Online Shopping-- Is it for You?

June 20, 2008

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WXTX) -  With consumers trying to stretch their dollars at the grocery store, could shopping online be the way to go?

Research shows online grocery shopping is growing, with sales projected to reach more than seven-billion dollars this year.

So, Karen Herring searches for grocery sites from the comforts of her own home.

She says, " have a tendency to want to try to get the best deals." And it's how she shops for clothes, gifts and groceries.

Herring adds, "When I'm shopping online, I can get exactly what I want."

While Herring is retired, she does work for her church and home schools two grandchildren.

She's bought everything from office supplies to medicine and even milk online. "I can get my ink, paper clips staples," says Herring. "I'll get like in the six pack English peas, you can pick whatever label you desire, if you want to get the economical brands you can do that or if you want to buy the name brand."

Herring says shopping from home keeps her from buying things she doesn't need.

Case and point, her latest trip to Wal-Mart, she says she initially went for three items.

She tells us, "Instead I picked up a lot more." And racked up a total of nearly $150 in stuff.

But, if you're not careful, grocery shopping online can be even costlier. Most companies charge for shipping and delivery.

Plus, consumers lose the advantage of negotiating prices that may only be available in local stores.

Despite the disadvantages, Herring says it's worked out well for her budget. "Just the fact of having to run around and use your fuel and for me, the exasperation of hunting, wasting the valuable time that I have, because they do things in the store to try to make you buy. I think I'm saving money."

All types of items and delivery is just a click away, but can it really save you any money?

Several chain grocery stores offer online shopping options.  Another thing to be careful about when shopping for groceries online is security.

Make sure you're using a site that's safe and secure...because if thieves steal your identity, you're definitely spending more than you bargained for.

Locally, Lewis Jones offers online and personal shopping.  Plus, at Sam's Club, customers can place an order, then pick it up at the store.