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Save Time and Money with a Supermarket Pick-Up Service

Title Image - Saving Time and Money with a Supermarket Pick-Up Service

Guest post from Megan of Prioritized Living

Having someone else do your grocery shopping? It sounds like a major luxury… right?

Instead of spending time alone or with small children in the supermarket, a friendly person takes care of your whole order and even packs it neatly into your car when you arrive to pick it up.

Even if the idea is appealing, you may be reluctant to try out a service that sounds pricey. However, our family actually saves time and money by occasionally using our supermarket’s pick-up service.

How It Works

An increasing number of supermarkets across the country are offering these types of services. In our particular area, we have ShopRite from Home.

To use ShopRite from Home, I log onto the website, check current prices, and click the items I want to purchase. Then I can choose my pick-up date and time, include a brief note of additional instructions for my shopper if I wish, and submit my order.

When it’s pick-up time, I head over to the store and park my car in one of the specially-marked spots by the entrance. There, I’m greeted by a friendly store employee who confirms my name and spending total, brings out my bagged groceries, and loads them into my trunk. A few minutes later, I’m at home unloading my groceries.

And yes, we do actually SAVE time and money! Here’s how:

1. We let the store handle our biggest shopping lists.

When there are big sales on our favorite items, it’s time to stock up with a big haul at the supermarket. Dragging around carts brimming with a variety of canned goods and pantry staples is both time-consuming and physically draining.

But I don’t have to spend the time and muscle to take advantage of big stock-up sales when the supermarket will do it for me! Instead of pushing around unwieldy carts and heaving clunky bags into my car, I rely on the friendly shopping helpers get all of my items, bag them up, and load them into my car for me. Then, my husband and I can quickly unpack everything at home.

2. We continue to use coupons.

Any coupon you can use in the store works with the pick-up service as well. With the pick-up service, I can still use store coupons, manufacturer coupons, and digital coupons loaded onto my store loyalty card.

When I’m greeted after parking at the store, the employee takes my coupons and rings them up for me inside. Then, while he or she is loading my purchases into the trunk, I’ve got time to scan my receipt to ensure that my order is correct, the prices look right, and my coupons all scanned (and multiplied) correctly.

3. We don’t pay the service fee.

In our area, ShopRite charges a $10 service fee for its grocery pick-up service. I think that $10 is a pretty good deal if you’re saving yourself the time of shopping for a particularly big haul or during stressful times. But I think NO service fee is even better.

How do we do it? Every week ShopRite runs promotions specific to its grocery and delivery and pick-up service that typically shave $5 to $30 off the cost of an order. There are usually three or four different promotion options in any given week, and there’s almost always one that works for our family.

We might get an instant $10 off our order by purchasing $25 of discounted Thanksgiving products before the holiday.  There might be a $15 reward for spending $30 on sale-priced personal care and cleaning products. Just recently, we were able to save $25 just by hitting a $200 total at checkout time.

In almost every online shopping trip we’ve completed, I’ve used promotions on sale-priced items that we already use to recoup the cost of the service fee… and then some.

4. We don’t over-spend on take-out and delivery.

Some weeks are just too busy or stressful for food shopping. We’ve had weeks when our family has all come down with bad colds or when we’ve just returned home from traveling to be greeted by an empty fridge.

When I was pregnant with my son and suffering from terrible morning sickness, my husband was overwhelmed with an important work project while taking on the lion’s share of caring for our home and family.

At those times, we’d be tempted to spend a bundle on the convenience of restaurant foods. Grocery store-pick up service however gives a whole new meaning to take-out.

5. We don’t even waste the car time.

Grocery store pick-up saves you the time of running around the store yourself, but there’s still some waiting time while your coupons are being entered and your car is being loaded.

If we’re able to pick up our groceries when there are no other customers present, the whole process takes about 5 to 10 minutes. If we really need to do a pick-up during the evening rush however, we might wind up being parked for up to 20 minutes.

