How to get groceries without a car

No car to get groceries? No problem.

There are two main reasons that you might want a car to get groceries. The first is that it’s too far to walk, and the second is that the groceries are too heavy to carry. These two issues compound on each other - the farther away you live, the more difficult it will be to carry heavy groceries. Furthermore, to avoid carrying heavy groceries a long distance you will buy less, which results in more frequent trips to the grocery store.

Getting groceries and cooking food on your own takes a considerable amount of time and effort, which may push you towards buying fast food or eating out instead. Not having to buy groceries or cook can be a nice break, but if you make it a habit your wallet and your health will suffer. If you already own a car then there’s not much reason to avoid using it to buy groceries. But, if you’ve found yourself without a car for whatever reason, then I have some advice.

Buy a suitcase

Take a trip to your local department store or anywhere that sells luggage. Look for the biggest suitcase with wheels on the bottom you can find and purchase it. Ideally you live within walking distance of a grocery store. If not, you’ll have to take a bus, subway, or some other form of public transit to get to the grocery store. Take your new suitcase with you next time you go grocery shopping, buy what you need, shove it in the suitcase, and head home.

Me and my suitcase

Save time and money

Depending on how large the suitcase you find is, you should be able to fit at least two weeks worth of groceries or more. That way you only have to get groceries every few weeks, saving you lots of time and inconvenient trips to the grocery store. Plus you can take advantage of bulk discounts, and avoid having to pay for extra transit fares. Also, now that you don’t have to buy groceries as often, you won’t feel the need to eat out as much which should save you quite a bit of money. I’ve even taken my suitcase to get groceries in the snow during winter while it was -30°C, you can do this all year.

Feel weird, embarrassed? Don’t.

You might think it’s strange to take a suitcase into the grocery store. Well you’re right, it is an unusual sight. But you’ll get used to it, eventually you just won’t care anymore. And really, while it might feel a little embarrassing, nobody will hassle you. I’ve even had people mistake me for a homeless man, but I never stopped getting groceries with my suitcase.

Grocery delivery

As an alternative to buying a suitcase, you could also look into grocery delivery services for your city. If you happen to be in a city where grocery delivery is an option and they can deliver to your address, there are still a few things to consider. They will most likely charge you a fee on top of the cost of the groceries to deliver (especially if it’s an independent service not provided by the grocery store). Since you’re not actually there you can’t check the fruits to make sure you get the good, unbruised ones. Also if the item you asked for isn’t available they may pick an alternative or nothing at all. This can result in having to order another delivery to hopefully get what you want, resulting in even more wasted money. However, it’s a very convenient solution if those issues don’t bother you.

Pierce Zaifman

Android app developer. Hates wasting time and takes satisfaction in improving efficiency in all aspects of life. Also enjoys helping people solve their problems.

London, Ontario, Canada

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