Did you know that you can fill your grocery shopping cart without ever leaving your house? Depending on the service you use, you can receive groceries straight to your door or to your car. Shopping online for groceries saves so much time and money, plus you don’t have to be bothered by rude shoppers trying to push past you in the supermarket aisle or waiting in long checkout lines.
Online grocery deliveries are super convenient—you can shop whenever you have a free moment and you won’t be tied down to working around store hours. Also, shopping for groceries online can save you money because you can compare prices of items without feeling like you’re in the way or being judged by other customers. You can even research how much items cost at different stores to find the lowest price. Plus, sticking to a grocery list is easier when shopping online because you won’t get tempted by impulse buys that look so appetizing, especially when you go to the supermarket hungry. Who hasn’t bought the tub of ice cream or potato chips while shopping because they were starving?
If your elderly or have health problems, shopping for groceries online means you won’t have to lift heavy items like water bottles or worry about dropping items because your hands are full and you can’t find a cart. It’s not just seniors who can benefit from not having to lug heavy items around—if you live in the city and you don’t have a car, it’s really hard to carry all of your groceries home by foot or on the subway, which makes online deliveries a great option. If this sounds good to you, here are some things to keep in mind when making the switch to buying your groceries online.
Many grocery delivery services are offering discounts to new customers. For example. Safeway.com is giving first-time shoppers $20 off their order and free shipping, which usually costs $9.95 for orders under $150. If you’re planning on using different services for the first time, these discounts can add up and you’ll be able to find which service works best for your needs.
Due to many people switching to online deliveries, grocers are having technical issues that are causing delays and the inventory might be limited. It’s important to not have high expectations and to be open to using a couple of different services in order to get everything on your grocery list. To avoid being let down and not having items you need, try and stay on top of your pantry supplies and order at least a week before you need items.
Someone Else Will Be Picking Your Produce
Perhaps you like making sure your bananas are perfectly ripe or your apples don’t have any spots or bruises—when you order online, you have to get used to someone else choosing your produce for you. It’s possible that you’ll receive a couple of pieces of fruit or vegetables that aren’t up to your standards or milk that’s close to expiring, but if you’re not satisfied with your order, many online grocers will allow you to return these items for a full refund or they have a customer service hotline. If you want to prevent this from happening, you can always order frozen produce.
Prevent Germs By Cleaning Products
The groceries you order online aren’t any cleaner than the ones in the supermarket, so make sure you rinse your fruits and vegetables with soap and water before you put them away. All items that your receive in your order should be wiped down before placing them in your pantry and when you’re done unpacking your groceries, wipe down the countertops or surfaces you unloaded them on.
Budget For Online Fees
As mentioned earlier, most online grocery delivery services add on fees at checkout including service and delivery fees. The delivery fee covers transporting your items to your home and the service fee is for processing and preparing your items. In addition to these fees, you’ll have to tip the driver, which you can do during checkout. The average amount to tip the driver is 10% of your groceries before the fees.
Be Flexible With Brands
Because everyone is loading up on groceries, popular items are selling out quickly. It’s important to be flexible with brands as your favorite brand of a food item may be sold out and you’ll have to swap it for another version.
Get Groceries Dropped Off at Your Doorstep
Some online grocery delivery services allow customers to have their orders dropped off at their front door. Which means you’ll have absolutely no contact with delivery drivers. Upon checkout, you can select “leave at my door” as the delivery option and when the driver arrives, he’ll leave them at your front door. You can even ask them to send a photo confirmation once they’ve delivered the order.
Best Online Delivery Sevices:
- Peapod: Owned by Stop & Shop, this service offers next-day and same-day delivery depending on the area. The delivery fee starts at $6.95 with a $30 minimum. You can browse the “Coupons” and “Specials” for deals and you can use your Stop & Shop loyalty card.
- Amazon Fresh: This grocery delivery service is only available to Amazon Prime members and it offers fresh produce, grocery staples, Whole Foods groceries, and household and personal care items. All orders over $35 come with free delivery with two-hour grocery delivery.
- FreshDirect: This service is available in select locations in the Northeast and it allows you to place orders up to a week in advance. The produce and meats come from local sources which, ensures the best quality, and it also has name brands. There are also Kosher and organic options available. The delivery fee ranges from $6 to $8 depending on the location and the minimum order is $30.
- Insatcart: Instacart works with many different grocery retailers including Aldi, Costco, Target, Price Rite, and BJ’s and it uses independent drivers to pick up orders in stores and deliver them to customers on the same day. If items are unavailable, you’ll get a message via text for substitutions. The delivery prices vary based on the store you’re ordering from.