Using Online Grocery Shopping To Stay On Budget

Growing up, I remember grabbing the Sunday paper for comics and discounts. After a good laugh, I’d  flip through local grocery circulars. I was curious about the sales. Plus, the seasonal marketing made it easier to negotiate for crowd pleasures (snacks my siblings and I liked). Then, I’d search for relevant coupons. It was rare to find coupons we could use.

Walmart Circular

Brand loyalty and price tends to limit what people purchase on a weekly basis. That being said, your best bet for finding deals back then was spending hours in the store scrutinizing a products price by weight/volume to find the best value. This was my norm and how I learned to shop for my household later in life. The pandemic made it harder to shop that way. Not couponing. I mean perusing the a store from front to back at a leisurely pace.

Curbside Pickup & Savings

The rise of grocery curbside pick up and delivery has made it possible to see current prices in realtime. No system is perfect.I get the appeal of curbside pick up. You can literally schedule an order several days before you need it. However, the store website doesn’t list 100% of it’s inventory. You have to be very precise with measurements and quantities. Otherwise, the item you want can get buried under items that met your search criteria. Let’s not forget subscription traps.

Depending on the store, there’s a dollar minimum for curbside. If you don’t meet that requirement, you’ll have to pay a fee. To avoid the dollar minimum, you can get a subscription for that store. In practice, you end up spending more money on groceries than you normally would. If you’ve got the time and it’s going to be a large haul, why not use an online shopping cart to plan your trip?

Let Your Online Grocery List Work For You

For ease of purchase, many stores have upgraded their apps. Its to the point that a consumer can scan their items as they go and pay at self checkout. So, I use those tools to my advantage.

At the beginning of the week, I scan my home to determine what I’ll need to restock this weekend. Then, I’ll check the items price at various stores to determine where I’ll by it. The items will sit on my cart till I’m ready to buy them. When I get to the store, I open the app and work my way down the list. As I shop, I remove the item from my virtual cart. If I can’t find it, I’ll leave it in the cart as a virtual reminder that I still need to pick it up.

Shopping Carts

Now, I am not restricted by the list. Day of trips can yield more savings. I may switch out the quantity or replace the item with a similar brand. The point of the virtual cart is to have a general idea of how much my shopping trip is going to cost.

I know physical limitations and family size can make my method impractical. If you haven’t shopped this way, I hope the post encourages you to try this method. Have a great weekend and see you next week for Motivational Mondays with Trisha!


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