I’m a Raving Fan of Online Grocery Shopping! Here’s Why…
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Grocery shopping in my pajamas? Yes, please! 🙋🏼
Hi there, I’m Collin – the girl who’s currently having a slight love affair with online grocery shopping. Since moving and juggling way too much (I’m sure many of you can relate), I’m all about working smarter, not harder.
That’s why online grocery pickup and delivery services have been a game-changer for me! Between running a business, managing a household, staying active, and spending time with my family, these small ways to make my day-to-day more simplified are everything!
You’ve probably heard of Instacart and Amazon Prime Now, but I usually go straight to the source and order directly through my local grocery store. It actually saves me way more by not having to purchase a membership for the delivery service. Plus, some delivery services markup the cost of the groceries so you end up paying more on the same products.
Depending on the grocery stores you live nearby, you can usually opt for grocery pickup instead of delivery – so basically all you need to do is arrive at the store, wait for your groceries to be brought out and loaded into your car, then you’re on your way — so simple!
In fact, I placed an order at my local grocery store online for pickup last night and was able to grab all my groceries this morning. It was so nice as my family and I were in the car yesterday traveling back from visiting family in Boise (since we now live in Reno) – so during the long car ride home, I was able to get all my groceries ordered! 🙌
Not only was it crazy convenient, but I’m saving so much time… AND money because we won’t be going out to dinner tonight like we normally would when getting back from a trip and feeling like we have no time to grocery shop! It’s a WIN! 💃
Why I ❤️ online grocery shopping:
1. It helps me stick to my budget.
I’m not picking up a bunch of junk as I walk down the aisles (and my kids also aren’t throwing stuff in the cart when I’m not looking!). I set my list and the in-store shoppers don’t deviate from it unless a substitution is required.
2. It stops me from wasting time in the store.
I’m not spending more time than I need searching the store for hard to find ingredients or having to backtrack if I forget to grab an item 10 aisles back.
3. I usually can get delivery for free.
Most stores offer free delivery for grocery totals around $50-$75 (this varies from each store), and most of my trips are well over this threshold with my family of 5. 😂 This is great for days when getting to the store for pickup just isn’t happening.
Hip Tip: Grocery stores often offer free delivery with no minimum when it’s your first time placing a delivery order.
4. Sometimes I get better food at no cost.
If the store has to substitute an item because the brand or size I selected is out of stock, they’ll usually replace it with a higher-priced brand or a larger size without charging me the difference! This will happen with produce, too, if the container size I selected for my grocery list doesn’t have the most appealing fruit or veggies.
5. It takes the stress out of returning from vacation.
Coming home after some time away is way less stressful since shopping is the last thing I want to do when I get home. I simply make my grocery order from my phone and pick up the order on the way home!
6. I can still use coupons!
Most local grocery stores offer digital coupons on certain products (plus – these items may be on sale for even bigger savings!), and some stores will even honor manufacturer’s coupons (be sure to check their FAQ section as some do not).
7. You get a printed receipt so you can get cashback.
Unlike other grocery delivery services that don’t provide paper receipts, doing your shopping directly through the grocery store allows you to pay for your order when you arrive, resulting in a standard receipt you can scan for cashback with Ibotta or Checkout51!
Hip Tip: If you’re not familiar with cashback apps, check out this post!
8. It’s easier to find sale items and compare prices.
I can scope out a deal with ease since I’m not at the mercy of doing quick math while shopping when there are three other shoppers behind me trying to get to shelves. Plus, there’s not clever product placement when shopping on the website to entice me to purchase a specific brand over another.
9. It ensures I actually cook the meals I plan.
My meal planning stays on track since I can add the ingredients to my cart as I’m reviewing the recipe. More importantly, I won’t accidentally forget to grab something at the store, which can totally throw a wrench in my well-intended meal prep.
10. It’s great for families or couples who work a lot.
I’d rather spend my time hanging out with the fam than browsing through the grocery store for hours (yes, I admit to being a crazy slow shopper due to going back through aisles multiple times and wasting so much time trying to find that one ingredient!), so having someone else do the shopping saves me SO.MUCH.TIME. It’s also great for families with little kids or for elderly parents who can have trouble during shopping trips.
