For busy people with limited time to grocery shop on their own, online shopping and delivery may well be worth a little extra money. Shoppers should be realistic about how they’re able to choose fresh products such as meat and produce and what kinds of substitutions they’re willing to accept for favorite brands or sizes that are out of stock.
For certain kinds of shoppers, the convenience of online shopping through companies such as Peapod, Netgrocer or even their local grocery store is worth some extra expense in the form of delivery fees. However, shopping services’ online specials and using manufacturers’ coupons, readily available through most online services, plus savings in time and gas money may well offset delivery fees entirely and can even help lower grocery bills.
However, there are trade-offs. For instance, a staff member of the online service or a grocer chooses the fresh produce and meat. People who are especially picky about fresh items may opt to shop for those items themselves and let the service process packaged goods only. Also, many online services reserve the right to substitute if an item is out of stock. This can be inconvenient when recipes call for specific brands and quantities and for those with strong brand loyalties. Another consideration is delivery day and time because someone must be available to accept the order.