But have you ever thought about going online for boring basics like dryer sheets, dish soap, plastic wrap and paper napkins?
This surprising life hack can actually save you quite a bit of money every month.
And I’m here to tell you why...
Save money now...
You might think it’s likely to spend MORE money when you’re shopping online. After all, you can be hanging out in your PJs and spend hours clicking around, right? But creating a recurring order of household basics allows you to spend LESS time and money overall.
1. Automatic discounts
You can schedule your order to arrive as often as you’d like -- every two weeks, every month, or whenever works for you -- but just having a recurring order on sites like Walmart’s AutoSave entitles you to lower prices on hundreds of household basics.
2. Compare prices easily
Big-box stores are a whirlwind of price tags, stickers, and “Buy two, get one free” signs.
It’s not always easy to find the best price, especially if you’re shopping in a hurry -- or have cranky children in tow.
Many sites have already calculated the price-per-item so you know which dishwasher tabs are more expensive per load without having to do the math.
3. Buy exactly what you need
We’ve all stood helplessly in the garbage bag aisle of the grocery store, trying to envision the can in our kitchen -- seriously, who thinks about their garbage cans in terms of litres?! -- and decide which size to to buy.
One of the perks of ordering these household basics online is that you can take a minute to read the product descriptions -- in the comfort of your home -- and have a better idea of what will work.
Bonus: Once you’ve found the items that work perfectly, they’ll be on your regular order without having to think about it again. Ah, perfectly-sized garbage bags every time.
4. Take advantage of free shipping
Most sites offer free shipping to your home if you spend $50 (sometimes this is even less), and it doesn’t take long for those daily essentials to add up.
Put together a running order that qualifies for free shipping, and think of how nice it will feel not to drag that huge bag of kitty litter into the house by yourself.
... and spend less money each month
Time is money, so you’ll have more time to work or spend with your family if you’re not schlepping out to buy cat food and toilet cleaner.
But you’ll also save cash by keeping up a regular order of household basics.
5. No more impulse purchases
There aren’t too many people who can zoom through a grocery store and head straight for the paper towels and tinfoil -- buying nothing else in their path.
Stores are designed to draw our attention towards sales so we continue loading up our cart. It’s almost impossible to get out without spotting more items we need (or think we need) and deciding it makes sense to buy them now.
When you order your basics online, you’re staying away from the store and keeping that cash in your pocket!
6. Intentional clicking
It doesn’t take any effort to toss packages of pastries or boxes of cookies into your grocery cart, but shopping online means you have to actively click to add items to your order -- and then review the carefully before checking out.
While it’s rare to stand thoughtfully at the checkout counter and decide whether or not you really need all of those items, we’re conditioned to do that final check before clicking to complete our order. This means we’re likely to delete an item at the last second -- if we decide it’s really not necessary -- and lower our total even more.
Bonus: If you keep the same recurring order each month, without adding anything new, you’re guaranteed to keep your spending in check.
Related: Plan Ahead: My Best Financial Tip!
7. Forget emergency runs to the corner store
They may be called “convenience stores” because they’re conveniently located close to your home…
...but you pay for that proximity in the form of higher prices -- often much, much higher.
Running down to the corner store at 8 p.m. to grab a jug of laundry soap may only take a few minutes, but it means you’ll be overpaying for the same soap that’s several dollars cheaper at the grocery store.
Having a steady supply arriving in the mail each month saves you money and prevents those last-minute dashes to buy more of an item you use daily.
Back to You
Why do you shop online?
Leave a comment below and share your reasons why.