10 Reasons to Try Grocery Shopping Online
Written by: Taylor Rao
Let’s face it: grocery shopping is a chore. Whether you live in the city or the suburbs, have a sophisticated palette or a restricted diet, aimlessly walking through the aisles and lugging plastic bags up a flight of stairs isn’t the most rewarding part of your weekly routine.
But luckily, it’s 2018 and there are more resources out there than ever before to make our lives easier. And while fear of the unknown can often stop you from taking a leap and trying something new, if you could potentially never have to step foot in a grocery store again, it’s worth the risk.
Yes, that’s a possibility these days with the number of online grocery shopping options out there, from meal-prep kits like Plated or Blue Apron, to full on grocery delivery services offered by big-name brands like Amazon and Walmart.
Before you find the right grocery delivery service for you, though, let’s start with a “pros” list of why you should try online grocery shopping in the first place.
1. Put some time back on the clock
It’s true --time is the one resource we can’t get more of, but if you can save yourself a trip to the grocery store, that means you’ll be able to make time for something else, like a quick at-home workout after you’ve hit the “checkout” button.
And if the thought of online grocery shopping seems a little too #firstworldproblems for you, consider how precious your time really is. You can cut the complaining from having to make an extra stop on your way home from work if you set aside a fraction of the time to click around on the computer and get the same end result: food in your fridge.
2. Say goodbye to cart-envy
We’ve all made wandering eyes at our fellow grocery shoppers and wondered what they’ve put in their cart. And when there’s an item in there that’s so enticing, you might actually go get it for yourself even if it didn’t make the shopping list.
This can lead to making impulsive, unhealthy choices (like when a mom with two children has Toaster Strudels in cart and you have your own childhood flashback-turned craving), and spending more money than you wanted to on items you don’t really need. If you shop online you’re focused and uninterrupted, left only to think about the food that’s going on your table.
3. You can make a list and stick with it
Raise your hand if you’ve ever left your handwritten grocery list at home, only to realize it after pulling into the parking lot. Yeah, pretty sure we’ve all done that before. If you can do your shopping from the comfort of your own sofa, you’re not leaving anything to chance or forgetting a key ingredient for your favorite dish.
And if you’re not into making lists at all, or just forgetful about what you’re running out of and what’s fully stocked, you can open up that pantry as many times you need as a reference check.
4. Save yourself from thinking too much
If cooking isn’t your thing and food is simply just an energy source, meal-prep kits put some fun back into the process and can save you from overthinking every meal. If you can follow instructions and have a hunch for what you might be in the mood for, take a look at Hello Fresh’s weekly menu and select the plan that works for your family size and schedule.
After that, you can sit back, relax and wait for a fresh delivery to arrive on your doorstep with everything you need for the recipe. This is the ultimate win-win --minimal effort for a healthy, homemade meal.
5. Set a shopping schedule
If you work the overnight shift, have a super-packed week or are tired of going out in sweatpants and a baseball cap hoping you don’t run into anyone you know in the bread aisle, eliminate the grocery store run altogether and shop whenever it’s convenient for you.
With most services, you can schedule a delivery time or in-store pickup, and use your online account to save the items you most frequently shop for. That way, you’ll never have to worry about getting stuck behind someone shopping for a 28-person cookout and can take the stress of squeezing in a shopping trip off your plate.
6. It’s fun
Chances are you’ve shopped for items online before, which means you probably know the excitement of receiving a shipping notification and seeing something arrive on your doorstep without you having to do much work at all.
When it comes to a task as mundane as grocery shopping, it’s fun to see exactly what you wanted to eat show up before your very eyes. This means no more navigating a shopping cart through a crowded parking lot or using all of your energy to make only one trip into the house with ripping plastic bags. Sometimes convenience is a treat in itself, and you might as well take advantage.
7. No more sensory overload
Even for adults, sensory overload is a thing. And no matter how prepared you are to make your trip to the store as efficient as possible, you’re bound to get caught up by new brands or featured products on the endcaps.
Stay focused by shopping online and using the search functions, sidebars and other online navigation tools to help you find what you’re looking for more quickly. There will be no more wandering around, looking for an employee to help you or just giving up on what you can’t find.
8. Endless options
Can’t make it to the farmer’s market this weekend? You can shop online for fresh farm-to-doorstep groceries from places like Farmbox Direct, a website that delivers organic and natural produce straight to you. You can choose a mix of fresh fruits, vegetables or both and make up to five substitutions within every pre-picked box. Not convinced yet? You can order month-to-month without committing to a set subscription.
And endless options doesn’t just mean produce --you can get some of your most obscure cravings from online delivery companies who specialize in meats, cheeses, etc. that are difficult to get at an ordinary grocery store. So, you’re not just restricted to what’s being offered in your local store; literally anything can be delivered with the click of a button.
9. You can still get deals
A promo code sounds way better than clipping coupons, and though grocery delivery seems like a pricey endeavor at first, you can still shop sale items online and compare prices more easily from site-to-site.
Just like your favorite department store lets you know what the deals of the day are, so will your online grocery delivery site of choice. Who knows? Maybe a discount on organic chicken or the incentive of a free lobster tail with a $99 purchase (looking at you, Fresh Direct), will inspire you for your meals for the week.
10. There’s usually an incentive to get started
If you think you’re ready to take the plunge into online grocery shopping, the final piece to get you to dive in is definitely going to be a discount. Take advantage of first-time buyer deals, especially on the meal-kit services who offer inexpensive trial periods to get you hooked on this new way of shopping and preparing meals at home.
For example, Blue Apron takes $25 off your first two meals, and Hello Fresh offers $15 off just for subscribing to their mailing list! There’s nothing better than a company extending an offer to you to seal the deal on giving something new a try.