Last week, I tried out ALDI Instacart Delivery. It was sort of a big fail — or at I definitely couldn’t recommend it from a money-saving standpoint. (Read my post here, if you missed it.) But so many of you followed up and messaged me asking if I could try out Kroger Pickup and do a review of my experience.
So, this week, I decided to branch out and try Kroger Pickup (formerly Clicklist) and share my honest thoughts on how it went. I, once again, challenged myself to stick with our $70 budget and see if I could get enough groceries to last for the week with Kroger Pickup. Here are my thoughts after trying it out…
Pros of Using Kroger Pickup
You can get the same weekly deals and digital coupons with Kroger Pickup that you can online.
This is a huge selling point! I went to KrogerKrazy.com and looked at the weekly ad to find what deals were running, clipped the digital coupons, and then added these items to my cart. I was able to score a lot of great Buy 5 or More Participating Products, Get $1 Off of Each deals + take advantage of some of the weekly Digital Coupon deal (hello, $4.99 bags of frozen chicken!)
Kroger Pickup is currently waiving their fee, so it’s free to use the service on $35+ orders!
As of right now (and I believe it’s been this way for a number of months!), it is completely free to use the Kroger Pickup if you spend $35! The fee is usually $4.95. If you have little kids, are immunocompromised, or just don’t want to have to go into the store for your weekly shopping, as long as you are spending $35+, it literally costs nothing extra for someone to shop for you and bring your groceries out to your car. Score!
Cons of Using Kroger Pickup
You can’t get markdowns.
One of the reasons we’re able to keep our grocery budget low while also having lots of variety in it is by scouring our Kroger stores for their fantastic markdowns and closeouts. The only way to get these markdowns and closeouts is by shopping in-store.
You don’t know you final total until you pick up your order.
This drawback was a big deal for me. I found it really difficult to figure out what my total would be when the prices weren’t showing what I would actually pay for each item after the Buy 5 deals + the digital coupons — which were a lot of the deals I got.
My total at checkout said I was going to pay $120+… but I knew that wasn’t correct. By my estimation, I thought it would be right around $70 after taking off all of the Buy 5, Get $5 off discounts + the digital coupon discounts. However, I completely messed up on the pizzas and accidentally calculated the price they would be *after* the Ibotta rebate.
If you were on a really tight budget with no wiggle room, I think it could be very hard and frustrating to not know your exact total — and to maybe end up spending more than you had planned to, which could really throw your budget into a tailspin.
Instead of $70 like I thought our total would be, our total was actually $82 — which is okay since we fund our budget categories for the month ahead. So I’ll just make sure to only spend $58 this week on groceries and it will be alright. Not ideal, but we’ll make it work. Back when Jesse was in law school and we didn’t have any extra wiggle room in our budget, the $12 unexpected extra it cost could have been a devastating blow to our budget.
I think with time and practice, I could definitely get better at figuring out the totals and making sure I didn’t overspend. But I still much prefer shopping in-store where I can see the shelf tags and ring up my own groceries at self-checkout and see the prices in real time.
That said, if we end up in a really full season in the future (such as when we say yes to another foster placement, etc.) and I need to take a break from hardcore strategic shopping OR we are trying to stay out of the stores because we are caring for a medically fragile foster child or something, I think that using Kroger Pickup could definitely be a great option — provided we were okay with spending a little more on groceries and not knowing our exact total.
Kroger Pickup Shopping Trip
Here’s what I ended up buying and paying:
- 2 bags of Goldfish — $0.99 each when you purchase 5 or more participating items
- 2 cartons Kroger ice cream — $1.79 each when you purchase 5 or more participating items
- 3 bags frozen veggies — $1 each
- 5 DiGiorno Pizzas — $3.99 each with the Kroger Weekly Digital Coupon deal
- 3 3-lb. bags frozen chicken breasts — $4.99 each with the Kroger Weekly Digital Coupon deal
- 2 packages Pampers wipes — $0.99 each when you purchase 5 or more participating items
- Peanut Butter — $1.50
- 4 boxes cereal — $1.49 each when you purchase 5 or more participating items
- 2 bottles Kraft BBQ sauce — $0.49 each when you purchase 5 or more participating items
- Pringles — $0.99 when you purchase 5 or more participating items
- 3 bags Kroger chips — $1 each with Buy 2, Get 1 free sale (I just realized they didn’t take off my digital coupon — I thought these were going to be $0.75 each.)
- Water — $0.89
- 3-lb. Gala Apples — $3.99
- 32-ounce shredded cheese — $4.99 when you purchase 5 or more participating items
- Eggs — $2.50
- Milk — $2.49
- Carrots — $1
- 2 heads Lettuce — $1.79 each
- Total with tax — $82.61
By the way, after you place your order, it’s super easy to pick it up. I got an email notification + a text notification reminder to pick up my order. They also notified me that one item wasn’t available and offered me the choice of a substitute.
When you get to the store, you can let them know you are on your way through the app. Then, just pull into the designated stall and let them know you are there through the app. They bring out your order and load it up for you.
A few pieces of advice:
- If you choose to allow substitutions, I’ve heard they are very generous in what kinds of substitutions they offer often giving you a larger size for the same price. However, keep in mind that they won’t take off the digital coupon nor will they give you the discount if what they substitute is not part of the Buy 5 deal. I chose not to have any substitutions because I bought so many items that had digital coupons and Buy 5 discounts attached to them.
- If you order on the day before the sales change and then pick up the next day (the day the sales change), I’ve been told you won’t get the day before price but the day of prices. This could dramatically change your totals… so just something to keep in mind!
- You do not get a paper copy of your receipt. Instead, it is emailed to you and also available in the app. I wish they would give you a paper copy to review to make sure everything is correct. Plus, it would allow you to easily scan it into iBotta for rebates.