I have to admit that I accidentally discovered this money saving tip.
What I mean by accidentally is that my initial motivation was not to try and save money. What prompted me to experiment with online grocery purchases was my abhorrence of the whole grocery store experience. I am absolutely horrible at it. Do you know how many times I would purchase $250 worth of groceries, get home and while putting them away realize that I hadn’t even purchased a whole meal?
One solution to that problem would have been to prepare a list to take in with me and to have only purchased the items on the list. Preparing a grocery list ahead of time has been a wise practice of penny-pinching parents for decades, but the postmodernist in me was looking for less archaic means of commerce.
My initial perception was that purchasing groceries online would be slightly more expensive than pacing the aisles of my local grocer, but as it turns out, that has not been my experience. In fact, I believe that online grocery shopping can add incredible margin into your monthly budget, giving you additional funds to improve your fiscal fitness.
One way that online grocery shopping can save you money is by helping you to avoid impulsive purchases. I’m a sucker for sweets, and it’s very difficult for me to walk down the aisle of cookies and candies and not throw a few extra things in the cart. I’m also a sucker for product placement and colorful packaging. It’s like the grocer knows exactly where to put things and how to package them so that they speak to me (All too often I shop hungry, and this makes even generic brand packaging looks tasty).
Or how about going grocery shopping with children? How many overpriced candy bars or packs of gum have you purchased in the checkout line because of a screaming toddler or nagging tween (or tag-a-long husband)? Shopping for groceries online prevents some of these impulsive purchases. (I still wouldn’t recommend browsing the internet hungry).
Because you can order groceries online right from your pantry, you will avoid all those purchases of duplicate items that have been sitting on your shelf for months about which you had forgotten. This is another advantage of online ordering.
I am the worst about going to the grocery store and purchasing things that were already in our cabinets back home. The flavor and spice section gets me every time, and seasoning can really add some $$ to your grocery bill. Ordering groceries online allows you to place your order while you look through your cabinets, preventing the stock piling of expensive ingredients. This also helps you plan meals that put to use ingredients you’ve been holding onto for a while (In case I’m not the only one who’s had Emeril’s Southwest Essence in the cabinet “aging” for the last decade).
I initially tried online grocery ordering motivated from the angle of convenience, but what I found is that it’s a great tool to save money and stick to a grocery budget. There are different ways to do it, depending on where you’d like to shop, with most of the large chains having their own apps specifically for this purpose.
Shopping in this way also lets you take advantage of online saving apps such as Ebates (If you haven’t already signed up for Ebates, click here to get $10 toward online shopping, it’s a no-brainer).
Finally, one of the best parts of my experience was never having to leave my vehicle. I just pulled into the designated space, let the store know I was there, and within a couple minutes they bought my groceries out and placed them in the bag of my car. It was just that easy. Try it out, then let me know what you think.