Save Money On Food With Online Shopping

Expert tips on price discrimination on online shopping

As the world moves increasingly online, from the careers we pursue to our socialising, it makes sense that our consumer habits are changing too. What’s more, they are changing quickly. While once online shopping involved accessing a world-famous online marketplace, such as eBay or Amazon, and choosing the latest books and clothes, now modern consumers are purchasing everything from toys and clothing to their weekly grocery shops. The freedom online shopping provides is the future of how we browse and buy items. You have the opportunity to access online stores at any chosen time, and from anywhere, meaning you’re not restricted to set opening hours. Additionally, as delivery times go from good to excellent, such as Amazon Prime, you can order your items at midnight and receive them the next morning, all without ever leaving your home.

When it comes to grocery shopping, in particular, online shopping is set to continue to grow rapidly in popularity. There are many ways you can not only buy the food you need and receive it quickly, but you can also save money on your orders, simply by going onto the world wide web.  

Is It Cheaper to Buy Groceries Online?

Turning to the online world for your food shopping may sound like a luxury, but in reality, it is a wise option, especially when it comes to saving money. On average, a family shop in a supermarket in Britain hits £60.60. Bread, meat and fresh fruit and vegetables are the primary culprits from pushing the weekly budget up. However, shopping online opens your eyes to a vast variety of choices; from the supermarket you choose to visit to the range of specific food on offer. This last point is important to note for those who require specialised diets, such as gluten-free or dairy-free.    

The main reasons why it’s cheaper to buy groceries online include:

Online Shopping Limits Impulse Buys

It’s a common problem brick and mortar stores throw at consumers: impulse purchases. It’s a practice known as point-of-purchase impulse buying, where items are placed precisely for consumers to see as they walk towards the checkouts, making it more likely for them to pick up and buy. With online food shopping, this impulse shopping is reduced. While supermarkets will highlight on offer products on their website, the consumer isn’t bombarded with the offer, which makes it easier to resist.

What’s more, if you take your children to the supermarket with you, you’ll be all-too-familiar with them asking for items which aren’t on your list. Again, online shopping reduces this. You can shop in peace, without your children asking for bits and pieces.   

More Competitive Pricing

There is a vast number of online outlets you could choose for your food shopping, which means those supermarkets need to up their game to get you to shop there. How they do this is by offering highly competitive prices.

more choice

Online food shopping provides the opportunity to find lesser-seen items in the major supermarkets and enables families to cater to more specific diets. For example, the range of vegan products can be much more varied and diverse online than in the local shop. Due to the wider variety, this also drives prices down, as the online merchants are aware you can click onto another site to buy the item.   

Time Equals Money

Food shopping in the local supermarket can be a lengthy process; you have to travel to get there, browse the aisles, spend time in the queue to checkout, and then travel home. When time equals money, and you could spend that time at home with your family instead, this makes shopping online for food much cheaper.

5 Top Tips

When shopping online for food, there are several tips you can employ to ensure you’re getting the best possible prices.


Only Buy What You Need

Bulk buying is a standard method shoppers use to try to budget for specific items. However, buying items in bulk is not always the best plan of action. For example, if you bulk buy a perishable item, such as fresh fruit, you may potentially waste the product simply because you didn’t eat it in time. If you know you will use the items in time, or they are non-perishable, buying in bulk is wise. To save money, however, ensure you only buy what you need. If you don’t require five bottles of washing-up liquid, don’t buy it just because it looks like a good deal. By using this method, you will only purchase what you do need weekly, and reduce the risk of having cupboards stocked with items you may not use.


Switch between Online Supermarkets

It’s a well-known tactic to switch energy suppliers to get the best deal, but this is also recommended for the online supermarket you choose. Don’t be afraid to shop at Asda instead of Tesco if their prices are lower. Additionally, don’t feel you need to stick to one supermarket once you make a choice; you can switch supermarkets weekly if the deals Tesco have are better than Asda one week and Sainsbury’s are better the week after.


Watch delivery costs

The joy of shopping at an online supermarket is you can choose your delivery day and time. Or, you can opt to pick it up from the store at the specific meeting point. However, often, delivery comes at an additional price. The delivery prices can also vary, depending on when you want your delivery to arrive. A Saturday afternoon, for example, is higher in price than a Wednesday mid-afternoon. Browse the available slots, and if you’re flexible, you will be able to secure a lower delivery cost. Waitrose, for example, offers free next day delivery if you spend over £60 online. You can also order online up until 10 pm to qualify for next day delivery. This ensures you receive your food as quickly as possible, and eliminates the delivery cost.


Discount codes

Discount codes are extremely handy for ensuring you get the best possible price for your weekly shop. Discounts can range from a percentage off your shop to buy-one-get-one-free offers. It’s a wise idea to find a discount code before you begin your online food shopping from reputable websites. 


Use Comparison Sites

If scouring the web for the best deals takes too much time, you can use one of the many available comparison sites to do the hard work for you. These websites take mere seconds to compare supermarkets and present the results in an easy to read format. This enables you to quickly scan the various deals to pick the best one for you. The comparison sites often take into account the best deals on big brands, including households names such as Warburtons and Lurpak. 

What’s The Best Online Food Shopping Supermarket?

The best online food supermarket is a difficult one to determine. In the UK, there is a range of supermarkets which offer online shopping and delivery, including:

Each offers its own benefits, and each offers something different from the rest.

Ocado, for instance, is an entirely online supermarket and describes itself as ‘the world’s largest dedicated online grocery retailer.’ Ocado doesn’t have any stores, choosing instead to deliver everything from their warehouses.

Tesco, in contrast, has 3,961 stores, which range from Metro stores, Express stores and Extra. Tesco also offers its own app and reward scheme (Clubcard) to encourage online consumers to visit their store on the go and earn loyalty points to do so. These points can then be used to convert into money off discount vouchers, further saving the shopper money on their food. Additionally, Tesco offers extremely flexible delivery options, which includes the Delivery Saver scheme from £3.49 a month. This scheme gives new customers a month of free delivery, and after that month, the payment enables consumers to have their food shopping delivered when and where they want, and it also gives consumers priority access to the busy Christmas and Easter slots.  

Asda, on the other hand, allows shoppers to collect their online orders in-store for free. Collection in store works in two ways: within the store or locker collection. Locker collection is what sets Asda apart from the rest. The lockers are situated within the car park and enable shoppers to simply drive up to the area, access the locker, and drive away with their shopping. The shopping is kept fresh, chilled and frozen thanks to the temperature control system.

Final Thoughts

Online food shopping is set to become the norm, and for a good reason. It’s a fast, efficient service which enables you to shop from anywhere and enjoy a delivery when it suits you. It’s also a savvy way to save money, especially when you take advantage of the range of discount codes and comparison websites to find the best deals available. From buy-one-get-one-free offers to 50% off specific products, when you’re next shopping online, use a discount code and see how far your money goes.