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23 Online Grocery Shopping Tips for Beginners

If you’re like me who enjoy the convenience of online grocery shopping or are just dipping your toes in the water, it’s always handy to have some tips and tricks up your sleeve. So, here are my top 21 tips to make your online grocery shopping experience a breeze.

Understanding the Basics

In this section, I’m going to walk you through the basics of online grocery shopping. This is our starting point for a confident online grocery shopping journey.

Understanding Online Grocery Shopping

Tip 1: Every online grocery platform, like Amazon Fresh, Instacart, or Walmart Grocery, has a unique setup.

One might list vegetables and fruits first, while another might feature bakery items. Some have express checkout features, while others offer the option to schedule deliveries.

So, it’s really important to familiarize yourself with the platform you’re using.

For example, knowing where the search bar is, where the offers are displayed, or where your favorite bread brand is listed can save you a lot of time in the long run.

Choosing the Right Online Grocery Store

Tip 2: I always compare a few platforms before deciding where to shop. For instance, while Amazon Fresh might have a wider variety, a local store app might offer faster delivery for last-minute needs.

Delivery fees can also differ. Some platforms offer free delivery over a certain amount, while others might have fixed charges.

Checking return policies and reading reviews from other customers gives me a sense of how reliable the platform is.

Understanding Pricing and Promotions

Tip 3: It’s a good idea to track prices of some of your regularly bought items. For example, if you buy almonds frequently, monitor their prices for a few weeks.

You might notice a pattern of when they tend to be cheaper or when a sale is most likely. This way, you can buy at the lowest price and save money.

Planning and Organizing Your Shopping

Planning and organizing are crucial for a seamless online grocery shopping experience. Trust me, a bit of prep time can make the shopping experience much more enjoyable!

Creating an Effective Shopping List

Tip 4: I keep a running shopping list on my phone. Whenever I realize I’m running low on something, say, cereal, I add it to the list right away.

This way, when I sit down to order, I don’t forget anything. Plus, I won’t get distracted by that discounted chocolate cake and stick to my healthy eating plan!

Creating a Reusable List for Regular Items

Tip 5: One thing that has really streamlined my shopping is having a list of items I buy regularly. For example, I always need items like milk, eggs, bread, and cereal. By saving these items in my list, I can easily add them to my cart without searching every time.

Using a Meal Plan to Guide Your Shopping

Tip 6: One of the best ways to save money and avoid food waste is to create a weekly meal plan. By knowing what meals I’m planning to cook, I can buy exactly what I need. Plus, it takes the guesswork out of “what’s for dinner?”

Online Grocery Shopping Tips

Making Smart Purchase Decisions

With an abundance of choices online, making smart purchase decisions can seem daunting. I’ve found these steps really helpful when it comes to stocking up my pantry.

Ordering Fresh Produce Online

Tip 7: Buying fresh produce, like fruits, vegetables, or meat, can be a gamble because you can’t physically inspect the items. Therefore, I stick to sellers who have consistently good reviews on their fresh produce.

For instance, if I’m buying apples and the seller has multiple recent reviews mentioning how crisp and fresh the apples were, I’d feel more confident buying from them.

Understanding Unit Pricing

Tip 8: To get the most bang for my buck, I always pay attention to the unit price. That’s the price per ounce, gram, liter, or any other unit.

Sometimes, bigger packages may seem like they’re a better deal, but the unit price can tell a different story. For example, a 500g box of pasta might be $2 while a 1kg box is $4.50. Here, the smaller box is actually cheaper per gram!

Exploring Different Brands

Tip 9: Online shopping has allowed me to try brands that I might not find in my local store. Sometimes, these less known brands are cheaper and of the same quality, if not better.

For instance, I tried a local brand of peanut butter I found online, and it was delicious and more affordable than my usual brand!

Checking the Expiry Dates of Products

Tip 10: Even online, I try to check the expiration dates of items, especially for things like dairy products or items on sale. Most online grocery platforms provide this information.

Always Keep an Eye Out for Seasonal Produce

Tip 11: Buying fruits and vegetables in season can save you money, and they often taste better too! Many online grocery stores highlight seasonal produce, so I always keep an eye out for these.

Maximizing Savings and Efficiency

If there’s one thing I love, it’s finding ways to save money. Time to stretch your dollar further!

Managing Your Online Grocery Budget

Tip 12: Before I start shopping, I decide how much I want to spend. Online stores have a running total of your cart, so I keep an eye on that number to make sure I don’t exceed my budget.

Plus, knowing my budget helps me make decisions. If I’m nearing my limit, I might decide to skip the ice cream this week.

Optimal Order Timing

Tip 13: Just as bakeries often have the freshest bread in the morning, online grocery stores often restock certain items at specific times. By figuring out these timings, you can ensure you get the freshest items.

Remembering to Factor in Delivery Times

Tip 14: One thing I’ve learned is that delivery times can vary, and some stores offer same-day delivery while others might take a couple of days. So, if I’m running low on something and need it soon, I make sure to check the estimated delivery time.

Remembering to Use Your Coupons

Tip 15: Many online grocery stores offer digital coupons. I make it a point to check for any available coupons before checking out. It’s an easy way to save some extra bucks!

Trying Out Grocery Delivery Services

Tip 16: If you order groceries online frequently, consider a subscription service. For example, Instacart Express or Amazon Fresh offer free delivery for a monthly or yearly fee, which can save you money if you shop online often.

Making Use of Technology for Smart Shopping

Tip 17: Digital tools can be a lifesaver. I use apps like Flipp to compare prices across different stores or Mealime to suggest recipes based on the items in my cart. It helps me save money and brings variety to my meals!

Leveraging Subscription and Loyalty Programs

Tip 18: Subscription or loyalty programs can offer great value. For example, Amazon Prime members can enjoy benefits like free two-hour delivery on Amazon Fresh. So, if you shop online regularly, it might be worth checking out such programs.

Taking Advantage of Bulk Buying for Non-perishable Items

Tip 19: I’ve found that buying non-perishable items like canned goods, rice, or pasta in bulk can lead to significant savings. Just make sure you have enough storage space at home before you order!

Online Grocery Shopping Tips

Reviewing and Ensuring Safety

Last but not least, I’ll share how I double-check my orders and ensure my personal information remains safe while shopping. After all, convenience shouldn’t come at the cost of security.

Checking Your Order

Tip 20: When I’m done shopping, I always review my cart carefully. It’s easy to click the wrong item or quantity.

For instance, I once wanted to buy two apples, but accidentally added two kilograms of apples to my cart! Taking a moment to review can prevent such mistakes.

Dealing with Issues and Customer Support

Tip 21: Online platforms usually have a clear process to report issues. If you receive a bruised apple or the wrong brand of cereal, report it immediately. From my experience, platforms like Instacart and Amazon Fresh are usually quick to refund or replace the item.

Prioritizing Online Security

Tip 22: Always make sure the website URL starts with “https”, where the ‘s’ stands for secure. Be cautious while sharing personal information. For example, your grocery store doesn’t need to know your birthday or social security number! Regularly updating passwords can further secure your account. Stay safe out there!


Tip 23: Last but not least, it’s all about practice. You might feel a bit challenging the first few times shopping online for groceries, but I promise it gets easier and more convenient with time.

So, keep these tips in mind, embrace the learning curve, and soon, you’ll find that online grocery shopping can be a real time-saver! Happy shopping, my friends!