Have you been wondering if grocery store pick-up and delivery services are for you? You’re in luck because I am going to share with you all my insider tips!
Quick note: Get a FREE copy of our “Dare to Compare” grocery store curbside pick-up / delivery cheat sheet HERE! It covers important details like; tipping, pricing, turn-around time, coupons and specials. I know you’ll enjoy it!
Here we go!
If you’d like to save time in your week and money on your groceries, you’ve come to the right place! In this article we are going to discuss the ways curbside pick-up and/or delivery may be used to cut down on your grocery bill and put time back into your day. Read on.
If you’re anything like me and need more hours in the day, making your grocery list, getting to the grocery store AND staying within a budget can seem impossible. You need to read this post!
If there are days when you and your kids have to eat ravioli (yep, the canned kind) for dinner, dry cereal (because you’ve run out of milk) for breakfast, and you’ve packed the kids lunches with peanut butter & jelly on hot dog buns, I feel you! Read this post!
I’ll be sharing with you:
- How I have decreased my grocery bill without using coupons.
- How I’ve saved precious time in my week that I now use to plan and prepare meals.
- How keep a stocked refrigerator and pantry, ensuring I have the ingredients needed for specific recipes, school lunches, snacks and more.
As you know, many companies, including traditional grocery stores, are having to recreate their business models to compete with online grocery stores (i.e. Amazon). Many of the larger brick and mortar grocery stores have started offering services that allow shoppers to order their groceries online and pick-up their completed order at the store. This is called curbside pick-up. Another option at many grocery stores is for customers to order online and have the order delivered to their home, home delivery service.
It’s likely that you’ve considered trying one of these options but that you haven’t had the time or information needed to make a solid decision. The great news is that you will have the information needed, by the time you read this article. I’ve got you covered!
I’ve been utilizing curbside pick-up at least 2 times a month for over a year and have done the comparison research and discovery for you. Let’s use the time you’ll save to read this article and begin planning your menu & grocery list for next week.
Below you’ll find my comparison between H.E.B and Walmart for both their curbside pick-up and delivery services.
Most of us have a Walmart close by and can benefit from understanding their offerings. If you don’t have an H.E.B in your area, another grocery store can be easily substituted, as most have similar costs associated with their curbside pickup and delivery services. Click HERE for a FREE copy of our “Dare to Compare” cheat sheet that outlines pricing for 22 grocery stores/chains in the USA. Meanwhile, I can speak to the two grocery stores I’ve utilized for curbside pick-up and delivery, Walmart and H.E.B.
Comparisons are based on pricing, convenience and my personal experiences with their service and food quality. You’ll notice that I make mention of whether the store will allow tipping or not. This is important, because if tipping is allowed, I will add a tip, for comparisons sake, into the total cost below.
Having waited tables throughout college, I believe that if tipping is an option, and barring any service disaster, it should be offered. I’ve read a few articles stating the minimum tip should be $5 for delivery or $2 per person, whichever is greater. You may chose to tip less for curbside pick-up.
Pros of grocery store pick-up or delivery:
- You can order online literally 24/7. This is nice because you can sneak in small blocks of time to complete your order whether it’s during nap time or your lunch break.
- When ordering online, you can simply walk to your pantry or refrigerator to check whether you need an item or have it on hand. This is helpful for me for both recipes and school lunches. Checking what you have on hand both eliminates you buying more than one of the same item and ensures you have the special requests you may get for school lunches.
- You can use past online grocery store orders or lists to:
- Save time. The items that you need from week to week can easily be saved as favorites and moved into your cart. Items I typically purchase again and again are Diet Coke (don’t judge), bread, Nutella, apples…your list will be customized based on your shopping habits.
- Double check that you have all ingredients needed for your meal plan. It’s so frustrating to start making something and realize you are missing one key ingredient. Decrease these unfortunate upsets by shopping online with your recipes beside by your side.
