How to Save Money When Grocery Shopping Online

One of the most convenient ways to buy groceries these days is to shop online. Not only is it easy and stress-free, but if you do it right, you can actually get some great deals.

Great Ways to Save While Online Grocery Shopping

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I’ve been trying a number of online grocery delivery services of late because, like many, I’m not able to shop in stores right now. Shopping online can be more expensive than doing it in-store, but here are some ways to save:

Create a Coupon Inbox

One thing that has made my life much easier when buying groceries online is having a coupon inbox. I have a separate email address I use when I sign up for deals, promotions and other marketing materials.

The advantage of a coupon inbox is that it keeps all my deals and coupons in one place so that I don’t have to look in multiple inboxes for deals.

Shop Store Brands Manager Editor Charis Brown says one thing that people often overlook is the amount of savings that can be had by choosing off-brand names on some of your favorite items.

“Shoppers need to be careful they’re not overpaying for a brand name when a store brand may be just as good,” she says.

Check Online Coupon Sites

To get the latest deals, you'll need to check out online coupon websites. Charis says the best coupon site is

“It actually powers all the other coupon/mommy blogger sites,” she says, “so you’ll find the same coupons on those sites.”

Store Coupon Pages

You'll also want to check out store coupon pages for retailers you like. Here are the coupon pages for a few national grocery stores that may have locations near you:

  • Albertsons: The retailer's Just for U page and app adds personalized deals to your rewards account
  • Kroger Weekly Ad: You can pull up the store's weekly ad online to see where the deals are
  • Publix Savings: Just select your store and the Savings page will show you the weekly ad, digital coupons as well as the deals page
  • Target: The retailer's Top Deals page shows all the coupons, promos and discounts currently available
  • HEB: The grocery's weekly ad is online so you can see what's available for cheap
  • Whole Foods: The app has a $avings tab that shows what's on sale
  • Fresh Direct: Has a Fresh Deals section on its homepage

“When you’re able to combine the national coupons with the store coupons and then any store sales, that’s when you can save the most!” Charis says.

Download Cash Back Apps

Rebate apps that give you cash back are a great way to save, as well. The way it works in many cases is that you can buy items on sale in the app. To unlock further rebates, you may have the option to submit the receipt.

Here are the top cash back apps that work with grocery stores.

Use Cash Back Credit Card on Groceries

Another great way to save is to use cash back cards that put money in your wallet with every purchase.

The American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card offers 6% back on U.S. supermarkets up to $6,000 each year. There is a $95 annual fee. See our review here.

Take Advantage of First-Time Order Offers

Delivery services like Instacart and others offer freebies for your first order in certain markets, allowing you to save money almost immediately.

Some services may even waive fees and offer discounts for first-time users via email. Of course, it all depends on the service, your location and the specific market.

When you go to a site to shop online for groceries, look on the homepage to see if they offer any specials for first-time orders.

Compare Prices

Once you’ve found grocery items that you want to buy, it’s always good to compare prices with other sites. Two great price comparison tools are:

  • Google Shopping: The site lets you track prices so you can buy items on sale
  • Shopbrain: The app allows you to share items you find online and get real-time price comparisons from other retailers

Bottom Line

Online grocery shopping is easy, but it also takes some strategy. Remember to always look for sales on the individual sites and apps that you use.

Charis says when it comes to grocery shopping online, don’t forget about discount grocers.

"I would say the best option to save all around would be shopping at a store like Aldi if there's one in your area, since it tends to be around 30% cheaper," she says.

On the Aldi app, save more by browsing the Weekly Ad and Aldi Finds features. You can also check for the latest Aldi deals before they expire!

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