Thinking of Trying a Grocery Pickup Service?

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I have never enjoyed grocery shopping. Grocery shopping requires a degree of planning, navigation through a store and budgeting to be effective. I always forget something, but I also always leave with items that I did not intend on purchasing. Now that I have children to shop with me, the task is more work.

Grocery shopping now entails a myriad of constant questions, random items placed in the cart, rushed trips to bathrooms and sometimes tantrums as we check out. Thanks to changes in how we grocery shop, trips inside a store with my kids has become rare and those headaches can be avoided. In the process, I gain back time I would have been in a store.

More than a year ago, a friend encouraged me to try a grocery pickup service through Walmart. Not being a fan of Walmart, I was skeptical but decided to give it a try. It did not take long for me to learn to love the service, and we now use it almost on a weekly basis.

How does it work? Groceries are ordered online or on a mobile app. Groceries are picked up within a 1-hour reserved specified window of time. On a mobile app, Walmart can be notified of a pending arrival by clicking “Check-in Now.” Once a vehicle pulls into the designated spot, Walmart employees are notified that a shopper has arrived through the app or by a quick phone call. Employees roll out groceries and load them into the correct vehicle. Our experience typically averages around 10 minutes total to pick up our groceries.

Does it save money since you cannot use coupons? Although the pickup service does not allow for coupons, money can still be saved. When groceries are bought on line, it can be done from home where pantries and fridges can be checked to ensure that only things that are needed are purchased. In addition, there are no impulse buys when buying online; therefore easier to stick to a budget.

Items are also often upgraded for no charge. If you order a 12 pack of Lacroix’s but they only have eight packs in stock, Walmart often substitutes two eight packs for no charge. That means, four cans end up free. Other times store brands are ordered, but brand or organic versions are substituted for no additional cost.

Do you have to tip the employees? No, you do not have to tip. In fact I have tried a couple of times, and I was told not to. I personally wish I could tip or pay a service fee, because the time and headache I save is worth the extra cost. Walmart shoppers benefit from surveys being filled out following the order.

Not to be biased, Kroger has a similar grocery pick up service that is just as good. Fuel points can be earned and digital coupons can be used. We drive past Walmart more often and have become regulars.

Writer Bio: Summer Bolte

I spend most of my time and days with my three kids, husband and dog. My kids frequently play near me as I garden, cook, DIY and volunteer. My most unusual paying job has to be feeding fruit flies in a research lab, and my most fulfilling job was being an oncology nurse for seven years.  

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