4 Ways to Save on Your Online Grocery Shopping

Shopping for groceries online is an easy way to save time and money. But are you getting the best deals out there?
Stock the pantry! Photo Credit: morgueFile

Here are four simple tips for saving some dough next time you're restocking the pantry.

1. Don't pay for shipping
. More online retailers are offering free shipping as an incentive to shop on their site.

One easy way to qualify is to sign up for the site's newsletter before making your purchase. Often you'll receive a welcome message that offers a free shipping code, coupons and a current sale flyer.

But don't stop there: Plan future online grocery shopping around free-shipping promotions, which pop up often on the site's banner ads. Free-shipping usually occurs every few weeks, just before month-end to increase sales or when a minimum purchase amount has been satisfied.

2. Browse clearance sections. Just like brick-and-mortar stores, online retailers have clearance sections. They're the perfect place to stock up on long-lasting staples like whole grain pasta, canned food and sesonal baking mixes.

Online retailers need to clear out their warehouses to make way for new seasonal items, so take advantage of end-of-season deals. Champagne prices drop during December so consumers can stock up for New Year's Eve celebrations, according to Fox Business News.

Just after the holidays get baking supplies for a fraction of the cost. Or, stock up on discount candy at the end of February -- after the Valentine's Day rush. Expect deep discounts of up to 80 percent off food in seasonal packaging.

3. Check your e-mail. It's easy to simply log on to your favorite online grocer and start shopping. Instead, take an extra minute to check your e-mail first. Retailers will send out last-minute daily specials or weekend promotions to move excess inventory. Sometimes buyers overestimate the popularity of an item: Instead of getting stuck with perishables, they pass the savings on to you.

If your online grocer isn't on top of daily discounts, try clicking on the "live chat" feature on the retailer's website and asking for a discount. Since every penny counts, start small and ask for 10 percent off your order, or to match a sale at the company's brick-and-mortar store. If the associate doesn't offer a deal, mention you'll wait and place your order when those items do go on sale. Since no business wants to lose a sale, the associate will probably counter offer with a discount to keep you online and ordering.

To get even more bang for your buck follow your favorite online grocer on Twitter or be a Facebook fan. Many offer exclusive coupon codes and one-day sale promotions to their loyal followers. Shouldn't that be you?

4. Use saved grocery lists. Time is money. Some online shopping sites offer to remember your past orders. If you routinely buy the same products, this feature saves time, advises online magazine Everyday with Rachel Ray. With a few clicks of the mouse, you can be on your way to restocking the pantry without scouring several sections of the website.

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living

Note: I wrote this article a few years ago. It was originally published on Yahoo! Voices on February 17, 2012. 

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