How Online Shopping Has Changed The Way We Buy Essentials

Ilona Marchetta
on 19 December 2022

There I was at a place many of us find ourselves at many points during the week: Staring into the fridge trying to decide what to make for dinner.

However, I wasn’t struggling to make a decision because I had nothing to work with; I was struggling because I had sooo many options. A wealth of leafy greens, muchos cuts of meat, condiments, and some more condiments.

This filled me with a delicious mix of security and abundance. And a side-helping of smug.

Like many, COVID lockdowns left me with several bad habits (hello vanilla ice-cream with peanut butter and chocolate bits laced with Baileys after dinner every night). But I also seem to have made one behaviour change that leaves the project manager in me weeping with tears of pride.

I’ve developed a system for shopping online for essentials that has brought a zealous degree of organisation to my life

Prior to lockdown, online shopping was an activity relegated to a Friday or Saturday night post 9pm and a few glasses of wine, typically spurred by an Instagram ad for jewellery or shoes.

It was definitely a leisure activity. And an expensive one. It was never for basics or groceries. But things have changed.

One day while walking the aisles of a supermarket to buy milk yet again, it occurred to me that visiting a store repeatedly to buy things that I repeatedly run out of was a monumental waste of my time.

I sat down and developed a system that saves me about 12 hours a month and a priceless amount of mental energy.

Here’s how my system works.

I created three different lists; One for what I typically buy and run out of weekly (such as milk, meat, eggs and produce), another for items I consume monthly (like peanut butter) and another for items I buy every three months (e.g cleaning products).

I created an online basket with the grocer where I would normally physically shop weekly for grass-fed meats, pasture-raised chicken and fresh locally grown veggies (which are my food values). Each week, I simply hit re-order on my weekly shop.

I used to shop for items on my monthly and three monthly list through big chain supermarkets like Coles and Woolworths, spending most of my time in the health food aisles reading labels and ingredient lists. Now, I set aside just 10 minutes at the end of every month to peruse and add-to-cart via GoodnessMe, because it’s a one-stop-shop for all-natural nutritionist-approved and clean, chemical-free household products. Every three months, I add in the items from my three monthly list. The best part? I can do it all in my pyjamas, on the couch!

Along the way, I’ve made a few adjustments to make sure I never go without or have too much of something lying around (turns out I don’t use Worcestershire sauce all that often). I’m always sticking to a budget, and I always have nourishing, good food in the house.


If I sound really serious and boring, you’re wrong; Being so organised means more time for fun!

I pour those extra 12 hours I have into Pilates classes, connecting with family, catching up with friends or snoozing (mmm, afternoon naps).

To keep things interesting, I also subscribe to a box.

Gone are the days of learning more about new products by spending hours in the supermarket reading ingredients and nutrition panels. I get to try it before I buy it AND I’m not contributing to mass food waste! This is where a subscription box fits in. Again, I get mine through GoodnessMe. I love that I can select my diet options, rate and review the products I love and purchase them as soon as they become available in the store.. If I try something new that I like, I add it to my monthly or three-monthly shop. 

I’m an Aquarian, and this system of extreme organisation coupled with regular surprises really speaks to my soul. But I’m sure it will work for you too, no matter your star sign.

Now that I have worked out how to shop for essentials efficiently online, I can’t turn back.

I am typical of the average person who made the switch to online grocery shopping, according to a white paper produced by research company Pureprofile with the Interactive Advertising Bureau.

According to the paper, of those of us who started shopping for essentials online during the last two years, just 36% plan to return to stores once the pandemic is over.

The rest of us have found it too convenient to shop online for our essentials and we don’t mind paying a little bit more if it means we get some of our precious time back.

For more information about GoodnessMe, click here.

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