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Doing the supermarket shopping is a chore – it’s easy for it to feel like a waste of time. So should you get your grocery shopping delivered instead?

There’s no doubt that online grocery shopping saves time – there’s no trekking down aisle after aisle with your list in hand, trying to find the items you need. That might be one reason why recent research from Mintel showed that online grocery shopping has doubled in just five years.

But will you have to pay a premium to get your supermarket shopping delivered? Let’s find out how much it could cost.

Pick your time

The best way to save money on your supermarket shop is to choose your time carefully. You’ll pay a lot more if you want your shopping delivered at peak times or at the weekend.

For example, Tesco has recently increased the price of some of its peak time delivery slots from £6 to £7. These are Fridays and Saturdays from 8am to 9am, and Sundays from 8am to 10am. But the supermarket also offers fourteen slots for £1 in a week if you spend a minimum of £40. That’s why it really pays to pick the time carefully.

The £1 delivery slots are usually midweek and mid-afternoon, so you can only really make the most of these if you don’t work in the daytime. You could also order your shopping online and pick it up in the store – this is usually free.

A delivery pass might be a good option if you do a lot of grocery shopping – this lets you get an unlimited amount of deliveries for a set price. For example, you’ll pay £24 a year for the Asda midweek Delivery Pass but it’s only for deliveries between Tuesday and Thursday.

What to look out for

One downside with online grocery shopping is that you can’t pick your own fresh food. When you’re in the supermarket, you can rifle through the fruit to find the freshest looking apples or browse the milk cartons for the one with the longest use-by date. You don’t get this option with online shopping – you just have to take what you’re given.

You also can’t look for deals on products that are nearing their sell-by date. If you go into some supermarkets in the evenings, you can usually pick up a few bargains on items that need to sell that day. But you won’t be able to see these if you’re shopping online as you’re just looking at generic prices, not the cost of specific items.

Whether or not online supermarket shopping is right for you will depend on how much time you’ve got to spend. If you’ve got a couple of hours to go round the supermarket shelves and look for the best deals, it’s likely you’ll be able to save quite a bit of money. But if you’re pushed for time, you might welcome the effort that online grocery shopping can save you.

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