Waiting time doesn’t have to be wasted time though. While I’m waiting for my trunk to close on my purchases, I always have something to do. I get through a chapter of a book I’m reading, return a phone call, or even work on a blog post on my laptop. If I’ve brought my son along for the ride, we enjoy pointing out birds and singing favorite songs.

Do you use a grocery pick-up service? If so, do you have any other ways to save time or money? 

Megan Nye is a freelance writer, blogger, wife, and mom who loves to help busy people live their priorities. She offers practical advice on seizing control of your time, making smart money choices, and saving your home from the brink of chaos on her blog, Prioritized Living.

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12 Comments

  • Elizabeth says:

    I’m sure it also helps keep grocery costs down by being more purposeful in putting your list together and avoiding impulse buys.

    Good for your family on finding something that works well for you. We don’t have this service at our favorite grocery store. I’m feeling a bit jealous 🙂

  • Theresa says:

    In the Midwest, HyVee does this. We have yet to take advantage of it because HyVee has higher prices than our current grocery store. HyVee does free delivery if your order is over $100, I think. For people who regularly shop at HyVee, I think it’s worth it. I don’t think it would save our family money because of the higher prices on our actual groceries. I’m also a little obsessive when it comes to picking out my produce. I might give it a shot for stocking up on pantry staples when they’re on sale.

    • Free delivery! What an awesome deal!

      I’m the same way with my produce, but my store thankfully seems to do a great job in picking the good stuff. Would definitely still be worth it though for pantry staples alone. 🙂

  • Janet says:

    This is so fantastic! I wish a store had this in my area!

  • Cate R. says:

    This sounds really good. None of the many stores in my area do this but I hope they will get with it soon!

  • MindaC says:

    Our Kroger just started this a few months ago. I haven’t tried it yet but the moms I know that I have love it! And I haven’t heard one complaint either which is almost unheard of for any service. My 2 year old is a good shopper at this point so grocery shopping isn’t something I dread. But if I had multiple kids, I can definitely see where it would be a lifesaver.

  • Lisa says:

    I’m in the southeast and Harris Teeter offers this service for $4.95 or $99 for a year of unlimited use. I work full time outside of the home and hated spending precious weekend time at the store so we signed up for the yearly service. They have an app, so I keep a running list, submit the order on Friday at lunchtime and pick it up on our way home from school/work. It’s simplified my life tremendously and is worth every penny to me. HT also has wonderful customer service – if they are out of a generic item I’ve ordered, they’ll substitute brand name for the same price (and sometimes for free!) or if they’re out of a smaller size, they’ll give me the larger size for the same price, etc. The shoppers also do a good job of picking out produce and I’ll leave notes if there is something specific I want. Its not the cheapest way to shop, but I have not noticed any increase in our grocery spending. I think it helps that neither the kids nor I are tempted by random things we would see in the store and just have to have. I still swing by Aldi for certain things, but for this particular time in our lives, it’s great!

  • Jodi Epps says:

    Food City, our local grocery store here in East TN, has this program and only charges $4.95. I LOVE IT!! I order online during my lunch hour at work and I text them when I am 5 minutes away and they meet me at the curb and load my groceries for me. I never have to get out of the car! The $4.95 cost is worth it because of the time it saves me walking around the store and it means “no impulse buys.”

  • Rachael says:

    I live in rural Australia and a few of the major grocery chains have a click and collect service for free! Being just under an hour from our nearest town, time doing jobs is limited and with three small boys under 4 I will do most things to avoid doing groceries – praise the Lord for this service it totally has saved my sanity!

    It also helps us greatly save on our food bill. No impulse buys and fantastic to stock up on pantry supplies!

  • Fred Stiening says:

    Walmart, the world’s largest retailer (that nobody shops at!) is aggressively rolling this out. I’m doing my first pickup tomorrow in Charlotte NC. Their web site is very intuitive and complete. The pricing is all right there along with knowing if an item is out of stock.

    According to their web site, they’ll call me 15 minutes before my pickup window, and ask that I call them 10 minutes before I expect to arrive so they’ll be expecting me. The best part is their shopping service is free. They bar code scan each item as it is picked up, so it should be accurate.

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