My #1 Meal Planning Strategy - (aka, How Clicklist Changed My Life!)

In my 7 Steps to Stress Free Meal Planning I mention one of the ways to keep from feeling so overwhelmed with meal planning and keep your stress low is to simplify things. Well, it does not get much simpler than Meal Delivery.

I recently wrote a post about Home Chef and how much I loved the Home Delivery service, but obviously these meal boxes only provide enough for 3 meals. So what about the rest of the pantry and fridge?

I realize there are many that actually enjoy the weekly trip to the grocery, and if that's you, then feel free to skip this post. There are a lot of benefits to actually walking into the grocery store every week. Some individuals who are retired or perhaps parents that stay at home may look forward to this visit as a way to get out of the house and enjoy the fresh air. Some people may actually count walking around in the grocery store for an hour as a weekly workout. Both are really great reasons to physically visit the store.

On the other hand, some of you may be like me. Some of you may absolutely despise the weekly grocery store visit. After spending a long week at work in which you have had to expend every ounce of mental energy, the weekly grocery store visit may leave you with making as many decisions in an hour as you make the entire week. Which bread should I buy? Should I buy the one on sale, or the one that's whole wheat? Wait, here's one that is sugar free... Is sugar free a bad thing? Oh look! Samples! Should I buy this sample because I ate it and I don't want the little, white haired sales lady to think badly of me? It's all. so exhausting.

Enter Clicklist. Have you heard of Clicklist? This new program by Kroger has been LIFE CHANGING for me. Let me clarify I am not getting compensated in any way to speak with you about Clicklist, I just simply want to share with you something that has had a huge impact on my meal planning strategy, grocery shopping and budget. If there is any way I can be helpful to you, then that's what I want to do!

If you're not familiar, Clicklist allows customers to choose their groceries online. You select the designated time for pickup during the checkout process online. On the day/time of your scheduled pickup, you simply drive up to the Clicklist station in the Parking Lot of your chosen store - and they come out and load your cart FOR YOU with all of your groceries. Mind. Blown. I may or may not have cried the first time they loaded my vehicle and I didn't even have to get out of the driver's seat.

So why am I so obsessed with Clicklist?

1. Saving Money. I honestly believe using Clicklist has saved me money on my grocery bill. Although there is a $5 charge for using the program, I believe this is nothing compared to how many impulse purchases I was probably buying when I shopped in the store before.

2.  Saving Time. What would you do with an hour or two extra every week? I can think of a whole host of things, especially if I live in the same town as my Clicklist and don't have to include driving time. Unfortunately, I do not. Currently, my nearest Clicklist program is a 40 minute drive away. HOWEVER, I have used this extra time NOT spent in the store listening to audiobooks, podcasts and relaxing to music.

3. No more stress. I used to feel overwhelmed with grocery shopping. Making a lists at home was overwhelming because I always felt like I might get to the store and decide on something different. And then actually shopping was ALWAYS stressful with rush hour cart traffic, long checkout lines and the hundreds of choices I would be consumed with when faced with what-flavor and how-many decisions with each item. Now I simply login online, choose from my "recent purchases" category for items I almost always buy, choose for my weekly recipes and I can easily see what items are available in the store from one page on my computer screen. 

4. Weather Proof. Maybe this is a bit over the top, but there's something about not having to get out in 20 degree temperatures and push my groceries to the car and load them. :)

5. Strategic Meal Planning. Because I can now select my groceries from the comfort of my couch, this also allows me to manage my budget better. I am able to plan meals appropriately based on a budget because I can see a close estimate to how much items will cost. I am able to develop plans based on using similar products across multiple days to limit food waste and maximize the amount of time I spend in the kitchen. 


I hope you'll give Clicklist or another grocery delivery service a try to make the most out of your grocery shopping. It certainly has changed my way of shopping and has literally changed my life!