Online grocery shopping has many benefits
When my kids were young, going grocery shopping after my husband got home from work was cherished time. It was when I could enjoy uninterrupted thought and not feel rushed.
Nobody was waiting at Walmart to ask me to fix them a cheese sandwich or tattle tale on a big brother. In fact, nobody wanted anything from me at all. It was *glorious*.
But now my youngest is 15 and he’s been able to make his own cheese sandwiches for some time. My kids aren’t as needy as they used to be, and I can actually get *me* time right in the comfort of my own home.
Which makes the weekly grocery run a little less desirable. Still, I need to feed these people.
So, discovering the benefits of online grocery shopping was a big game changer for me:
- I didn’t have to leave the comfort of my home to spend an hour pushing a loud, obnoxious cart around
- I didn’t have to walk up and down every … single … aisle … looking for that one strange item on my list
- I didn’t have to wait in line while the crazy coupon lady spent 15 minutes paying for her 6 items
All I had to do was open my laptop, pick and pay for the items on my grocery list, then drive to the store so the clerk could load them into the back of my van.
Seriously, you can’t beat it.
Don’t believe me? I bet I can convince you.
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What is online grocery shopping?
Online grocery shopping is a process for buying food items and other household goods using a store’s web-based shopping service. Instead of shopping inside a physical building, you add groceries to a virtual shopping cart and pay through a website or phone app.
You can either pick up your order from the store at a specified time, or request the order be delivered directly to your home.
If your online grocery provider does not have a local store, your items will be shipped to you instead.
The benefits of online grocery shopping
There are many benefits to doing your grocery shopping online. The most obvious include the convenience you experience and the time you save.
But, there are many more advantages that can save you significant time and money.
Here are 15 benefits of choosing to shop virtually rather than in-person:
#1 It’s easier to stick to your budget
This is probably my favorite benefit of online grocery shopping.
I was never very good at keeping track of my grocery bill when I was at the store. I’d either forget to take out my calculator at the beginning, or, even worse, I’d mess up my running total halfway through my shopping. (Aaarrgghhhh!!!!)
That would ultimately mean not knowing what my total would be until *after* everything was rung up. With 4 people waiting in line after me, this is not a convenient time to have the cashier remove items.
With grocery shopping online, I can see what my total is on my laptop, and easily take items out of my online shopping cart without inconveniencing anybody else.
This way, I can stay under the budget I’ve set and not end up paying more than I planned.
Online grocery shopping has really helped me stick to my grocery budget.
#2 You can do your grocery shopping in under 10 minutes
Shopping on your laptop is so much faster than driving to the grocery store.
I keep a running list of groceries we need throughout the week. When the list gets long enough – meaning, I know there will be enough to meet the minimum total – I’ll place an online order.
It literally takes me less than 10 minutes.
#3 You can find what you need in a fraction of the time
Have you ever had that one odd item on your list, maybe for a new recipe you’re going to make, and you just *know* you’ll spend 15 minutes looking for it in the store?
Searching for something online is sooooooo much faster!
No more traipsing up and down every aisle, looking closely on every shelf, searching for that one weird thing that’s hiding in some section you’d never think to look in?
Simply type in the name of the item on the grocery store website to find it in 5 seconds.
#4 No more waiting in line
This is probably the worst thing about grocery shopping for me.
I *hate* waiting in long lines. Or, short lines with slow people.
And, I can never seem to pick the fast line. I think there’s some type of shopping line curse over me.
But, now I can checkout without ever waiting in any stupid line.
It’s like I’m the only one in the store.
And, it’s glorious.
#5 Avoid impulse buying
This is one of those benefits that might not be so obvious.
Impulse buying is triggered by an emotion that leads to a spontaneous action. A decision totally driven by feelings.
And, stores do whatever they can to stir up our feelings. Without us ever being the wiser.
