Have you considered using a grocery delivery service? It may sound like a time- and money-saver: You do your shopping online, pay with your credit card, and voila! Your groceries appear at your door. But before you start filling up your virtual grocery cart, make sure you know the true costs of the service as opposed to in-store shopping.
Let’s look at the benefits of a grocery delivery service:
Saves Time: The time you would spend walking up and down the grocery aisles can be spent working, enjoying your family, or even taking a few minutes for yourself.
Reduces Impulse Buys: You can make your choices efficiently, without being tempted by the items you buy because you’re bored or hungry. Whether it’s a gossip rag or a sale item, impulse buys can easily damage even the most bulletproof grocery budget.
Reasonable Delivery Fees: Most delivery services charge lower delivery fees for larger orders, meaning you get more groceries for less and making it easy and cost-effective to shop for your whole family.
Online Specials: In-store shopping allows you to take advantage of coupons and ad matching, but specials are also available for online grocery shoppers. And instead of driving all over town to snag sale items at various supermarkets, it only takes a single click to take advantage of the best online deals.
There are also some potential disadvantages to a grocery delivery service, including:
It Can Be Expensive: While convenient, grocery delivery comes with a price. Delivery fees, fuel surcharges, and items that are priced higher via delivery service can add up and take a bite out of your grocery budget.
Take What You Get: In-store shopping allows you to search for the ripest and best-looking fruits and vegetables. When you purchase groceries online, you’re trusting another shopper to select items for your family. While most services guarantee freshness, you might be less than impressed when the food is delivered.
Delivery Inconveniences: Someone needs to be available to sign for the groceries when they are delivered. It usually doesn’t matter who signs, but if you’re receiving alcohol or cigarettes, the signer must be 18 years or older. Some services offer drop-off delivery without a signature, but the groceries must be left in coolers which could expose you to food safety concerns.
You Might Still Need to Go to the Supermarket: Even if you use a delivery service in lieu of your regular trip to the supermarket, you may still end up needing to make trips to the store for perishable or forgotten items.
Overall, having your groceries delivered is often more expensive than shopping at the supermarket. However, if you have extremely limited free time, the extra expense of grocery delivery may be well worth it. If you decide to utilize a delivery service, shop around for your best option, create a buying routine that makes sense for you, and be sure to have some of your grocery budget available for those unplanned trips to the store.