Grocery Shopping online. Have you tried it?
I’m a huge online shopper and purchase my groceries online every week. It’s to the point where my children go into a grocery store and are amazed at all the food they have in there. We go to the food store that infrequently.
I was aware of the fees for delivery but what about food costs? Are the prices inflated? I was curious and set out on a mission. After comparing various online retailers with brick and mortar stores, I can now answer the question, is it cheaper to grocery shop online? Want to learn more?
Let’s go to the Chalkboard.
Why Shop For Groceries Online?
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. Or is that just me?
We all know that everything comes with a price. Especially convenience. So, what’s the true cost? Are
I set out on a mission to find out if it is cheaper to buy groceries online.
How the Cost Comparison Worked
Here’s my methodology for creating the cost comparison.
I took a typical grocery list of mine and shopped it at three online retailers as well as two brick and mortar stores. The list included mostly fruits, vegetables, and, dairy, as well as a few items from the other aisles. I tried to buy the same brand whenever possible. When the same item wasn’t available I found an equal brand to substitute. In that same vein, all fruits and vegetables were non-organic.
Here’s the complete grocery list
- Green Bell Pepper
- Hass Avocado
- Navel oranges
- Red Bell Pepper
- Shiitake mushrooms
- Yellow Bell Pepper
- Cinnamon Buns
- Eggs Extra Large, Brown, Organic
- Milk, 2%, Gallon
- Yogurt – Strawberry Banana
- Yogurt – Mixed B
- Vanilla Yogurt 32oz
- Pork Rib Chop 12oz.
- Flour Tortillas, large 10 ct.
- Rye Bread
- Toaster Pastries
- French Fries
- Mini Pancakes
- Craisins 12oz.
- Mayonnaise 30oz.
- Apple Juice 128oz.
- Vegetable Oil 32oz.
I shopped the three online retailers that are most popular in my area (Peapod, Amazon Fresh, and Instacar) and choose next day delivery for all orders. Since Amazon Fresh has a monthly fee, it was divided by four. This makes the assumption that you will place approximately one order a week per month. I chose brick and mortar stores that were known to be on the high and low end of the cost spectrum in order to really see what, if any difference there was.
Is it cheaper to buy groceries online?
The results were surprising. Fruits and vegetables varied the most in cost. Some retailers were double the price of others because of sales. Additional items were mostly within
As you could imagine, the big cost increase came in fees for online retailers. Amazon Fresh had the lowest fee ($3.75) and Instacart the highest ($13.50). Included in Instacart’s fees were a service charge, tip for the shopper and a bag fee. You can read all about how Instacart works here. So, while the groceries were about the same cost, it is not cheaper to buy groceries online due to the delivery fees.
You can certainly save money by shopping sale items at any retailer, online or in store. The actual groceries are around the same price but you are paying for the convenience of having them delivered.
You can see the results below.
What do you think?
As someone who grocery shops all the time online, I found it comforting knowing that groceries weren’t more expensive. The cost of the delivery fee is seen as a convenience that I am comfortable with paying. However, now that I have this knowledge, I will be shopping the sales as much as possible.
Do you grocery shop online? Will you now? Have any tips on how to save money? Comment below and let me know!
Happy Food Shopping!