Freshly baked bread, a scrumptious display of cookies and donuts, an unexpected sale on a 12-pack of soda that’s just too good to pass up …
Retail sites like grocery stores rely on you making emotional decisions while you’re shopping. They want to lure you in and present you with eye-candy and delicious scents so you’ll buy more than you planned.
But, you don’t have to put up with it anymore!
When you do your grocery shopping online, you can easily skip all of those triggers that trick you into spending more.
Searching for exactly what you want without being tempted by pretty packaging or good deals will help you avoid impulse shopping.
And, that means keeping more money in your pocket.
#6 Cut down on grocery trips
How many times have you come home from a grocery trip and *then* remembered what you’d forgotten?
Normally I would say oh well! and put it on the list for next time. But, when it’s something I need to make dinner or put in my kid’s lunch bag, I’ll end up going back.
One of the great benefits of online grocery shopping is that you can add to your virtual cart as many times as you want, up until a specified cut-off time on the scheduled pickup day.
If you forget an item, just add it to your cart. No more going back for what you forgot.
#7 Easily do comparison shopping
Most of the time, the best way to comparison shop for groceries is by price per unit. Usually, you can find this on the price tag.
However, lazy shoppers tend to put items back in the wrong place. Which means you might be looking at the right tag, or you might not. So, you should always verify.
This alone eats up time and mental energy.
Then, you have to search throughout the entire section, looking for a price per unit that can beat your favorite selection. Sometimes, you have to calculate the price per unit yourself.
Shopping online for groceries makes this process so much easier!
With a quick search you can find all options for a certain product. Then, you can sort by price, size, type and brand. This makes comparison shopping more convenient and a *heckuva* lot more efficient.
And, sometimes you’ll find a product that’s not displayed in the same in-store section where you would do your comparing. So, instead of just looking at the options in one place, you can compare prices for items across the entire store.
#8 You can shop on your schedule
Are you a night owl? Or an early riser?
With online grocery shopping, you’re not limited to store hours. You can get your shopping done at 11pm or 5am – whenever it’s convenient for you.
You’re also not limited to location.
You can grocery shop from work, the gym, your kitchen, and even your bed.
You can fill up your cart on your desktop, laptop, tablet or phone.
You can start your cart on your desktop, add more on your laptop, then checkout on your phone.
You can literally shop whenever you want and wherever you are.
Grocery shopping has *never* been more convenient.
Rachel Cruze’s Tips To Save Money At The Grocery Store
#9 It’s safer in these crazy times
We’re living in some crazy times right now.
As of the date of this post, the U.S. has recently broken records for the number of coronavirus cases. States are returning to stricter protocols for social settings.
As a 50+ woman in fairly good health, I try to minimize the risk of exposure to this virus without extreme measures.
This means avoiding public places when I can, always wearing a mask when I go out, and being careful with what I physically come in contact with.
If I can avoid going inside a grocery store, I know I’m lowering my risk.
With online grocery shopping, I don’t need to wear a mask, I don’t have to touch a cart or basket, and I don’t have to shop around other people.
I don’t even have to exchange money with a clerk or come in contact with a store employee. Someone will load my groceries into my van without any interaction.
I can order, pay for, and receive my groceries in a way that doesn’t increase my risk of exposure.
Hey – if online grocery shopping can prevent me from getting the coronavirus, that’s the only reason I need!
#10 Shop from your favorites
This is a really nice feature of online grocery shopping.
Unlike shopping in-store, you don’t have to start your search from the beginning every time.
The store’s website will create a personalized “favorites” list for you, so you can easily find those groceries that you buy often.
So, instead of making your usual trip through the store (and not knowing if something is in stock until you get to that section), you can quickly pull up your Favorites list and do all your shopping from there.
Your list will tell you if something is out of stock.
How much easier could it possibly be?
#11 You can get your order delivered
Actually, getting your order delivered can make online grocery shopping even easier!
You don’t even have to leave the house if you don’t want to!
You will have to pay a delivery fee, but sometimes certain circumstances justify the cost.
So, it’s nice to have the option when you need it.
#12 Tracking your grocery budget is easy
Ever been frustrated because you lost a receipt?
