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How to save money with online food shopping

By Craig Hore, Editor | February 12th 2020

Shopping for food online is a relatively new phenomenon that comes with a range of budgeting benefits, as well as avoiding the long queues and sore arms from lugging it all home. There are a few tricks to ensuring you get the cheapest online food shopping, so we've put together a helpful list.

Make a list

it goes without saying, the easiest way to get the cheapest online food shopping is by taking fewer items to the checkout. Supermarkets are the master at convincing you to buy things you don't want or need, so you need to stay strong and fight the urge to put flashy offers and unnecessary items in your basket.

When people are shopping online, they're less inclined to make a list, but whether you're shopping on your laptop or going into the store, making a list of the things you actually need will help reinforce your willpower. If you know you're susceptible to offers or treats put 'one treat item' on your list to save you gleefully clicking your way through the biscuit section.

Don't shop hungry

Just like going to a physical shop, try not to shop when you're hungry! it's much easier to do a cheap online food shop if your tummy isn't rumbling and you're salivating at the thought of opening your favourite snack. Even though the food isn't delivered instantly, we still reckon your subconscious has some fun nudging you towards the extra-large portion instead of what you really need.

When people are shopping online, they're less inclined to make a list, but whether you're shopping on your laptop or going into the store, making a list of the things you actually need will help reinforce your willpower.

Use trial and error to work out what your repeat order should be

Use the repeat order system wisely and take some time to work out what you actually need. Note down what doesn't get eaten or is often thrown away at the end of the week and adjust your basket accordingly.

Remember to start small - rather than going all out then whittling it down, make sure you've got the bare minimum and everything you need for the basics. If you're missing a particular ingredient or your run out of food before the next delivery, it's better to pick up small things than throw food away.

Only pick up the sale items you need

If you're going to find the cheapest online food shopping, you're going to want to pick up some bits on sale. However, you should make sure to only do this with items you know you need. Once you've established your list, use the search function and filter by sales goods to see if there are cheaper alternatives to your regular purchases.

Stockpiling your savings

If there are sales items that are slow to perish (pasta, rice, tinned goods, basic ingredients), consider ordering extra of those items while they are reduced. Those goods often weigh a lot, so by getting them delivered you're taking an opportunity you might shy away from if you had to carry them home yourself. Similarly, if you have a freezer, some perishables that freeze well can be stockpiled for the future.

Bags aren't part of the bargain

Don't order your online food to be delivered in bags! It's bad for your wallet, bad for the environment and pretty unnecessary when it's being delivered to the door.

Pile up the points

Make sure your loyalty card is linked to your online account so you can take advantage of future deals and offers.

Convenience can cost you

If your supermarket charges for delivery, the most popular delivery times could be the most expensive. You've already got someone else to do the packing and delivering legwork, so why not to try and save some money by taking the delivery first thing in the morning or last thing at night?

The easiest way to find the cheapest online food shopping is by taking a little bit of time to plan your shop and then play the system. The search function means you can avoid a lot of the pitfalls you'd encounter when browsing a big store, just remember that online advertising can still be pretty effective.

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