We're starting off with the most obvious suggestion. This is great if you live in a large city like Toronto or Vancouver, or a university/college town; these areas tend to have more developed public transit systems. Most cities without reliable public transportation tend to be more compact, so even if you do have to take a long bus ride to get to the store, it’s likely that you’ll be in a more populated area with all the stores you may need to visit within closer walking distance.
If you’re like me, the above sentence probably brought an image to mind of a grandmother walking with her wire bundle buggy - that folding wire basket cart with wheels and a handle that leaves much to be desired in the way of functionality and style. While yes, it gets the job done, there are lots of different models of personal shopping carts on the market now. The Voomcart is a great option, with two large removable bins, a lower storage hammock, quick folding mechanics for storage... even cup holder AND phone holder! This isn’t your grandmother’s buggy… it’s a personal shopping cart for the 21st century.
If you consider the costs of owning a car, then stack that up against the delivery fees and markups for delivery services, you may find that it’s worth it. For example, if the delivery fee is $10 (it’s probably a bit less but you get the idea), and you order groceries 3x a month, that’s roughly $30 in delivery fees per month (not including taxes or tips). The average cost of owning a car in Ontario (in 2023, Statistics Canada) is roughly $1000. Weigh your options to ensure this is affordable for your situation. The fees can vary greatly, so be sure to pay attention and make sure you are still within your budget.
Even if you decide to use delivery services, you’re not going to get much value if you’re placing 5 orders a week. Your personal time is important, and you don’t want to be wasting your valuable time and money making small trips to the store on foot or by bus, or by paying delivery fees over and over again. Planning and making larger trips will save you time and money in the long run.
Curbside pickup is great if you have a vehicle or somewhere to put your order to carry it home with you. A personal shopping cart like a Voomcart or City Shopper would come in handy for this. As well, you don’t (usually) have to go into the store, which means that you get your order and leave – no room for last minute, budget-breaking items.
Most grocery stores in urban and suburban areas are within a 30 minute walk. This of course depends on your personal ability, fitness levels, weather, and terrain. If you can use your bicycle, bike trailers for cargo and shopping are becoming more popular as more people choose to go car-free. Consider dusting off your bicycle and attaching a trailer for the ultimate grocery hauling machine (and sneak a workout in on top of that!). We've got a huge selection of cargo trailers to choose from, but do your research to find the bicycle trailer that's right for you and waht you need it for. The Speedy Cart is a great place to start for small trips, where the Cargo Buddy could be your next culinary workhorse.
This tip comes as a dual-edged sword. Perhaps you have a friend that is available to drive you to the store and back, this would be a great use of their time as well as yours, since you could shop together. Or could you walk to the store, then ask for a ride back? On the other hand, if you are doing it on your own, buying in bulk can make your life a lot harder, as this usually comes with more weight and a larger dimension. A cart like a Voomcart can help you get your haul home quickly (and in style, might we add). If you’re cycling, WIKE’s City Shopper trailer can be detached from your bicycle and used a cart – right in the store. Once you’re done, simply reattach it to your bike and home you go!
In 2023, many places in North America banned single-use plastic bags. Having your own large grocery bags is a necessity in some paces, but if you live in an area where single use plastic is still in use, consider bringing your own. Not only will your walk/bus ride/bike ride home be much simpler and easier, but Mother Nature will also thank you.
Do what you think is best for you. We all have to eat, and shopping for groceries is probably nobody's favourite chore. In today's society, owning a car may seem like a necessity, but with a little bit of knowledge and self-reliance, getting food to your house and into your body has never been easier. Reach out to the friends at WIKE for a hand in choosing the best bicycle trailer for your grocery hauling needs.
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