Or, you’re trying to categorize the items for your budget, but you can’t figure out what those secret grocery codes mean?
I have good news for you!
The store’s website will keep an online record of every order you’ve made – including the items you bought, the prices you paid, and what your total bill was.
When it’s time to update your budget, just log in to your account to see what you’ve spent on groceries.
Bonus: you can also keep an eye on pricing adjustments.
When you think an item’s price may have changed, just review a previous order to see what you’ve paid before.
#13 You can get higher priced substitutes at the same cost
With this benefit, I’m speaking from personal experience. I don’t know if *all* grocery stores do this, but my Neighborhood Walmart does!
Sometimes, if an item is out of stock, they will substitute that item with one that is of comparable quality and price – or better!
So, when my store-brand gallon of milk isn’t available, they’ll offer to substitute it with a different brand, even if the price is higher.
And, at no extra cost to me!
For example, I recently ordered my favorite shampoo while online shopping. But, because the site didn’t show this item as out of stock (even though it was), Walmart offered to substitute the 11 oz size I ordered with the 30 oz size – at the same price!
Of course, I can always choose to refuse the substitution. Then, my bill will just be reduced by the original amount.
But, it’s nice to occasionally get a different brand that’s more expensive without paying more.
Sometimes there isn’t a substitution offered, which just makes your final bill lower. But, these adjustments are typically communicated through a phone notification and/or email, before you get to the store.
#14 You can keep your cart private
This won’t always apply, but it’s a nice benefit.
For those who don’t really want others to see what they’re buying, online grocery shopping is a great solution.
Sometimes, we need to purchase something that is … how should I say … for private reasons.
Just put it in your online shopping cart and avoid the uncomfortable stares.
#15 You have more time for other things
Who wouldn’t rather be doing something they truly enjoy, instead of going to the grocery store?
Grocery shopping is just one of those necessary tasks that usually falls on one of the parents. After all, you can’t send your 12 year old son to go do the shopping.
For me, I don’t even like to send my husband to the grocery store. He’ll go for a $3 gallon of milk, and come back with a $25 receipt. Oy vey.
So, it’s on me to git’r dun.
But, it’s no longer a drag that sucks up my time and energy.
I have more time for the things in life that I enjoy and that are important to me.
I can stick to my budget easier, save money faster, and get my shopping done in a fraction of the time.
Who could ask for more?
The disadvantages of online grocery shopping
Okay, I admit there are a few downsides to doing your grocery shopping online.
Some of these may be dealbreakers for you. But, for me, the efficiency and convenience of online shopping wins the day.
Here are a few disadvantages to ordering your groceries online:
- You usually have to think ahead. If I don’t get my order in before noon, I usually have to wait until the next day to pick it up.
- You will probably have to meet a minimum order. I can’t place an order unless my cart adds up to at least $35. So, no late night runs for just ice cream and deodorant.
- You don’t pick out your own produce. This means you could get a bunch of green bananas or hard avocados. However, you can always do the bulk of your shopping online, then go inside to pick out your produce. This isn’t too difficult since the produce section is always in the front of the store.
- You can add items to your online cart – up to the specified cutoff time. So, if you suddenly remember another item 10 minutes before pickup, you’ll have to go into the store to get it.
These downsides can put a kink in your online grocery shopping experience. But, I’ve found that they don’t outweigh the benefits.
Why online grocery shopping is the better experience
Eating is not an option. So, unless you have the money to eat out for every meal, that means grocery shopping is also a necessity.
Thankfully, you have options for how to get it done.
Grocery shopping online makes your daily schedule a little easier. You can still provide for your family with all of your favorite foods and healthy ingredients without sacrificing the time, money and energy it usually takes to buy them.
You can keep your budget in line by not overspending and reducing impulse purchases.
You can shop any time, anywhere, on any device.
You can even get your groceries delivered to your door.
All of these benefits make online grocery shopping the better experience.
In my humble opinion, of course.
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