(BPT) - Online grocery shopping is on the rise, and the options are plentiful — from having a shopper deliver goods at your door to curbside pickup and more. But even the most experienced grocery shoppers may find they need to learn some new tricks to achieve online grocery shopping success.
Tip #1: Find the delivery method that best suits your needs
Need lots of fresh produce delivered right away? Look for a service that gives your list to a personal shopper to take through a local store and deliver at your doorstep. If you’re looking to stock up on pantry staples, a service that ships from a warehouse is a great way to get what you need without having to step foot inside a store. Many stores are also offering curbside pickup, where you pick out your items online, check out and drive to the store to have your order placed directly into your trunk.
Tip #2: Be an eco-friendly online shopper
There are plenty of opportunities to keep sustainability in mind while online grocery shopping. Packages that weigh less will translate to reduced carbon emissions during shipping. For example, carton packages are about 60% lighter than cans, and they are made mainly from renewable materials. Even pet food can be found in cartons.
Keep in mind that many of your chilled favorites, such as milk or plant-based dairy alternatives, may also be available in shelf-stable cartons. This means the product doesn’t need to be chilled during shipping, eliminating the need to pack items on ice. No matter how long shipping takes, or how long the box remains on the doorstep, your items will arrive safe to eat and with the quality you expect.
Tip #3: Plan ahead
Take advantage of the ability to assemble your grocery cart at home by assessing any long-term needs for staple items, like pasta, broths and beans. If you’re short on food storage space, look for foods packaged in square shapes. Stackable, shelf-stable cartons help make the most of every inch. Many canned goods now come in carton packages too.
Tip #4: Give specific instructions to your shopper
It’s sad but true: Sometimes your favorite items will be out of stock. If you’re using a personal shopping service, make sure to include notes for preferred replacement items, especially if there’s another brand or flavor you’d like if your first choice is unavailable. You can even note how green you’d like your bananas or how ripe your ideal avocado may be.
Tip #5: Pay attention to packaging
Food packaging is designed to protect its contents — keeping the food safe and flavorful while preserving its nutrients. As you shop online, look for packaging that protects the planet once it has served its purpose. Many types of food and beverage packages can be recycled and turned into new materials. For example, cartons can be turned into paper products, such as tissues and paper towels, and even sustainable building materials!
Online grocery shopping might require you to approach shopping a bit differently, but with a little bit of planning and practice you can have the food and other supplies you and your family need delivered directly to your doorstep.