How Grocery Delivery Can Save You Time and Money

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Online Start-Up Helps To Deliver Fresh Food To New Yorkers
Mario Tama/Getty Images

When my husband and I lived in New York City, we became spoiled. Every two weeks, a truck would show up to our second-floor walkup, and a strapping young man would deliver fresh groceries to our door. How did we get sucked into such a luxury? FreshDirect, the city's top grocery deliverer, was offering a promo for first-time customers, and Johnny and I decided to give it a try. We found that promo or not, having our groceries delivered was comparable and often cheaper than shopping at our local grocers. No more carrying groceries five blocks as each of our fingers slowly lost circulation? Yes, please.

While grocery delivery may currently only be the norm in metro areas, soon it may be an option for you. And you. And you. Amazon.com (AMZN) and Walmart Stores (WMT) have recently joined the grocery delivery industry. While AmazonFresh was only available in Seattle just a year ago, it has now expanded to San Francisco and Los Angeles. Before you shrug this off as a modern-day fairytale (delivery by drone?) or just an unnecessary extravagance, consider the following reasons grocery delivery could save you money -- and most definitely time:

No More Impulse or Distracted Purchases

Oreos on a screen are much less tempting than an actual package in a grocery store. Marketers spend millions of dollars figuring out the most effective ways of tempting you while you browse the aisles. By shopping online, you can stay focused on the shopping list. And you won't have a toddler screaming and grabbing items off the shelf as you struggle to compare prices on salad dressing.


Comparable Prices

However unbelievable it may seem, prices for delivered groceries tend to be comparable to local grocers. And just like local grocers, delivery services offer coupons, weekly specials and price matching. Some companies even waive the delivery fee once your total reaches a certain amount. My husband and I made a habit of only ordering if we had a coupon for free delivery, which happened regularly.

No Travel Expenses

Grocery delivery eliminates the costs incurred for traveling to and from the grocery store, which means no more money spent on gasoline or a cab fare. And the opportunity cost of avoiding the grocery store means you can do your shopping while watching Jimmy Fallon at night.

Knowing the Total Before You Buy

I try to add up how much my groceries are going to cost as I shop in brick-and-mortar stores, but inevitably I lose count or get distracted. With online grocery shopping, you can see the total before you confirm your order. And that means you can check and double check whether each item is really necessary. It's both more difficult and less likely to go back on purchases that have already been rung up by a cashier.

While currently only a handful of cities have grocery delivery, within the next 10 years, it might be an option for most of the country. And when that day comes, you can bet that my wallet and I will be first in virtual line to have groceries delivered to our door, drone and all.

Joanna and Johnny are the writing duo behind OurFreakingBudget.com, a personal finance blog documenting the joys, pains and realities of living on a budget.


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58 Comments

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Gwen Kander

sorry not interested falce advertisment

May 15 2014 at 4:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jayreda

Impulse or Distracted Purchases is what the super market owner will find out he is missing out and so the owner will say oops I am loosing money on the long run this whole home delivery will be a out

April 23 2014 at 3:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Cindy

Amazon fresh does not save you money! You have to join for $199 a year for them to deliver groceries to you. Most others charge fees of $3.37-$6.75 per deliveries, no signing up.

April 23 2014 at 1:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Trish

I personaly LOVE this idea...I hate food shopping, especially when my husband comes with me...he ALWAYS runs my food bill up. I can't even sneak out to go shopping, he'll just get what I don't buy on his own. But that would get old fast with him if I never went to the store in the first place, I'd be a lot thinner too!

April 23 2014 at 12:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Susan

I am handicapped and almost completely housebound. I have been using grocery delivery for many months and have found the two companies I use wonderful and completely reliable. If my local Publix is having a sale on certain items, I can tell the service to shop there, so I always get what want. Grocery delivery is probably the most useful business in existence.

April 23 2014 at 12:37 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Kathae

I have had home delivery, and in the fresh food sections like fruit and veggies, they don't always come as fresh as you would pick out for yourself

April 23 2014 at 12:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Kathae's comment
georgettec28

ShopRite at Home has a 100% guarantee. They will replace or refund anything that doesn't meet my expectations. It's also up to the consumer to specify waht they want and expect. For instance, when I buy apples, I always say, "Tightly closed blossom ends, no soft spots or bruises." And that's exactly what I get. Supermarkets are not mind readers. You have to tell them what you want.

April 23 2014 at 7:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
toni

yea once in a while cause i like to feel my fruits and veges. check expiration dates and read nutrition labels.

April 23 2014 at 12:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
itsmegp46

The delivery service for the two main supermarkets around me charge about 20% more than actually shopping in their stores. There is that, and I was nearly always disappointed in the produce. When I shop for veggies and fruits, I examine what I want before putting in my cart. With the delivery service, those people just grab the first apple their hands reach, even if its got a bruise on it. I manage my time very well and always have enough to go food shopping.

April 22 2014 at 10:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
doll

WOW I LOVE IT!! Hope it comes to Hammond IN. I will go for it.

April 22 2014 at 9:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Penny

I have used local grocery delivery service and love it....I am a senior citizen and it saves me many steps and is well worth it.

April 22 2014 at 9:31 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply