When you are too busy or, let’s admit it, lazy to go to the supermarket, online grocery delivery is an absolute lifesaver. And it truly is now that the global pandemic’s keeping us all home. It does help us skip stress (and impulse buys), save time and stay safe.
But the delivery and service fees plus peak-hour surcharges of the online shopping trend can easily throw our grocery budget off track. Good thing these smart tips make clicking on the checkout button guilt-free!
Sign Up for a Membership
With more people choosing to buy things using their smartphones or computer, online grocery delivery services are more popular than ever. So, to attract more customers, most of these retailers offer membership with lots of benefits. While it comes with a fee, it can help you make significant savings in the long run if you frequently shop online.
For instance, signing up can give you free shipping, members-only discounts or special offers. Membership perks, however, vary from store to store. So, make sure to evaluate each first and read the subscription options. If you want, look for online groceries with free trials.
Make an Online Grocery Delivery List
I know you won’t be as tempted to add random things to your virtual cart as you would when checking every grocery aisle. Still, the rule of making a list applies to online grocery shopping. Check your fridge and pantry first, so you won’t end up adding things you do not need. You might want to use this chance to clean up your food storage and discard expired food, too.
Online stores can even help improve your final list, especially if you’re trying to save money on groceries. You see, their checkout page can show you if you are shopping beyond your budget. And if so, you can remove items that you can do without or find more affordable options.
Start a Meal Planning Habit
Here’s the best way to use the time you save from going to the grocery store! Plan a mix of hearty lunches and quick weeknight dinners to match your activities for the week. It’s easier to do your menu plan while writing down your shopping list. As you can see ingredients at a glance online, it’s also easy to spot grocery items that suit batch cooking or meal prepping.
Keep an Eye for Sales or Promos
Mums love a good sale (who doesn’t?). And the ultimate incentive of online grocery delivery services is probably their per cent-off items, BOGO deals, e-coupons and freebies. They’re even more attractive since you’re saving money with a few clicks and while shopping in the comfort of your home. Effortless! Here’s how you can stay up-to-date on the best online grocery deals:
- Visit your store’s sales page. Most retailers will have their discounted items in one section so you can view the best deals in one go. Some even have a page of online-only offers each week.
- Claim online coupon codes. This one depends on your grocery store, but most offer a few digital coupons each month. Perks also vary, so make sure to double-check before placing your order.
- Check your inbox. If you’re a member or subscriber, you’ll likely receive occasional email newsletters with sale ads, promo codes, special discounts and more.
- Make the most of your credit card. Using cash-back incentives or reward points means additional grocery savings!
Buy in Bulk
It’s always best to stock up groceries at marked-down prices. Some stores also offer free delivery if you meet their minimum purchase requirement, which is easy if you buy in bulk. You’ll be paying extra upfront, but you will save more in the long run.
I often apply this tip for non-perishable items like toiletries, cleaning or laundry supplies, and hygiene products. I also like buying extra dried pasta, grains, canned food, jarred sauces and other staple items. These are shelf-stable and perfect for instant meals. If you have space, you can also do this for frozen meat and produce. The best part: you won’t have to carry them from the checkout to your car!
Book Your Online Grocery Delivery Time Early
Costly delivery fees on online grocery shopping can be a deal-breaker. But the good news is you can do something about it. For instance, try not to shop and schedule your delivery on weekends. These are usually peak hours for grocery stores where price surges for delivery service are likely.
Also, days of fully-booked slots can be worrisome, especially if you shop at the last minute and desperately need groceries. Book ahead of time instead. You can do this after receiving your latest delivery. Find and select a bargain slot if possible. This way, you’ll save money and stay organised, too.
Skip Online Grocery Delivery Fees
If you want to waive the delivery fee altogether, there’s always the curbside pickup or click and collect option! Here, you can check out groceries online as usual, then drive to the store to get your purchase. A store employee will also help you load your groceries into the car. To save time (and limit travel), I usually schedule my pickup when I need to go out and do other errands.
At times, shopping for items on certain brands comes with free delivery offers as well. Membership subscriptions and meeting the local delivery threshold also have the same perks. When possible, try to skip adding heavy items for online grocery delivery, too. Stores often charge extra for these to cover operational costs. So, buying toilet paper in bulk is okay, but save your cases of bottled drinks when you need to head out. You can also check your store’s policy on bulky items.
Lastly, try to research if there are online delivery shops offering farm goods and supplies. They often have overstocked fresh produce at prices lower than your average grocery stores. Plus, you’ll be helping out small local businesses thrive in return.
Convenience almost always comes with a price. And online grocery delivery is no different. But with planning and smart shopping, we can get all our essentials without the extra cost. Thanks to online grocery stores, it’s quicker to stock your fridge and pantry with all the healthy food options you need, too. Speaking of which, why not check my additional tips on how to start eating healthy meals on a budget next?