By Jaqueline Neid-Avila
With the fast-paced lives of people today, completing simple tasks that used to be part of a family’s routine can now be considered a burden that drains valuable time. With many families having all adults in the workforce, tasks such as cooking, cleaning, shuttling kids to activities, or walking the dog can add up to a very hectic daily life.
One task that seems to rise above them all for inconvenience is shopping. Luckily, online shopping is available for clothes, office supplies, home goods, and electronics, which has been helpful to many shoppers. In addition, many people do their holiday shopping online and have it delivered right to the front door. However, it is not only shopping for the holidays that has been made easier with online options. Did you know that with online grocery shopping, many grocery stores will let you shop for groceries online, select a pick-up time, and have the groceries loaded into your car? Some even have a delivery service.
So how does online grocery shopping work?
Each store varies somewhat in the way they handle it. Most require you to create a login and password. This is helpful because it usually allows you to see past orders as well. On Amazon Grocery, over 22,000 non-perishable food items are offered, all of which can be delivered to your front door. At Walmart, you are able to select non-perishable foods to be delivered to your front door or complete all of your shopping and have it hand-delivered to your car in the parking lot. At Smith’s, you are able to purchase groceries online, schedule a pick-up time, and have them delivered to your car.
Consider the pros of online grocery shopping:
—You are far less likely to overspend. When shopping online, most people usually have a list of items that are needed, and it’s easy stick to it.
—You are able to add items to your shopping list throughout the week.
If you are an impulse buyer and have trouble sticking to your grocery list or if you struggle to get to the store because of your busy schedule or limited mobility, online grocery shopping may be the best option for you.
—It saves time. You can shop online, choose a pick-up time, and on your way home have your groceries loaded in your car or have them delivered to your home. All of this is done without stepping foot in a grocery store, leaving more time for work, family, or leisure activities.
—It is far less stressful than dealing with busy grocery stores at peak hours when everyone else is there.
—Less money is spent on gas. If you are able to have your items delivered to your front door, there is no need to even go to the grocery store, saving gas money.
—Most grocery sites store your last shopping list. This makes it easier to reorder items and make adjustments.
Consider the cons of online grocery shopping:
—It can be more expensive. Depending on the store, there can be additional costs for usage and delivery fees.
—You cannot handpick each item. Buying fresh produce can be a challenge since you are unable to see the quality of the item before you buy it.
—You may still need to go the grocery store. If you only use the online services for your weekly or bi-weekly trip, you may still need to go to the store for perishable items in between.
If you are a shopper who writes out a grocery list and sticks to it, online shopping may be more expensive for you. If you are an impulse buyer and have trouble sticking to your grocery list or if you struggle to get to the store because of your busy schedule or limited mobility, online grocery shopping may be the best option for you.
Jaqueline Neid-Avila, RD, CD, is a Utah State University Extension assistant professor of nutrition.