Online shopping has almost become the rule rather than the exception these days due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During rolling lockdowns, more and more people are staying at home, which has led to a surge in online shopping. Shopping online for your groceries has become an essential part of everyday life for many people. If you haven’t already begun ordering your food via the internet, now is probably the best time to start. Nevertheless, before spending your money, you should keep in mind a few things.
Choose A Grocery Store
Although these delivery businesses have existed in the past, they proliferated in recent years. To get the groceries you need within a reasonable timeframe, and that doesn’t break the bank, you should research each option to check if it fits your requirements. The leading players in this industry seem to be:
Thrive Market: This service requires an annual payment, but this includes the delivery fees. The main downside is that it is only available in select areas, not nationwide.
Fresh Direct: Again, this choice is mainly limited to the North Eastern States, but it offers many options.
Shipt: Shipt has more delivery locations and claims to be able to deliver to over 260 cities. You will also need to pay a monthly or annual subscription to use their service.
AmazonFresh: Bought to you from the online behemoth, Amazon. Whether you love or loathe them, AmazonFresh has a great range of groceries to choose from nationwide, and there is no fee to use them if you are already an Amazon Prime member (which is highly likely at this point).
Instacart: A great choice and has an Express option that might save you money if you use the service enough.
Decide If Their “Extra” Options Are Worth It
Once you have settled for a brand that you think it’s best for your needs, the next step is to work out if their “VIP” options are worth the extra investment. For example, most offer standard delivery options, and for an additional fee, you could even opt for their VIP service. If you take one of the more prevalent choices, Instacart for example, they have their own Instacart Express, which offers customers the chance to pay an extra monthly fee that waives the standard delivery fee (if over $35). This sounds great, but you must determine whether you will use it enough to justify the expense. For example, if you only order once a week, it may be cheaper to use the conventional service. On the other hand, if you need deliveries every day, this could result in substantial savings. The points that you should do your research and calculations.
There’s An App For That!
Most of these services will have an accompanying app, meaning you can order on the go, making life much more convenient. Though you might not think you need yet another app on your phone when you can do it at home, think about how many times you have forgotten something important. It happens to most people; you go to the supermarket to buy potatoes and walk out with a shopping cart full of candy and chips. Ok, perhaps not that exact scenario, but the point remains that there are times when you forget to order a specific item which is when having the app can come in handy.
Choose Your Windows Wisely
For these services to function efficiently, they will typically assign you a window of time when they will deliver your goods. This is because, unlike packages, you must be there to collect the delivery in person. The most in-demand time slots are often booked in advance, so you can either order your items in advance or have to find a time that you know you can be in the house. The holiday season is a prime example of this.
Shop For Coupons As Well As Groceries
Just like when you cut out coupons from a magazine and use them in-store, you can often find coupon codes to input when on the checkout page. These can save you a relatively significant amount of money and at the very least should cover the delivery fee. Most reputable grocery stores will provide coupon codes, but you can also search online for brand-specific coupons.
Make Sure Your Order Is Correct
Double-check and then triple-check. Once you have done that, check once more for luck. While most services are happy to return or repurchase products, it can be a real pain and a waste of time if you forget or over-order things. For example, if you like a particular brand of ham, ensure that you have selected the right option. Spend a little more time, and you will save both time and money.
Shopping for groceries online is a great way to increase the efficiency of your everyday life. Visiting the supermarket is one more thing you can cross off your ever-increasing list of things to do. Nevertheless, ensure you choose the right store and always double-check your order.
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