As petrol prices soar ever upwards, a lot of people are looking at new ways to cut down on costs and save money in as many ways as possible. Online grocery shopping presents a unique opportunity to save on fuel while still getting all the grocery shopping done for the week. But is it worth it? Here are a few pros and cons so that you can make your own decision about whether online grocery shopping is something you would want to try.
The first consideration is, of course, the fees involved with ordering your groceries online. These can vary a lot depending on which store you use and where you live. I’ll use Coles as an example since I know about their policies. If you want the groceries delivered within 3 hours, you are charged an extra $5 delivery fee. If you want them delivered within 2 hours, it’s $9. I don’t know about you, but I don’t spend $9 in petrol getting to the supermarket.
Another thing to keep in mind is that you have no guarantee of freshness when you order online. In a physical store you can check out the fruits, vegetables, and meats, and look at expiration dates on your milk and packaged foods. If you buy online it’s basically a leap of faith that you’ll get food that’s still edible. Okay, I know that sounds a bit dramatic – it’s not that bad, but what I’m saying is that you have to trust the grocery store to keep your best interests in mind, and when was the last time that happened?
The policies for returning a food item vary from store to store, so make sure you check to see what you can do. A lot of places – Coles at least – offer a “freshness guarantee” which means that you can return something as long as it’s in its original packaging and you still have the receipt. Also, some places will allow you to return the item at a physical location, but others require you to ship the food item back to them, for an extra fee of course.
Most of those entries were cons, but there are plenty of advantages to using an online grocery store. For one thing, it saves a lot of time, which is especially beneficial if you keep a busy schedule. I know I spend at least 2 hours in the grocery store when I go out for my shopping, and that is time that could be better spent elsewhere.
Like I mentioned at the beginning, one of the main benefits of online grocery shopping is that it allows you to save money on gas and transit. However, with the cost of delivery factored in, you have to consider how much you’re really saving.
Is It Worth It?
So is online grocery shopping worth it? It depends on your personal preferences, in the end. If you’re pressed for time, cannot stand to take your children grocery shopping or are an impulsive buyer it could be a lifesaver. But you will be missing the specials instore and it can be painful if the items you are needing arent available, dont get delivered and you end up at the supermarket anyway!
Do grocery shop online? Is it available in your area?