This past weekend my plate was overflowing. I had so much stuff I needed to get done and a whole lot of laundry was piled up needing to either be washed or folded, or both. Then we ran out of milk, then eggs, then cocoa powder when I was most desperate for a cup of hot chocolate. The bread finally ran out, as did the parmesan cheese. Our food supply was running low and I just didn’t have time to pack up the kids to head to the store.
Over the past couple of months my neighbor has been telling me about how fantastic our local grocery store’s delivery service is. You tell them what to buy, they do the shopping, charge your card for only what’s in stock, and they bring it to your door at a time slot you request. I knew it was finally time to try it, so I did, and I loved it!
If you’ve ever been curious what grocery delivery service is like, I’m happy to give you the many pros and the few cons I’ve found from my experience with online grocery shopping from my local store. If your store offers it, they may have some different policies and procedures, so make sure to check it out to see how it compares.
Pros of Online Grocery Shopping
- Meal Planning Made Easy: I’m horrible with meal planning, mostly because there’s always that one item I forget to pick up, or I forget to add a side dish with the main dish, or because I go shopping hungry and want everything, especially everything they are demoing, and all of the sale items! Ok, maybe not everything, but I do impulse shop and then I have way more food than I need for the week and my meal plan falls apart.
- Impulse Buy Reduction: Since I already mentioned that I often impulse buy, online shopping has reduced this. I add items in my cart, then I can review it at any time and remove things I realize I don’t need. In the store I would have to either walk it all the way back to the aisle it came from (not going to happen) or give it to the cashier (and I hate to make more work for people) so, I end up buying it. When I can remove stuff with the click of a button, that makes it easy and I’m much less likely to pick up those extras. That means less wasted food and more money saved.
- Instant Access to Online Sales: One thing I loved about my local grocery store’s online shopping is that they list all of the weekly deals and digital coupons right there for me to access. The sale price is given to me automatically. Plus, since I have a store card that is linked to my account, all of my card benefits are automatically applied! Score!
- Delivery is Free! Okay, it’s free when I purchase over $100 in groceries and since that’s usually what I spend when I go to the store, this isn’t bad for me. It’s not all bad for those orders under $100 either as long as you’re not using it all the time. It’s only $5 for them to shop for you and deliver your order. Sweet!
- I Can Throw Things in My Cart When I Feel Like It: I love that when I run out of something at home I can just pull up my cart and add it there. Then, next time I log in, it’s already in the cart! No more forgotten products at the store because it’s already in the cart.
- I Can Give Directions to My Shopper: I love that I can give notes to my shopper. I can let them know what substitutions are acceptable if something is out, or if I just want them to skip it. I can tell them flavors I like or don’t like, I can give them insights into my cooking habits, so they know what size of something to pick up for me.
Cons of Online Grocery Shopping
- Can’t Use All the Coupons: I do not consider myself a couponer, but I do clip the occasional coupon. Unfortunately, with my local store, they accept coupons in store, but not for the online ordering. It makes sense since there is no way for them to scan and verify the coupons prior to purchase. However, they do offer a ton of online digital coupons, many that are equivalent to what I would probably clip, and I can load those onto my store card and they will be instantly applied at checkout. For the self proclaimed couponer who probably has multiple coupons for a single item type, you’re better off going in the store to claim your savings.
- No Alcohol Delivery: Sadly I can’t order my favorite wine and have it delivered to my door, but that would be awesome! Due to legalities they can’t deliver alcohol, but you can order it online and then do store pick up. They’ll bring it out to your car! It’s not quite the same as delivery, but it will do!
- I Like Wandering the Aisles: For this sedentary for my job working girl, I enjoy getting out of the house to the store to walk aimlessly up and down the grocery aisles. It’s a change of pace, a change of scenery for me, and it’s actually quite relaxing, unless there happens to be a huge holiday or a big game that day. My only fix for this is to take the hour I would have been at the store and do a workout at home. Not a change of scenery, but at least it gets me moving.
- No Instant Gratification: Sometimes I get the brilliant idea that I need to make nachos and I need to eat them now. I don’t know what it is about nachos, tacos and pizza, but they seem to have that effect on some people (no, I’m not under the influence, I just like yummy food). When I order online, depending on what time I’m ordering, I may have to wait until the middle of the next day to enjoy that food I’m ordering. In that case, I’m probably better off running to the store.
- I Miss the Hands On Comparison Action: Sometimes product ingredients update and they aren’t updated online. Sometimes I want to look at two products side by side to compare nutritional values. Sometimes I want both items and I just need to hold them in my hands until my brain gives me the signal and tells me which one I want more. Sure I can look at some of this stuff online to help me make decisions, and I love that they have it all there, but when I’m not the one in the store, I miss out on seeing a little detail that might change my mind on something.
Overall, I love online grocery shopping! I’ll still go into the store to pick some things up, for example this weekend is Friendsgiving, and as predicted, I still haven’t figured out what I want to bring to the table. This means last minute I’ll figure out my recipe, run to the store for ingredients and whip it all up in record time with seconds to spare making my entrance and serving my contribution. Ok, I’m sure I’ll be early, I usually am, but it’s still fun to think I live on the wild side sometimes.
Have you ever used online grocery shopping? What was your experience like? Did you love it? Hate it? Share your thoughts in the comments below.