In this day and age, online shopping seems to be the way to go. The convenience of being able to select the items you need with a few simple clicks, then having them all show up on your doorstep in a near-instant is just too good to pass up on. And it looks like most people agree—nearly 80% of consumers did their shopping online in 2020 compared to 39% the year prior. Such shift has prompted several companies to jump on the e-commerce train and tap into the rapidly growing online market.
Even supermarkets are starting to offer services such as same-day delivery and curbside pick-up. Of course, shopping for groceries online often comes with extra fees, so it's important to find ways to offset those added costs. Here are some tips for saving money when shopping for groceries online:
Go with the curbside pick-up
Among the biggest costs that can rack up your online grocery bill are delivery fees. If you are ordering from a supermarket that is close enough to home, you might want to opt for curbside pick-up instead of delivery. Most online retailers offer this as an alternative and it is usually free of charge.
Use promo codes and coupons
Whether you're shopping for groceries or other essentials, using promo codes and coupons is of the utmost importance. You can find coupons on the retailers' websites, on coupon code provider sites, or through the use of browser extensions such as Honey, which scours the internet for any and all coupons that may be applicable to your order.
Compare prices among stores
Diversify your shopping sources and compare the prices of items to make sure you are getting the best deal. A good practice is to shop at several online retailers at once, filling in your cart the same way at each one. That way, you can do a side-by-side comparison of the prices of each item without having to go through flyers or visit each store in person.
Look to lower delivery fees
Aside from curbside pick-up, many online retailers offer additional ways to avoid the delivery fees that are typically added on top of your subtotal and the tax. For example, sometimes a supermarket will run a promo where buying a select brand or having a subtotal above a certain minimum will entitle the shopper to free shipping and delivery. These promos should be indicated on the retailers' websites.
Avoid peak shopping hours
Generally speaking, most people do their online grocery shopping in the middle of the day; that is, after lunch and through the afternoon. Delivery prices rise during these peak hours, so it may be good practice to shop for your groceries in the morning or night when delivery fees aren't so high.