Online grocery shopping is exploding in popularity. There’s an abundance of services available to us. You can read a comparison of some of them here. And the advantages of shopping online are many. Shopping from your couch in your pajamas has a certain allure. Also, the time you save from having to drive to the store and pack up the groceries is priceless. Not to mention the time spent wandering the aisles looking for that one ingredient. Maybe that’s just me? Seriously though, where do they keep the genoa salami?
But convenience comes with a cost, right? Or does it? Is it possible to save money grocery shopping online?
Want to learn 10 Ways to Save Money Grocery Shopping Online?
Let’s go to the Chalkboard.
How do I Start Grocery Shopping Online?
If you are curious as to which service is the right one for you, check out our comparison of the major services. You will be surprised as to how many services are available throughout the country. Walmart has even started in some places.
Is it More Expensive to Grocery Shop Online?
We’ve addressed the costs associated with shopping for groceries online. You can read all about it in our online grocery shopping comparison. It is not more expensive to shop online and dare I say you can even spend less if you follow our 10 Ways to Save Money Grocery Shopping Online.
How to Save Money Grocery Shopping Online
But how do you save money grocery shopping online? Even though you may be sitting on your couch as you shop, it is not much different than going to the store as far as how to save money. Online retailers are just as eager to get your business and offer great discounts, you just need to learn how to find them. So let’s get to it.
10 Tips to Save Money Grocery Shopping Online
Before You Shop
Meal plan. If you have read any of our articles, you probably know that we are huge proponents of meal planning here at The Kitchen Chalkboard. A little bit of effort each week can save you a ton of time and money. You can read our Ulitmate Guide to Meal Planning to get started. Meal Planning isn’t just for heading out to the grocery store. Having a clear list of what you need before you shop will help you save money online as well. There are just as many temptations to buy extra items online as there are in store.
Signup for the retailer’s emails. Just like the brick and mortar grocery stores send out a weekly circular, many times online retailers will send out weekly emails. Don’t delete them! Sometimes they have super sales on items listed or even coupons for money off of future purchases. My family can immediately tell that something was on sale. A recent case was veggies crisps on sale for 25 cents. My son said, “you would NEVER buy these at full price.” Apparently my eight-year-old has my number.
While You Are Shopping
Be flexible! Now you may be thinking, how do I meal plan and still be flexible? It’s possible. Your dinners are planned but you can still shop the sales for all other items. I find it easiest to do this by category. Fruits are one of the best ways to save money by shopping sales. As you shop, look to see which ones are on sale and purchase those. You can save lots of money this way.
Take advantage of free shipping. Most services will waive the shipping cost if you meet a certain minimum. Before you check out, double-check that you aren’t being charged a shipping fee. If necessary, check the sale section to see if you can stock up on pantry goods to meet your minimum.
Don’t buy EVERYTHING online. Recognize that there are things you should NOT be buying online. I find that meats and paper goods are significantly cheaper if you purchase them in bulk from a wholesale warehouse club.
Check out the retailer’s store brand. Many times these products are good! I can still remember wincing at the thought of NO BRAND cereal on our table growing up. It just wasn’t the same! But, Oh how far we have come. Many times the store brand is just as good as the original for a fraction of the price. AmazonFresh offers Whole Foods 365 Everyday Value brand which we love.
Timing matters. Some services will take a few dollars off of your order if you have a delivery during their slow times or allow a longer delivery window. If your schedule is flexible, it’s worth it.
Save Money at Checkout
You can use coupons! Just because you are shopping online doesn’t mean you can’t use coupons. I get asked all the time, can you use coupons on AmazonFresh? YES! Theirs. On the homepage of AmazonFresh scroll down and you will see a whole category of coupons. And it’s not just Amazon, other services allow you to hand over coupons to your delivery driver. A big caveat for coupons is to buy things you need. Just because you save money on something doesn’t mean you have to buy it. When you throw food away, there is a value to it.
Review your cart. Take a minute before checkout to look at your items. Pay attention to the quantities. It’s easy to hit add one too many times. This is your last chance to delete any items you no longer want. I do one quick comparison of my shopping list versus my cart to make sure I didn’t forget anything.
Save Money After Checkout
Review your bill. After the order arrives, make sure you got everything you ordered. It doesn’t happen often but there is no need to pay for an item you didn’t receive. A five-minute email to Customer Service will correct the situation. Often times they will include a coupon for future use, too! They want your business.
What Do You Think?
Have you tried grocery shopping online? What are your thoughts? Have any great money-saving tips you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments below.