in our free newsletter.

Thousands benefit from our email every week.

  • Discounts and special offers
  • Subscriber-only articles and interviews
  • Breaking news and trending topics

Already a subscriber?

By signing up, you accept Moneywise's Terms of Use, Subscription Agreement, and Privacy Policy.

Not interested ?

As a result, chains including Walmart and Target have seen huge portions of their customers make the switch to online shopping.

Walmart’s online grocery sales brought in $900 million in March — twice as much as during the same period last year — and Target’s digital same-store sales were up a staggering 275% during April.

But while buying groceries online may seem like a safer alternative to shopping in-store, it’s not without its challenges — as many consumers have discovered over the past few months.

Delivery slots are becoming increasingly harder to come by, and many high-demand products are consistently sold out.

How to get the most out of online grocery ordering

If you’re one of the 40 million Americans who are buying groceries via the web during the pandemic, here are a few things you can do to get the most from your online ordering experience.

Meet Your Retirement Goals Effortlessly

The road to retirement may seem long, but with WiserAdvisor, you can find a trusted partner to guide you every step of the way

WiserAdvisor matches you with vetted financial advisors that offer personalized advice to help you to make the right choices, invest wisely, and secure the retirement you've always dreamed of. Start planning early, and get your retirement mapped out today.

Get Started

1. Earn cash back

Make sure you pay with a cash-back account, so you can get a bit of money back every time you shop online. There are cash-back cards that allow you to earn up to 6% back on grocery purchases.

2. Check for delivery slots often

In many big cities, the increased volume of online orders has made finding an open delivery slot difficult. It’s a good idea to fill up your online cart even if no slots are available, then check back throughout the day to see if one has opened up. As soon as you see a slot, hit the checkout button immediately.

How to get a free $40 to invest in your future

An app called Acorns automatically rounds up purchases made on your credit or debit card to the nearest dollar and places the excess "change" into a smart investment portfolio. Acorns offers a $20 welcome bonus, immediately from your first investment.

Get $20

3. Order late at night

You may have more luck placing your order later in the evening, so if you’re a night owl try to log on around midnight — when stores typically update their availability for the day.

4. Prioritize your order

Some delivery services allow you to prioritize the items in your order, so try to put high-demand items (like elusive toilet paper) at the top of your list. That way the person packing your groceries can snag them before someone else scoops them up.

5. Have a backup plan

It’s helpful to specify the substitutions you’ll accept if some of the items you want aren’t in stock. Certain delivery apps have a “use best judgment” option, so whoever’s doing your shopping can find you a suitable replacement if something on your list is sold out.

6. Try curbside pickup

If you have access to a car, you may want to consider ordering for curbside pickup instead of home delivery. Store pickup is just as safe as delivery and there are often more slots available.

7. Leave a tip

And don’t forget to leave a tip for the person putting together your order. Professional shoppers who see online orders come in from customers known to tip well may be inclined to grab those orders first. A standard tip ranges from 10% to 20%.

Sponsored

Follow These Steps if you Want to Retire Early

Secure your financial future with a tailored plan to maximize investments, navigate taxes, and retire comfortably.

Zoe Financial is an online platform that can match you with a network of vetted fiduciary advisors who are evaluated based on their credentials, education, experience, and pricing. The best part? - there is no fee to find an advisor.

About the Author

Shane Murphy

Shane Murphy

Reporter

Shane is a reporter for MoneyWise. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English Language & Literature from Western University and is a graduate of the Algonquin College Scriptwriting program.

What to Read Next

Disclaimer

The content provided on Moneywise is information to help users become financially literate. It is neither tax nor legal advice, is not intended to be relied upon as a forecast, research or investment advice, and is not a recommendation, offer or solicitation to buy or sell any securities or to adopt any investment strategy. Tax, investment and all other decisions should be made, as appropriate, only with guidance from a qualified professional. We make no representation or warranty of any kind, either express or implied, with respect to the data provided, the timeliness thereof, the results to be obtained by the use thereof or any other matter.