online groceries

Does Grocery Delivery Really Deliver?

Yes, it sounds like it’s heaven-sent. No lines. No temptations. No bribing the kids to behave while you make your way through aisles of marketing ploys. But is grocery delivery really all that? Here, we take a look at the upsides and downsides of this one-stop wonder.

PRO: It’s convenient and saves on one thing you’re probably short on—time.

Okay, so the top pro for grocery delivery is—you guessed it—time. To sum it up, less time driving, picking out groceries and waiting in line. This is great for Millennials living in a city without access to a car. Or also the elderly who might not be physically able to get to the store.

PRO: You won’t buy into impulse buys.

Whether it’s you or your kids who are reeled in by freebies and new items, you won’t have to deal with impulse buys when you opt for grocery delivery. Just pick your list and you’re done. And the unhealthy or non-essential stuff stays out of your life for good.

PRO: You’ll get online specials.

Sure, you can’t use regular coupons or take advantage of your local grocery store’s BOGO specials, but you can get online deals that regular shoppers can’t get.

PRO: The web can filter products.

Most websites can take the guesswork out of picking products. You can filter based on kosher, organic, gluten-free or sugar-free. And on some websites, you can even list Weight Watchers® point values.

PRO: Forgot an item? No problem.

If you’re one to forget an item in the grocery store, delivery may be for you. Usually delivery services let you add on items up until the day of delivery.

PRO: Shop in your jammies.

Ever wish you never had to get out of your pajamas—or even out of bed? Then online shopping is an awesome option. No makeup, no clothes, no hassle.

PRO: Shop anytime.

An online store is always open, so you can slide grocery shopping in before a 1 a.m. feeding or a 6 a.m. workout. Your call.

CON: You’ll probably pay more.

Grocery delivery is super-convenient, but with that convenience comes a price tag. First off, you can’t really compare prices or search for bargains, and you’ll probably have to pay a delivery fee on top of your grocery bill. Plus, delivering your groceries costs money, even if you don’t see it in the delivery cost. Oftentimes, an additional fuel surcharge will be added on, depending on where you live.

CON: There’s a lot of extra packaging.

If you’ve ever order a food subscription box, you know it comes with a lot of individually wrapped items, which isn’t great for the environment.

CON: No cash or check.

If you don’t have a credit card or are looking to nix the credit card habit, you might want to head to the store. Online shopping is usually a credit card-only ordeal.

CON: No handpicking items.

Like to eye and handle your produce before picking? If you’re online shopping, you’re out of luck. What you don’t see is what you get.

CON: No big coupon deals.

Sure, you can coupon online, but you’ll initially be charged the full price of your order. Any coupon savings are only subtracted much later—after the delivery is processed.

CON: Wait or pay.

You can’t just get your items right away, like you can in a store. You’ll have to wait for delivery or pay a surcharge. Some online stores have first-time customer discounts, but after that, you’ll have to shell out the extra for speedy delivery.

After you weigh the pros and cons, it’s up to you whether online grocery shopping is the thing to do. If you’re injured or are short on time, you bet the pros are going to outweigh the cons and these sort of services can really help. But if the corner store is convenient, it still may be your best bet. It depends on where you live, your schedule and how you want to shop—all play into the big picture of whether to shop online or off.