7 Tips on Online Grocery Shopping for Beginners

by Mother Huddle Staff

Did you know that the average person spends almost $3,000 a year on food?

Food takes up a large portion of our monthly budget, and some of that is unavoidable – you have to eat, after all! But there are many ways to save on your monthly food expenses, and one of the best of them is online grocery shopping.

If you’ve been considering making the switch to online grocery shopping to save time and money, you’ve come to the right place! All you need is either a smart phone with data, or a computer with an internet provider like Spectrum, or Frontier Internet plans and you can start saving today! Listed below are a few great tips to get the most out of your experience.

Keep reading to learn more!

1. Be Flexible with Your Choices

The one major drawback of online grocery shopping is that you don’t get to see the items you’re purchasing for yourself before they’re in your car or home. That’s why it’s important to be flexible with your types of groceries.

Think about when you’re in the grocery store. If they don’t have your favorite spaghetti sauce, do you choose a different brand, or skip the spaghetti altogether?

Because inventory numbers are so volatile, your app might say that the store has something in stock when they really don’t. Luckily, online grocery shopping apps were created with this in mind and will usually give you an option to provide substitutes.

Know your backup brands and any substitutions you might be able to use. For example, if your stir fry calls for green beans, you could try broccoli instead! And if you absolutely can’t have an alternative brand or option, know that you might not get it and you’ll have to wait until next time.

2. Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute

Online grocery shopping is faster and easier than going to the store, but you still need to be organized. Don’t wait until the last minute to begin your order, as most orders are filled on a first-come, first-serve basis.

If your app allows you to place orders in advance, do it as early as possible. That way, you minimize the possibility that the store will be out of an item you need by the time the shopper gets to you.

You’ll also get your first pick of shopping or delivery time, so you’ll be able to fit it into your schedule without having to plan your entire day around groceries.

3. Be Strategic About How You Receive Your Groceries

Continuing on with the idea of staying organized, you have two options when ordering groceries online: pick-up or delivery. And you should know which you’re going to use in advance.

If you know you’ll be out running errands anyway, consider selecting the pick-up option. You shouldn’t even have to park, you can simply drive up to the grocery pick-up area and they will load your items into your car for you.

Alternatively, if you were able to get a preferred delivery window and know you will be home around this time, delivery can save you even more time. This option is particularly helpful for those with small children or people who work from home.

4. Be Specific with Your Delivery Instructions

If you choose delivery, it’s helpful to your shopper if you’re as specific as possible with your delivery instructions. Many apartment complexes and neighborhoods are confusing for those who don’t live there, so give turn-by-turn directions if you can.

Ordering your groceries to be delivered in the evening? Leave your porch light on so your shopper can easily spot your house number.

5. Prepare Your List Beforehand

Have you ever gone online shopping and before you know it, you’ve spent twice as much as you meant to? Well, shopping for groceries online or with an app can cause the same problem.

To avoid this, have your list ready before you open the app or website. Know exactly what items you need, and how much, so you don’t browse and end up purchasing $100 worth of unnecessary snacks.

Having a list prepared beforehand will also save you time! The best way to tackle grocery shopping, whether in person or online, is to make your list throughout the week. Keep a running list of everything you need for the meals you want to prepare, and look for online coupons for those products.

Many grocery stores offer coupons and promo codes that you can use even if you’re shopping online – never pay full price when you don’t have to!

6. Try More Than One Service

With anything, it’s best to try multiple options before deciding which one is right for you. If you try a grocery service and hate it, don’t give up! Do a bit of research and choose another.

You never know, the next one might be exactly what you’re looking for! Not to mention, different services offer different perks and fees for deliveries. Don’t miss out on a better choice because you stuck with the first option you tried.

7. Be Kind to Your Shopper

Last but not least, always be kind to your shopper. They spend their days shopping for families like yours and are truly doing their best. If they weren’t able to find the item you were hoping for, it’s okay! You’ll get it next time.

They’re saving you money and time by doing your grocery shopping for you, treat them with respect. And when you order, always consider tipping your shopper!

Do Your Online Grocery Shopping Like a Pro with These Tips

By using these tips, you’ll see how easy online grocery shopping can be and wonder why you ever went to the store yourself!

Remember, in order to get the most of your online shopping experience, you need to be organized and strategic. And it never hurts to be kind to the person shopping for you, whether they’re delivering your food or not.

For more tips on making shopping easier, take a look at our blog!

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