Is it Cheaper to Order Groceries Online?

The rise of online grocery shopping has seen a dramatic increase in numbers since the start of the pandemic. From $1.2 billion sales in 2019, the grocery delivery and pickup is now a $5.3 billion business. This trend is only continuing to rise as more and more people find how buying their groceries online changed their lives for the better. 

As eCommerce continually grows at this time, more and more stores are offering online groceries services. If you’ve been used to ordering your grocery needs online and either have it picked up at the store or delivered to your door up until this point, then you’ve found that doing so works just as fine with you. But do you know whether it is cheaper to order groceries online, or does it cost you more?

We’ve drawn some advantages and disadvantages to a pressing question, that you can find below.

4 Reasons Why You Should Order Your Groceries Online

Saves Time and Is Convenient

Time is our most valuable resource, and for some, there is just not enough. If you’re a parent or a person living alone and trying to do it all, going to the grocery may be a luxury to your already busy schedule. Once you’re inside the grocery, there’s so much going around from aisle to aisle to get all the items you need. Not to mention the long line at the counter, especially on peak hours. 

If you order online, you won’t have to worry about all these. You can choose your items any time of the day through the store’s website, which is open 24/7, by the way. There will be no stack of aisles as you can browse through categorized lists or even hit on the site’s search bar when you’re looking for something in particular. You can also save your list before checkout and add up items that may come up during the middle of the week. 

Makes You Stick to Your Budget

You know, when you go to the grocery store, and you find items that are not on your list but somehow found their way into your shopping cart. Most of us can’t deny the impulse buying that we do when we’re grocery shopping. Some of it may be our fault, but for most, the store is, in fact, designed for us to buy more than what we actually intended to. 

The whole psychology of grocery shopping is an orchestrated experience for you to cash out. For starters, there’s only one exit, which means if you want to go out, you’d have to go through aisles full of tempting items. The bakery, flower shop, and produce is usually situated near the door; there’s a sensory assault as you enter. The dairy section is generally towards the end, so you’d have to go through all the aisles, and before you know it, you’ve made a roundtrip with a full basket. Doing your groceries online saves you from this and lets you stick to your list, making you buy what you intended to in the first place.

Is Safer (no crowds!)

While there may be fatigue in the various health protocols we have to go through while in this pandemic, and restrictions may be loosening up than initially, that still isn’t a reason for you to let your guard down. Supermarkets are known to be destinations of crowds of people huddled up indoors for long periods. We can undoubtedly be extra cautious about our surroundings and make sure to put on our masks properly all the time. However, if you want to do away with all the worry, shopping for your groceries online may just be for you. 

You don’t need to bump into unknown people and stand next to others in a long line. Even if you choose to do a curbside pickup or opt for delivery, there is very little exposure between you and another human being. That means less possibility of getting your health compromised. 

Have More Comparison

When shopping for food, we all want the best buy, and that means a good product that comes with a reasonable price. Obviously, when you’re doing your groceries the traditional way, you’d have to go to every store to compare prices. You’d be spending not just additional time but money on gas or transportation. It’s an exhausting ordeal at times, and you end up sacrificing for the nearest store next to you. 

Thanks to search engines, you can ditch away all those miles and miles of laborious price scouting. You can find the best price for you while remaining seated, hopping from one website to another. Ever since the start of the pandemic, stores have levelled up their e-commerce game, so you can rest assured that your frequently visited grocery stores are just one click away.

Why shouldn’t you buy your groceries online?

Can’t Choose Items Personally

One of the drawbacks of online groceries is you giving up total control of your purchase. Since someone else will be picking up the items for you, you can’t make sure if you’re going to get the freshest beef shank or the just-right-ripe tomatoes. In situations where your preferred thing is out of stock, some of the stores skip right through and move on to the next item on your list. You need to be prepared to accept what you’re given, regardless if it did not meet your expectations.

Missing The Store Experience

Some people just happen to like going to the store, checking nutrition labels, and looking for the best bargain. If you’re this person, going online may not be inviting for you. 

Has Additional Fees

Convenience doesn’t come without a cost, and for online grocery shopping, you might need to factor in some additional fees. If you’re planning on ordering ahead and picking up your orders in the store, you’ll probably have to pay for the personal shopper fee. If you’re going for the delivery option, there will be delivery fees that you’ll have to shoulder. Make sure to factor this into your budget.

Will Still Take Time

Whether you’re opting for a curbside pickup or home delivery, chances are you still need to allot a portion of your time in a day. If you’re picking up your orders, you still have to schedule your drive-ins to and from the store. The same goes with delivery which requires you or someone else to stay at the house the whole day waiting for the orders. 

Is Online Grocery Shopping For You?

Even with the downsides that come with shopping for groceries online, the benefits still outweigh the cost. This is especially true if you’re a parent or a busy person with not much time in your hands. Or, if you’ve always been impulse buying when inside the store, then this might be an excellent way to change your behavior. Whatever your reason is, the choice to go online for your grocery spending ultimately depends on your circumstances, lifestyle, preference, and how much time you have.  


This was just one of many other money saving ideas that we have for you. If you want to find out more ways to save money, check out our list of additional ways to save money.


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