Want to try online grocery shopping?
If I were you, see if your local store has a grocery pickup and delivery service in place, too! Many of my team members take advantage of their local grocery store pickup and delivery services as well. Check out their feedback:
(Keep in mind that if you’re doing grocery pickup or delivery for the first time, your local grocery store may have a promo available or offer up free delivery – no minimum for new customers!)
“I’ve had better luck using pickup and delivery services from the actual stores — their employees know the products better versus Instacart who never seem to be able to find even the simplest things and make substitutions that I don’t want.” — Angela
“I use grocery pickup and delivery [at Smith’s Marketplace] every time. It has saved me SO much time because I can sit and plan out our meals online from the comfort of my couch and not leave things off my list. It also saves me money because I’m not randomly grabbing things I don’t need. I only pay $4.95 for pickup and $9.95/delivery.
SO worth it. And my place substitutes for me with higher-end products, which is sweet! They also read all of my notes on produce and get exactly what I want.” — Michelle
“I like using Kroger pickup, but my biggest downfall with them is it seems like you have to order a day in advance to get a slot. I’ve tried hopping on in the morning to grab a slot around 4pm for my husband to pick up on his way home, and it’s always booked solid.
That being said, Kroger’s pickup is awesome. Our local stores usually offer a bottle of water or a sweet treat when we arrive, and they have some of the best coupons available for ClickList. The one time a ClickList coupon didn’t come off, she went right in and took it off manually — no questions asked.” — Stacy
“I have used Harris Teeter and Lowe’s Foods pickup delivery service. I loved both. Great customer service with both. I love the convenience and the ability to see exactly what I am spending. I feel like I saved money, time, and frustration — and I left with exactly what I needed.
The biggest convenience was when my daughter was a newborn, and shopping with her was a very difficult task. I took advantage of the service until she was a toddler!” — Jami
What if I can’t get to the store?
If your local grocery store doesn’t have their own service in place, they may operate through one of the third party grocery services. There are quite a few available, but while they all aim to save time and money, some simply stack up better than the rest. Here are some of our favorites that help get your groceries to your kitchen with ease…
Why we love it: It’s Walmart, so they have seriously everything you could ever need. Grocery pickup is free and delivery is a low fee of $9.95, though new customers can get their first order delivered for free with promo code FRESHCAR – OR instead use code WOWFRESH for $10 off your first order of $50!
Walmart is even testing a new concept in very select areas where they shop, deliver, and even put away groceries in your FRIDGE for you. Head here for more details (be sure to read all of the comments).
Hip Tip: Check out my experience testing out this grocery pickup service!
“We use Walmart Pick Up regularly. I love the variety of items I can order right from my phone. I pay online and then send a teenager to the store to pick everything up. Customer service is tremendous, and we get high-quality items every single time. One thing to watch out for is substitutions, however. If you’re not keen on Walmart making substitutions when an item is out of stock, remember to tell them no. I’ve had good luck with produce substitutions, but I’m brand and product loyal, so I don’t like having non-produce items substituted.” — Jamie
“As soon as they started offering [Walmart Grocery Pickup] in my area, I immediately signed up. It is the BEST. THING. EVER! I use a meal planning email service (Six Sisters) and simply order what I need according to the recipes I’ll be making. I have the app on my phone, so they let me know when my order is ready. When I get to the store they load everything up — I don’t even get out of my car! I also have to say that their customer service is top notch! The workers are so friendly. I have only ever had one issue and it was something added that I didn’t order. I called them and they said to just keep it. I highly recommend this service and tell everyone about it. 🙂” — Paige
“This service has been a lifesaver for me and my family! I can get my grocery list together the day before I want to pick it up, and I am usually able to choose any time I would like the following day to pick up our order. The Walmart Grocery site is super easy to navigate and their search feature works really well.
I love that it saves items to a list of things that you purchase often so you don’t have to search for every item you are looking for. I often start my order by going through this list, and it’s so fast!
