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Smart Shopper: Getting your groceries delivered

What does the cost of convenience mean to you? This is a question that many people are starting to ask themselves as online shopping and delivery continues to i...

What does the cost of convenience mean to you? This is a question that many people are starting to ask themselves as online shopping and delivery continues to increase in popularity.

When it comes to deciding if grocery delivery is right for you, there are a few factors you must weigh out first. For example, what are the pros and cons of choosing to get your grocery food delivered?

According to MoneyCrashers these are the advantages and disadvantages you should look for.


  1. It saves time

If you’re pressed for time, visiting a grocery store is not an ideal chore. Going with a grocery delivery service means you never have to set foot in a store, leaving you more time to work, enjoy your family, and even take a few minutes for yourself.

2. It reduces impulse buys

Whether it’s a gossip rag set up in the checkout aisle or a sale item hanging out on an end-cap, impulse buys can easily damage even the most bulletproof grocery budget. But by using a delivery service, you can make your choices efficiently, without being tempted by the items you buy because you’re bored or hungry. This includes junk food – when shopping online for your delivery service, you can avoid the shelves of cookies and chips, helping you keep the unhealthy stuff out of your home.

3. Delivery fees are generally reasonable

Most delivery services charge higher delivery fees for smaller orders. For instance, a common delivery service (Giant) charges a $6.95 delivery fee for orders over $100, but $1 more for shipping if you spend less than that – and even more if you spend less than $50. This system means you get more groceries for less, making it simpler and more cost-effective to shop for your whole family.

4. Online specials are available

By shopping online, you miss out on the perks of grocery store shopping, like using coupons, comparison shopping, and ad matching. However, you can score great deals with online specials that store shoppers can’t get. The best part is that instead of driving all over town to snag sale items at various supermarkets, it only takes a single click of a button to take advantage of the best online deals.


  1. It can be expensive

Buying groceries online is super convenient, but you pay a premium price for that benefit. Sometimes items are simply priced higher via a delivery service than at a supermarket, and without the ability to compare prices or search for bargains, you might be stuck with a high price. The delivery fees, while reasonable, can also take a bite out of your grocery budget as well.

Furthermore, trucking your groceries around your area costs money, and delivery services often make up for that cost by charging an additional fuel surcharge. It’s a cost that usually depends on your home’s proximity to the delivery center. However, you can sometimes get a discount if you choose delivery dates when the truck is already scheduled to be in your area.

2. You can’t handpick each item

When you walk down a produce aisle, you likely search for the ripest, best-looking fruits and vegetables. When you purchase groceries online, you’re trusting another shopper to select items for your family. While most services guarantee freshness, you might be less than impressed when the food is delivered.

3. Delivery can take time

You or someone in your family needs to be around to sign for your groceries. While it usually doesn’t matter who signs for your items, if you’re receiving alcohol or cigarettes, someone 18 years or older must be home to sign.

Some services allow for drop-off delivery without a signature, but then your groceries must be left in coolers on your porch. If left out long enough, there could be some food safety concerns, especially if you’re having meat delivered.

4. You might still need to go to the supermarket

If you only use delivery services in lieu of your regular weekly or bi-weekly trip to the supermarket, you may find that you still end up needing to make trips to the store for perishables, such as milk and bread. If so, you may spend needlessly on impulse buys, or ultimately not save yourself any time. Delivery services often complement regular grocery store trips, rather than replace them. Unless you’re set on just buying the staples at the supermarket, you could spend more by using a delivery service.

Let’s calculate the expenses of choosing delivery. Most stores charge delivery fees anywhere from $4.95 per delivery to $99 per year.

Publix delivery service is one that allows you the option to choose a package deal with deliveries. This option also requires commitment to using the delivery service. Their options include paying $9.99/month or $99/year. The fee is one-time, and only requires customers to spend $35 or more each delivery. If customers spend less than $35/delivery, another fee is tacked on.

But just like ordering pizza delivery, grocery delivery expects to be tipped at the time of delivery. Calculate in the delivery fees plus tip and that’s more money being spent so you don’t have to go to the store, which brings up the question again. What does the cost of convenience mean to you?

Lastly, most delivery users recommend this option. The extra money, though can add up, is typically worth it in the end. Choosing delivery saves customers on time, calories, and energy. Most customers said they were most likely to buy healthier foods online, rather than in-store.

If you’re interested in signing up for grocery delivery service, here’s a look at some of the local options:

Kroger – Both delivery and pickup is available. Fees included typically, but $4.95 pickup fee is currently waived until the end of 2019. Prices online are equivalent to in-store.

Publix – Groceries are delivered through Instacart. Also offers curbside pickup if delivery isn’t the first choice. Prices are increased online, but plenty of BOGO sales available.

Walmart – Offers both online pickup and delivery. Prices do not vary from online to in-store. Delivery fees vary from $98/year to $12.95/month.

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