Anna does most of the grocery shopping for our family, and she usually doesn’t look forward to going on the weekends because it means time away from the kids. When I shop for our family, I usually go after the kids are sleeping to avoid the crowds in the store and in the parking lot. However, for the past month, we’ve been shopping for our groceries online at Walmart and picking them up. This is not an affiliate post; Walmart happened to be the best option for us in our community, and it’s the only service we’ve tried so far.
Online grocery shopping has been a total game changer for our family. Here are a few of the reasons why we love it.
Reduces impulse buys
Anna estimates that online grocery shopping saves our family about $20 per week. As you add items to your cart, you see all of the items in your cart in the right-hand side-bar along with your running total. When you add a new item to your cart, you automatically see how much your total bill has increased. You could, of course, do the math while shopping in person at the store, but it would be a bit more work, especially with kids in tow.
We save money because Anna can easily add or remove items from the online cart so that our total bill doesn’t exceed our budgeted amount for that week. We also save money because shopping online reduced impulse buys for us (I see you, chocolate chip cookies and iced coffee). You can, of course, still make impulse purchases while shopping online, but for us, having the running total on the right-side has cut down on those extras.
Saves 2 hours per week
Grocery shopping can really eat up (#punintended) a serious amount of time each week when you consider everything that’s involved: creating the meal plan, making the grocery list, driving to the store, picking out your items, paying for your items, loading them into the car, taking them inside the house, and then putting them away. Anna guesses that she’s been saving at least two hours each week. She still plans our meals and makes the list, but then she adds all of the items to the cart while sitting on the couch and watching TV or talking with me.
Plus, you can place your online order anytime during the day or night. Last Saturday night after the kids went to bed, we sat and talked about the next week, she made our meal plan, and placed our online grocery order at Walmart around 9:30 p.m. She would say that it’s much better searching for an item from an app on your couch than it is standing in the aisle at the store. You add all of your items to the cart, choose a pick-up time, and you’re done. You have an hour window to pick up your groceries, and all four times we’ve shopped online, our groceries have been there waiting for us when we’ve arrived.
Another timesaver is the Favorites page: every item that you purchase is automatically added to your Favorites page, which makes it simple to add that item to your cart the next week. And, the Favorites page is organized by categories, which makes it easy to find items again. For example, we buy a specific brand of ground turkey almost every week, and the Favorites page allows you to add the item to your cart from there rather than searching for it again every week.
You can buy non-food items with your grocery order, too, such as toilet paper, paper towels, anything that Walmart carries as far as we know. Anna recently added a Burt’s Bees gift set to our grocery order that she gave to a friend.
Use the cart as a grocery list all week long.
As things come up during the week and we realize we need certain things (treats for work, more milk, anything), we can just add things to our online cart as we think of them rather than remembering to write them on a list and then pick up them at the store. Anna says that she does this particularly when she’s at work so that she doesn’t forget the item later on. These tips and tricks that save a few minutes here and there really seem to add up over the course of a week.
You can forget items.
Most everyone knows the feeling of returning home from the grocery store and then realizing that you forgot one or more items. It’s not a great feeling because you have one of two options, neither of which are ideal: head back to the store or make do without the missing item. With online shopping at Walmart, you have the option of adding items to your order for up to a few hours after making your purchase. It’s really come in handy for us. Last weekend, Anna placed our order, realized we needed a few more things, and easily added them to our cart. No more frustration and no more trips back to the store.
The kids stay home.
When one of us goes to the store, we usually have Jude and/or Adelaide with us, which means less room for groceries in the cart. Most stores’ carts only provide a seat for one child, which means that the other kiddo sits in the larger portion of the cart, taking up valuable real estate.
Anna would tell you that it’s difficult to make it out of the store with (happy) kids and a cart full of groceries, especially if your purchases included toilet paper and paper towels in bulk. With online grocery shopping, we add whatever we need to the online cart and don’t have to take into consideration what fits in the cart.
We will, of course, step foot in brick and mortar grocery stores again, but not as frequently as we used to and not with a long list. For our family, buying our groceries online gives us more time on the weekends together, and we can’t ask for more than that. Have you given online grocery shopping a try yet? What did you think? I’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments below.