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Tips for the Urban Motorcyclist: Groceries

I bet when you read the title you were expecting to read about bags, cargo nets, tie-down, and riding your motorcycle home with awkward weight distribution. You’ll get none of that here. Sure. you can do a full week’s groceries on a motorcycle, and I did that for years! This week I got lazy, or maybe just smart. You be the judge.

I wrote a little about my hunt for a house fit for motorcycling in Toronto. Buy the ticket, take the ride. Hunter S. Thompson wrote that in “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” and it’s good mantra to follow if you want the kind of life other people will envy. When I was 23 years old I got kicked out of my apartment and bought a condo. Buy the ticket, take the ride. It was next to a grocery store and I no longer had to load groceries up on my bike and hope for the best.

Buy the ticket, take the ride. The condo wasn’t enough. I took the plunge. I sold my condo, found a house fit for motorcycling in Toronto, and I bought it. The house is a fifteen minute walk from any grocery store though. It was time for my old dilemma: How do I get the groceries home?

I had 5 options – Read on to see what your options are.

1) The Motorcycle: You probably don’t mind spending five minutes stuffing bags and strapping groceries to your motorcycle on a breezy summer evening in June. I bet you would mind spending five minutes outside doing this in the dead of winter when the temperature is well below freezing. That’s the situation I found myself in this week, so I started looking at ways of bringing home groceries that didn’t involve my motorcycle.

2) Public Transit: It may or may not be the most convenient. Most grocery stores are on along main roads with bus routes. If you’re lucky you’ll have a grocery store along your commute so that you can take public transit once in a while and pick up your groceries along the way.

3) Taxi: They’re very practical, if money is no object to you. With the money you save on car insurance you can hire over a dozen taxis a month, guilt-free.

4) Friends: If you’ve got a room mate or a neighbour you can piggy back off of, go for it. This can be mutually beneficial if you over to pick up a couple things for your driver in exchange for chauffeuring the both of you to and from the grocery store.

5) Shopping Online: You’ve heard of online shopping, but have you ever thought of buying your groceries online? They say necessity is the mother of invent, and I believe it. Buy the ticket, take the ride. Online shopping is super convenient. You can do it at 2 AM in your underwear while drinking beer, watching American Horror Story on Netflix, and working on a blog post all at the same time. Ask me how I know. I’ll tell you how I know.

I ordered my groceries from GroceryGateway.com – It’s a service started by Longo’s a grocery store chain here in Toronto. You can browse through their entire inventory, add items to your cart, and someone will pick your items for you and deliver them to your door. And yes, you can order from home, in your underwear, watching American Horror Story, while working on a blog post.

The delivery fee is $9.99. That’s a little steep if you’re a single motorcyclist ordering enough groceries for yourself. They do give you a $5 credit towards your first order however. To get the most bang for my buck I stocked up on items with long shelf life such as tuna.

The fruit selection was and quality was excellent. I was happy with the expiration dates on everything I ordered as well, except for my ground beef which had a best before date of the third day after receiving my delivery. I had bread, dairy, meats, fruit, poultry, and even toilet paper delivered. They’ll even deliver beer, but I was still stocked from the move.

I recommend using a mobile version of the Grocery Gateway website rather than the desktop version. The mobile app has “Popular” and “Now Trending” pages. These helped me find some good sale prices I otherwise would’ve missed.

Overall I’m pretty happy with my first online grocery shopping experience, but next time I won’t buy the overpriced mixed fruit trays. Not enough bang for buck there.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go get some free tool boxes for my garage, but I’ll tell you a little more about that next time…

Buon appetito!