By Noah Henry • October 15, 2013
Admit it—you hate grocery shopping. The lines, the panic, the people, the hunger pangs after a long day at work. These all remind you that you wish you could bypass this often dreadful and draining task. You’re sick of grocery shopping. So very sick.
OK, maybe it’s not that bad. But there is an alternative. Online grocery shopping saves people more than just time and hassle; it saves you money. According to a POPAI’s 2012 Shoppers Engagement Study, 76 percent of buying decisions are made at the store. This little piece of information should dictate many purchases come as a result of impulse buying—those mouth-watering chicken nuggets giving you the eye, the pint of ice cream begging you to eat it, a sumptuous sample you just had to buy after one taste.
Grocery delivery is like having a personal assistant. You get to avoid the drive; you get to have someone run up several flights of stairs; you get to shop comfortably in your own bed, browsing the digital marketplace and mindfully selecting the products you want at your leisure.
Sounds good, doesn’t it?
Where to Get Grocery Delivery
It doesn’t matter if you live in a major city, a suburb, or other metro area, there’s probably a national grocery chain near you that will deliver. Peapod is one of them, offering service in metro areas along the East Coast and inland as far as Chicago, Philly, and Wisconsin. Customers can place orders up to seven days a week and receive groceries as soon as the next day. Store brands, national brands—everything is available. In fact, right now at Peapod you can get $15 off your first order with code PPCJ15.
The second largest supermarket chain in North America, Safeway, and stores in the Safeway family (Vons, Genuardi’s) do home delivery. If you order before 8:30 a.m. you can receive your groceries the same day. Meijer, though based in Michigan and with brick-and-mortar stores primarily in the Midwest, delivers non-bulk groceries worldwide. So, if you’re a Midwesterner, you can remain loyal to your beloved Meijer even if you move out.
The Simple Dollar compared using Amazon Subscribe & Save with buying from a local warehouse club, coming to the conclusion it’s safer and cheaper to go with Subscribe & Save. Along with routinely saving 5% to 15% on goods, the determining factor was the ability to pick and choose what you want delivered, as opposed to falling victim to impulse buying. Amazon Subscribe & Save provides free delivery on every shipment, automatically delivers frequently-bought items, and gives you 15% off your entire order once you’ve received five or more subscriptions on your monthly delivery day.
When it comes to pharmacy and health-related items, Drugstore.com and Walgreens provides home delivery as well. Currently, both are offering free shipping on buys over $35 and $25, respectively.
What to Expect Upon Checking Out
Often, the luxury of having food items delivered to your home comes with a small delivery fee—usually only $5. Like your average online retailer, the checkout process involves signing up for an account, shopping for your items, adding them to a cart, and checking out with your credit or debit card. These stores frequently feature complimentary discounts in the form of promo codes you can enter upon checkout. For instance, Vons features the code MSFTSAVE for $5 off orders over $50; this alone will offset the delivery charge imposed on your order. Before the transaction, you will also be prompted to schedule a delivery time—a window when you’ll be home to accept your groceries.
How You’ll Save
Online grocery delivery provides a much more straightforward shopping experience. No annoying shopping carts, no hustling for parking spots, no pitfalls of your average supermarket shopping spree. Such pitfalls include deceiving per-unit price tags, endcap items luring you in to buy but offering no real savings, and of course, impulse buying. Plus, if you break your budget before you checkout, you can simply remove them from your digital shopping cart.
Online grocery shopping may not fulfill every single shopping demand, but you can certainly rely on them to pick your products carefully, plan your meals, and stick to your budget. Per conclusion, if you live by the axiom time is money, make no mistake, shopping for groceries online is the way to go.
Noah Henry Noah Henry is an amateur movie critic, foodie, bowler, and beer reviewer. But he's no amateur when it comes to saving money, so listen up!