When I first found out that online grocery shopping was a real thing I knew immediately it was going to give me back my life. Because the truth is, I never liked grocery shopping. I hate big crowds and I hate long lines.
So, to overcome my grocery shopping anxiety, I’d either grab a ton of random stuff (basically anything that was missing from the fridge) to get out of there as quickly as possible, or I’d make a lot of short trips throughout the week so I wouldn’t spend all day in the store.
It was always a chore that I dreaded.
When I started ordering my groceries online instead, I had a lot of people ask is online grocery shopping worth it? They think it’s for lazy people or for elderly people because they can’t fathom having someone else shop FOR them.
And I get that. I understand the hesitation here. Plus, I also know that some people are just very particular about their groceries, especially when it comes to shopping for produce.
That said, I want you to know that online grocery shopping is NOT for lazy people.
It’s not even for people who can’t leave the house.
And it’s certainly not for people who LOVE grocery shopping every.single.week.
Online grocery shopping is for women like us, moms who wear a lot of hats and feel like there are never enough hours in the day, so we can get MORE done!
Why does this work? Because as hard as we try to multitask and be in two places at once, we fail at it miserably. It feels impossible.
But, with online grocery shopping, you actually CAN!
Because you can order everything on your grocery list while you’re sitting in the school pickup line. Or (and this is my favorite!), you can order your groceries while you’re laying in bed catching up on your favorite tv show with your hubby. (eek!)
So online grocery shopping really does make it freakishly possible for me to be in TWO places at once! I have more time to do things I never had before and that’s why I swear by it!
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What is online grocery shopping?
Instead of driving to the grocery store, you buy your groceries entirely online—just like you shop for anything else you buy online!
Grocery stores that accept online orders will typically have an app you’ll need to download on your smartphone before you can start shopping. From there, you will choose your delivery method, time slot, and start crossing items off your grocery list!
It’s easy-peasy and time-saving!
But, perhaps the BEST thing about online grocery shopping is, you can keep your bill under control. Because if you have a tight grocery budget you need to stick to, you’ll be able to see at a glance how much money you’re spending so there’s no surprise at checkout.
That will also help you avoid impulse purchases that may take you over budget so that you’re only buying what you need, what you will consume, and what’s on your list to save money.
A good place to start online grocery shopping is at the stores you already buy from!
Many stores like Walmart, Kroger, Meijer, Target, and Aldi all make it possible to shop online. But if you have a favorite store you’re unsure of, the next time you visit, ask if they accept online grocery orders and how you can get started.
How do you actually get your groceries?
Before you complete your online grocery order, you’ll need to decide if you want to use their curbside pickup or grocery delivery service.
Stores have the right to charge a small fee for either service, so don’t be surprised by this. I primarily shop at Walmart since it’s a one-stop-shop for everything I need, and they offer FREE pickup service.
Once my order is ready for pickup, I simply drive to the store, park in the designated parking spot, and they come out with my groceries automatically. Then I open my trunk and they load them in for me (I don’t even have to get out of the car!).
The only downside to using grocery pickup is that it’s very rare you’ll be able to pick up your groceries on the same day you order. To get around this, you’ll need to order your groceries at least a day before you need them.
But, if life gets in the way and you forget to order in time, go to the store and grab only the items you need for your house. Then, schedule a pickup order for the rest of the items on your grocery list for pickup the next day. (It’ll still be free as long as you meet the $35 minimum.)
If you want to avoid the pain of all of this, you can have Instacart deliver your groceries for you!
Instacart is basically Uber, but for your groceries! Delivery options depend on the distance between your address and the store you shopped at.
You can have your groceries delivered within two hours on the same day, or choose a time slot for any time in the future. The fee is $3.99 or $5.99 (if you want your order delivered within an hour).
So imagine that. Instead of ordering pizza for delivery, you can actually order dinner for tonight from the grocery store and it will be delivered to your doorstep, so you can avoid eating out—woohoo!
Plus, with Instacart you’re not limited to just one store. You can shop at Costco, Target, Aldi (yay!), Kroger, Meijer, Sams Club, and so many more online and get the same prices you’ll pay in the store.
But what if you don’t get exactly what you order?
I can’t tell you that this will never happen, but I will say that with my experience it’s always been handled well.
Sometimes, when I get home I’ll find items I ordered are missing so I’ll have to call customer service to get a refund. And almost every week, something I order isn’t in stock, so Walmart will typically substitute it for the same item in a larger quantity or for a different brand…without charging me the difference!!
Like the time I ordered 12-pack Great Value toilet paper and they gave me Angel Soft instead! Or, when I ordered a 20ct box of fruit snacks and they gave me a 42ct box without charging me more—can’t beat that!
So most of the time, I will allow Walmart to substitute items that aren’t on the shelves when I place my order because I love the substitutions I get! But if you don’t want to substitute the items you’re loyal to, you can turn off this feature on the last page of checkout.
And even if you forget, the good news is, you don’t have to accept the substitutions if you don’t want to either.
For example, if you order a loaf of Wonder Bread and they give you a loaf of Sara Lee because they were out of Wonder Bread, you can refuse the substitution and go grab it somewhere else.
So is online grocery shopping worth it?
In my opinion, HECK YES!! I’ve been online grocery shopping now every week for the last year and it’s made my life SO MUCH easier!!
On average, I used to spend about two hours a week running back and forth to the grocery store. But now I have that time back and it feels AH-mazing!
Just imagine what you could do if you had an extra two hours every week to YOURSELF guilt-free!
Instead of spending that time in crowded grocery stores, standing in long checkout lines, and spending more money than you anticipated, you could actually be doing more of what you LOVE—whether that’s spending time with your family, at the gym, or even pursuing a hobby that makes you happy!
Ready to get started? Click here to get $10 off your first Walmart grocery order.
Or, if you prefer buying groceries elsewhere, sign up to get FREE delivery with Instacart, and your first order might just arrive within a few hours!