Grocery shopping can be a chore for many people. If you live in the city and don’t own a car, it can turn into a real pain.
There are some limited solutions. You can try on-foot grocery trips and tote along a foldable shopping cart, but you’re limited to nearby stores. Plus, it can get tiring lugging a cart down the block. You can try using public transportation, but it will cost you extra. And if you’re shopping in bulk, getting on a crowded bus with heavy bags is a hassle.
What else can savvy city dwellers do to shop and save money more conveniently?
Try online grocery shopping with grocery delivery, a great alternative for the urban shopper.
Some smart reasons to check out online grocery shopping:
- It eliminates travel and the labor of hauling groceries down the street.
-You’ll impulse buy less—search and buy only what you need from your shopping list.
-Save time shopping without waiting on checkout lines.
-You can save money, too, by becoming a savvy online grocery shopper.
Considering trying online grocery shopping? Check out these tips to get you started.
Plan Your Meals Around Sales
If you’re a coupon-clipper, you might plan some dinners and lunches around what’s on sale at your shopping destination. Do the same for online shopping, watching for special online discounts and coupons to trigger your recipe planning.
Don't Impulse Buy
It’s easy to be swayed by a good online sale, just like in the store. Sometimes it’s easier because it just takes one click. Make sure you have a shopping list prepared to avoid this pitfall.
Limit Your Fresh Produce
You won’t be able to touch and smell the produce you’re picking out, so stick to fruits and veggies that aren’t easily bruised, like oranges, pineapples, and corn. For the rest of your fresh produce, make a weekly farmer’s market run.
Watch for Expiring Offers
Buying around sales is great, but sometimes on-sale items will expire by the time the groceries are charged to your card. In this case, you’ll miss out on those expected savings. Some online grocery retailers like Safeway.com will warn you about expiring offers before you purchase. Other sites might not, so make sure you’re checking sale expiration dates before you check out.
Because you’re paying someone else to handle your food, you can’t know what kind of condition it will arrive in. If you receive bruised and battered produce and meat, check with your online retailer’s customer service. Send a helpful email or make a phone call. Many companies will reimburse you for the cost of the product or give you a credit toward your next purchase.
Check for Cheaper Items
Grocery search results will typically list the most expensive items first. Make sure you scroll down for generic—and typically less expensive—brands.
Shop Your History
Use an online store that records your shopping history, and start your shopping with the items you buy frequently. Restock first on basic items, like eggs, milk and bread, so you get the essentials and are less tempted to impulsively buy expensive name brands.
Make Sure It Works for You
Give online shopping a try. Then, calculate the savings you’re getting (including the time and energy expended, such as gas). If you haven’t saved a significant amount of cash, maybe online grocery delivery isn’t for you.