More people using online grocery shopping to save money amid inflation

With inflation continuing to climb to the highest level in 41 years, shoppers are looking for ways to save on groceries. A new report finds more are turning to online grocery shopping to save money.

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Online grocery shopping with home delivery grew in popularity during the pandemic in order to avoid exposure to COVID-19 in a store.  Now more shoppers are giving it a click to save money, too.

Supermarket News reports a Brick Meets Click survey finds grocery delivery sales jumped up 20% in the last quarter, and now make up 34% of all grocery shopping.  

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Shopping online can help you save money, particularly if you're prone to impulse buys in the store.

"Although you might see individual prices slightly up when you order online, or maybe you are paying a delivery fee, you’ll ultimately save more because you’re going to buy less food on impulse," explained consumer expert Andrea Woroch.

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Plus you can easily see prices online, and swap items for lower-cost foods.  And you don't have to burn expensive gas to get there.

CNET recently did a comparison and found online and in-store grocery shopping cost about the same because any online savings were eaten up by delivery fees.  So the trick is to use free curbside pickup when you can.

If you are shopping in-store, use self-checkout, and a basket to limit how much you pick up.

"Once you start filling it up with items you don’t need, you are going to realize it's time to put them back," said Woroch. "Because you won't have room for your essentials."

And take advantage of in-store savings.

"Make sure you sign up for that frequent shopper card," suggested Phil Lempert with "Use store brands. Store brands are typically anywhere between ten and thirty percent less expensive."

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Kroger is launching its new Boost subscription program nationwide. It works similarly to an Amazon Prime or Walmart + subscription.  

Kroger Boost offers free delivery through Instacart on orders over $35.  For a $59 annual fee, you can get next-day delivery.  For a $99 annual fee, you can get delivery within a couple of hours.

And you earn double fuel points for every dollar spent on groceries, with up to one dollar off per gallon. That's twice as much as the free Kroger Plus loyalty program.

Let's take a look at the numbers.  If you pay the $59 a year and spend $200 a week on groceries, you would earn 400 fuel points a week. 1,000 fuel points add up to $1 off per gallon of Kroger gas.

So after three weeks of shopping, you'd have 1200 fuel points.  If you drive an SUV with a 40-gallon tank, you could save up to $40 on gas every three weeks.

Boost also comes with $90 off on your first three boxes of Home Chef meals, and 20% off Murray Cheese items.