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Who hasn’t fallen victim to catchy marketing jingles and beautiful branding in the grocery store? I’m an avid meal planner and 99% of my trips still find me bring home something that wasn’t on my list. So I thought about trying online grocery shopping.
At first, I thought online grocery shopping seemed really weird and something for wealthy business people or moms of 4. But after some research, I found quite a few benefits of online grocery shopping that would help any average person looking to save some money.
Related: How to Start Meal Planning
Avoid Impulse Buys
You can literally shop while eating ice cream so there’s no way the Ben & Jerry’s display can have power over you. This is the easiest problem grocery shopping online fixes. If you make a list and stick to it there are fewer marketing gimmicks to trip you up.
All Deals at Your Fingertips
I feel like I’m piecemealing coupons and discounts together when I grocery shop. Online they’re all laid out before you so if you’re visual, like me, it makes taking advantage of them much easier.
Easily Track Spending
Have you ever gotten up to the counter and been surprised at the number on the screen? People are waiting behind you and you have to decide if you’re going to be that person who checks to see where it all went wrong. Did I just give you as much anxiety as I have thinking about it? Grocery shopping online allows you to see your price go up as you add things to your cart so your pits never have to suffer the sweat of “price check on aisle 5” embarrassment.
Related: How to Save $27K by Eating Out Less
3 Ways to Grocery Shop Online
1. Completely Online
My first question was, can I buy milk through Amazon Grocery? Turns out you can only get nonperishable items shipped to your door unless you’re in select areas. Their Subscribe & Save feature offers you discounts for setting up scheduled deliveries of any product in their S&S store. You can skip or change deliveries for free so you don’t have to worry about looking like a hoarder if you miscalculate usage.
My favorite deal is their $25 off $75 section. You get free shipping on orders over $75 and that’s calculated before the discount. It’s like getting 2 deals! The con is they don’t have a “store brand” so you’re buying all name brand but if there’s something you prefer name brand anyway (toilet paper anyone?) Then amazon is not only convenient, it’s a better deal than in-store.
2. Local Home Delivery
Shipt charges a membership of $99 annually (with $15 in free groceries) or $14 p/m. With that comes unlimited free delivery on orders over $35, an Android and iOS app for on the go ordering and same day delivery. And there’s a two-week free trial available if you’re in a pinch and just need it as a one-time thing.
Instacart doesn’t require a membership to shop through but does offer one. It’s $149 annually or $14.99 p/m. The membership grants you unlimited free deliveries on orders over $35, even during peak hours, allows you to shop from multiple stores (including Total Wine!) Without a membership you pay $7.99 for 1-hour delivery, $5.99 for 2-hours or more, and even more during peak hours. Tips are automatically added to every order.
If you’re thinking about joining PlateJoy they offer a $20 credit on your first Instacart order. They’re both great options and luckily most people won’t have to choose between them but if you do I like that InstaCart doesn’t require a membership. I still think most grocery shopping should be done the old fashioned way and Aldi is so much cheaper than mainstream grocery stores.
Home delivery is a great resource for a lot of people but it’s most cost effective if you do it occasionally and on big orders.
3. Order and Pick Up In Store
Walmart may not be my favorite store in the world but they top my list when it comes to online grocery shopping. You order a minimum of $30 online, select your time, and pick it up (no subscription or delivery fee!) The service is only available in certain markets (surprise, surprise) and the closest to me is 40 minutes away. ☹ If it’s in your area you can sign up here to get $10 off first $50 order.
Online grocery shopping isn’t for everyone but it’s not just for rich people either. I believe normal couples and families can benefit from the ease and even save a little money by grocery shopping online. And it’s sure cheaper than eating out 3-5 times per week.
And if you’re looking for ways to cut down your grocery bill definitely check out Erin Chase’s (of $5 Dinners) free Grocery Savings Workshop on January 2-4. She is the master of grocery shopping and can help you make the most of your money in store and online.
This post contains affiliate links. Using these links helps fund my trips to the online grocery store. Cheers!