We live in our RV at a campground where I work in exchange for free lot rent and a discount on electric. We do not yet have a tow vehicle, so we get as much as possible delivered here as we can. We used to have a friend here who could take us to the store once in awhile if we needed to, but he left yesterday morning so we now have to figure out a way to get food to us that we can afford and isn’t crap.
For starters, every month we place an order to Amazon, Walmart, and Target. By using all three sites, I’ve been able to get the best mix of products and a wide variety, while also finding the cheapest items from each of the sites. However, that limits us to dry products. Things that come in cans or boxes are easy. Bags of chips is sometimes okay. But fresh meat, produce, and dairy are more difficult.
We were at a campground a few months ago where we were able to order through InstaCart. At that location, it worked well. We were able to get a combination of promo codes, first timer discounts, and order plenty of food so it ended up being cheaper for us to order some food delivered than drive our RV all the way to the store.
At our current location though, we are about ten miles from the nearest grocery store and there are no InstaCart drivers setup here. So we cannot use that.
The past two months, we have instead used Walmart Grocery pickup. We can place our order, put everything in our basket, and then just run to the Walmart and they put everything in the vehicle and we drive back home. That worked fine when we had reliable transportation to get to the store. Without our friend here, we cannot easily do that.
Our option now is to try and time it when we both have money and access to a vehicle. We have friends and family in the area that we can get to take us occasionally, but not frequently or dependably enough. So we have to find something else.
The first step is getting a freezer so we can buy more items in larger quantity so we have to go to the store less often. We can get a 7 cubic foot freezer for about $180 delivered, so I think next month we will do that. I have a spot where we can put it, and that way we can go to the store, buy food in bulk, portion it out and throw it in the freezer to use when we need it. That will reduce our amount of food crammed into our little RV freezer, lower our trips to the store, and allow us to buy food in bulk which should save on costs as well. We have a Sams Club membership, so hopefully we can go there and buy a bunch of meat and freeze it and have it last a couple of months.
The other option is to have food delivered to us. Now, there are places like HelloFresh, Amazon Pantry, and Omaha Steaks. But damnit, they can be expensive. Amazon Fresh does not deliver here yet anyway, HelloFresh and the other meal delivery services are expensive and seem to deliver all the items to make a meal instead of all the items we want, and well, Omaha Steaks can be really pricey. Its good food, but expensive and has to be ordered in larger quantities than we have space for.
There is also Schwann’s food delivery, which we may try if we can afford it and have a place to store it all. I’m hoping next month we can get the largest freezer we can afford, and then start filling it up. Keep enough food on hand to last us awhile without being outrageously expensive, and then just restock every other month or longer. I think that is our best bet.
If we can get some place around here to deliver fresh food, then I’d jump on it. Or if we could afford a car of our own, that would be even better. But living on a budget, dealing with our issues, and having to depend on the chairty of others is difficult. Doable, but difficult.