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Published on May 26, 2020

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10 Tips for Online Grocery Shopping

By the LiveNOW Well-being Team

Everything is done online now, right? For many of us, so has grocery shopping. My family is very lucky to have this option available and we’re grateful for those front-line, essential employees that show up every day to keep us healthy and fed.

What we’ve learned in the last month of online grocery shopping:

Healthy Snacks

When online grocery shopping it’s easy to see an item, today it was my daughter catching a glimpse of the Nilla Wafers box, and the next thing you know it’s in your cart with the push of a button. Just say no! Have your kids (any housemate for that matter) make a list of their top 10 healthy(ish) snacks. Stick to the list when ordering.

Compile a List

Speaking of lists, use one. Take recipes you will use for the week and order the ingredients you need. Don’t guess. Guessing equals back-to-back orders which are time consuming for grocery store employees. I’m guilty of this, but working on it in order to make this process more efficient for all parties.

Wait a Day

Now that you have your list and your online cart is full, wait a day before you submit. Guaranteed you will have a couple of straggler items to add before you check out.

Check Availability

The online tool I use for grocery shopping only needs one item in the cart in order to check on available pick-up times. I can quickly see if I need to switch pick-up locations and/or if I need to place a larger order, therefore lasting more days. In turn, helping not to overload the grocery store’s system.

Stick With Necessities

Buy only what’s on your list and only in quantities that you actually need.

Order Extra Butter

There is nothing worse than running out of butter. Order extra. Especially if you have a baker in the house. I’m not talking hoarding butter but you get the picture.

Use a Calendar

But be flexible. Taking time to write down your meals for the week sets intentions, helps with an ingredient list and makes online shopping a breeze. That said, if something comes up, be flexible and once groceries are purchased if you need to move a meal to a different day – feel free! We use a pencil on our calendar until the meal has been prepared and then we change it to ink. It’s satisfying watching the days’ meals become an accomplishment.

Recurring Items Help

Once a week have a recurring family dinner item. Ours is Friday. It’s pizza. Easy, predictable, cheap.

Be Smart With Substitutions

If your online grocery tool allows substitutions be careful. It’s a great option but you want to use what you pay for so only allow substitutions for items that you know you’ll use no matter what size, brand, or flavor shows up in your bag.

Share Ingredients

You may not be able to share a meal with friends during this time but you can share ingredients. For example, our recipe last Saturday called for fresh thyme and it was a necessary ingredient for the taste of the dish. I asked my best friend if she would want to make the same dish for her family and split the thyme. Boom, no waste and half the cost.

Online shopping has become a new normal at our house. It saves precious time and energy – and right now it is allowing us to keep some distance and hopefully keep more people healthy. If this is something you would like to try in your house but you’re not sure how to get started log in and research your grocery store’s site. Often there are recipe links and weekly deals links too – both of which can help with getting started.

Good luck!

By Morgan Douthit, Well-being Specialist

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