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  • Steff Booth

Online groceries; yes or no?

Would you be happy letting someone else choose your plums? Concerned that you’re just going to get the items that are nearly out of date? Online grocery shopping isn’t for everyone but in today’s busy world, could it give you some time back to enjoy the nicer things in life?

I’ve been getting my groceries delivered for several years now and I’ve tried several of the big players in this market and quite frankly, I can’t imagine ever going back to pushing a wobbly trolley around and freezing myself down the chilled aisle.

Some of the myths dispelled:

I can’t wait in all day for my groceries to be delivered.

You don’t have to. All the supermarkets offer either a one hour or two hour slot. They deliver from early morning to late evening and that includes weekends; you just have to book a slot convenient to you.

They’re going to send me the nearly out of date rubbish.

Occasionally you may get an item which doesn’t have much ‘use by’ date left but you just have to get in touch with customer service and they will usually reimburse you. Some receipts are actually in product date order so you can see at a glance when you need to use your groceries by, whilst others will highlight any items which have a shorter shelf life and with both situations, you can send any items back with the driver for a refund if you’re not happy with them.

I’ll bet my eggs will be broken.

Some drivers actually check your eggs with you so you can see if there are any broken and some companies will simply give you a full refund on your box of eggs if you notify them of any breakages.

The packers won’t be as fussy about selecting meat as I am.

As with any item, if you’re not happy with it, you can send it back with the driver for a full refund. If you’re really fussy about choosing your cuts of meat, leave it off your online order and make a trip to the supermarket just for your meat. Popping in for a couple of steaks and a leg of lamb is only going to take a few minutes, as opposed to up to an hour for the whole week’s shop.

They might send me bruised fruit and vegetables.

Personally, I’ve never received any fruit or vegetables that I was unhappy with. I’m sure it may happen occasionally but in 5+ years, it hasn’t happened to me yet.

I don’t want to pay a delivery charge.

You may not have to! The supermarkets offer various options which, depending on your circumstances, may mean that you won’t ever have to pay a delivery charge. With tiered charges depending on the day / time of your slot, free delivery when spending over a certain value and the addition of special ‘passes’ which also come with additional benefits, there are various ways you can keep your delivery charge to a minimum. You should also bear in mind how much it would cost you in time and petrol to do the shopping yourself. The minimum hourly wage in the UK is £8.91 (23+) and none of the supermarkets charge that amount! (except maybe at peak times at Christmas)

I’ll miss out on the special offers.

Online shopping is probably better for you to make the most of special offers than trawling round the end displays of the entire supermarket. They’re all displayed by category, so you can easily see the best deals and pop them in your online basket as you wish.

I’ll miss out on loyalty points if I shop for groceries online.

Nope. You can link your loyalty cards to your online account so you’ll still be able to collect points.

It’ll take ages to set up an account.

When you set up an online shopping account for the first time, it will only take a few minutes to do. It may take you a little time to familiarise yourself with how it all works but after your first shop, you will be able to choose from a list of your favourites which means you’ll be speeding through the shopping in a matter of minutes.

I won’t be able to find the items I want.

You can shop using your list of favourites, by department, by category, by special offers and there’s also a search facility – it couldn’t be easier!

So which is the best supermarket for online grocery shopping? For me, that depends on what is important to you; price, quality, customer service, delivery options, added benefits, loyalty points, special offers and brand availability – these are all things to consider when considering who to choose.

I place online grocery orders for a number of my clients just based on their usual shopping habits. It takes just a few minutes for them to check through the order and let me know if there is anything they want to add or remove.

If you want to get a little time back in your week, give it a try. But if you still want the reassurance of that personal service, get Girl Friday to do it for you!



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