I will say that I am not in love with their produce and will often not order my produce from Walmart. Instead, I do make a second trip to grab those items that are needed.” — Angie
Amazon Prime Now
Why we love it: This service is free with your Amazon Prime account and you can get free 2-hour delivery whenever you spend $35 on products from Amazon, Whole Foods, Sprouts, and more! Keep in mind that this is only available in select locations. Customers in these participating locations have a wide variety of natural and organic options available to shop through, and they can choose a delivery time slot that’s most convenient for their schedule.
On occasion, the prices can be a little higher online than they are in store, so it’s probably not best for everyday grocery shopping (but it’s helpful as a backup when needed).
Hip Tip: Check out our review of that service here!
“Sometimes paying a little extra to have someone shop for and deliver fresh groceries (or flowers! 🌹) to your door is JUST PLAIN WORTH IT. Yep — stay in your PJ’s and take a nap while someone else does the running around for you!” — Mary
Why we love it: Instacart is probably one of the most common grocery delivery services and fills in when a store doesn’t have their own service. It does come with delivery fees between $5.99 and $11.99 and an unlimited free delivery option if you buy an annual Instacart Express membership for $149. Prices can sometimes be higher than they are in-store, and you can’t use coupons (though there are special promotions available in the app for extra discounts).
If you’re new to the service, sign up through this link to get $10 off your first $35 order plus free shipping!
“I tried to use Costco Instacart delivery once last year. I went through the trouble of ordering and they kept changing the delivery time — scheduling it out further like 3+ times. So I got annoyed and canceled! Maybe it’s better now though, but wasn’t a great first experience so I haven’t tried again since.” — Lina
“We ordered a bunch of stuff via Instacart from Aldi for my son at college, and the delivery-person in his area just kept pushing back the time. It was very annoying, and we were fortunate it was his day off. However, the few times I have done Instacart from Aldi, I’ve had wonderful experiences. Same driver every time. Very good at keeping me updated, picks great produce, and they bring the order over quickly. I don’t do grocery service often, but when I do, Instacart is one of my first choices. I love that they usually deliver in under two hours.” — Stacy
But if you actually enjoy grocery shopping…
Skip the checkout line and try Sam’s Club Scan and Go! This super helpful app lets you shop at Sam’s Club without having to wait at the registers when you’re finished! Then, after you’ve paid and your transaction is complete, just show the e-receipt barcode on your mobile phone to a greeter standing by the door and you’re on your way — check out more on this service here!
So… are you an online or in-store grocery shopper?!
Let us know in the comments!
I love online grocery shopping! I pickup in the morning from Walmart and the produce and meat are most often fresher than anything that would be available if I showed up myself.
We have had some terrible experiences with Kroger though and finally stopped using them. I’ve gotten expired meat a couple times. When it’s not expired, it’s always something I have to use in a day or two which doesn’t work for a weekly meal planner. I’ve also had them tell me a few times they were out of things and didn’t have a substitute when it’s pretty clear someone was just being lazy. No store is out of stock of things like onions and cans of black beans.
Thanks for all the helpful feedback! And I agree about Walmart pickup, I have been pleased every time!
I have used shipt and instacart for small 35.00 orders and was thrilled. The order arrived as expected and the drivers were great. With instacart i was able to see the drivers car online exactly where he was. I was. Able to save alot with an instacart Q from whole foods i got combined with being a new customer. I will use shipt from now on though because i got one year free for being previous employee: )
What about tipping for pickup or delivery? Do you tip for grocery pickup at the store?
Great question, and I’m guessing that this will vary greatly from store to store and depending on if you are using a grocery delivery service or not. At my local grocery store (Raley’s), we use the grocery pickup option and they actually do not allow tips. My hubby tried to tip the gal and she politely let him know that they can’t accept tips. I also noticed this listed in their FAQ section too.
However, I think sites like Shipt do allow tips, and I think you can even give tips easily through their app.
Hope that helps!
As far as Raleys go no cash can be given but the shopper can accept small gift or a giftcard. My shopper is a life saver especially during holiday when the store is crowded.
