In a world where most everything has gone digital, more and more people choose to buy their groceries and other foodstuffs online. However, the convenience of online grocery shopping can come with additional costs, including delivery fees and higher unit prices.
To help you save a bit of your money, here are tips for purchasing from an online supermarket in Dubai or wherever you are located.
1. Visit Your Pantry
Before browsing through online grocery shops, you need to check your pantry, fridge, and freezer first. Taking an inventory of the food items available at home will prevent you from purchasing identical pieces or missing items you need. That way, you won’t be wasting money on buying duplicate items that could go bad, or having to order the item you missed separately.
While you are at it, throw away everything that’s expired to make room for your new purchases. Consider keeping a magnetic notepad on the fridge or a list on your phone, and jot down items as they expire or run out, so you won’t forget anything.
2. Create A Shopping List
Once you figure out what’s needed in your pantry, create a shopping list.
Make an extensive list so you won’t have to create another online order for that forgotten ingredient in your recipe. Start with the basics like salt, oil, rice, sugar, bread and spices to the staples you often include in your meals like pasta, tomato sauce, meat, poultry or fish, certain fruits, and vegetables.
Create a separate list for anynon-food items you may need to ensure you don’t miss anything.
3. Opt For Fresh Produce
When adding items to your online cart, choose whole and fresh produce instead of pre-cut and pre-packaged fruits and veggies. Since they are pre-cut, they are more likely to be more expensive than and not as fresh as their whole counterparts, so they may spoil faster. Focus on foodstuffs that last longer.
Another tip when buying fresh produce is to know what’s in season. Choose in-season fruits and vegetables because off-season produce doesn’t have the same level of freshness and generally costs more, especially when it’s imported.
More importantly, avoid buying fresh produce in advance. The essence of getting fresh fruits and veggies is eating them when they are at their freshest. If you choose to store them in your fridge, they won’t be as fresh when you eat them and contain less nutrients. So if you want to include vegetables for dinner, get them on the exact day or the day before you’ll cook them.
4. Go For Generic Or Store Brands
Some supermarket products are just as good if you buy generic ones. When shopping from a specific grocery shop, opt for store brand items instead of famous branded products of the same thing.
Generally, generic brands are more affordable than national brand items since retailers can optimize the production to meet the demands of consumers and minimize advertising costs.
In most cases, the packaging is the only thing that differentiates generic and branded items, with the latter being more expensive than the other.
5. Search For Store-Specific Discounts And Promotions
Discounts and coupons may depend on the delivery service or app you use. But generally, reputable shops have special grocery shopping offers and deals. For instance, Aswaaq outlets in the UAE have special offers on fresh fruits and vegetables, groceries, chicken, fish, nuts, detergents, and personal care products.
So, subscribe to the grocery shop’s newsletter so they can notify you of any exclusive offers and special promotions. If not, consider signing up for the store’s membership or loyalty program to enjoy several benefits like cash backs and exclusive discounts on monthly purchases.
6. Pay With A Credit Card That Earns Incentives
Since you will most probably use your credit card to pay for your groceries online, you might as well opt for a super saver credit card. Whether you’ll gain rewards points or cash back incentives, you can save money either way. Constant usage and paying off your monthly credit card dues on time are excellent ways to build good credit and save money on your grocery purchases.
7. Take Advantage Of Free Deliveries
Most online grocery shops offer free delivery if you reach a specific purchase amount. Say, you must spend at least AED 100 to get free delivery, you could aim to meet this minimum requirement every time you order instead of buying AED 60 every two days with an AED 10.5 delivery charge.
So, take time to check the items you need so you can fill your virtual cart and cut costs on delivery.
Moreover, some online grocery stores may charge higher delivery fees during busy days and hours. So if you want to enjoy greater savings, have your order delivered on off-peak days and hours.
Online grocery shopping has become a longstanding trend because of its many benefits, including convenience and making it easier to avoid impulse purchases.
But if you’re not careful, you might end up spending more compared to heading to a physical store yourself. So, make sure you implement the money-saving tips mentioned here to enjoy significant savings every time you buy groceries online.