There are a dizzying amount of options when it comes to online grocery shopping these days! I’ve been a regular patron of the pick-up and delivery services offered by my local Smith’s store for the past year or so, and they continue to save me a huge amount of time and effort.
Even if your local grocer doesn’t offer delivery, a surprising amount of grocery stores now offer pick-up services. But if you’re interested in grocery delivery specifically, I recommend checking whether services like Walmart Grocery Delivery, Amazon Fresh, Instacart, or Shipt are available in your area.
And since online grocery shopping has been such a game-changer for me personally, I wanted to share some of its biggest benefits with you in today’s post. I’ve also included a list of helpful tips and tricks you can use to ensure that your own online grocery shopping experiences go as smoothly as possible!
5 Things I Love About Online Grocery Shopping
1. I Don’t Worry About Cart Space
When I shop at the grocery store, I have to consider the size and weight of the things that I buy, which means I could miss out on lower prices if I don’t have the cart space for bulk items. But I don’t have to worry about that when shopping online, so I can choose the biggest package of toilet paper without worry.
2. It Saves Time
When I shop at the grocery store, I feel like I spend a lot of time wandering around trying to find the items on my list. But when I shop online, I can just type the name into the search bar, check out the options, and click one to add it to my cart!
3. No Crowds Or Lines
I used to try to time my trips to the store for just the right times to try and avoid crowds and long lines, but I don’t have to worry about either when I’m doing pick-up or delivery.
4. It Saves Gas
Getting your groceries delivered right to your door is an easy way to save gas in your car. Even grocery pick-up can save you gas if you combine the trip with other errands!
5. I Make Fewer Impulse Buys
It can be hard to resist the snacks, drinks, and magazines that frame the checkout line. Shopping online makes it much easier to stick to your list and budget by eliminating the temptation of those impulse buys.
Now that we’ve looked at some of the benefits of shopping for groceries online, you might be ready to give it a try for yourself! Here are 11 tips and tricks that will help you have a smooth and successful shopping experience.
11 Tips And Tricks For Online Grocery Shopping
1. You Don’t Have To Start From Scratch Every Time
If you get a lot of the same items every time you shop, you don’t have to waste time building your order from scratch for every new order. Instead, just pull up any of your past orders and click on the “Add All Items to Cart” option.
Once you’ve done that, you can make further adjustments to your cart by adding or deleting items as needed. (If the service you’re using doesn’t have the “Add All Items to Cart” function, you should still be able to add items from past orders to your current cart individually, which will still save you time versus starting from scratch!)
2. Use Filters For Easier Searching
If you’re searching for gluten-free bread, vegan ice cream, or plant-based “meats,” use search filters to help narrow your results. Most services have search filters that can limit your results to only gluten-free, kosher, vegan, or organic options, which is an excellent time-saver for those with specific dietary restrictions.
3. There Are Multiple Ways To Save
When using an online grocery service, you can take advantage of multiple types of discounts and deals. You may be able to use digital coupons on top of existing store sale prices, and some services even offer discounts of their own. Be sure to comb through the app or website thoroughly to explore all of your savings options.
4. You Can Send Groceries Anywhere
On certain services like Instacart, you can shop for groceries and get them delivered to friends or family members across the country. With this functionality, it’s easier than ever to lend a helping hand to someone you love by stocking their fridge and pantry.
Simply input their zip code, choose a store close to them, then fill your cart with whatever you want to send them. Enter their address as the delivery location and place the order, then you’ll be able to track progress, chat with their shopper while they shop, and see when the order is being delivered.
5. Read Carefully While You Shop
While grocery shopping online, certain items may be priced by weight while others are priced by quantity. You want to be sure you know which is which when adding something to your cart!
For example, I read about one shopper who delivered the 5 pounds of bananas a women ordered, only to realize that the woman had only intended to order 5 individual bananas! To avoid this type of situation, read carefully while you shop and avoid making assumptions.
6. The Early Bird Gets The Best Selection
One of the best times to order items like produce, proteins, and dairy products is early in the morning, because grocery stores typically restock them overnight. To improve your odds of finding all the fresh items on your shopping list, try creating your order the night before you’d like it to be delivered so you can select the earliest delivery slot for the next morning.
7. Keep Your Phone Handy And Respond Quickly
Once you’ve placed an order, keep your phone handy in the time leading up to your delivery window. Your shopper may need to contact you while they’re shopping for your items, and the quicker you can respond to them, the faster you’ll get your groceries (and the easier you’ll make life for your shopper!)
8. Be Flexible
What’s actually in stock at any given store is constantly changing, so just because something was listed as available doesn’t mean that it’s guaranteed to be in stock at the store. It’s best to be flexible when it comes to your online grocery order, so that if you end up with a couple of substitutions or something is out of stock, you’re mentally prepared for it.
9. Make Sure You Got Everything You Paid For
Once your groceries have been delivered, take a few minutes to take an inventory and check it against your order details. If you were charged for something you didn’t receive, there’s usually a Help or Support section in the app or on the site where you can go to get a refund (but you won’t know if you need a refund if you don’t take the time to check!)
10. Sending Flowers Is A Lot More Affordable
Instead of paying upwards of $80 plus shipping costs for a flower arrangement from a floral service, why not shop online for a beautiful (and much more reasonably priced) bouquet of flowers from your local grocery store or specialty food store?
As long as you’re in the same area as the recipient (or as long as you choose a store that’s within the delivery range of your intended recipient), you can send someone flowers for a fraction of the cost you’d pay otherwise.
11. Try More Than One Service
It’s never a bad idea to try a few different options before making a decision, and the same is true for online grocery services. If you try one grocery service and have a bad experience, don’t give up!
Do a bit of research and try another, because the next one might be exactly what you’re looking for! Different services also offer different perks and charge different fees, so you don’t want to miss out on a better choice just because you stuck with the first option you tried.
Instacart, Shipt, Walmart, Target, Amazon Fresh, and other services all have their own unique benefits and quirks. Some grocery stores even have their own delivery service, so it’s worth it to look into all the options available to you in your area!
Have you tried online grocery shopping yet?