How buying groceries online can improve your household finances

Shoppers are saving $114 a month through buying groceries online, plus the time equivalent of a long weekend, new research has found.

Convenience and cost savings have prompted 40 per cent of Aussies to do their grocery shopping online, according to the study by ING, which also found more than 20 per cent of consumers are using meal kit subscriptions to save $125 a month.

However, just like the supermarket, even bigger savings can be made by those who shop wisely.

ING Australia head of digital Amy Cunningham says the pandemic made many Australians more aware of their spending, and online grocery shopping helps them avoid crowds and save money by limiting impulse purchases.

Cunningham says people should never shop for groceries online while hungry, but should subscribe to emails that may offer extra discounts, and add rewards card details to their online account to help reward points pile up.

“Shopping digitally gives you the chance to compare prices and deals across grocery stores,” she says.

“This research shows that Australians are not always paying for convenience, rather they’re saving as a result of using it. Small changes to how you shop can really save you a lot of money and time.”

Madison Sussich, 23, says she and her girlfriend experienced reduced working hours during Covid lockdowns and had to stick to a tighter budget.

“We find it easier to stick to our budget when we grocery shop online because we can easily see the total cost of our shop and reduce it if necessary,” she says.

“Doing our weekly grocery shop online also means we’re less tempted to buy extra snacks or unnecessary items and it stops us doing multiple trips to the store each week.”

MyBudget founder Tammy Barton says grocery shopping online helps prevent “checkout shock”.

“As you add items to your online cart, the system updates the total making it easier to keep track of spending and stick to a budget,” she says.

People can easily shop for the 50 per cent-off specials online, and often get early access to catalogues, Barton says.

“Also, on any retail website you can go straight to the sale pages or specials,” she says.

Impulse buying is less likely, and online shoppers can plan their weekly menus based on specials, Barton says.

“View your options in order of lowest unit price – the unit price is the key to comparing prices and finding genuine bargains,” she says.

ING’s Cunningham says consumers wanting to try meal kit services or pre-packaged meals can “make the most of intro offers or trials to make savings”.

She says people save money with meal kits because they are only paying for what they need.

“If you were to make the meal yourself you may end up with leftover ingredients that go to waste.”

Companies including HelloFresh, Marley Spoon and Dinnerly have combined meal kit sales in Australia totalling hundreds of millions of dollars a year.

Tom Rutledge, CEO of meal kit provider EveryPlate, says the kits are perfect for people who want to cook from scratch without the fuss of planning and grocery shopping.

Consumer studies have found the cost of meal kits can be similar to buying the individual ingredients at supermarkets. However, shoppers still must factor in other items such as toiletries and cleaning products, and buy them separately either online or instore.


• No driving, so no expensive petrol costs.

• No kids popping things in your shopping cart when you look away.

• Free delivery options offered by major supermarket chains.

• Seven-days-a-week flexible delivery options.

Source: MyBudget


Extracted from The Australian


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