These days, we all have our hands full. Work, school, soccer practice, and family obligations can quickly fill up our busy schedules. And many of us are looking for ways to make eating healthier easier. Fortunately, many big chain grocery stores are now offering grocery pick up for a nominal fee. The flexibility of shopping for groceries online and having a Personal Shopper gather them for you, bag them, and have them ready for you to pick up and load into your car offers significant convenience.
It means less time shopping for pantry staples, organic ingredients, and fresh produce, and more time for what’s important—like making memories with your friends and family.
For picky shoppers who like to see the goods before dropping a dime, there is also a place for you to leave notes for your Personal Shopper. For instance, if you want green bananas, soft avocados, etc., you can just say so, and they will do their best to accommodate these types of requests.
You also have the option to allow substitutions. For instance, if you select a name brand such as “Domino Sugar” because it is on sale and you add it to your cart, but the store is out of this brand, your Personal Shopper may give you “Dixie Crystals Sugar” as a substitution. This is only if you check the box to allow the substitution. If you do not check this box, you will not get any sugar at all. With that being said, if they do provide you with the substitution, and it was on an item that was on sale, they will give you the sale price of the item you were purchasing. Pretty cool, huh?
When placing an order online, your grocery pick up time must be at least 3 – 4 hours from the time of ordering. That way your Personal Shopper has plenty of time to get your order ready, and you’re typically given a one-hour pickup window.
Keep in mind the prices you are charged are the prices that are in effect at your store on the day of pickup or delivery.
With a variety of different stores providing this service, I decided to give a few of these grocery pick up services a test drive, so to speak. Here’s what I discovered…
Grocery Pick Up Services: Here are the Top Contenders
Kroger ClickList®, including King Soopers, City Market, and More
Cost: Fees vary per location but typically the first three visits are free.
Hours of Operation: Typically from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week but check with your local store as hours may vary.
Grocery Pick Up Details: Kroger owns a number of grocery stores including King Soopers, City Market, and more and offers their own ClickList® Pick Up where you order online and can pick up your groceries up to 3 days after your order. You’re provided with a one-hour window for pick up, and it’s recommended you go in the middle of the hour to “beat the rush.”
Cost: It’s free to pick up your groceries from the curbside service from Publix. They also offer a delivery service, and you can purchase a regular membership which will cost $99 annually or $14 per month.
Publix also has a disclaimer that “A markup is added to item prices at this retailer to cover the cost of the Instacart service. Prices are based on data collected in store and are subject to delays and errors.” So, it’s not really “free,” but the charges seem to be fairly nominal.
Hours of Operation: 7:15 a.m. to 9:45 p.m.
Walmart Grocery Pick Up
Cost: Who knew that along with having virtually everything under the sun, Walmart also offers FREE grocery pickup services. You must purchase a minimum of $30 worth of grocery items to qualify for this service, but for first-time customers, you can save $10 off a $50 purchase with the promotion code WELCOME.
There is an optional delivery service; however, this option was not available in my area.
Hours of Operation: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Grocery Pick Up Details: The reason I really like this service is that Walmart Grocery is about way more than just food. You can stock up on all your everyday essentials like laundry detergent, diapers, pet supplies, wipes, and paper towels. You’ll get everything you need in one easy stop and save even more time.
Walmart is like Costco to me. I go in for one item and come out with a cart overflowing with things I didn’t even know I needed, so this service helps me save money by staying out of the store.
Amazon Prime Pantry
Cost: Amazon offers the Prime Pantry service, so Prime members can purchase everyday essentials for $5.99 per box. They have an extensive catalog allowing shoppers to skip the store and also offer weekly deals as well as exclusive coupons on certain items..
Each Pantry box holds up to 45 pounds or 4 cubic feet of product, and as you browse to add selections to your cart, you’ll see how much they fill up your box based on size and weight. The $5.99 delivery fee is a flat rate per box, regardless of the order size, so you don’t need to fill up your entire box.
These services are only available for Prime members, which comes with the $99 annual membership fee, but you can also get a 30-day free trial if you are a new customer.
Grocery Pick Up Details: With Prime Pantry, you can find everything from soup to nuts and chia seeds to dish detergent and just about everything in between.
You can also sign up for a Subscribe and Save, similar to our BioTrust Ship and Save, where Amazon offers a discounted rate for the product to ship it to you on a recurring basis.
Grocery Pick Up: A Recap
Depending on what neck of the woods you reside in, there are available options for you to enjoy the convenience of shopping from your home or office and save precious time. Your local grocers understand that your time is precious, and your budget is real. They are making an effort to accommodate the needs of their customers by offering better options. I, for one, found all of the grocery pick up services to be worth the investment as it was quick to fill up the online cart and get back to spending time with my family and friends. Fast food doesn’t have to mean unhealthy anymore.