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Tag Archive: My Shopping Trips

My Honest Review of Kroger Pickup (formerly ClickList)

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.

Have you used Kroger Pickup? If so, I’d love to hear your experiences/thoughts/tips!

My Not-So-Great Experience With ALDI Instacart Grocery Delivery

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

Thinking of trying ALDI grocery delivery through Instacart and looking for reviews? These are my really honest thoughts on my experience with it! (You might also enjoy my honest Kroger Pickup Review!)

ALDI Grocery Delivery Review

As you all know, I love ALDI. If I didn’t have multiple Kroger stores nearby that offered such great markdowns and digital coupon deals, I’d likely be shopping at ALDI every week.

Last week, I took you along on my grocery shopping trip — and so many people said they found it really helpful for me to do so but asked if I could showcase different methods of shopping. So this week, I decided to try a different method: ALDI Instacart Delivery Service.

My Honest ALDI Delivery Review

I challenged myself to see if I could get everything we needed for our menu plan this week and spend less than $70 while using ALDI Grocery Delivery. Well, I definitely learned some lessons in the process…

1) Instacart Charges You More Per Item

I noticed right away that each of the items cost just a little bit more on Instacart than they do by shopping in-store at Aldi. It was just about $0.10-$0.50 per item, but that adds up quickly! I estimate I paid about $4-5 more than I would have spent in-store because of this.

2) Instacart Does Not Offer the Weekly Sale Prices

Also of note: I wasn’t able to get any of the weekly produce specials. Usually, I mostly just buy the produce specials at ALDI. Instead, I went with the more inexpensive regularly priced produce options, but I still would have saved probably $6-7 by purchasing only the sale priced fruits/veggies.

3) The Tip/Service Fee/Delivery Charge Add Up Quickly

Because I don’t have an Instacart membership, I paid $14 for the tip (15%) + service fee + delivery fee. You won’t pay as much each time if you have the membership, but you have to pay the membership fee — which is pretty hefty.

So, all total, I estimate I spent about $25 more by using Instacart than by shopping in-store. And there’s no way we could sustain a $70 weekly grocery budget if we were to exclusively shop ALDI with Instacart delivery.

In fact, the only way I was able to stick with our $70 budget this week was because I relied heavily on what we already had in our pantry and freezer that we have gotten marked down in previous weeks with different sales and coupons.

ALDI delivery grocery haul

My ALDI Grocery Delivery Shopping Trip

  • Broccoli Crowns — $2.28
  • Tortilla Chips — $0.89
  • 10-lb bag of Potatoes — $4.39
  • 3-lb bag of Onions — $1.35
  • 1 pint blueberries — $2.09
  • 3-lb bag of Gala apples — $3.65
  • 2 cans Refried Beans — $0.89 each
  • Tater Tots — $1.65
  • 2 cans Green Beans — $0.55 each
  • Oats — $2.65
  • Oyster Crackers — $0.89
  • Crispy Oats — $1.25
  • Milk – -$2.59
  • Eggs — $0.95
  • 16-inch Pizza — $5.49
  • Salsa — $1.35
  • 3-lb. bag of Jazz apples — $4.22
  • 3-count Romaine hearts — $3.04
  • Carrots — $1.55
  • Cottage Cheese — $1.87
  • 16-oz Mozzarella Cheese — $3.22
  • 16-oz. Cheddar Cheese — $3.22
  • Powdered Sugar — $1.55
  • Tax: $3.50
  • Delivery charge: $3.99
  • Service fee: $2.60
  • Tip (15%): $7.78
  • Total: $70.12

4) You Might Not Get What You Ordered

While I felt like the price — with the extra fees — were more than I’d want to pay on a weekly basis, the overall experience was pretty easy and I was kind of excited to have the groceries delivered to our door… which felt like this crazy luxury!

The only thing was, when they were delivered, 7 items were completely missing! The shopper had just left everything on our porch and then we got an email that it was delivered. When we went out there, we discovered that probably what amounted to an entire bag of groceries was missing.

I’m guessing that somehow the groceries were delivered to a different house or left in her vehicle. It was probably a fluke thing, but it was definitely a disappointment.

The good news? I contacted Instacart and they quickly contacted me back and processed a refund for what I didn’t get…

ALDI delivery review experience

I shared about my Instacart shopping trip on Instagram stories and heard from a few hundred of you about your experiences. Here were just a few of the responses:

amazing Instacart customer service

I heard from so many people that they’ve had a good experience with Instacart Customer Service, so that was encouraging to me!

