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Buying Groceries Online: Tips and Tricks to Get You Started
Grocery shopping is a chore some of us don’t like, but since eating is important, off to the store we go. These days, in many grocery stores, it’s harder to find a staffed checkout lane than a jar of spaghetti sauce. Not only do we wander the aisles and fill our carts, sometimes we also scan our items and bag them, too! This past year, the spread of the coronavirus made the weekly trek to the grocery store more inconvenient.
Well, what if those groceries just magically appeared at our doorsteps? Enter grocery delivery service. All you need is a computer or smartphone and an internet connection. Instead of pushing your cart up and down the aisles at the store, you can fill a digital cart from your local store. Most stores now have a same-day delivery feature or you can select a pre-determined delivery date within the week. No more crowds or lines, no more self-checkout lanes, missing barcodes and bagging your own groceries. And if you are the parent of young children, well, need I say more?
Are you ready to give online grocery shopping a try? Here are some popular, nation-wide grocery delivery options, and some tips and tricks to help you breeze through your virtual check-out lane.
To choose the best online grocery shopping service for you, keep in mind the following:
- Creating an account allows you to see what delivery or pickup options are available in your area and is usually free.
- Note each company’s minimum order requirements and delivery fees.
- See if there’s a membership option that could save you money on fees or get you additional perks. Most sites offer free delivery with a minimum order dollar amount.
- Remember, with super stores, you can get more than just groceries delivered.
- Most sites allow you to “favorite” items to make repeat buying easier.
- Many sites also allow customers with EBT benefits to use those on approved items.
- Make sure you think through delivery instructions for each order. If you are not home, be sure to give instructions for leaving items and if perishable, plan to have someone there to meet the delivery driver.
- Check for promos and coupons. Some sites allow manufacturer coupons and many offer promotions that are usually advertised via email.
- Some items might be out-of-stock, so plan for substitutions.
Popular Delivery Services
Two of the biggest and most widely available grocery delivery services are Amazon Fresh and Instacart. Amazon Fresh puts together orders in a warehouse, while Instacart uses personal shoppers who go to local stores near you. Both offer a range of goods, fresh produce, meat and seafood, non-perishables like pasta, and cleaning supplies.
Other popular, widely available sites include Walmart Grocery, Shipt, Boxed and Thrive Market. Walmart has over 3,000 stores nationwide and also has a free pick-up option. Shipt is available in over 5,000 locations and is also a personal shopping experience that is similar to Instacart. Boxed is an online bulk delivery service (similar to Costco or Sam’s Club) and Thrive Market focusses on healthy, environmentally friendly food and household goods.
For more grocery shopping information read Grocery Budgeting in the 21st Century.
Don’t forget to check out your favorite local or regional grocery stores as many are jumping on the delivery/online bandwagon. Happy shopping!
Additional Kidney Diet Resources
Visit DaVita.com and explore these diet and nutrition resources:
- DaVita Food Analyzer
- DaVita Dining Out Guides
- Today’s Kidney Diet Cookbooks
- DaVita Kidney-Friendly Recipes
- Diet and Nutrition Articles
- Diet and Nutrition Videos
- Kidney Smart® Virtual Classes
This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment. Consult your physician and dietitian regarding your specific diagnosis, treatment, diet and health questions.