- Price shop. If you’ve started your order online at Kroger and wonder whether you can get the same item for less at Albertsons, Do a quick comparison online. Depending on the item and cost differential, you can decide whether it’s worth it to make an additional trip to Albertsons in order to save $X. Having this information at your fingertips is powerful.
- Resist impulse purchases by staying out of the store. This is huge for me, because whenever I am in the store, there is a 100% chance that I will purchase more than planned and many times a lot more. I will see a sale, taste a sample, chose the mega pack or finally breakdown and buy the Blue Bell ice cream. These impulse buys can add up very quickly.
Alright, let’s get started by comparing the pricing of curbside pick-up and delivery service per store.
H.E.B Curbside Pick-up Pricing:
- Next day curbside pick-up is free.
- Same day pick-up, $4.95 with 4 hour lead time.
- Prices at curbside pick-up can vary from the prices inside the store. Prices are increased to cover the cost of a personal shopper. My understanding is that the increase is around 3% of your bill, which we’ll use for our pricing comparison.
- Tips are discouraged but allowed.
H.E.B Delivery Pricing:
- Same day delivery is available, in some areas within the hour. The cost to schedule a delivery for the next day is equivalent to having it delivered same day: $4.95 personal shopper fee plus $5.00 delivery fee.
- Items for grocery delivery can vary from the prices inside the store. Prices are increased to cover the cost of a personal shopper. My understanding is that the increase is around 3% of your bill, which we’ll use for our pricing comparison.
- Tips are optional but allowed.
H.E.B curbside & H.E.B delivery:
- $200 (the total bill that we’ll use for comparison purposes) grocery bill. The 3% increased item cost for curbside pick-up = $6.
- $4.95 for the personal shopper fee plus $5 tip for the personal shopper.
H.E.B: $6 +$4.95 + $5 = $15.95 for the convenience of curbside pick-up.
- $200 grocery bill. The 3% increased item cost for delivery = $6.
- $4.95 personal shopper fee plus $5 delivery fee plus $5 tip.
H.E.B: $6 + 4.95 + $5 + $5 = $20.95 for the convenience of delivery.
Walmart curbside pricing:
- Next day curb-side pick-up is free, as is same day pick-up with a 4-hour lead time.
- Customers using curbside pick-up enjoy the same prices as those shopping in the store.
- Tips are not allowed.
Walmart delivery pricing:
- Same and next day delivery $7.95-$9.95.
- Customers using delivery service enjoy the same prices as those shopping in the store.
- Tips are optional but allowed.
Walmart Curbside & Walmart delivery:
- $200 grocery bill without an increased item price = $0
- $0 for the personal shopper fee plus $0 tip for the personal shopper.
Walmart: $0 +$0 + $0= FREE for the convenience of curbside pick-up.
- $200 grocery bill without an increased item price = $0
- $7.95 delivery fee plus $5 tip.
Walmart: $0 + $0 + $7.95 + $5 = $12.95 for the convenience of delivery.
You might be wondering which service I use/ prefer. Continue reading for pros & cons of each service. I’ll also share how I divide & conquer my grocery shopping.
Cons of shopping at HEB:
1) Increased prices of 3% to cover the cost of a personal shopper.
2) I always tip when tipping is allowed, and tipping is allowed at H.E.B.
3) $4.95 curbside pick-up fee for same day, and I typically use same day pick-up.
4) In my experience they take longer, on average, than Walmart to deliver the groceries to my car curbside. It seems like each time I order from H.E.B, I get someone new (i.e. slower & more likely to make mistakes) to curbside pick-up delivering my groceries.
Pros of shopping at HEB:
1) They have the freshest produce.
2) Their meats, seafood, pork and chicken are always fresh and delicious.
3) They don’t have nearly the amount of substitution or stocking issues as Walmart (see details below).
