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When Instacart, a grocery delivery service, started offering service in our area at the time, we immediately latched on and have never looked back. It’s a great service and other people on the team love it (here’s a review), but for my family, I find that there are a few limitations — the most important of which is that bulk supplies like toilet paper, 24-packs of drinks, and bulk food staples can be more expensive than usual.
That’s why I now use Boxed for all of my family’s bulk shopping needs. This service is basically an online version of Costco, except that you don’t need a membership to use it. With Boxed, you can buy all your bulk foods and household supplies and have them delivered in a box to your front door.
How Boxed compares to Instacart, Amazon, and Costco
While I still order my regular groceries through Instacart, such as meat and produce, some of the basics I order through Boxed include:
- Toilet paper
- Paper towels
- Giant containers of coffee
- Bulk snacks for the kids
- Bulk cooking staples, like extra virgin olive oil
- Laundry detergent and fabric softener
Using Boxed for bulk supplies lets me keep my grocery orders to a minimum while getting good prices on the staples my family loves. I know because I have taken the time to compare pricing for bulk purchases at Costco and Amazon, and Boxed is comparable or better most the time.
In addition to competitive pricing on bulk supplies across other bulk retailers, Boxed pricing blows Instacart out of the water when it comes to value. Really, it’s not even close. This is mainly because Instacart charges a service fee and you have to tip your driver, two expenses you don’t have to worry about with Boxed.
And while bulk retailers have their own niche, Boxed is a good option for anyone who doesn’t want to pay the fee for a discount club membership — and for people who don’t live near one. There’s a Costco around 25 minutes from my house, for example, but that means spending an hour round-trip every time plus the cost of gas. And that’s just to get there and back. I would also have to walk through the giant store to find what I need, wait in line at the checkout, load all my purchases into my car, drive home, then get it all inside. And that’s only after I paid at least $60 per year for a Costco membership.
With Boxed, I don’t need to leave my house. I order what I want on their app, and it gets delivered to my doorstep in just a few days. Sometimes my order comes in a few boxes, but it is always packed well, and so far, I haven’t received any damaged products. You also get free shipping on orders $49 and up, and there are plenty of coupon codes floating around if you want to try it out.
The bottom line
I’m under no illusion that using services like Instacart or Boxed saves me a ton of money, but I do know one thing — these services save me time. They save me from having to drive to stores I absolutely loathe, walking up and down every single boring aisle, then waiting in line to buy all of it only to have to lug it all home and put it away.
Boxed makes ordering bulk supplies a breeze, and prices are comparable or better than shopping at Costco.