Wondering how to shop for groceries online? I’ve never been a great meal planner but now that we’re “sheltering in place”, my shopping trips have gotten MUCH fewer and more strategic. The first time I tried shopping for groceries online it felt like Fantasia. How am I supposed to find all the things when I’m not in the store? What do we even eat? Do we HAVE to eat? 

For me, it worked better to think about the meals we like — the easy ones and especially the recipes that can be repurposed into a new meal with just a few fresh ingredients–and work backward from there. When it comes to shopping for groceries online, here’s the system that works for us and please, make sure to look for good deals online, in my case, I have always shopped at target and surprisingly enough, I found a target promo code I was able to use.

How to Shop for Groceries Online

Here in NC, we have two local stores that offer “to go” services. It takes getting used to but ultimately the process is super simple:

  1. Shop online and pay. You’ll need a username and password, plus any fidelity code or account you already have to get discounts.
  2. Choose a pickup date and window. Sometimes this step comes first, for example at Walmart. It’s often hard to get a date and time. You may have to try back several times so keep that in mind if you need something quickly. Also, many of these apps are very buggy! If you can’t get a pickup time, try refreshing.
  3. Pick up. Drive to the designated pickup area of the store parking lot. Store employees bring your groceries to your trunk. You never get out of the car, which feels safe and also convenient. Suggestion: Bring a tip for the person who is putting bags in your car. I’ve put cash in an envelope with “THANK YOU” on it. I don’t know if they are supposed to accept tips but I’m just gonna say it’s fine and move ahead. These are very hard times, and I’ve never appreciated grocery store employees more.

Grocery stores that offer online shopping:

  • Food Lion To Go
  • Walmart Pickup and Delivery
  • Harris Teeter Pickup and Delivery
  • Safeway Grocery Pickup
  • Albertsons
  • Kroger Pickup
  • Publix Pickup, Delivery and Curbside Delivery

My Grocery List for Shopping 2 Weeks at a Time

Rather than strict meal planning, I like lots of mix and match options. This is what works for me when I’m shopping for groceries online.

Meals to Plan For


  • Pesto turkey meatballs (pasta, soup, meatball pockets)
  • Honey-mustard chicken
  • BBQ chicken tenders
  • Very Veggie Mac & Cheese
  • Lemon chicken with potatoes
  • Hot dogs with potato salad
  • Fish sticks with roasted potato wedges
  • Tacos (taco soup, taco pop tarts, mini taco cups)
  • No-rise homemade pizza
  • Broccoli soup
  • Very Veggie Marinara (for pasta and pizza)

Lunch (or dinner)

  • Grilled cheese sandwiches
  • Pizza Rollups
  • Turkey sandwiches
  • Baked Egg Cups with ham & cheese
  • Open-faced tuna melts
  • Ham, cheese and sliced apple quesadillas
  • Very pickl-y egg salad sandwiches (deviled eggs)


  • Yogurt parfaits, granola
  • Fruit smoothies
  • Oat cups

Sides & snacks

  • Potato salad
  • Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies
  • Roasted cauliflower
  • Sauteed spinach with garlic
  • Easiest-ever roasted baby carrots with maple syrup
  • Roasted potato wedges


  • 2 gallons whole milk
  • 2 half gallons almond milk
  • 1 pound extra sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 pound mozzarella cheese
  • 2 pounds unsalted butter
  • 1 pound salted butter
  • 1 large carton whole fat plain yogurt
  • 1 large carton whole fat vanilla yogurt


  • Frozen spinach
  • Frozen cauliflower
  • Frozen berries
  • Chicken breasts
  • Chicken thighs
  • Turkey breast
  • Vegetarian crumbles
  • Fish sticks

Pantry staples

  • 6 large cans diced tomatoes
  • 6 cans beans (assorted)
  • 4 cans tuna
  • brown sugar
  • granulated sugar
  • flour (if available)
  • whole oats
  • raisins
  • large jar of unsweetened applesauce
  • large bottle of extra virgin olive oil

Fresh produce

  • 4 pounds bananas
  • 2 bags apples
  • 2 bags oranges
  • 2 pounds baby carrots
  • 4 English cucumbers
  • 4 bell peppers
  • 2 large containers baby spinach
  • 5 pounds yellow potatoes
  • 5 pounds onions


  • 2 loaves soft whole wheat bread
  • 2 loaves whole-grain whole wheat bread
  • 2 packages hot dog buns
  • 2 packages soft tortillas

Deli & Meat

  • 2 pounds sliced turkey
  • 2 packages all-beef, no-nitrate hot dogs

Buying Locally

We have local farms that offer grass-fed beef, pasture-raised pork and seasonal produce (kale, Brussels sprouts, baby carrots.) I buy all of our pork and beef here at prices that truly rival high quality offerings at the store.

There are also 7 chickens in my yard, producing tons of fresh eggs every day.


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