Paying for the Price of Convenience With Online Grocery Shopping

I would say I’m organized about 99% of the time I go grocery shopping. During the week, I have an ongoing list of items we’re running out of. On Friday, I check the flyers to see what items are on sale, what I should stock up on and what items can I price match. I go through my coupons and see if there are any I can use.  I make sure to bring several reusable grocery bags with me to get points towards free groceries. I try to eat something before I go, because we all know the consequences of shopping for groceries while hungry!

online grocery shopping worth it?

Yet I hate it. Hate it with a burning passion. I hate grocery shopping almost as much as I hate cooking.

I try to do some of my grocery shopping during the week, when it’s less busy, but sometimes there’s not enough time and I have to go on the weekends.  I hate it when people park their grocery cart right in the MIDDLE of the aisle and stare at their grocery list, making it hard for me to maneuver around them. I hate it when people when have twice as many items in the express line. One or two extra items is fine, but twenty items, when the sign clearly says “1-10”?!?!?  I guess they can’t count properly.  I hate trying to bag my groceries (and trying to quickly decide in my head what items should be bagged together and what shouldn’t) and pay for them at the same time because the next customer is ready to go. I hate having to lug my heavy groceries from the car to the house and having to put them away.

Okay, so you get the gist of how much I hate grocery shopping.

I’ve done online shopping for clothes, so why haven’t I tried online grocery shopping?

Good question.  I have no idea.  I first heard about it through my university sweetheart.  He didn’t have a car, so he was ordering his groceries through a company called Grocery Gateway.  I was fortunate to have my parents come on the weekends and either give me groceries or take me grocery shopping. Sometimes they would take my then-boyfriend grocery shopping as well (his parents lived much further away).  The odd times I went grocery shopping on my own, I would use my HUGE expedition backpack and stuff as much food as I could into it.

I thought of online grocery shopping as something more for students, but now that I think about it, it is convenient for all sorts of people:  extremely busy people on the go, people who don’t drive or don’t have cars, the elderly, people with mobility issues and even people with young kids.

Some facts I got from the Grocery Gateway website:

A minimum purchase of $45.00 is required.

There’s an $11.95 delivery fee.

Delivery can be as early as 6 am.

Many delivery windows are 90 min long and they call you 15 min ahead to let you know they’re on the way.

You can even order beer!

You don’t need to tip the delivery person and you can even pay upon delivery with debit.

I entered my postal code to see if they delivered in my area and they do.

While this may not be enough for you to make an informed decision, you can always check out the website for more information and try the service yourself.

On average, I spend about $300/month on groceries for two people which is $75 a week plus gas and my time spent there. I know I would be paying more for the convenience and most likely more for the price of groceries since they are only coming from one slightly higher end grocery store.  I may even end up having to do little trips if I forget something.  I guess it all boils down to how much you value your time. While you are waiting for your groceries to be delivered, you can be doing other things around the house or even relaxing.  You wouldn’t have to deal with the crowds.

Basically, it would be one less thing for me to do on my to-do list.


Have you ever tried online grocery shopping? What was your experience like? Would you ever consider trying online grocery shopping if they delivered to your area?

31 thoughts on “Paying for the Price of Convenience With Online Grocery Shopping

    • Due its higher cost, I don’t think it’s that popular. However, if it does become more popular and there’s more competition, maybe the costs would go down. I think it would be more fun having groceries delivered to your door than actually going out and getting them! 🙂

  1. Ive never tried it before but like you I loathe grocery shopping. That being said I’ll probably just still go to the store anyway. I already spend a lot for just me so the fee would not be good. I can totally see how this would be useful though if you don’t have a car or live in a city like NY. Or you are disabled for some reason.

    • I did a quick search on Google and there are few companies such as FreshDirect and MaxDelivery that provide online grocery shopping services to people in NYC. It must be pretty popular over there.

  2. I’ve never done the online grocery shopping, mainly because I feel like it would be too high of a cost for the convenience. I do like that a few of the stores here will let you shop online and then bring the groceries out to your car- I might try that in the future, but we typically have a list and shop the sales, and sometimes stock up on the awesome clearances we might run across. I think I would be afraid of spending too much if I could just click something into a basket.

    • I don’t do online shopping too much in general, but I can see how people could get carried away with online grocery shopping. It’d be like grocery shopping while you’re hungry! Well, I guess you could also do online grocery shopping while you’re hungry. Lol.

