Cent$ible Nutrition News • July 2020 • Volume 23 | Number 5
Coronavirus continues to make day-to-day life uncertain. Tasks we did before, like grocery shopping, are more complicated. Fortunately, buying food online may be an option. Shopping online may also help save money and time – no more impulse buys or dragging your kids along. Before you start, review our tips for making the most of buying groceries online.
- Plan your meals for easier shopping
- Check your cupboards, refrigerator, and freezer for what you have on hand.
- Pay attention to store coupons and sales.
- Plan meals around what you have on hand, what is a good price, and your schedule.
- Try to plan meals for several days or weeks to cut down on placing several orders and paying more in delivery costs. Keep in mind, there may be a minimum amount you have to spend to place an order online.
- To learn menu planning tips and tricks, take the CNP class series! Learn more on our website.
- Make a list
- Note what sizes and quantities of everything you need.
- Shop around
- Check to see what stores in your area offer online shopping for pick up and/or delivery.
- Depending on the store you are shopping with, an app may be required. Check to make sure you can access the app.
- Plan ahead
- There is a delivery or pick-up delay when ordering online. Same-day delivery or pick-up is not always possible.
- Order groceries a few days ahead of time so your ingredients are on hand when you need them.
- If you select delivery, it may be free, but tipping is often expected. Pick-up may be a better option.
- Pay attention when ordering to make sure you buy the right size and weight of items.
- Note that when you buy produce, you need to select a specific number for certain fruits and vegetable (apples, bananas, oranges, loose carrots, etc.). For example, if you are purchasing gala apples by the pound, make sure to add more than one to the cart or you will only get one apple.
- Consider substitutions.
- The store may be out of something you ordered – they may not have the brand or size you selected. If you allow substitutions, they will select a comparable item (a different brand, or combination of sizes) to accommodate your order. You may also get a larger quantity for the same price.
- If possible, specify what would be acceptable as a substitution – for instance, dry beans rather than canned beans.
- Avoid ‘suggested for you’ items- these are like the advertised items on the ends of the aisles at the store and are generally an expense you haven’t planned on.
- Use coupons and promotions, but only on the items you have planned to use. Buying something because it is on sale, but that you don’t have a plan to use, may be a waste of money.
Using EBT Online
In Wyoming, online grocery shopping is also a new possibility for using SNAP EBT. SNAP EBT can be used for groceries online at Wal-Mart and Amazon. Each one works a little differently, but it is important to keep in mind these tips:
- The same rules that apply when shopping in a store apply online – EBT can only be used on food items. Check the USDA website for a complete list.
- EBT cannot pay for delivery.
- Try pick-up, if that is an option. It will save you on the cost.
- You will need to use another source to pay to delivery.
- Order payments can be split between EBT and other sources.
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