In 2012 I discovered Coles (our preferred supermarket) does online grocery shopping with home delivery so we gave it a go and we have never looked back. My husband places the order on Thursday night for delivery either Friday or Saturday night depending on our weekend commitments. We have young children so we are usually home on Saturday nights with the kids in bed around 7.30pm. We used to have the groceries delivered on a weeknight but we found our week nights getting pretty hectic with dinner and bed time so it suited us better to aim for the weekend.
I prepared a month worth of weekly menus so it's relatively easy to create a shopping list. The whole process takes less than an hour and can done in front of the television with no screaming kids in tow or one of us staying home with the kids while the other manages all the heavy bags.
The shopping is delivered into our kitchen where all we have to do is unpack. We sign the items off the receipt as we unpack so we can check there is nothing missing...and there very rarely is.
When finalising the order online you can choose an item substitution option in case the item you order isn't available but we typically don't use this option and don't often have problems with items out of stock. If something is out of stock we make do until the following grocery order or use something from our pantry. We very rarely have to enter a supermarket which certainly saves our sanity.
I highly recommend online shopping to any busy mum having problems "fitting it all in".
Some people have asked me how we learn about new products or sales. The website offers a search function by price so you can compare unit prices and specials are marked. When new products are launched we often receive samples and we receive supermarket catalogues that highlight new and upcoming products and how to use them. We also learn about new products through television ads.
The option for home delivery is an additional cost and recent research has indicated that online groceries are marked up compared to prices on the supermarket floor. We have found despite these additional costs that we spend the same if not less than if we physically enter the supermarket as we are avoiding the impulse items. We only order what we need for the week!
The process of online ordering involves prior planning but makes the whole week seamless in relation to meals. We know what we are eating/cooking and we have everything in the house to do it!