  3. The only time we use online grocery shopping is when they email me with a deal for free delivery. I pass the offer to my wife and she buys lots of things we need, and some things we don’t. Oh well, at least the delivery was free.

    • Free delivery would definitely be a bonus! If only they could do that with pizza, but they always seem to manage to deliver it to your door within the specified time frame. 😛

  4. The Trader Joe’s by my house has the best combination of quality food items and price I’ve found anywhere, but it also has the LONGEST line. We’re talking about a line wrapped around the entire store just to check out. Occasionally, if I can squeeze in a trip early in the morning, it’s only as far back as the dairy section.

    • Oh wow. That is insane. I’ve heard a lot of American bloggers raving about Trader Joe’s. I hope they come to Canada and give Whole Foods a run for their money.

  5. This is an interesting concept…one that I’ve considered. I don’t mind going to the grocery store though. I’d be very interested to know though – per the meme – how someone could get $75 worth of coupons in one hour. My experience is that it would take much longer than that…which is why I don’t coupon.

    • There aren’t a lot of coupons available to Canadians and I definitely don’t make time to coupon. The way I coupon is more of if I come across one while reading the flyers that applies to my groceries, then I’ll use it. One hour already seems like a long time to hunt for coupons.

      Unfortunately both my partner and I don’t like grocery shopping, but for some reason I got stuck with the task. :S

  6. I’ve considered it but it have found the cost to be 20-30% more than the local grocery store. We already spend too much on groceries so I’m looking at ways to reduce our bills rather than add to them. Convenience might be key for some and in that case it would be worth it

    • I agree. A lot of the times you’re paying for the price of convenience. I, too, myself am trying to find ways to reduce my grocery bill, but the rising costs of some foods isn’t really helping either.

  7. Hey, if online grocery shopping saves you time, and allows you to skip something you don’t like to do, more power to you. I, on the other hand, LOVE grocery shopping. It’s “me” time where nobody bothers me, and I get to pull together all the great things that I’m going to make to eat for the next week (I love to eat also)!

    • It’s interesting that you consider grocery shopping your “me” time. I guess people either love it or hate it. Want to do my grocery shopping and make my meals? I’ll pay you. Lol.

  8. I’ve never tried shopping for groceries online and have them delivered to me. But, our local supermarket did introduce curb side pickup. You place your order online and in 20 minutes, park in the spot right up front and they bring your groceries to you. They offered it for free for 1st time users but then it costs $5. It was nice, but I never used it and paid for it.

    • Curb side pickup is not a bad idea, actually. Although you do have to drive to the grocery store, it would still save you time by cutting out the shopping part. That could get kind of crazy on the weekends though unless they had a specific pick up spot, like they do at Ikea.

  9. I don’t mind grocery shopping but some days I wish I didn’t have to go! I can see where a busy person or family would opt to get groceries delivered. I can only imagine how frustrating it is for moms to shop with kids who are constantly asking for things to buy or pulling things from the shelves that they want. The fee and increased cost of products is a turn off, but free curbside pickup is pretty awesome!

  10. I may be in the minority but while I don’t love grocery shopping, doing it online has no appeal whatsoever. I like going to indie fruit and meat shops and being able to pick out the best produce myself and see what sales are on in store.

    • I only know of this one bakery/deli in my town which is a short drive away, but ALWAYS busy. I have no idea where the rest of those shops are.

  11. We’ve tried it once or twice, but I think for us grocery shopping doesn’t take too long and we don’t really mind it. We also go shopping on the weekends, but we can usually get it finished in less than an hour. If it ever became an issue of not enough time or a mobility thing, then we’d definitely look into it.

    • Grocery shopping doesn’t take too long for me either. I think the most time I’ve ever spent in the grocery store was 40 min. I still hate it though, but it has to be done. 🙂

  12. I have never tried the online grocery shopping. Congrats that you have more money than time!

    I figure that if I can trade the additional cost, and make more money doing something else, it is worth it. Mostly I find grocery shopping can be done at a time when I am not making money doing something else.

    Remember, every penny you save (or pick up), is the same as generating additional passive income.

  13. I can definitely understand the desire to do this. I don’t like grocery shopping and I don’t like the time that it takes. I’m not sure I would consider online shopping right now though, since we’re trying to save as much money as we can. But I can see it being valuable for some.

  14. Giant food stores has this program called PEA-POD. Check it out. It delivers food right to your door, and you can choose what you want to buy.
    Best part-you can use coupons.

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