The Triumphs and Pitfalls of Grocery Shopping Online

I have been primarily grocery shopping online for over 6 months now.  Whether I am loading up my Costco cart on GoogleExpress, placing a Meijer order on Shipt or confirming my Amazon Subscribe and Save items, I relish in the knowledge that I do not have to go to the dreaded store.

I wasn’t always this way, but when you stack full-time work, an energetic toddler and a desire to spend my free time on some adventure (oh yeah, and managing this blog!), grocery shopping quickly becomes a royal pain.

As a “seasoned” online grocery shopper, I have discovered a few triumphs and pitfalls of grocery shopping online.

The Triumphs

“Honey, I went shopping today…”

1. Ease of Shopping

Picture this… it is 7:24 am and Mr. Adventure Rich pours himself a glass of milk with his eggs.  He empties the milk jug as I search the back of the fridge and discover that those eggs were the last ones.  We’re out!

Not only that, but there is nothing in the fridge for dinner (how did I miss that?!?)!

Solution? I grab my phone, open the Shipt app, add a few things to the cart, select a delivery time and voila, groceries are on my doorstep by mid-afternoon.

It could not be easier!

Now, depending on where you shop, you may need to plan a bit more in advance.  GoogleExpress for example typically delivers within 1-2 days depending on the time of day the order is placed while Amazon Subscribe and Save requires about a week’s notice.

But hey, I’m not complaining, I just ordered groceries while lounging in my living room decked out inPJs before work!

2. Time/Stress-Free

Groceries Arrive!

Shopping stresses me out.  All the lights, colors, noise, options, ugh… make it go away!  I don’t mind smaller markets or stores, but when I head to a big box store, I feel more on edge.  Maybe it is because of the crowded aisles, maybe it is the genius and scary psychological ninja Jedi mind tricks the marketing teams dream up to make us want to buy more, or maybe it is just the overall sense of consumerism.  Regardless of the reason, I just don’t like it.

Add the fact that every minute driving to, shopping in and driving from a store takes away from the time I could be spending adventuring with my family, working towards my goals or completing a project. And I am so far from the shopping bandwagon I can’t even hear the band anymore.

3. Less Temptation for Impulse Buys

Guess what. Those genius and scary psychological ninja Jedi mind tricks dreamt up and employed by the marketing teams of many of our big stores, well, they are all a trap!

On a late July afternoon, while walking through the store, the graham crackers, Hershey’s chocolate, and marshmallows are conveniently located right next to each other.  Suddenly, I crave S’Mores and will likely go rogue, abandon my shopping list and buy one of each (or maybe two… who knows who else might want a S’More!).

Now rework that scenario.  I am sitting in a hammock on a late July afternoon with a shopping list in one hand and my phone in the other.  I type each item into the search bar, select the brand, size, and quantity of the item and add to my cart.

Once I reach the bottom of my list, I’m done.  No browsing, no walking past the end caps, no “I’ll just check the beer aisle to see if there is a good deal”.  I check out and turn my attention back to my book as AR Jr. chases the soccer ball across the yard.


1. Pricing

While there are deals and perks, online grocery shopping tends to be a bit more expensive.  With Shipt, I pay a $99/year membership, products are marked up slightly (example: a $1.99 in store item might be $2.09 on Shipt) and I tip the shopper since they are personally shopping for me.

GoogleExpress eliminated their annual fee and added more stores, but for some stores, the items are marked up (similar to the Shipt model).  I have noticed this with Walmart, but not with Costco (my go-to for GoogleExpress shopping).

Amazon Subscribe and Save completely depends on the item.  Some items are complete steals, while others are worth shopping around for.

2. Store Minimums

Both Shipt and GoogleExpress enforce store minimums.  These store minimums (typically $35) are the minimum total amount you must purchase to avoid paying an extra shipping fee.  I have yet to pay the extra fee because I strategize to bulk buy when placing online orders, but it is an aspect I have to be aware of.

3. Options

Overall, I am pleased with the options I find on GoogleExpress, Shipt and Amazon Subscribe and Save.  However, it is not the same as going to the store and having an aisle full of salad dressing to choose from.  I have to search out specific dressings or choose from the selection posted online (sometimes limited compared to shopping in store).

The occasional lack of options is a mild inconvenience but does not bother me much.  On the flip side, it can also be helpful to have limited options… less time spent in the choosing and browsing process!

4. Personal Selection

When I order produce or a packaged portion of meat from Shipt, the Shipt shopper makes their best judgment when selecting the product in store.  I can add comments like “please select bananas that are more green” or “please look for a leaner cut of top round steak”, but I am obviously unable to choose the specific items myself.

Honestly, my inability to select the specific items has not been a problem for me.  The Shipt shoppers have selected good, ripe and quality produce. I have yet to be disappointed with an item.

Overall, I am incredibly satisfied with my shift to grocery shopping online.  The online grocery shopping affords me more time, energy, and opportunity to live the life of adventure I desire with my family.

Do you grocery shop online?  How has the shopping experience treated you so far?

Always an Adventure,

Mrs. Adventure Rich