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Benefits of Buying Groceries in Advance

by | Jun 14, 2020 | Home

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I love being able to shop for what I need online. This includes groceries! I hate shopping for groceries in-person. It can take up most of my day to shop for what I need, plus I hate having to navigate my way through the aisles in a crowded store. Shopping for what groceries I need in advance has been such a blessing. Check out the pros and cons of buying groceries in advance.

Pros

Save time

The time I would’ve spent grocery shopping can now be spent on doing something else like cleaning the house or running other errands. When I make my grocery list of items to shop for, I can add them to my cart at the same time instead of setting aside to do both of those things separately.

Convenience

It makes it so much easier to shop for groceries without having to leave my car, or sometimes my house. There are options to pick up the groceries without leaving your car or have groceries delivered directly to your house. Before COVID-19, you would sometimes get the option to choose if you wanted paper or plastic bags. I love having the groceries delivered to my house, because some items I get, like cat litter, can be heavy and it can be hard to lift them into my car at the store, then lift and carry the litter inside the house.

Avoid impulse shopping

I am a horrible impulse shopper. Even with the best grocery list, I usually forget something or stray from the list. By shopping in advance, I can purchase what I need without having the impulse to buy what I see at the store. Usually, an hour or two before my order is shopped for, I cannot make any adjustments or additions, so I have to stick with what I ordered. However, if I do need to add something after I placed my order, as long as I place it before the person shops, it’s not an issue.

Stay organized

When you order groceries online, usually the service keeps track of your order. What’s nice about is that you can reorder your standard groceries with ease. As soon as I run out of an item, I go into my Instacart account and add the item to my cart so I remember to purchase it for my next order.

You can’t physically go to the store

I recently fractured my elbow and cannot use my right arm for the next six weeks. And being right-handed, it’s been an adjustment learning how to do things one-handed/one-armed, especially when you have to rely on your non-dominant side. I’ve been using Instacart to order my groceries so I don’t have to fumble with picking out items at the store or trying to move everything one-armed to my car and to my house. This is also helpful if I have a severe migraine and I need medical supplies/food that I cannot get myself.

Of course, shopping in advance can also have cons.

Cons

Your item might run out

This could happen even if you shop at the grocery store yourself. Back when the quarantine for COVID-19 first started, items like hand sanitizer and toilet paper were impossible to find. I would try to order it in advance, and just tell my shopper that if there isn’t anything available don’t hassle to find a substitution.

Your shopper may have to make substitutions

As mentioned above, if an item is low in stock, your shopper can make substitutions. Usually, this isn’t a problem, but if you need a specific brand for an item like a recipe or medicine and cannot work with a generic version, then it could be an issue. For items like this, if I can’t use a substitute the shopper may make, I will make a note saying that they don’t need to find a substitute if an item is no longer available. I will still have to figure out how to get the item, but it’s better than having to pay for something you won’t use.

 

Your normal store may not offer an option to order groceries in advance

If it’s a local or national chain where you normally purchase groceries from, you may be able to order groceries in advance. However, if it’s a local store, you may not be able to.

Truly last-minute items will need to wait

Let’s say your significant other texts you and asks if you were planning to get more toothpaste during your next grocery run. However, you already placed the order and the groceries are on the way to be delivered. You would need to make a separate trip to pick up the item or have to wait until your next order to purchase toothpaste.

In my opinion, the pros outweigh the cons. Next time you need to purchase groceries, consider buying them in advance, and using that time you saved on something else. Are you planning to order your groceries in advance? Use my promo code from Instacart and get $10 OFF your first order!

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24 Comments

  1. Jen @Jenron Designs

    We have been using a clicklist shopping method since COVID19 and I have to say it does keep impulse buys to a minimum and the grocery budget on or under the weekly allowance.

    Reply
  2. Kristen

    I have loved discovering Instacart during quarantine. I always hated going to the grocery store and this has definitely saved me.

    Reply
  3. Stephanie

    I’m an impulse shopper also, so online shopping helps me to just stick to my list !

    Reply
  4. The Digital Vixen

    i have to say that i was not much of an online shopper before the Covid_19 which has changed the situation completely.. i am very social though and the fact that i can go and interact with people is still one the pleasures of groceries shopping…

    Reply
  5. Annelize

    I, too, do online shopping – the pro’s heavily outweighs the cons for me. Very much love it!

    Reply
  6. Tana

    A great overview of the pros and cons! I find I save money by avoid impulse purchases.

    Reply
  7. Crystal | Sauced and Lost

    Buying groceries in advance helps me plan meals as well. I just want to become more consistent.

    Reply
  8. Adebimpe

    Buying groceries in advance comes with a lot of advantages, price may change, money availability at the time of urgent need, and scarcity among other important factors. The best way to do this, is to buy in advance, have a good storage method and you are good to go.

    Reply
  9. Adebimpe

    The benefit of buying groceries in advance cannot be overemphasized, very useful for crises period, income challenging periods and lots. I find this article very useful and engaging. Thank your for writing this.

    Reply
  10. Becky

    I’ve never looked at it this way! But you actually would save so much time. Thanks for the tip!

    Reply
  11. Monica Tatomir

    You are quite right, there are many benefits to buying in advance, avoid impulse shopping, stay organised and I save so much time. I do it every week

    Reply
  12. clea

    Wish we had that in my country! Thank you for sharing, could be useful

    Reply
  13. Tana

    Once I became a working mom, ordering ahead and getting express lane groceries became a huge game changer! I can shop in peace when my child is sleeping, be aware of what’s on sale, and plan out meals.

    Reply
  14. Nishtha

    Yes, during these quarantine times we have been buying groceries online. We like it and may end up doing this or curbside pick up for the convenience they offer even after we get back to normalcy. Great post

    Reply
  15. Michelle

    I use clicklist all the time. It’s nice with two young girls. Makes it easier and faster! I love it!

    Reply
  16. Shay

    I hate being in crowded places, so buying groceries early helps me to avoid that. BUT most times I run out of something and have to go back. 🤣

    Reply
  17. Maiko

    I always buy my groceries in advance! I think there are more pros than cons as you say!

    Reply
  18. Shara

    grocery shopping has changed so much in the last few months. I’ve always wanted to shop online, but a lot of our stores did not offer that. They are just starting to though, and I am looking forward to start using these services. I will keep these suggestions in mind!

    Reply
  19. Poli-Archivist

    I need to try this! I just have so much trouble committing to plan ahead.

    Reply
  20. Nishtha

    We have been doing online shopping with curbside pick up for months now! I agree with your list of pros and cons. Although convenience and saving time is useful, there is always always couple items that are either substituted or not available. In fact I think I am spending more money shopping this way!!!

    Reply
  21. JoJo Hall

    Awesome post! It’s a struggle for me because I’m lazy but I do agree that there are benefits to buying groceries in advance.

    Reply
  22. Artemiseats

    Never used it but do you interact with a bot or a human like for substitution?

    Reply
  23. Hannah

    I love Instacart! I used it a few times. It can get very expensive though with the tips and delivery fees. And I hated when they didn’t have some of the items I wanted!

    Hannah | http://hannahonhorizon.com

    Reply
  24. Kelly

    I agree with all of these! I’m a big believer in planning out our meals and shopping in advance. I also find that ordering online saves money. I can stick to my grocery list. If I go into the store I see all of the neat new products … that we don’t need but that I buy!

    Reply

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Jenn & Tonic

Lifestyle blogger and digital marketer based in Wisconsin. Michigander at heart. I'm here to provide my take on life through my blog. Fueled by chardonnay, cast recordings and chocolate.