Most do not allow tips, what we will do to show our appreciations sometimes is get the group local water ice, pretzels, etc.
I may have to start doing this to stick to our new budget. However, I LOVE grocery shopping (My cousin takes me to Whole foods & Trader Joe’s for my birthdays since it’s far away). I’m really weird, I know. It’s kind of my way to get out of the house & luckily my child is really good in the stores (for now at least…)
Raley’s rocks! I love eCart and be sure to enter your kid’s b-dates for the birthday freebies.
Oh awesome!! I didn’t know about the kids birthday freebies – thanks for the tip!
How do you get Walmart pickup orders to go through cashback apps? I only get an electronic receipt and they don’t take them yet (unless I missed it)!
I have been ordering online for a year, maybe a little more, and it has saved me so much money because I can stick to a budget and I can meal plan and buy exactly what I need. I have used InstaCart for the stores that don’t directly offer grocery pickup, but I prefer Walmart or my favorite local store because it’s free. None of the stores around here will allow tipping but InstaCart does so I don’t use them very often because it adds quite a bit to my bill. The biggest benefit to me is I don’t have to grocery shop which I HATE. I know I’m weird but I’d rather go to the dentist than grocery shop! Hubby loves it so he’s the one that makes the side trips when we run out of staples.
We’ve been using Insatacart for Whole Foods delivery for 2 + years. We use coupons and we’ve never had a problem or a late delivery (Philadelphia PA). Love it. As longtime Amazon Prime members we are now figuring out our next step with Amazon and Whole Foods.
#2!! Walking around Walmart looking for 1 small item (non-grocery included) can be a nightmare! I have started to order more and more for store pickup because of that reason alone.
YES!!! I so agree. lol 😉
Live in illinois home deliver jewel.
Minimum order 30.00 free delivery 4 hr window do 1 and 2 hrs too..digital my mixx and their own on line deals..price matches store..way to go..no tipping allowed
We have Target Drive-up at my local Target. It is absolutely incredible! I’m obsessed!! No fees – just order online and select drive-up. Then when you get to store, hit a button on the app and within seconds there’s a red shirt running right to your car. It is soooo nice when I need just a few personal items, but don’t feel like tempting myself with other things (or when I’m in my jammies and not feeling very people-y that day).
Oh WOW!! That sounds amazing!! 😍
In my area we have Aldis, Krogers, Target, Walmart, and a local grocery chain Martin’s Super Market which offers delivery. That being said all these stores are within 10 minutes from my house. I like to grocery shop. Martin’s is considered Gucci Martin’s and people do love the delivery. I can save the delivery fees and shop myself. I really don’t blame people for doing this, since it does save money and time.
Love this post! Pick up shopping was a life saver for us this past year! Our daughter was born very premature so when she came home from the hospital, going out in public wasn’t a risk we wanted to take during flu season. We used Harris Teeter and it was so great! Now we live about 40 minutes from the nearest shopping, so we do it all in 1 day every other week. It makes for a long day so pick up shopping really saves time, especially with a fussy little one!
Happy to hear you like the post, and I so agree on it being such a BIG time saver! 🙌
Ok, so I just tried this for the first time this summer at my daughter’s suggestion and I am IN love! We vacation on a lovely little island in a lake in Maine so ususally after almost three hours of driving I have the task of grocery shopping for a week of vacation…ugh. I ususally waaaay overspend because I am tired, hungry and afraid of forgetting something. This year I did Hannaford’s free pick up and it was glorious! Spent far less, had it delivered promtply to the car (they even LOAD it for you!), the order was 100% correct and I have a register receipt to prove it! Already planning to use this as a strategy for shopping in the icy Northeast and save more time and money.
Yay!! That’s great to hear! And thanks for the tip on doing this while on vacation – such a smart idea!
I occasionally use the store pick up option, but I don’t like that you have to plan 2 days in advance sometimes. I think this would be a great option for stocking a vacation home or condo, and I will look into this for our next trip to Disney. That would be a helpful article, by the way!