Cons for shopping at Walmart:
1) I don’t like shopping inside of Walmart. Backtracking to retrieve an item on a previous isle can take minutes as can trying to find something specific, if you aren’t familiar with the layout. Further, locating a Walmart employee for help can be downright frustrating.
2) I prefer purchasing meats, fresh seafood, pork and chicken from H.E.B.
3) Although their apples and bananas are up to par, I haven’t been as lucky with watermelons, pears, oranges, peaches or avocados (especially avocados).
4) Walmart doesn’t have any note sections where you can add requests on specific items (i.e. no brown bananas) online. Whereas, H.E.B and most other grocery stores with curbside pick-up do have an option for writing comments to the personal shopper.
5) Items that are available for purchase online are often out of stock when you arrive for pick-up. This is true even with same day pick-ups. Last week they didn’t have Pirates Booty Baked Puffs (my daughter’s favorite snack for school lunches), Topo Chico, a box of valentine’s chocolates or craft sticks.
When I called their service line, about my items not being in stock, I was told that there are separate inventories for “inside the store” and “curbside & delivery.” This means that if even if the “inside the store” inventory is fully stocked with Topo Chico, if “curbside & delivery” are out of Topo Chico, I won’t get it for my order. Walmart, there has to be a better way!
Pros for shopping at Walmart:
1) I have found that, on average, Walmart has better prices than H.E.B or any other grocery store I’ve used (with the exception of Aldi which I’ll address in another post).
2) Their curbside pick-up is free!
3) Walmart employee’s do not and cannot accept tips for curbside pick-up.
4) Walmart is pushing hard to improve their service and turnaround on curbside pick-up. Earlier this week when I picked up my groceries, I was asked how long it took for someone to bring out my groceries. When I said 5 minutes, the associate told me that their aim is to get the wait time down to 3 minutes! Now that’s fast.
5) Every so often, maybe one out of 3 or 4 trips, I get something extra. I’ve been brought a cupcake, a granola bar, Walmart cookies and a little snack bag. Although the tokens are small, it again shows me that they care about their curbside pick-up customers.
6) You can order things besides food! This is awesome, because if you have to grab a last minute kid’s birthday gift, school supplies or even beach towels, you can add them to your cart and pick them up at curbside.
7) Although I am not thrilled with Walmart’s produce, they do have an easy “return” process. It took me less than a minute to get a refund for both the peach and pear that were bad. The online process is quick and painless.
With the above in mind, here’s how I breakdown my grocery store shopping needs:
I use curbside pick-up.
- I have tried grocery delivery exactly once for each store and didn’t continue, because I’d rather spend 30 minutes picking-up groceries then spend the $12.95 for Walmart delivery or $20.95 for H.E.B delivery.
- If I were to put a limit of what I am willing to spend for delivery (including the personal shopper fee, delivery fee, tip and increased item fee), it would be $10. Given that, I am a curbside pick-up girl!
I shop at Walmart (for almost everything on my shopping list).
- 5.95 for H.E.B curbside pick-up (see fees in the pricing comparisons above) is more than I am willing to spend.
- Walmart’s curbside pick-up is FREE; plus their overall lower prices probably save me an additional 5-10%.
While I am out running errands, I will dash into H.E.B for; seafood, poultry, pork, meat and avocados. I also love their in-store fresh tortillas and tortilla chips!
So…are you ready to try curbside pick-up or delivery? Whether you’re an experienced grocery store pick-up or delivery gal, I think you’ll appreciate the pricing cheat sheet I’ve created. Get your FREE copy of our “Dare to Compare” cheat sheet HERE! It covers details on 22 American grocery stores that offer curbside pick-up and/or delivery services.
It’s full of handy information like; pricing, turn-around time, specials, coupons and tipping rules! Again, it’s inclusive of 22 American grocery stores that offer grocery store pick-up or delivery services around the country. Enjoy!
Thanks for hanging out a bit. How about you? How do you tackle grocery shopping? What tips do you have to tame grocery spending?
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