Imagine you’re driving home from work or an all day event and you’re hungry. You can’t wait to get home and relax, but there’s nothing to eat. You haven’t had a chance to go to the store in a while, and nothing in your pantry sounds good. Your stomach growls as you get closer to home. Time is running out and you need to make a choice. Here are your options:
Option A: You could go to the grocery store because if you don’t go tonight, you won’t have anything to eat tomorrow either. BUT that means you won’t get home for at least another hour, and it will be even longer until you get a meal in you, and hungry might turn into hangry real fast.
Option B: The more appealing option is to grab some take out on the way home. You might even have convinced yourself that you’ll have leftovers to eat tomorrow. Good luck with that.
The Right Answer
You should have never put yourself in this situation in the first place. If you had only planned ahead, this could have all been avoided. This is the part where I tell you to order groceries online, and here’s why.
Benefits of Online Grocery
Shopping In-store is not worth the time
Think about it – An hour of your time is worth more than the $10 delivery charge. In addition to saving time, think of all the hassle you’ll avoid. Skip the crowds, save your gas, avoid the bad weather, forget about the lines, and save yourself from maneuvering that shopping cart back and forth throughout the store. I promise you won’t miss dodging unruly children, waiting for that person to stop blocking your item, and staring in disbelief at the slowest cashier in America. Instead, wake up and experience the feeling of Christmas morning as you open your door to the gifts left on your front porch. Use your extra hour to do something productive or get some R&R which can be equally as important to your health and well-being.
You’ll save money
This depends on where you live and where you shop, but online grocers are usually close in price to a high-end grocery store. High end stores tend to be more expensive, but I’ll still argue that you can get your items for less than going to a regular grocery store. Let’s examine. I bet the dairy and meat are located in the the very back of your local grocery store, right? That’s no coincidence; all stores do this so that shoppers have to walk through the whole store to get the most popular items, in hopes that they will pick up impulse buys along the way. The number of studies on customer habits and product placement will shock you, and your store has been strategically arranged to squeeze as much money out of you as possible. Online shopping can actually save you money because it keeps you from walking through the store and picking up those impulse items along the way. That’s not all. Have you ever purchased something only to realize you already had that item? Save money with more efficient shopping. It’s a lot easier to check the inventory of your pantry when you’re shopping from your couch. And what if you’re trying to stick to a budget? Remove excess items with one click, which is far less embarrassing than holding up the line while the grocery clerk takes off the last few items. All in all, you may be charged for delivery but I’m willing to bet you’ll save you money in the long run.
No more lists
Once you’ve made your initial grocery list, you’re set. Next time you log on, you can order the same items or make a few adjustments in seconds. This will save you hours each month, which are flex hours that should be used for something you want to do. Plus, you can refine your shopping list down to a perfect science to eliminate waste completely. For example, you see that last time you ordered 6 bananas but you’ve only eaten 4. Now you know you average 4 bananas a week so you can adjust your online shopping list and stop guessing in the store.
Picking a Store
Research which grocers deliver near you and get started. In the past I have used Amazon Fresh which was awesome. Their prices are comparable to that of Whole Foods or any other high end grocer, but their food is excellent and the produce was perfect. They’re also willing to deliver even when you’re not home, and even provide cold packs and insulated bags to keep your groceries “fresh” as their name implies.
Amazon Fresh delivers for free after a purchase of $100 or more, and can even deliver same day.
Check to see if you’re within Amazon’s delivery area here. Unfortunately I moved outside of their delivery zone so I’m ordering from Safeway until Amazon expands.
My thoughts on Safeway Delivery
Where I live I am forced to resort to Safeway for online grocery shopping. After experiencing Amazon Fresh, Safeway seems like a bunch of amateurs, but I have no other option. Here are some major differences.
- Safeway will only deliver when you are home, which is not very convenient.
- Safeway delivers your items in plastic bags, and I swear they try to give you as many bags possible by putting almost every item in its own bag. Very annoying.
- The produce from my local Safeway is no where near the quality of the produce I got from Amazon fresh. I combat this by ordering smaller quantities but more frequently.
- Safeway charges for delivery, always.
- Amazon has early morning “pre-dawn” delivery. Safeway sleeps in.
Imagine sitting on your couch by the fireplace and ordering from your iPad in just a few clicks. That could be your reality. Even with Safeway’s faults, ordering online is still a better option for me than battling the crowds and spending more time and money to get the things I need. Save yourself from the stress of the grocery store and take some simple steps to optimize your life. At least try it once. What could it hurt?