Virtual Grocery Shopping to Save
By Shannon M. Medisky
Tired of pushing a heavy cart around the grocery store only to realize that you’ve still got to lug everything to the car and then into the house? If just the thought of that leaves you tired, you’re not alone. Smart shoppers have realized that the ease and financial benefits of online shopping can be applied to grocery shopping as well. So if you’d like to stock your pantry and fill your freezer without all the aforementioned hassle while still saving money, all you need to do is lift a finger to click a mouse.
Most major grocery stores now offer online shopping as yet another way to secure business. The beauty of this is that you can logon to your favorite grocer’s website and literally grocery shop from your computer anytime of the day or night.
A grocery store employee will then actually do the grocery shopping for you per your online order and the purchase will then be delivered to you during the specified delivery time. All you’ll need to get started is an address for delivery, an email address for order confirmation and a credit or debit card to pay for your order.
In an effort to make online grocery shopping even more convenient and efficient, many online grocers enable you to save a standard grocery list (created by you). Do this and the next time you jump back online to grocery shop, you needn’t start from scratch or worry about possibly forgetting something.
If you’re concerned about giving up the power to personally select your groceries, you can rest easy knowing that you can often enter personalized instructions for your personal shopper to follow. Prefer your bananas a bit on the green-side? Would you rather a leaner cut of meat? Want a really firm avocado? Speak up in the form of typing it. The instructions you include help ensure that you get the purchases you need exactly the way you want them without sacrificing any of the convenience.
While delivery costs vary greatly by area, store and even delivery times selected, there are ways to significantly decrease the cost or eliminate it entirely. As a new online shopper, you’ll likely be able to take advantage of free delivery either with your first order or for your first few purchases. Additionally, most grocers offer free or discounted delivery on purchases over a set dollar amount. (For example, free delivery may be offered on all orders totaling over $50. In this instance, it may be worth it to purchase more of one of your staple items such as toilet paper or canned goods to both keep on hand as well as to take advantage of the free delivery.) Spacing out your online grocery orders will also help ensure you’re privy to special “come back” offers. Such offers help entice ongoing business and work to bring you back to their site. These often include additionally offers of free or discounted delivery service.
In an effort to lure consumers into trying their grocery sites, many retailers boast “online only” or “web only” specials as well. While customers can’t take advantage of traditional coupons while shopping online—at least not yet, anyway—these Internet only specials can be comparable and sometimes even better than the traditional in-store variety.
So go ahead, skip the trip, the hassle and the expensive gas, and give virtual grocery shopping a try. It’s just one more way to help whittle down your food bill while also saving you time and energy.
Photo credit: cottoncandylola
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