The Downsides of Grocery Convenience

grocery convenience

I’ve talked before about how much I hate to grocery shop. It irritates me because I just can’t seem to find a good time to go to the store when it’s basically empty.

One thing I do to make my grocery shopping go faster is having an organized list of the things I need. But sometimes even then I dread having to go to the store.

If you live in a larger community, some grocery stores have started to combat this with drive-thru grocery stores, grocery delivery, or the option to place your order online and simply pick it up at the front of the store. I wish these were options in my small town!

But is that grocery convenience really worth it? Here are a few things to consider before you sign up for any type of grocery convenience service.

Higher Prices

A drive-thru grocery store, called Zoomin Market, opened up in Olathe Kansas in 2014. Zoomin’ Market does not charge a fee for gathering items and bringing them to your vehicle. However, there is no way around the added time it takes for a worker to gather the items to be delivered to your car.

Logic tells us the business has to either absorb the extra cost by losing a portion of their profits, or raise their prices on food and other items to cover this expense. The same could also be said for a grocery delivery service, but now you are adding the extra cost of fuel and travel time too.

A good friend of mine also brought up the use of coupons. Would you be able to use coupons on your purchases if you ordered groceries online and picked them up at the front of the store? If not, this could significantly increase your grocery spending.

Product Choice/Freshness

Another major drawback that could defer me from ever using a grocery convenience service is lack of product choice. You are placing your trust in a clerk to make a wise choice for you in terms of freshness of your goods, like fruits and vegetables. I know I’d be really peeved if I ended up with fruit that was squishy in just a few days due to bad selections made by the workers.


Another downside for either a delivery or drive through grocery store would be returns. Since a worker is the one choosing the item for you without your having seen it first, what if you aren’t happy with their choice? How do they handle returns? Will they come to your house to exchange or refund the rejected item, or will you have to make a trip back to the store and waste extra gas as well as time in a line waiting to complete a return or exchange? These concerns would need to be addressed for any grocery convenience store to become a successful, lasting business.

Delivery Fees

Some grocery stores already deliver items to you, but at an added fee to cover their time and expense to do so. This can use up a portion of your budget, which leads me to the conclusion that some shoppers will avoid this option altogether and stick to traditional grocery shopping.

Minimums & Maximums

What about minimums? For instance, some grocery delivery services charge an extra fee for delivering less than $50 of goods. However, for a drive-thru grocery store, I would think the reverse would be true. If the number of desired items reaches a certain point, the cost to retrieve, handle, and deliver the items to your car could warrant an extra fee.

Even though many of us dislike spending the time and energy required to purchase our own groceries, the downsides of grocery convenience are enough to convince me to continue shopping the traditional way, at least for now.

Does your town have any grocery convenience options? Have you ever used them?

Written By
Sydney White is a Texas-born stay at home mom who enjoys spending time with her family, bargain hunting and, hiking.


  1. No, and I still prefer that I do my grocery task because it enables me to check every item and still compare prices of different brands of same products. And, I think doing grocery items still is one preferable option for a work-from-home mom because it’s a time that I get to walk for hours.

  2. I’m in a small town myself, but we have the online ordering available. I just tried it last week. The minimum is $30, which is pretty easy to hit. The prices are the same as the store. I found it handy, but I also only used it for non-perishables/staples. I don’t mind running in to get my fresh veggies and meat. It still saves me a lot of time, and I will definitely use it again.

    If you have a store that offers online ordering on your way home from work, you may still be able to take advantage of it.

  3. When I’ve used my local supermarkets’ online shopping and pickup/delivery options, I’ve been very impressed. Prices are the same as in the store, coupons are accepted, and there are even special coupons for pickup/delivery to help offset the cost occasionally. And you can write notes, like if you want green bananas or ripe ones for example. Everything that was selected for me was in great condition. All in all, I think these services can be a good option, especially if you have young children who add things to your cart. Or even if you’re an adult who adds too many things to the cart when you’re in the store! Plus there’s the opportunity cost…if you could earn more in that hour than the money you’d spend on having someone else shop for you, why not?

    1. Great feedback! I’m glad you’ve had a good experience. I was a bit hesitant to write this since I haven’t tried these services myself (simply because they aren’t available where I live), but I’m glad to hear you think they are worth it!

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