Instacart Issues

I thought maybe the person who got my bag of groceries may have needed the groceries or maybe it was a special blessing for them in some way.

funny story about Walmart Pickup

This made me laugh! 🙂

Instacart Delivery Review

I just had to share this one above. I love it so much!

Overall, I’d say my ALDI delivery review is that it’s probably not for me, but I could see how it would be really helpful for many families!! And based on the messages I received on Instagram, I do think my experience of having items missing may have been kind of a fluke thing.

Have you ever tried ALDI grocery delivery or Instacart? I’d love to hear your reviews, if so!

Other Articles You Might Enjoy:

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Last Week’s $79 Grocery Shopping Trip

Want to see what we bought for this week’s $70 grocery budget? I’m currently challenging myself to stick with a $70 budget for our family (two adults, two teenagers, one preteen, and two babies*). This includes almost all of our breakfasts, lunch for Jesse and me (the kids have lunches at school most days), snacks, and dinners + most household products (toiletries, laundry soap, etc.).

For live updates, be sure to follow my Instagram Stories. See all posts on my $70 Grocery Budget here.

*Note: Champ’s formula is currently being covered by the state since he’s in foster care. Kierstyn is nursing, but we are supplementing with formula each day since my supply is low despite all my efforts to increase it. We have a separate budget for her formula. We also haven’t bought any diapers because friends have been so generous and have gifted us with so many diapers that we haven’t had to buy any yet! We may change the budget in the near future as the babies get older and their needs change. We’ll see!

Since I didn’t spend all of our grocery budget last week, I rolled it over to this week and used some of it for our groceries. Here’s what I bought…

Kroger Shopping Trip:

  • Toilet paper — $3.29
  • Toilet paper — $2.39
  • Kroger Cinnamon Cereal — $1.49
  • Kroger Toasted Oats — $1.49
  • Kroger Honey Nut Oats — $1.49
  • 2 bags frozen veggies — $1 each
  • 5 lbs butter — $1.99 each
  • 8 bags/blocks cheese — 4 for $5
  • Sumptown coffee — marked down to $0.79
  • Mott’s Fruit Snacks — $2.99
  • Almond Breeze Nog — marked down to $1.69
  • Ritz crackers — $1.99
  • Bananas — marked down to $1.23 + $0.97
  • Spinach — marked down to $0.79
  • Salad Kit — marked down to $1.29
  • Cupcakes — marked down to $1.99
  • Milk — $2.39
  • Sweet Potatoes — $0.39/lb. — $3.42
  • 2 bags of peppers — marked down to $0.99 each
  • Eggs — marked down to $1.49
  • Chicken — marked down to $5.67, $4.11, $4.39
  • Pork Loin — marked down to $3.89
  • Total with tax $79.35

Want to learn some of my best tips and tricks for cutting your grocery bill? Sign up here for my FREE tip sheet on how to cut your grocery bill by $50 this week.

This week’s $66.61 grocery shopping trips

Want to see what we bought for this week’s $70 grocery budget? I’m currently challenging myself to stick with a $70 budget for our family (two adults, two teenagers, one preteen, and two babies*). This includes almost all of our breakfasts, lunch for Jesse and me (the kids have lunches at school most days), snacks, and dinners + most household products (toiletries, laundry soap, etc.).

For live updates, be sure to follow my Instagram Stories. See all posts on my $70 Grocery Budget here.

*Note: Champ’s formula is currently being covered by the state since he’s in foster care. Kierstyn is nursing, but we are supplementing with formula each day since my supply is low despite all my efforts to increase it. We have a separate budget for her formula. We also haven’t bought any diapers because friends have been so generous and have gifted us with so many diapers that we haven’t had to buy any yet! We may change the budget in the near future as the babies get older and their needs change. We’ll see!

It’s been awhile since I’ve done a grocery post and I’ve missed getting to share these with you! I took a break from sharing these while I finished the final edits to my book and we focused on sharing all the deals leading up to and after Prime Days!

