Doing the grocery shop online has a ton of benefits if done wisely.
It can save you time and effort, of course, but to save money there are a few things we like to keep in mind...
- Check out the delivery costs. The days and times over the week can vary greatly. Asda currently offers a £1 delivery slot for a minimum of £25 spend on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays over lunchtimes and in the evenings. They also offer a monthly pass for £2 if the minimum spend is £40. Make sure you calculate if the minimum spend + delivery is something you would usually spend... otherwise you are bumping up the cost rather than saving money.
- Don't use MySupermarket for comparison. It is unreliable for comparisons. If you fill your basket in Asda, for example, then the items priced up in Tesco, for example, to compare will not always be like-for-like; they might price up a Tesco branded tin of beans for an Asda economy brand for example, so that your final totals across the supermarkets might not always be a true reflection of which shop could be. If you have the time and you want to compare shops, the only reliable way to do it is to trawl each shop's site individually and compare the costs yourself.
- No BOGOFF or 241 temptation. It is easier in your own home, in the light of your own surroundings, to get perspective on these offers and you can choose not to browse the offer lists if you find yourself tempted. The only occasions these offers are useful and money saving are if they are on your necessaries list anyway. Otherwise, you are still spending money you otherwise wouldn't have without the offer.
- Aisle avoidance. In the physical supermarket, it is difficult to avoid the luxury items. When shopping online, you can avoid it easily... just don't click on the chocolate and crisps aisle!
- Search bar for quick retrieval. Linked to point 4 above, this means you won't be tempted by anything unnecessary while you trawl through the appropriate aisles for your item. Simply type the item into the search bar so you go straight to it.
- Check the weight quantities for price. These are always listed with the item's entry. Compare different branded items for weight cost... the value option might not always be the cheapest... sometimes loose items area great deal cheaper than pre-packed fresh goods... and sometimes the larger bulk-size container is cheaper than the smallest... but always check as these supermarkets are sneaky.
- Greengrocers are not always cheaper than the supermarkets, and do not always offer superior or local produce. Either grow your own or check with your local greengrocer if this is an issue for you. Otherwise, getting a delivery of fruit and veg with the rest of your shopping spreads the cost.
- Budget supermarkets are not always cheaper. It depends on what you buy regularly. Some things are substantially cheaper, then you might find a couple of items that are more expensive than the other supermarkets' economy range which balances it out. MySupermarket now has Aldi on the database so you can cost up your shopping list at Aldi, then again at Asda for example (see point 2) to make sure.
- Be prepared to do a little extra shop. But only if necessary! Most of our necessary items are cheapest at Asda so we get an online delivery from them. However, a couple of items are a great deal cheaper at a local shop. When I am going past the local shop I stock up on these couple of items. Otherwise, if we run out, we make do with what is in until the next shop e.g. if we run out of bread, then we make scones for a couple of days, or if we run out of potatoes to top the cottage pie, then it becomes a cobbler instead.