Grocery Shopping Online
This is a guest post by Fiona Hawkes who blogs about money saving ideas, budgeting tips and thrifty days out. You can find her over at her blog Savvy in Somerset.
One of my absolute favorite things to save money on is Groceries. Through a combination of buying reduced food, using coupons and vouchers and shopping apps I managed to get my monthly food bill down to just £50 a month last year. Yes, it did take a little bit of effort and a bit of shopping around – but over the course of the year I saved around £2k, which to me was totally worth the effort.
But what about when you can’t go late night bargain hunting? Or can’t even leave the house at all for that matter? I know that this is a reality for a lot of people, whether it be due to long term health issues, being a carer or having little ones to look after. In this post I am going to look at ways you save money when doing grocery shopping online, from home.
There are also some great benefits to shopping online – less impulse buying, not feeling rushed, being able to take your time and compare products and prices.
Here are my top tips for saving on Supermarket shopping online.
1. Loyalty Almost Never Pays
Almost all of the supermarkets have welcome discounts when placing your first online order. Some, like Sainsbury’s for example, also offer discounts that run over a period of months or weeks. Be sure to shop around and make the most of these big initial discounts from retailers – usually around £20 off a shop of £60- £80.
2. Make Sure you get Loyalty Points when you shop
Whichever supermarket you are shopping with make sure you have your loyalty card registered to your online account. While I would never advise shopping anywhere solely for the points, they are a nice bonus if you are shopping there anyway and can be a great way to save for Christmas and other treats throughout the year.
3. Try Shopping Apps
There are multitude of shopping apps out there (see this post for more information!) and some of them do offer discounts or freebies for buying online as well as shopping in store. Always check these before placing an order to see what you can get for free or cheap.
4. Go through Cashback Sites
Cashback sites such as Top CashBack and Quidco offer cashback on purchases made online. Just go through your account to shopping site of your choice and watch the cashback stack up! Cashback should always be viewed as a bonus rather than an incentive to shop anywhere.
5. Mix Things Up
Some online supermarkets offer a weekly favorites ‘Basket’ or ‘Trolley’ where items you buy each week (or month) are there ready to be ordered as soon you log on. While this is super for convenience make sure the items included haven’t jumped in price or you weren’t just buying them previously because they were on offer. With a few clicks you may just be able to find a much cheaper alternative. Shopping online should also give you the opportunity to really think about what you are buying and maybe downgrade to a basic product or own brand product.
6. Use MySupermarket
My Supermarket is a fantastic website that lets you check the price of your weekly shop at a range of supermarkets before you actually buy. It allows you to import your favorites from wherever you usually do grocery shopping online making for a quick and easy comparison to find the cheapest shop.
You can also add items while on the My Supermarket website and send them to your shopping basket at your chosen supermarket. The offers section comes up first for each supermarket showing the best offers currently available and a comparison to their usual prices.
7. Delivery Passes
One thing that may irk you about shopping online in is the constant need to pay for delivery. Prices can vary hugely between retailers and for the time and day you want the groceries to be delivered. Midweek, middle of the day slots do seem to come up cheapest – an easy way to save and perfect if you are home all day anyway.
Another way to slash the cost is to buy a delivery pass if you think you will regularly use the same supermarket. These can be bought for anywhere between a month and a year. Some include as many deliveries as needed others may only include one a week. Do some research and find out which will work best for you.
Example: Asda’s delivery pass currently costs £5 per month (when bought for a year) for unlimited deliveries. It also means you won’t pay extra for more popular time slots and you can bulk book your preferred times weeks in advance. They will refund you if the service doesn’t save you money.