Here’s what we bought at the store this week:

Kroger Shopping Trip #1:

  • Romaine lettuce — $1.99
  • Bananas — $1.26
  • 2 Kroger Shredded Cheese — $2.29
  • 3 dozen eggs — marked down to $0.39 each
  • Kroger cocoa — $2.19
  • Kroger oatmeal — $1.49, used $0.50/1 Kroger e-coupon = $0.99 after coupon
  • 5 boxes Quaker Granola Bars — $2.29 each, used $1/1 Kroger e-coupon = $1.29 each
  • Half & half — $1.99
  • 2 boxes Kroger cereal — $1.49 each
  • Water — $0.89
  • 4 pounds sausage — marked down to $1.89 each
  • Kozy pudding — marked down to $0.99
  • Kroger frozen chicken breasts —  $7.99, used $1.25/1 coupon that came in a mailer = $6.74
  • 2 bags marked down produce — $0.99 each
  • 10 lb. bag of potatoes = $2.99
  • Milk — $2.59
  • 3 lb. bag apples — $2.99, used $1/1 coupon that came in a mailer = $1.99
  • Total with tax: $54.25

Kroger Shopping Trip #2:

  • 3 Goldfish — $1.99, used $1/1 e-coupon = $0.99 each
  • 3 bags chocolate chips — $1.67 each
  • 2 packages Colby Jack cheese — marked down to $1.49 each
  • French bread — marked down $0.49
  • Total with tax = $12.36

On Instagram, I’ve been talking about meal planning and how I grocery shop this past week. Here were a few of the questions I answered (want to make sure you don’t miss these conversations in the future, be sure to follow me on Instagram here):

By the way, the other evening, I was craving something sweet and we were out of chocolate chips so I couldn’t do my favorite peanut butter on a spoon sprinkled with chocolate chips. So instead, I made No Bake Cookies. I forgot how good these were — and how easy they were to make!

Want to learn some of my best tips and tricks for cutting your grocery bill? Sign up here for my FREE tip sheet on how to cut your grocery bill by $50 this week.

Our $65.83 grocery shopping trip last week

Want to see what we bought for this week’s $70 grocery budget? I’m currently challenging myself to stick with a $70 budget for our family of seven (two adults, two teenagers, one preteen, and two babies*). This includes almost all of our breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and dinners + most household products (toiletries, laundry soap, etc.).

For live updates, be sure to follow my Instagram Stories. See all posts on my $70 Grocery Budget here.

*Note: Champ’s formula is currently being covered by the state since he’s in foster care so that’s why you don’t see it in my grocery shopping trips. Kierstyn is mostly nursing, though we are supplementing with 4-6 oz. of formula each day since my supply is low despite all my efforts to increase it. So she goes through one big tub of formula about every month. We also haven’t bought any diapers because friends were so generous and gifted us boxes of diapers to last us for a few months, at least. We may change the budget in the near future as the babies get older and their needs change. We’ll see!

I only went to Kroger once last week — can you believe it?! And it wasn’t that exciting of a shopping trip.

But I did find these in the clearance produce area… and I didn’t even know what they were. So I took a picture and asked on Instagram stories and you all told me they were doughnut peaches. Have you had them before??

Here’s what I bought:

  • 2 Greek yogurts — marked down to $0.39 each
  • 2 Flip yogurts — marked down to $0.29 each
  • Enfamil formula — $28.99
  • 1 Raspberry yogurt — marked down to $0.39
  • Simple Truth Eggs — marked down to $1.49
  • Honey — $5.39
  • Coconut — $1.39
  • Lettuce — $1.79
  • Chili powder — $1
  • 3 bags of avocados — marked down to $0.99 each
  • 1 bag of summer squash — marked down to $0.99
  • 1 bag peppers — marked down to $0.99
  • 2 Aussie shampoos — $1.99 each when you bought 5 participating items (I thought my $3/2 coupon was going to come off, too, but I realized after I got home that it didn’t and it was because I got the wrong size!!!)
  • Milk — $2.59
  • 3 packages Nestle water — $0.79 each when you buy 5 participating items
  • Barbara’s cereal — $2.19 when you buy 5 participating items, plus used $1/1 ecoupon = $1.19
  • Half & Half — $1.99
  • Schick razors — $5.49 when you buy 5 participating items, used $4/1 ecoupon, plus got $2 back from Kroger cash back
  • Total with tax: $65.83

Breakfast for dinner — one of our favorite quick, easy, and frugal dinner stand-bys.

We spent $66.14 on groceries this past week

Want to see what we bought for this week’s $70 grocery budget? I’m currently challenging myself to stick with a $70 budget for our family of seven (two adults, two teenagers, one preteen, and two babies*). This includes almost all of our breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and dinners + most household products (toiletries, laundry soap, etc.).

