Is It Cheaper To Buy Groceries Online?

There is no denying that technology has made our lives easier. Online shopping, allows us to purchase products in a more efficient and less time consuming manner.

But is online shopping always the best option when it comes to your weekly groceries shop?

With the rise in the low cost, no frills supermarkets Aldi and Lidl, many shoppers are flocking to them for the low prices. Tesco have counter punched with the launch of their own no-frills brand, Jacks.

Buying online

Let’s look at the plus points of doing your weekly shop online.

  • For one thing, you save time and petrol.
  • Furthermore, it’s easier to budget your shopping list from the comfort of your own home. This becomes even more true thanks to websites which allow you to compare the prices of products in thousands of different supermarkets
  • Everyone knows that supermarkets are specifically designed to make you buy more products. From the way things are arranged to the smells in the air. Most people entering a supermarket will end up leaving with a few extra items, especially if your kid is with you.

However, for the seasoned coupon clipper, shopping online can prove a disadvantage. As they may not be able to use these offers, as well as offers that may only be available in the actual store

Going to the supermarket

  • The most obvious advantage of going to the supermarket, is being able to select the produce yourself. You may not think this is relevant to whether this makes the shopping cheaper, but it actually is. We are all too familiar with that feeling of getting home only to discover the avocados you bought for your salad are way too soft.
    So selecting the food you buy can potentially make the overall shop cheaper if you believe the food you choose will be of higher quality. Plus, nobody knows your tastes and preferences better than yourself.
  • Furthermore, certain people may find value in the act of going to the store. If you consider the experience of shopping a positive one, this can also enter into your calculations when weighing the pros and cons.

When online grocery shopping was first made available, I was very keen on it and ordered regularly, mainly from either Tesco or Asda.

However when the big discounters, Aldi and Lidl came on the scene, I switched to actually shopping in store at these establishments. The price difference was very noticeable, and over the course of the month, we were probably saving £100 or so.

However, I have recently returned to online grocery shopping, but with some of the lessons learned from the discount brands. Here are a few rules I now follow to get my online shop at discount brand rates:

  • Wherever possible, but the supermarket’s own brand (breakfast cereals can be purchased for £1 per box – as opposed to nearly £3 per box for premium brand cereals).
  • Take advantage of sales offers such as 3 items for £10 – these offers are usually available on fresh meat products and can result in your basket charge coming down to almost match the discounters offers.
  • I also find the fresh fruit and veg at the discounters to be lower quality – and not last as long as the big brands goods.