How I Save Money by Paying for Amazon Fresh Every Month

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Today’s author is Chris from The Master Dukes of Dollars. The Master Dukes of Dollars are the dynamic duo from The Duke of Dollars Kingdom. The two bloggers held court frequently, delving into lifestyle and personal finance discussions as they searched for ways to live an optimal life, eventually deciding to invite a global audience into their mindsets by establishing their own blog together. They believe anyone can build their financial kingdom – start building today!

This sounds like it just may be worth the subscription fee to not have to go to the grocery store and have food delivered to my door.

Are you a basket or a cart person? 

A question we all have to ask ourselves when we decide the frequency of our trips to the good ol’ grocery store. Depending on your drive, you may go less frequently and choose to buy in bulk (cart person), or more regularly because lucky you – the store is on your way home (basket person).

Do you have children that tag along?

I remember being the cart driver, seeing how fast it could go to glide from one end of the aisle to the other, my mother or father giving me the glare as the cart slowly made its way back to them. “I told you, Chris, you’re going to hurt yourself doing that – don’t do it again!” And who can resist using the cart as a scooter? I still do that as a fully functional adult!

Have you ever dreamed of what the world could be without the necessary time-waster of grocery shopping?

Dream no longer! In this guest post, I want to prove to you that you can save time by paying to have groceries delivered right to your door: leaving you with more time to Netflix, video game, read, or do pretty much ANYTHING. There is nothing more in my life more frustrating than walking BACK AND FORTH, UP AND DOWN, ALL AROUND those blasted aisles searching for the last item on my list. It drives me NUTS!

#endGroceryRant and #beginProof

Before getting started with the products to satisfy our rumbling bellies, I want to dive into correlating your life hours–which are constantly ticking down–with $$.

Your Real Hourly Wage (RHW)

What is it?

Your real hourly wage is the true hourly rate it takes you to earn the money deposited into your bank account each paycheck.

The hourly rate or annual salary (per 40 hours worked) that defines your gross paycheck doesn’t directly match the amount of time you spent to earn that money. It excludes common activities like commuting, getting ready, or gassing up our car.

By including all of these factors, you determine the real dollar amount you make per hour of your time.

Here’s a free calculator to help out: Real Hourly Wage Calculator

Why does it matter?

This isn’t about working at your regular job, but about the potential opportunities in your life. Every single hour of your day, whether it’s a working or not, has an opportunity cost to you.

Your job may have overtime pay, but you aren’t taking advantage of it. You could pick up a second job that does pay by the hour. You could be spending your time working on a side-hustle or passion that brings in new gold for your savings treasure chest.

Free-time and passions that bring joy to your life don’t have an exact price, but I love to use my real hourly wage to calculate the cost of enjoying (or pursuing) them.

Why?

Because my [pursuit of] happiness and the people in my life are worth every single penny of time spent for them. 

Discounting your RHW

Whenever I calculate my Real Hourly Wage, I take a % off the top to reflect the fact that I can’t just go out and earn it immediately. If I have an active side gig that I can do from the comfort of my couch at any hour I please, then I eliminate the cut.

A parent with a full-time job and no potential for overtime should take a hefty percentage off the headline number, because it’d be especially hard for him or her to pull in the money. I try to end up with a number that’s a pretty accurate reflection of my moonlightability.

Prioritizing

Unfortunately, that same time we cherish is limited. We need to divvy it out for the highest priorities – by using your real hourly wage, you can better do so.

Quick example: Taking a walk at one of your nature trails may cost you an hour of your time (or $20 RHW), but the health benefits of reducing stress, seeing the sunset, and working your muscles help you much more in the long run by reducing health costs.

Amazon Prime & Fresh

Grocery delivery isn’t offered everywhere, but in my city, Amazon (and others) offers it if you have a Prime account.

Amazon Prime

I currently have an Amazon Prime Membership, although this may change in the future as they increase prices, but mine cost me $50 annually at the moment. There are three main reasons it is worth the cost to me:

  1. 2-day shipping
    • For prime eligible products on Amazon, you are able to choose 2-day shipping at no extra cost.
  2. Lending library
    • Borrow 1 book at a time from the lending library (limited amount of books) for free with your membership
  3. Prime Video
    • Amazon’s video streaming service, which is like Netflix but offers different content and originals

This year alone I was able to watch ~25 James Bond movies (which cost at least $5 individually) and all seasons of Monk (8 seasons that cost ~$80) each on the service.

