Jul 20, 2012

Why I'm Okay Paying for Shipping

A friend of mine commented the other day that with my frugalness she was surprised I paid the Shelf Reliance shipping costs.  When I first started my Q (for those new to Shelf Reliance, the Q is monthly shipments of THRIVE Foods that I have chosen for my family) I was surprised I was willing to pay shipping, but I quickly had no problem with it.  Here's why...

First, how much is shipping?

Order Total                 Shipping Cost
$0-$70                         $6.99
$70.01-$130                $9.99
$130.01-$190              $12.99
$190.01-$399.99         $19.99
$400+                          5% of sale price before tax

Would I buy one item around $10 and pay $6.99?  Probably not.  But I don't.  My Q is currently $50 in product so my shipping is $6.99.  Many Shelf Reliance customers will max out their product to get the most for what they are paying in shipping.  For example, buying $65 in product with $6.99 shipping.

Fewer trips to the grocery store = less gas expenses
Because I have a Q, I am receiving monthly shipments straight to my door of Food!  Food that my family eats.  Food that I don't have to drive to the store to buy.  I do still go to the grocery store but not as often.  And there are a LOT fewer trips at the last minute for missing ingredients as my shelves stock what we eat.  I have a mini-van that in town generally gets 18 mpg.  Depending on which store(s) I'm going to, I can use 1-2 gallons of gas driving to the store each trip.  It doesn't take many trips at current gas prices to cover the shipping cost.

Add that gas prices are currently lower than they were last year but are moving back up again (hopefully I just jinxed myself to be proven wrong and gas prices go back down).  Where we live, we tend to have less expensive gas than many across the United States (yesterday it was $3.39 per gallon).  My sister-in-law lives in California and often has significantly higher gas than we do (and I did jinx myself because gasbuddy.com says she's at $3.83 per gallon today - I expected it to be $4 or more.), but the shipping to there is the same.

How far do you live from your grocery store?  My mom lives 10 miles from the closest grocery store and 20 miles from her favorite grocery store.  Her car gets better gas mileage than my van but if her THRIVE Foods save her one and a half trips per month, she's breaking even (comparing gas and shipping costs).

I recently discovered that two of the grocery stores close to me offer pick up service.  You shop online and they gather your food for you and then you just pick it up.  Of course, they offer this for a fee.  How much?  $5.  Well for just a little bit more, I can shop online through Shelf Reliance, not worry about it going bad AND it is delivered to my door!  And FYI - it is shipped via FedEx and after the order is processed, it ships pretty quick!

Lack of comparable product locally
My friend wants Mangoes.  When we started looking at her ordering THRIVE FD mangoes, she asked if she could find something comparable locally.  But then she answered her own question and said she hadn't been able to find anything.  She was wanting it for a healthy snack and to make a strawberry mango salsa I had made a few weeks ago (oh it was yum - I'll have to make again and share here).
I buy THRIVE for snacking and meal preparation, but I also buy it for long term emergency preparedness.  That means it has to have a long shelf life.  Anything I have found locally does not have a long shelf life, unless I preserve it myself - and if I don't have time to blog for my business, do you think I have time to preserve foods?  That's a no.  Plus it's not a talent I have and doesn't give the same product as the freeze dried foods that I've fallen in love with.

If we're willing to pay shipping for other items, why not for our food?

I'm sharing this post with Frugal Friday on Life As Mom.  Check it out for more frugal tips!