Could Buying Groceries Online Save Money?

A month long experiment ordering groceries online with tips, service fees and a little up-charging on products is about to be over.  However, we tested ordering groceries online and may continue to do so.

Grocery Service Providers

Instacart and Shipt, two grocery ordering companies, require freelance drivers to deliver and this tends to drive the average price of the grocery total.

On the other hand, both Amazon Fresh and Peapod have their warehouses so that pricing will vary on these two vendors, but both don’t require tips, through Amazon Fresh you can deliver groceries to your doorstep, thus eliminating tips (or at least the awkwardness of not having cash on you).

Peapod, however, will likely bring a delivery man inside to sign a receipt, and you’ll likely have the social pressure to leave a tip.  The drivers of Peapod continue to be friendly and have been right on time when we tested them during our time in Chicago, so tips are suggested.

So why would you order online as opposed to just driving to your nearest market?

Here are some valid reasons:

  1. No impulse buying – Typically you walk into a store, you are more prone to buying stuff you might not need
  2. Driving – Though a market could be within walking distance, if you are loyal to a particular market far away, this could end up costing more time and money
  3. Time – Having groceries delivered to you is a time saver more than a money saver.  For some, grocery shopping is a daunting task if you have a large family for example.
  4. Consistency – Having a time and place to deliver groceries sets a budget

Recently, Amazon has acquired Whole Food Market.  With the acquisition, Amazon is beginning to roll out Whole Food’s products to their Fresh Service.  (Find out more how to get the most out of your Amazon Account)

The verdict

Though ordering groceries online is not the most viable option for some, you can nevertheless make the case that the benefits still favor ordering online.


Founder of, a website that finds unique ways to find value in your everyday life. Father of two young children and a devoted husband to a Nurse. Also, a fan of Star Wars, Leslie Nielsen, Reddit, and Changing Diapers.
  1. July 22, 2017

    My main concern with ordering groceries online is the quality of the produce. What was your opinion on that? I’m that annoying customer that spends 2 minutes picking out the perfect apples or searching for the packaged lettuce with the furthest out use by date 🙂

    1. July 22, 2017

      That’s a good point also. I think when you order online it’s for short term use, whereas I’d say if you were looking for produce and meat, the best route still is local markets.

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