This week marks the final week for my grocery challenge. As mentioned in my previous post, I decided to do something different for the final week of my grocery challenge. I would purchase at least 90% of my groceries online and document my experience.
Although I buy a lot of things online, groceries were not one of them, so I wanted to get a feel for the experience doing this and see if I should do this on a regular basis. Before I get to my finding, my grand total shopping bill for this week was $117.29. I managed to stay below the $140/week mark but not quite get to the $100/week goal without needing to reduce our food and nutritional choices.
If there is anything this monthly challenge has taught me is that we are right where we need to be in terms of our grocery amount allocation each week.
Completing this grocery challenge confirmed that we have not under or over allocated for groceries based on our food and nutritional choices.
So, would I buy 90% of my groceries online again?
Probably not. Not any time soon. Here is why?
- It is not as convenient as you think: Most major Canadian grocery stores don’t offer grocery delivery services, but rather grocery pick up services. You still must leave your house to pick up the items from the store. Everything is bagged and ready for you when you get there, but it is extra time and gas used up. If you already have to go there, might as well do the shopping yourself.
- Only select locations offer the delivery service: This is probably what annoyed me the most. There is a Walmart Superstore about a 5-minute drive from our place. However, this Walmart did not offer a pick-up service. The nearest pick up location was 20 minutes away and the area was considerably busier than where I live. That alone has deterred me from ever buying groceries online again, at least in respect to where I currently live.
- Long wait time before you can pick up your order: After completing my order online, I had to wait at least 50 minutes before picking up my order. I could have completed this grocery run in 30 minutes or less, even with moderate to busy foot traffic. Waiting a minimum of 50 minutes when I can do it in half the time doesn’t make any sense.
- Less selections to choose from: I found that for certain items, there were less selections to choose from online. For example, I was searching for a can of my favorite kidney beans online and I could not find the brand name listed on the site. This happened again with some of my dairy and packaged products.
- Prices may vary from buying in store: Now I can’t confirm if the price variation for the same products was because the prices might have changed from last week to this week, but I did notice that the cost of certain dairy, fruits and vegetable were much higher when purchased online than purchased at the store. I compared my receipt transactions from last to this week for items that were similar and here are some of the difference in price I noticed:
|Last week||This week|
|1% Milk (small carton)||$2.00||$2.20|
|1 Red Pepper||$1.50||$1.67|
|1 Green Pepper||$0.52||$0.97|
|1 Yellow Pepper||$1.42||$5.45|
- Minimum order of $50: This wasn’t an issue because most of my grocery visits if I am shopping for the week are no less than $80, but because I felt some of the items were more expensive online, the $50 didn’t stretch very far.
- Took me longer to find the items online than in store: The other frustration was that it took me longer to shop online for all the items on my grocery list than to shop at the store. Granted, because this is my first go at this, the system did not have a previous purchase history to recall from. However, unlike my local grocery store which I know like the back of my hand, this process was more time consuming. Also, even though Walmart does try and put grocery items by category to make it easier to shop online, the system is not as intuitive you would think.
It wasn’t all bad.
There are some nice perks to grocery shopping online, then picking up your order. Some of them include:
- Someone else does the bagging for you. This can be a good or bad thing if the person bagged your items poorly.
- It does free up time for you to do other things. If you don’t need the groceries right away (i.e. planning on cooking a meal in an hour or so) than waiting 50 minutes doesn’t make a difference. Once your order is sent, you can focus on doing something else during that hour and maximize your time.
- If you’ve got young kids at home. Since it is only my husband and I, it does not take added effort for the both of us to go to grocery store and complete our grocery run for the week. This may be a different story if you have little one’s at home. The upside to the delivery service is you can specify what time you will come to pick up the groceries. As long as you provide at least 50 minutes and you arrive between business hours, you can pick up your groceries hours after your order was processed. This can mean waiting till your spouse gets home to relieve you of the kids so you can go.
Ordering my groceries online was an interesting experience but not worth implementing regularly.