If you know online grocery shopping is a time and money-saving idea but haven't begun doing it regularly yet, it's time you started making your move. One way is to begin with specialty items like the ones you might buy from a Japanese market and order those online. Once you see how much time and money you can save, you'll be a convert. Asian grocers are an excellent place to start because they've been steadily improving their online stores for several years.  You'll find a superb selection of the most-wanted items that make it easy to stock your pantry – and have it delivered directly to your door.

When you talk to online grocery shoppers about the advantages, they'll tell you greater access to product information is the order of the day. In a brick-and-mortar store, you're pretty much limited to product labels as your source of information. When you shop at a virtual food store like an Asian market, each item has a screen that contains information about the product. When comparing several items against each other, you can readily access product details that help you decide. It's a natural way to become a smarter shopper and investigate things you might like to try more easily.

Because it's all we've ever known, most of us are resigned to the amount of time it takes to drive to a grocery store, park, shop, wait in the checkout line, then lug bags home that need to be unpacked and put away. When you switch to making an online grocery order, you can fill your (virtual) cart from the convenience of your smartphone, tablet, or laptop, and once you press confirm, there's nothing more to do until your order is delivered to your home. It frees you up to spend your off-hours doing things you enjoy more than food shopping. You'll also enjoy a wider selection and more product information.

If you plan to try a Japanese market as you become accustomed to shopping online, it's a significant step toward eating healthier. The ratio of vegetables to meat in many Asian recipes is 3-to-1, which helps lower your intake of fat and cholesterol. Eating more veggies also means you're eating more fiber and vitamins and will feel lighter and less bloated after meals. The Japanese philosophy of cooking is about respecting the body and eating well to live better. It's very different from many western culinary traditions that are more about indulgence. Japanese food is tasty and healthier in many ways.