I received 6 months free Shipt delivery through a promo from Target and tried it out the other day. We all have a nasty cold and I was able to get a humidifier to my door in an hour from Target, the exact one I wanted which Prime Now did not have. It saved me from dragging two sick babies and myself to Target and delivery was free over $35. I’m sold!
Best idea ever! My husband calls it lazy. I call it smart shopping! I detest shopping in a store (any store) but I adore online shopping.
Yes! I never thought I’d want to use it as I enjoy shopping and looking for clearance items you won’t be able to find online. But after having my son in April, it has been nice the few times I’ve needed a lot of things and knew he wasn’t going to cooperate through a shopping trip. Kroger’s service is awesome, with great digital coupons that have gotten us nice freebies and other deals. I still like shopping in store, but online definitely has its upsides.
After we had our twins, we switched to online grocery shopping and it changed our lives, not exaggerating! We would have to lug three small children to the store, one of us would have to stay home or arrange for babysitting. I love couponing but just couldn’t do it when we went to the store. Now, I spend time at home when it’s convenient get coupons together shop for a better deal. I swear it’s cheaper because it helps us plan better for the week, we know exactly what’s in the house and what we need. Plus our store will take all competitors coupons, price match and get comparable items if out of stock. Could you imagine trying to swing that with a regular cashier!?! I could go one and one!
What about produce? Have you had good luck? I never buy fully ripe bananas for example because I want them to last the week, and sometimes berries can be moldy on the bottom so I check them before I put them in the cart. I haven’t tried shopping for groceries online because I’ve been worried I won’t get the same quality.
Hi Rhonda! At my local grocery store you can write notes for the shopper which is nice as I can add if I want the bananas to be less ripe etc. I also feel like they honestly do such a great job picking out the best quality produce as they know if there are issues with the quality of items the customer likely won’t be happy. I have been so pleased with what my shopper has picked out.
I am not a fan of walmart. I went to pick up my groceries I ordered online and waited for 20 minutes. My brother went in the store and picked up what he needed while I waited and he was back before I even got my groceries. They do not like to accept coupons either. They either deny them or only allow one coupon per item so I can’t buy two tide with two coupons. I have to purchase them seperate even if the coupons says I can use 4 like coupons in one transaction.Stupid. They have to follow corporate rules is all I get if I say anything.
I like Kroger but it is a nightmare. If they are out of items it screws up my shopping because of the B5G5 deals or coupons if you have to buy two items etc. I just go inside and get things now. It is worth it to me because I can save more. I don’t have a time issue cause I am never in a hurry to get home. LOL I love my alone time.
This is one reason I was hesitant on starting online shopping I actually took a chance and did part of the buy five deal last time And make sure to put notes on these items need to equal up to part of the bbuyy5 deal otherwise do not want Of course I’ve only tried this one time and they had all the items in stock but I just make sure I’m writing detailed notes so we’ll see if in the future I have problems
I did forget last time when I was doing one of the free Friday item to specify free Friday item only and they gave me the larger item at the smaller item price which is great but I wanted the free item free LOL When I mentioned it to the delivery girl she just phoned him about it and they just took it off of my total and let me keep the item so they really do work with you quite well I guess it just takes a little while longer getting all that straightened out which can be a bummer
Maybe I’m a traditional shopper but I love the idea of checking out new stuff that roll into stores when I do my normal grocery shopping. Just this week, at Aldis I noticed pita breads that I hadn’t noticed before and badly needed for a recipe and also ghee. I usually get my ghee from Trader Joes, so this was a nice option. Also, when checking dairy like milk, I like purchasing the ones right at the back of the aisle with the furthest expiry date to help extend the shelf life (not sure how this would work with online shopping). I like to keep myself updated of new products/food items, not to mention the fun of Shopkicks and scans for those rewards at relevant stores. Moreover, it’s a great excuse to get outside the house for some walking exercise 🙂 However, I do agree that online shopping has its advantages and I think I would use the service if I were sick, on vacation or super busy with kids activities. So, I guess a combo would work for me!
Thanks for this post and all you hip2savers comments- truly enlightening!