Two-day shipping numbers?

Too many to count!

Amazon Fresh

Amazon’s grocery service cost an additional $15 per month for Prime members in select cities. It comes with a free trial month, so you can test it out without spending a dime. One thing to note: there is a $10 delivery fee for orders under $50.

I haven’t done hardcore price analyses, but from someone who grocery shopped in the same store for 2 years, I was able to find similar items at similar prices most of the time. The big ticket item for me was meat expenses because they don’t have sales on expiring meat online.

Side Note: This required me to give up on the “no grocery store visit” policy and adapt. Typically, I buy snacks for late night blogging sessions and take a look at the meat clearance. This takes <15 minutes on one weekend night and works well for me because the library is close to the grocery store.

If this isn’t an option for you, then it is possible that your meat category expense could increase (depending on what you buy), but overall the time saved could be worth it!

My Experience

With Amazon Prime and Amazon Fresh, I am able to order groceries online which has SAVED ME SO MUCH TIME.

When Grocery Shopping Was a Dragggg

Sunday afternoons. Ahhhh, dreadful Sundays afternoons!

I created a grocery list to cover any recipe ingredients that were missing from the pantry or fridge, grabbed my headphones, and drove to the store. Even with my familiarity of the floorplan, grocery shopping took at least 120 minutes each week of the month (including drive time).

On average, I spent around $75 on groceries and $15 on misc items – totaling to around $350 a month!

$350 grocery bill + (8 hours of grocery shopping time * $20 RHW) + (4 hours of recipe / inventory checking * $20 RHW))=  $590 total

After Grocery Delivery Became a Reality! 

It was time to put this new service to the test with my first order! Honestly, the first time, I wasn’t impressed. Finding items wasn’t the easiest and the paradox of choice was very real. But I stuck with it and am so glad I did!!

Paradox of Choice is a concept introduced by Barry Schwartz in his 2004 book by the same name. In short, it means that being faced with too many options can be paralyzing and fail to add value to one’s experience of selecting the item that will bring him or her the most utility.

There are three huge benefits and time savers to ordering from Fresh:

  1. Past Items
    If you are a creature of habit (like most humans), then you have the tendency to buy repeat staple items at the grocery store. By clicking over to your past orders, you can add all of the staples you need to refill in about….2 minutes…..right from your favorite chair while watching Netflix. So serious! Protip: Combine repeat purchases–especially of nonperishables–with a price tracking service like CamelCamelCamel to score the best deals.
  2. Searching
    The frantic scamper from aisle to aisle to find that one particular item can be a thing of the past! Need Sweet Potatoes? Type “Sweet Potatoes,” wait 2 seconds, add them to your cart.
  3. Pantry Inventory
    Do I have enough butter? I know I have one or maybe two sticks left.Should I buy more to be safe? This recipe needs at least 1.5.Who knows right?I’m already at the store! With grocery delivery you just take a few steps over to your kitchen, open up the fridge, and count your butter sticks. BOOYAH there was only 1 – add to cart.Success!

Utilizing these main benefits, searching for items after finding a recipe is a breeze. I now spend ~20 minutes to grocery shop each week and less time recipe/inventory checking.

$350 grocery bill + (1 hours of grocery shopping time * $20 RHW) + (1.5 hours of Recipe / inventory checking * $20 RHW) + $15 Fresh Membership)=  $415 total

Paying Myself for My Time

From the two different totals above, you can see I now save a total of $175 or 8.75 hours of my time per month. Multiply it by 12 and I’m up to $2,100 or 105 hours (4.3 days) this year!!!

Let’s just say I invested that $2,100 this year in an S&P500 index fund, let it sit for 30 years at 7% return and 3% inflation for 30 years. Say hello to ~$16,000 for retirement!!

Utilizing the 4% rule you can withdraw enough to cover $640 worth of groceries each year, and that’s only if you never invest in that account again.

Hi, guys! Femme here! Just wanted to note real quick that even if you leave RHW out of the equation, Chris was able to get his groceries at the same price and only pay $3.75 per delivery, assuming he continued to shop once per week. I’m thinking at that price a service like this might just be worth it…

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2 thoughts on “How I Save Money by Paying for Amazon Fresh Every Month

  1. Pingback: How I Save Money by Paying for Amazon Fresh Each Month: Our Guest Post on Femme Frugal

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