Visit a coupon website.
Before you sign up for an online grocery ordering service like Amazon Fresh, Fresh Direct, or Walmart Grocery, visit a coupon website, such as RetailMeNot.com or Savings.com. Chances are, you’ll find a code exclusively for new customers for an average savings of $20! And for delivery services that require subscriptions (like Instacart or Shipt), you can find offers for up to half-off a yearly fee. Already subscribed? Check those same sites for coupon codes before you shop for offers such as $15 off orders of $35 or more!
Stock up with a big order.
Avoiding multiple small deliveries and making one large delivery can be a big cost-cutter. That’s because delivery fees often decrease (or are waived altogether) when you meet a minimum purchase! For example, Walmart NextDay Delivery charges $5.99 for orders under $35, but it’s free for eligible orders over $35. And Instacart Express and Shipt subscribers pay up to $7.99 for deliveries under $35, but pay no fee when spending $35 or more. Tip: Fees may decrease even more when you choose a less popular delivery time, so look at different hours of the day to see if you can save!
Snag BOGOS and deals.
Love the way coupons and store deals cut your grocery bill? Great news: Some services allow you to apply them to your online order as well! On Instacart’s app, you choose your store, select “coupons” in the search bar, then “clip” manufacturer coupons to apply to your bill. Or tap “deals” in the menu on Amazon Fresh to find coupons, then add them to your order to get the discount. Giant Eagle supermarket allows you to add eCoupons, and Shipt tells you what sales and BOGO offers are available at the stores you shop through them!
Pick it up at the curb.
If you’re able to leave home for quick essential trips, you can skip delivery fees by shopping online at stores that offer free curbside pickup, like Giant Eagle, Target and Walmart. Just place your order on the site, wait for a text or email alerting you that your items are ready, then drive to the store where there will be an area allotted in the parking lot for curbside pickup orders. Don’t live near one of these markets? Many grocery stores offer discounted fees for curbside pickup: At Kroger, the first three curbside pickups are free, and Meijer.com charges $4.95—50 percent less than its home delivery fee.
This story originally appeared in our print magazine.