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The 4 Best Cheap Online Grocery Shopping Stores

By Kira Botkin

Paper bag full of groceriesIf you’re too busy to get to the grocery store, there’s many ways for the grocery store to come to you! Online grocery shopping has been rapidly expanding over the past several years, with lots of different websites providing groceries shipped right to you. Online grocery shopping can save you time, stress, gas money, and expose you to new types of foods and brands you can’t get at your local grocery store.

To help you sort through the different online grocery shopping options out there, I’ve put a list together of my 4 favorite stores. To help you compare prices, I’ve also included the cost and shipping price of a 16oz package of regular Oreos to Ohio:

1. AmazonAmazon has a huge selection of nonperishable grocery items, but its two main strengths are its extensive variety of organic and otherwise hard-to-find foods, and the ability to get a discount on many items through the Subscribe & Save program. Subscribe & Save gives you a 15% discount on many items, plus free shipping, with no commitment. Shipping is often free on other items as well if it’s an item that Amazon has in its own warehouses.

Amazon didn’t have the 16oz package of Oreos, but there were lots of other packaging options to be had, most of which would qualify for free shipping on an order over $25. Another thing to note is that Amazon is especially good for snack-size packages of items, such as for lunches.

2. NetgrocerNetgrocer is one of the longest established online stores and has very good prices as well as a good selection of specialty items, such as kosher and organic, and also carries many health and beauty items. This store does offer perishable items such as hot dogs and dairy, but your perishable order must be of a certain dollar amount and you can only have perishables shipped to the Northeast US. But if you do happen to be in New England, you can get very good shipping rates – it’s only $9.99 for up to $199 of merchandise. It’s a pretty poor deal if you live on the West Coast, though, since shipping usually runs about 30-50% of the cost of your total order. Netgrocer will deliver to APO and FPO addresses at variable rates depending on the weight of what you’ve purchased.

Netgrocer has a 16oz package of Oreos for $5.39, with shipping to Ohio costing $9.99 on orders under $50.

3. ShopFoodExShopFoodEx offers a pretty good variety of items and their prices are reasonable. My biggest issue is the site design, which drives me crazy – the way the site is laid out forces you to do a lot of scrolling to see the different options. However, good prices and shipping costs make up somewhat for this excessive scrolling.

Oreos here were only $4.59, with shipping coming out to $9.99 on boxes 25 pounds or under. Their rates for the West Coast were very reasonable also, at $13.95 for everywhere but Alaska and Hawaii. They will also ship to APO and FPO addresses.

4. MyBrandsMyBrands is great if you are a devotee of a particular item, such as a certain type of cereal or coffee. This is important because many of their items have minimum order quantities. So it’s not ideal for trying out new stuff that you can’t get in your area, because if you end up not liking the first one, you’ve got eleven more left! They also specialize in items that you won’t find in the average grocery store.

MyBrands didn’t actually have Oreos. They had some interesting-looking cookies called Hit, that I think are English, at $1.60 per stack. It’s a great price compared to Hit prices I found elsewhere, but you have to buy them 25 tubes at a time. Shipping for 25 tubes of Hit cookies came to $9.31, with a $1.75 handling fee, which is pretty impressive. There are no pre-calculated shipping cost tables because shipping is calculated on MyBrands by weight and not by order price. So think twice about boxes of juice or other heavy items.

Final Word
These sites are great for those of us in out-of-the-way towns or who live far from city centers. You can still get your Oreos without making an hour-long drive to get them. These sites are also a great way to keep an elderly relative’s cupboards full if you’re in another city, or to keep your college student happy with big boxes full of groceries. However, the prices aren’t usually competitive with a regular store, and sales are rare. You also need to plan in advance to avoid making multiple smaller purchases, since there’s a significant discount on shipping for larger orders, except at MyBrands.

Online grocery shopping can keep your trips down this season, and provide you with a huge selection of top-quality items. Happy shopping!

Have you shopped for groceries online before? What are your favorite sites to frequent?

(photo credit: Shutterstock)

Kira Botkin
Kira is a longtime blogger and serial entrepreneur who enjoys gardening, garage sales, and finding stray animals. She lives in Columbus, Ohio, where football is a distinct season, and by day runs a research study for people with multiple sclerosis. She hopes that the MoneyCrashers team can help you achieve your goals and live a great life.

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  • Alex

    $5.39 for a pound of Oreos?That’s a STINKING high price! Major ripoff alert.

  • Pat Davis

    I checked out a few today, Amazon and Walmart, would have gone to Vons too but they make you register and I didn’t feel like doing other than browse at this point. The first two sound pretty useless, most of the stuff I wanted they listed as store only, and as someone pointed out, the prices really suck. I’d have to be nearly unable to move/go out before I try these. Effing waste of money! I don’t see online become viable until at least another ten years.

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