Buying All Groceries Online? 6 Budgeting Tips That Can Help

If you buy most of your groceries online, you’re not alone. Most of us prefer having our staples and groceries delivered to our doorsteps; this doesn’t just save time and money but also helps us compare prices and weigh our purchasing options widely in the comfort of our own home. However, keeping a budget is quite important when it comes to online grocery shopping especially if you’re prone to impulse shopping.

Buying in bulk or buying for at least two weeks is wise when it comes to staples, grains, pulses etc and can help you save up on delivery fees or handling charges. There are quite a few strategies that you can consider if you’re looking to save money during online grocery shopping. Let’s explore.

Always create a weekly shopping list

One of the most effective ways to control your grocery spending is by planning your meals for the week and creating a detailed shopping list. Start by planning your meals for the entire week, including breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Consider the ingredients you already have at home and think about how you can incorporate them into your meals. 

This practice reduces waste and ensures you only buy what you need. Additionally, planning meals that can be cooked in larger quantities and used for multiple meals, such as soups, stews, and casseroles, can save both time and money. Once your meal plan is set, create a shopping list categorized by sections like produce, dairy, meats, and pantry items. This organization helps streamline the shopping process and minimizes impulse purchases.

Compare Prices and Look for Discounts

Online grocery shopping platforms provide the ability to compare prices across different brands and stores. Take advantage of this feature to ensure you’re getting the best deals. Regularly check for discounts, promotions, and sales offered by various online grocery stores. Many platforms also offer digital coupons that can be applied at checkout for additional savings. Signing up for newsletters or loyalty programs can also keep you informed about exclusive deals and special offers. Price comparison tools and apps can further assist in finding the lowest prices for the items on your list.

Buy in bulk but not impulsively

Buying in bulk can lead to significant savings, especially for non-perishable items and household essentials. Products like grains, pasta, canned goods, and cleaning supplies often have lower per-unit costs when purchased in larger quantities. However, it’s important to be cautious and avoid buying perishable items in bulk unless you’re sure you can consume them before they spoil. For fresh produce, meats, and dairy products, consider your household’s consumption rate to prevent waste. Utilize the bulk-buying option for items that have a longer shelf life and are used frequently in your household.

Avoid ‘recommended buys’ unless you really need them

Impulse buying is one of the easiest ways to overspend on groceries. Online grocery stores often have features like “recommended for you” or “customers also bought” sections that can tempt you to add unnecessary items to your cart. To avoid falling into this trap, stick strictly to your shopping list. If you find something that seems appealing but isn’t on your list, take a moment to consider whether you really need it. Implement a 24-hour rule where you wait a day before making an unplanned purchase can help you avoid impulse buys and make more thoughtful purchasing decisions.

Use Cash Back and Reward Programs

Many online grocery platforms and credit cards offer cash back or reward points for purchases. Take advantage of these programs to save money over time. Check if your grocery store’s website or app has a rewards program and sign up for it. These programs often provide points for every purchase that can be redeemed for discounts or free products. Additionally, using credit cards that offer cash back on grocery purchases can help you earn a percentage of your spending back. Just ensure you pay off your credit card balance each month to avoid interest charges that could negate the savings.

Schedule Deliveries Strategically

Delivery fees can add up quickly and impact your overall grocery budget. To minimize these costs, consider scheduling your deliveries strategically. Some online grocery services offer free delivery if you meet a minimum purchase requirement. Plan your shopping so you can buy enough to qualify for free delivery without overbuying. Look for subscription services that offer unlimited deliveries for a monthly or annual fee. Grouping your orders and scheduling deliveries during off-peak hours, when delivery fees might be lower, can also contribute to savings.