How to Start Shopping Online to save Money

Shopping online has increased in popularity in the past few years.  It kind of started as a way to purchase items you couldn’t get in a store in your area. Most people still preferred to shop in a store unless they couldn’t get it in their area.  For those who live in smaller communities, online shopping made a way to buy a product that before would require them to drive two hours or more to a large city where they could find the item they were looking for.  Shopping online to save money wasn’t what came to mind with buying things on the internet.

shopping online to save money

However, as shopping online has evolved, it has become much more popular to buy your everyday items that way.  The past year I have incorporated online shopping into my life much more frequently, and it has actually saved me money.

Grocery Shopping

How has shopping online to save money worked in my life?  Let’s start with grocery shopping.  For me, this one is fairly new as it was only made available at our local Walmart a month or so ago.  But I know other areas have a few options when it comes to ordering groceries online. When I heard a friend had used this service, I messaged her right away.  I had to ask her my big, burning question that concerned me about online grocery shopping, which was “What about the quality of fruits and vegetables you receive in your order?”  I pictured my grocery bag filled with dry oranges, moldy berries, and wilted lettuce.

However the report was that their experience was great,so I decided to try it.  I ordered my groceries online, and my husband picked it up the  next day after work.  For me, it is a 40 minute drive to an affordable grocery store.  By my husband picking it up after work when he is already in the area, I saved a round trip on gas.  Gas ain’t cheap here in Canada!  Any time I can save in that area is a bonus.

My husband arrived, and they had our groceries ready to load into our van, no extra charge.  We could also use our own bags and they would load them into our bags (I gotta remember to be more organized next time to use that option!)

The store provided some substitutions of items they had run out of, but it was always an upgrade for the lower price I paid.  So, often I buy generic items and a few times I’ve gotten name brand items instead but still paid the cost of the generic.  This past week I bought some kielbasa, and the upgrade was a package double the size of what I paid for!  I mean, I’m not going to say no to extra food, especially when I don’t have to pay for it!  And yes, the fruits and vegetables were in beautiful condition.

By buying online I can watch my bill and stay within budget.  There are no impulse buys. If the numbers start to go over my budget I can easily take something off the list. I am not surrounded by food not on my list that I might otherwise fall temptation to.  I can sit there with my pen and paper and meal plan as I go along to make sure I have minimal waste of food.  There is also an option to price match.

Unfortunately, coupons online are not an option at Walmart in Canada at this time, but I have heard of other stores or companies who accept online coupons, so check out what is available in your area.

Not only can I do my grocery shopping online to save money, it also saves me time.  The first shopping experience took a little while as I learned the ropes, but the second time I did it my previous list was saved in my account.  I was able to quickly transfer the items I needed from my previous list.  After that was done I added any new items I wanted.  It literally took me about 20 minutes.  A full grocery shop in the store takes me an average of an hour to complete. As a busy mom this is a huge life saver for me.

Once you begin shopping online to save money, check out this post I wrote about 10 Ways you can save at the Grocery Store for even more ideas on how to cut costs on your food bill, online or on location.

Big Ticket Household Items

Grocery shopping is not my only online success.  Sometimes if you need to order a big ticket item that would require delivery even if it was local, it can be cheaper to order online.  If you don’t own a truck or a big vehicle you would end up paying a delivery fee.  Recently we had to invest in a new wood stove.  We shopped around, looking at our local options, but the prices were almost double for what our budget allowed.

After some research, we found the brand we wanted on the Costco website for an excellent price.  We were also pleasantly surprised to discover we weren’t charged for shipping.  In previous experiences Costco has had great customer service. We felt confident ordering such a large item that we would receive via delivery through them. This is just another example of how shopping online to save money is possible.

Electronics Accesories

There are many products you can find cheaper online than in a bricks and mortar store.  We recently had to replace my husband’s broken phone.  Once in the cell phone store they tried to upsell us on a case.  We decided a case was necessary after the incident with the old phone. However, we didn’t want to pay $40 dollars. We were able to find a case for his model of phone online for the total cost, including shipping, of 14 dollars.

When you order online, you usually need a credit card of some sort.  This can work to your advantage as you can opt in to a rewards program which will accumulate faster with more use.  You just need to make sure you pay it off right away.  Since I am sitting at the computer anyways while shopping, I always log into my bank account online and pay off the amount I just spent on the credit card.

Shopping online also allows you to easily check the prices at multiple locations.  Sometimes if it is cheaper for you to buy in a local store, you can at least “window shop” online to make sure you go to the store with the lowest price.

Shopping online to save money can amount to big savings.  But remember, you save the most when you don’t buy things you don’t need!  Limit your shopping, whether in store or online to mostly necessities, with a few wants thrown in as treats on occasion.




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