't think you should buy anything you can't budget easily for!

Ways to Use Your Google Home (kristenwoolsey.com)

Setting A Timer
There is just something about not having to take off your oven mitts to set the timer on your oven! In fact the button on my stove was always smudgy because of pressing it with dirty hands. We have Google set timers for us almost every time we cook. It's also really helpful to set a timer when you want to do a 'power hour' of cleaning or need to know when to go switch out the laundry. 

Turn Off, On and Dimming Lights
We recently added smart bulbs into the lamps of the main areas of our house. It's absolutely wonderful to crawl into bed at night and have Google turn out the lights for you. Or have her dim the lights when a movie is starting! 

Playing Music Throughout The House
You can play music in a single room, but we've also set up our speakers to play simultaneously. This might be my favorite feature! You haven't lived until you've blasted Disney music throughout your entire house and got to town cleaning! 

Ways to Use Your Google Home (kristenwoolsey.com)

Watching Youtube While Doing Dishes
As I mentioned we have a Hub in the kitchen, and it's so fun to watch a vlog or informative video while doing the dishes. You can actually cast anything to this screen, so I can catch up on a tv show too. This video feature is really neat, because you can even pull up a recipe how-to video and follow it while you cook yourself!

White Noise
We've set up an evening routine that is started by saying "Okay, Google, good night." This triggers our lights going out and setting an alarm for the morning. But then it plays soothing sounds to fall asleep to. It has easily become one of my favorite features! I love the sound of chirping crickets. It really does help you fall asleep faster. 

Digital Photo Frame
I absolutely love displaying photos around our house. The reality is that we have thousands of photos and you can only frame so many. You can set your Hub to display random photos from Google photos, but we found that it was a little bit too random. Instead, we created an album on Google photos for it to display. I selected all of my favorite pictures and it created such a great slideshow!

Ways to Use Your Google Home (kristenwoolsey.com)Ways to Use Your Google Home (kristenwoolsey.com)

Broadcast System
This makes me sound super lazy, but one really cool feature of having more than one Google home is that you can broadcast a message into another room. If Blake is in the office and I'm in the bedroom he can't really hear me, so this is a really useful feature.

Connect to Your Other Smart Devices
While we only have one other smart device, I love that we have the potential to have a very 'smart' home in the future. We do have a Roomba, and it's so nice to be in my living room doing stretches after my workout and be able to have Google start the vacuum. Totally unnecessary? Yes, but really cool! 

Entertaining My Niece & Nephews
We don't have kiddos, so when my niece and nephews come over I'm always trying to find new ways to keep them entertained. Sometimes they get tired of the same old legos we have stashed away. One fun thing to do with them is ask Google questions. Our favorite is asking what different animals 'say'. They love hearing the roar of a lion! Nothing makes my heart want to burst like hearing my nephew Carter try to say rhinoceros. 

Leave a comment for me below if you have some of these smart devices! Are you team Google or are you an Alexa person? What are you favorite features?

This post does contain affiliate links at no cost to you!