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Learning how to order groceries online can save you time, money, and calories. I haven’t stepped inside a grocery store in over a year–today I’m showing you my tips and tricks for using an online grocery ordering and/or delivery service.

Online grocery ordering is a fairly new service for some people, and I can see right away why it might be a little overwhelming. Here are my tips to help you get it right the first time.

Pin for how to order groceries online.

How To Order Groceries Online LIKE A BOSS

I’m going to show you how I go about ordering groceries online. This is how I make sure that my order will arrive just the way I want. I use a mobile app for Fry’s Grocery Ordering, but this process is the same for other services like Instacart.

There are a lot of reasons to use an online grocery ordering and delivery service. My top three reasons are that it saves me time, saves me money, and it definitely saves me calories. Our family eats much healthier since I started using online grocery shopping.

Make a List

Before you start shopping, even online, you should make a list of what you need for your meals for the week. While making a list, I go through the pantry and make sure that I cross off anything I already have on hand.

Add Notes–so many notes

I can’t stress this enough–add notes to your items. Pretend your notes are being written for a 13 year old boy. That boy doesn’t cook and doesn’t eat fruit or vegetables and definitely doesn’t know how to pick them out.

For each and every item in the perishables grocery section, add a detailed note describing what you want and don’t want.

examples of my detailed notes I leave for personal shoppers

For products that you are brand specific with, make a note describing which substitutions are okay. I usually tell them what I don’t want:

“If you have to substitute my bread, please use only another type of the same brand.”

“If you have to substitute my onion rings, please use any other product from Alexia brand.”

I love that when you use a pickup service, they’ll usually bring you the substitution to your attention to make sure it’s ok. If it’s not something you’d buy, tell them–they’ll go grab you another one. 

examples of notes I leave for personal grocery shoppers

Think Literally

When you add banana to your order you get one…so make sure to add the quantity you need for each item. This is where I got stuck a few times when I first started to order.

Save the Order

If it’s possible, save your order. This saves me time creating orders each week and it can help you too. When you go back in next week you can load your order, remove or add any additional items, and then you will save even more time on your weekly shopping.

Grocery Pickup and Grocery Delivery: Which is best?

The difference between grocery pickup and delivery is personal. I prefer to pick up my groceries for a few reasons. I like that the store is right there so if my preferred products aren’t available, the employees can grab me a substitute or something similar if necessary.

I love that I can select a window to pick up my groceries, and I’ve been told that you can come anytime after your order is ready as long as you’re there before closing. No stress to stick to that hour window.

Worst case I forget to order something–I can run in and grab it quick.

Groceries in bags in the back of the car.

FAQs and concerns about curbside pickup and having your groceries delivered.

Most grocery ordering services like Fry’s Grocery Pickup and Walmart waive their service fees for your first order or two. This is for good reason–ordering your groceries online can be a bit confusing at first. You can do this, though. I have faith in you.

1. My order got screwed up so I don’t order groceries online anymore.

I’ve had a few orders go sideways too, so I understand that feeling. BUT I will say that after I figured out how to order in the right way my experience was much better.

Be literal, give good descriptions, and get to know how your personal shoppers think. These three tips will help you a ton.

2. Why would I use a grocery ordering or delivery service?

First, see if online grocery ordering is available in your area. Instacart is the most popular service–you can click here to enter your zip code and see what’s available around you and check out a store locator. 

Most places allow you to save your orders for future use so in some cases you can set up a saved order of your weekly staples. This is a huge time saver! 

Setting up a grocery order while you’re sitting in your kitchen saves money–I don’t have to guess about what I have in my freezer or pantry. In the store, I end up buying a few extras every time I shop “just in case.” I don’t do that with online ordering.

Not walking through the aisles and seeing shiny new products, sales on my favorite treats, and other items (there’s some pasta! I should grab it in case we want pasta this week!) saves me calories. If something is in my house, I’ll eat it. Ordering online saves me those impulse buys.

Online grocery ordering site.

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  1. Molly Koenig says:

    Brilliant, as always … had to laugh out loud at writing notes for a 13 year old boy who doesn’t cook or eat fruits or veggies. That’s a spot-on description of how to insure you get what you’re after.

    1. Right? I tried to say it another way, but let’s be honest… I had 13 year old boys and I know this ;) xo

  2. Debbie Bullard says:

    I have to laugh at your notes — there is no way the young shoppers at my local p/u store would follow all those detailed instructions. And one person’s “slice THIN but not shaved”, could be another’s medium slice. It all depends on what the picker considers “thin”, and what they consider “shaved”. Now I can have good luck with bananas: I can say small or large. If requesting something specific is even possible – i.e., I can order 6 bananas, and make sure I don’t select the organic (cuz I’m not paying for organic bananas). That’s it at my Walmart. If I need to be specific, then I will go myself, just like with tomatoes – no one can select tomatoes I am happy with, so I get my own at the fruit stand.
    But it is awesome to order canned & boxed goods, personal items, dairy, water, via the pick up service. Ur right!!!! It saves so much time and money!

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