Posted: Apr 22, 2012 4:44 AM
Many cities and grocery stores now offer online shopping services. That's right, now you can order your groceries from the comfort of your own home and have them delivered! No more dragging a screaming toddler through the aisles searching for kale chips or fighting with your tween about what qualifies as a "healthy cereal."

tip 1^Ditch the grocery store, keep the grocery list

Just because you're not wheeling a cart down the aisles of the grocery store doesn't mean you don't need to still do some advance planning to get organized for grocery shopping, even when you're doing it online. Do your meal planning and ingredient list-making before you sit down to place your order and don't forget that since you won't be browsing the shelves in person, you'll want to make sure you order snacks and staple items that you need as well.

tip 2^Know your sizes

Do you need a 32-ounce bottle of ketchup or a 64-ounce? How many apples come in a three-pound bag? It can take a while to get used to finding the quantities you usually buy when shopping for groceries online, but sometimes when you're trying to figure out how much to order, a trip to your own kitchen will do the trick. Compare the size you're about to order to something that you already have in your fridge or cupboard to solve the mystery! Also, many online grocery websites save the products you order so that you can see how many pounds of broccoli you ordered that last time.

tip 3^Pick your delivery time wisely

Depending on the grocery delivery service you use, some of them require you to be present for the delivery and some of them don't. No matter what you choose, don't schedule a delivery during naptime and make sure that you'll be home sometime soon after the delivery so that you can get cold and frozen products on ice quickly. If you have to be home for the delivery, make sure to put off taking a shower until after the delivery arrives!

tip 4^Order enough to make it worthwhile

Read the fine print when it comes to delivery -- many services will deliver your order for free if you reach a specific dollar amount, some which are as low as $30. In addition, the more often you order, the more likely you'll be able to get that delivery fee waived.

tip 5^Check out the sales & specials

Just like at the real-life grocery store, online grocery services also have sections with items that are discounted or on sale, and you can typically find some amazing deals, especially if you're willing to buy in bulk or stray from your grocery list a bit. You can also save yourself a few bucks here and there by buying meat that is frozen -- chicken breasts, hamburger patties, etc. -- so be sure to keep your eyes open when you're browsing for other groceries online.

More about meal planning

Fun sandwich ideas for kids
5 Must-have meal planning apps
5 Meal planning tips for busy moms

Topics: saving money