Digital grocery shopping – yes or no?

The idea that I never really have to step foot in a supermarket again is rather appealing. Especially since the memory of dragging my two boys with me this afternoon to a crowded Whole Foods full of cranky New Yorkers is still fresh in my memory.

My oldest likes to keep me on my toes by throwing random boxes of very sugary things in the cart, hoping I don’t notice until after we’ve checked out. And my three-year-old, well, given that he refuses to get in the cart unless it’s in the shape of a car…he’s just plain trouble. Grabbing an apple and taking a big bite before I can get it out of his remarkably strong little hand. Screaming when he sees something he wants but can’t have (note to store managers: placing Hot Wheels at kid level may get your more sales in the short term, but it makes me loathe you). Darting off and giving me a heart attack.

I’ve tried a few digital grocery options, but for some reason, I keep coming back to the store. Or farmer’s market.

I think it is because I’ve been more of a dabbler. I’m picky about produce quality. I like to touch the fruit, give the avocados a little squeeze, and look at things like spinach closely to make sure there’s no slime anywhere in sight. I’ve tested the experience at a few different places and so far, I’ve been pleasantly surprised. But since I haven’t committed to one e-retailer, I haven’t really invested any time in setting up a profile for myself. My friends tell me that once you set up a default list that you can replicate with the click of a button…you never go back.

The other thing I have a hard time with is – the things in my pantry get used up at very different rates. If my milk unexpectedly runs out on a Friday after breakfast – I literally can’t wait two more days until the delivery arrives.

But after today’s experience, I’m beginning to think that I should establish an online ordering routine and get my profile set up on the double. Especially now that I can probably order groceries on the train home from work:

What about you, do you shop for your groceries virtually? If you’re a total convert – what was the tipping point for you?

  • Soni C.

    Ordering groceries online was a HUGE time and stress saver for me. I used to place a large online order every two weeks and arrange to pick it up. My groceries were bagged and ready to go; all I had to do was hand over my coupons and pay, and I was out the door in less than ten minutes. The time saved alone was well worth the additional $12.95 service fee. Unfortunately after I was diagnosed with celiac disease last year I had to read every label on every item to ensure it was gluten free (unless, of course it was already GF certified). I couldn’t trust the store shoppers to thoroughly read the labels so I had to return to old-fashioned shopping. I miss those days…

  • Amy Suardi

    I love online shopping! I love saving the time and effort, and not having to race through a store with several grabby toddlers. The groceries are delivered right to my kitchen, so there is absolutely no schlepping. Now that I have a routine going, it takes me about 15 minutes or less to do the “shopping.” I love that I can come back to it anytime, do it in bed or on the couch, sort by unit price, and zoom in on the labels and ingredients lists.

    During the warmer months we get our produce from a farm share, but in the winter, the delivery service does a great job of picking fresh and not-bruised or over-ripe fruit and veggies. In fact, a friend told me they do a better job than her husband.

    After a few times, you can estimate how much milk, etc. you need each week. If we need something, we can just pop into a convenience store (which might happen whether we got our groceries delivered or not).

    Highly recommend for any busy person who doesn’t love to grocery shop!