Love,love,love online grocery delivery here in rural Massachusetts. It’s good for me and budgeting and lightens family responsibilities and helps when the weather is horrendous. One less worry — I’m not going to run out of food. However, sadly, my go to for fresh food Jet.com decided to end its fresh food delivery to concentrate on NYC so for us that live outside suburban arenas we are out of luck. No more fresh products and spending more on gas and time again. That was very disappointing as I are for an older relative which adds to the getting out of the house frustration. Companies keep changing things up! They didn’t send an email either. There is no Instacart (one zip code off) or Amazon Fresh so I guess it is trying the old faithful Schwans although you don’t have the flexibility to get eggs or milk .
Nope. no desire to ever use this service. I’m sure it’s a godsend for some, but I’m far too discerning about my produce and meat products. it would be fine for pre-packaged boxes and cans, but not fresh food. I’ll be sticking with my weekly trips!
Me neither. I don’t mind grocery shopping anyway, but I’m way too particular to have someone else do it for me!
Shopping is therapy for me. I need to do at least the hour of grocery shopping every week for my sanity. No online stuff for me!
Tip Because I messed up last time I did this are used an online click list coupon and picked up the next day just to realize that that particular coupon expired the day before so it did not come off because it was wrung up the next day
This post makes me realize I wish Publix was doing this going to the beach in a couple of weeks and it would be nice not to have to spend part of that time in the grocery store
Here we are limited HEB, Walmart and Target ( a few) are available. I have used HEB’s Curbside so many times. It’s great when I know I have to work a little late or I know the store is going to be packed. I recently got my mom to try Walmart Pick Up and she LOVED it 🙂
A couple of people touched on this, but here are a couple of notes for everyone. Especially those who live alone and don’t have someone else to go to the store in emergencies. This can be a lifesaver for times when someone is sick . Just imagine coming down with cold or flu and having nothing you need in the house. Or all the kids have vomiting/diarrhea. I’ve had the experience of having to go to the store when I feel so sick I don’t even want to be out of bed. So getting over the counter meds, soup, etc. delivered can be a real blessing. At that point it probably wouldn’t matter what the delivery cost is.
Three cheers for delivery in bad weather!
If new moms live somewhere that doesn’t take a day’s notice to deliver, it would also be a lifesaver for those times when you reach in the diaper stack or formula can and suddenly realize you’re almost out and either have to take a sleeping baby to the store or figure out how to make it through the night.
For elderly people, especially if single, it might be possible to get together with others to make a delivery of enough $ to get free delivery.
I do agree with those who would not have produce or fresh meat delivered. I need to choose that myself.
Can you use coupons and how is it done?
Yes! Most local grocery stores offer digital coupons on certain products and some stores will even honor manufacturer’s coupons. Be sure to check with your store as some do not.
Mom of five here. Agree that this is an amazing/life-changing service! I tried Hyvee’s free grocery delivery for the first time a couple months ago and nearly cried when the delivery person brought $100 worth of groceries into my kitchen while my kids napped upstairs. I was so grateful and amazed! Grocery delivery has also changed my shopping habits – i.e. some of my old favorite grocery stores which don’t do delivery (or charge inflated prices for it), I rarely shop at now. Grocery delivery has probably reclaimed at least an hour a week for me, often more, which I either spend with my kids or work out (which is my therapy! 🙂 ).
I also haven’t had issues with produce, etc. either – and I am fairly picky with produce as others have mentioned. I make notes for all produce items in the online system and notice when I sign for the delivery that the notes are circled/highlighted/etc. by the in-store shopper.
I also plan to use grocery pick-up when we go to Disney later this year!
Just keep in mind, if your someone living on a strict budget, that at least Kroger will authorize your card for the Entire amount before you pick it up. Then when you pick it up any coupons/discounts/ etc will come off but you will have to wait for the pending transaction to drop off your bank account and the correct transaction to post.
Hope that makes sense.
Great service otherwise.
how do you use coupons with walmart?
I read the post about tipping and it says not to tip Walmart pick up but tip instant cart. So my question is do you tip Walmart delivery because you have to pay a fee for delivery?