Same-day delivery service Shipt says its members can expect to pay about $5 more on a $35 order online than in the store. Plan that you will spend a few extra bucks every time you buy groceries online.
At the grocery store, the price you see is typically the price you pay. But online, fees for delivery, service, alcohol, memberships and subscriptions could be tacked onto your bill. Extra charges could range from a couple dollars for a service fee to about a hundred dollars for a membership.
“You’re spending more money because it’s a service,” says Jennifer Weber, a certified financial planner in Lake Success, New York.
How you use that service can also affect the cost. Often, you’ll pay a premium for quicker or high-demand delivery times. Then, there are tips. Tipping, while optional, is a simple way to support the workers risking their health to provide you with an essential service. Many grocery services set a default tip, so make sure to pick the amount you prefer.
Items could be unexpectedly out-of-stock, incorrect or missing from your delivery. Certain services allow substitutions for unavailable inventory. However, that can come at a higher cost. When the conventional tomatoes I ordered sold out, I ended up with organic tomatoes for $1 more.
When using services that charge for pricier replacements, consider opting out of automatic substitutions or allocating a few extra dollars toward your grocery budget as a cushion. Inspect orders closely upon arrival as well and notify the company if you’re charged for forgotten or incorrect items.