For live updates, be sure to follow my Instagram Stories. See all posts on my $70 Grocery Budget here.

*Note: Champ’s formula is currently being covered by the state since he’s in foster care so that’s why you don’t see it in my grocery shopping trips. Kierstyn is mostly nursing, though we are supplementing with 4-6 oz. of formula each day since my supply is low despite all my efforts to increase it. So she goes through one big tub of formula about every month. We also haven’t bought any diapers because friends were so generous and gifted us boxes of diapers to last us for a few months, at least. We may change the budget in the near future as the babies get older and their needs change. We’ll see!

We had such a good week this past week! It started with traveling back from Johnson City, TN where we met up with two of my sisters and their families this past weekend, then my mom got to come visit Monday through Wednesday, Kathrynne got her learner’s permit and worked a full day almost every day (they have a big project at work so she’s been working extra hours to help out), Kaitlynn had Cheer Camp, and then the week ended with an all day (12 hours, 4 games!) baseball tournament for Silas.

After weeks and weeks of quiet, it feels so nice to be back to some normal things — even though we’re having to learn a new normal with social distancing and masks involved. But some normal is still so nice!

I went to Kroger twice this week and here’s a rundown on what I bought:

Kroger Shopping Trip #1:

  • 4 pounds butter — $1.99 each
  • Eggland’s Best Eggs — marked down to $1.89
  • 4 bags Chex Mix — $0.99 when you buy 5 or more participating items
  • Taco Seasoning — marked down to $0.25
  • Olives — marked down to $0.69
  • Suave Body Wash — $1.99 when you buy 5 or more participating items + used $1/1 Kroger digital coupon = $0.99
  • Kroger Tortilla Chips — $1, used $0.35/1 Kroger digital coupon = $0.65
  • Whole Wheat Tortillas — $1.59
  • Tamales — marked down to $2.49
  • Rolls — marked down to $0.89
  • Bananas — marked down to $0.67
  • Onions — marked down to $0.99
  • Sweet Potatoes — marked down to $0.99
  • Peaches/Nectarines — marked down to $0.99
  • Coconut — $1.27
  • Greek Yogurt — marked down to $1.29
  • 4 cartons blueberries — $1.67 each
  • Total with tax: $34.82

Kroger Shopping Trip #2:

  • 2 Simple Truth Egg Whites — marked down to $0.99 each
  • 30 eggs — marked down to $0.79
  • Greek yogurt — marked down to $0.39
  • 6 boxes Kellogg’s cereal — $1.49 when you buy 5 or more participating items
  • 4 bags Goldfish crackers — $0.99 each when you buy 5 or more participating items
  • Proteen Cereal — marked down to $1.39
  • Milk — $2.59
  • Bread — marked down to $1.49
  • Oranges — $2.88
  • Lettuce — $1.79
  • Oats — $2.49
  • Water — $0.79
  • Total with tax: $31.32

Total spent on groceries: $66.14

What We Ate This Past Week

Note: When you see the meals below, please remember this: I buy ahead often. Which means that when I find a great deal on something I know we’ll use, I buy as much as I can afford in our budget to have on hand.

This means that you aren’t going to see all of the groceries my shopping trip that I used to make all of the meals we ate.

Please also remember that I’m putting this out there and it’s not a perfectly balanced menu. This is just really what we ate — and I hope that it encourages you to see the real-ness and lack of perfection here.

Breakfasts — Cereal, Oatmeal, Eggs/Blueberries, Energy Bites

Lunches — Yogurt, Eggs, Salad/Toast, Leftovers, Cereal, Strawberries, Bananas

Snacks — Cereal, Energy Bites, Oatmeal/Chocolate Chip Cookies, Chex Mix, Banana Bread

Dinners:

  • Monday — Meatballs, mashed potatoes, peas, sweet potatoes, salad, strawberries
  • Tuesday — Chicken Bean Rollups, Mexican Rice, Fruit, Salad, Avocados, Chips
  • Wednesday — Sausage/Sweet Potatoes/Onions in the crockpot, Rolls
  • Thursday — Pancakes, Eggs, Fruit
  • Friday — Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes, Salad, Banana Bread
  • Saturday — Snacky Dinner at baseball (I brought Energy Bites, Banana Bread, Fruit Snacks, Chex Mix, & Blueberries in a cooler.)
  • Sunday — Leftovers/Fend For Yourself

Cashback Earned: 75 points from Fetch Rewards, $2.85 earned from iBotta for buying Kellogg’s cereal