Some people love grocery shopping. It’s their favorite weekly chore. They love walking the aisles and perusing the latest deals. I am not one of those people. Let me clarify, walking the aisles of Target while childless is a much different experience, and I do love that. But not grocery shopping.
I get to the checkout line and when the cashier asks if I found everything I needed, my response is always “And then some,” because I just can’t seem to get out of the store with only the things on my list. I always have “good ideas” and from what my mom tells me, I’ve had “good ideas” in the grocery store since I was about 3 years old.
So today I’m going to tell you about a handy little service I’ve been using for the last few years that has saved me time, money and some sanity. It’s Walmart’s Grocery Pickup service and I’m not being overly dramatic when I tell you that it’s changed my life.
What is Walmart Grocery Pickup?
Walmart Grocery Pickup is a free service that allows you to shop at your local Walmart store without ever having to step foot inside. Or even get out of your car. Or your pajamas, if you’re into that sort of thing.
Over the last few years, Walmart has been rolling out their Pickup service all over the country and it is now available in 49 states, as of this writing. You can look here to see if your local store has Pickup available.
How does it work?
There are a couple of different ways to order your groceries through Walmart Grocery Pickup. You can order directly from their website or from the app, which is available on iPhone and Android.
Once you choose your ordering method, decide when and where you’d like to pick up your groceries and reserve a time. The times are available in one hour slots and vary by availability. Some stores even offer same day Pickup if you order before a certain time.
Next you’ll decide what you want to order. This is when I get out my meal plan for the week and grocery list and add what I need. You can choose the brand, size and how many of each item you want. And for those of you following a budget, the cart automatically updates in the corner showing you how much you’ve spent. Granted, this total price could change if you have items that are priced by weight, but it’s usually pretty close.
Once you’ve selected your items, you check out. At this point you can choose which items you’re willing to allow substitutions for if your item is unavailable. You’ll also enter your credit card information and double check your Pickup time and location. Walmart will send you an email confirming your order. You will also have a certain amount of time to add to, change or cancel your order.
The day of your Pickup you will receive a phone call (or notification on your phone if you’re using the app) when your order is ready to be picked up. My experience is that my order is usually ready a little bit earlier than my Pickup time, so if you’re able to get to the store earlier than expected, that can be nice. You will either call the store or check in on the app when you are headed to pick up your groceries and the staff will get them ready to wheel out to your car.
Once you arrive, look for the orange signs leading you to the Pickup area. It will typically be on one side of the store. There are reserved parking spaces and each space has a sign with the store’s phone number. You can call and let them know that you’ve arrived, or if you’re using the app, they will know that you are there based on GPS.
Now you just sit back and wait. A store associate will come to your car to verify that they have the correct order and will let you know if there were any unavailable or substituted items and you will sign for your order. You can choose to refuse any substitutions and you won’t be charged for that product. Many times you will be asked if you’d like to check your produce before the associate loads it into your car. I think in the 3 years I’ve used Walmart Grocery Pickup I’ve only had one produce item that I wasn’t satisfied with. The associate will then load your groceries into your car and you’re done!
What are the benefits?
Well, if you’re not sold already, here are some of the benefits I’ve seen since using Walmart Grocery Pickup.
- I don’t have to take my daughters into the store. We are a walking sideshow these days with the twins and it’s pretty much impossible for me to get into a store with all 3 girls AND be able to shop. So grocery pickup is a life saver. And let’s be honest here. Sometimes our kids are just a pain in the store.
- Our grocery spending is always lower when I order online. There are no impulse buys when I order my groceries. I’m a sucker for unhealthy treats when they’re looking me in my face. Or office supplies. Oh, I’m such a sucker for office supplies. It’s the former teacher in me. But when I order online, I stick much closer to my shopping list and only get what we need.
- I don’t have to get out of the car. Some days, I just don’t want to get out of the car. Call me lazy, but it is what it is.
- They can find things in the store that I sometimes can’t find. Am I the only one who has Googled “where to find ___ in Walmart” or called my mom while walking down every aisle of the whole store just to find some weird ingredient? The Walmart associates can find everything on my list a whole lot faster than I can.
- I can order things throughout the week when I realize I’m out of something. Now that I use the app for my grocery shopping, when I realize that we’re out of peanut butter, I can grab my phone and add peanut butter to my cart. Then when I do my final shopping and ordering on Sundays, it’s already added and I don’t have to worry about remembering what I’m out of.
- I can pick up my groceries when it’s convenient for me. Now that we live a little further out of town, I like to get my errands done in batches. We’re already out of the house for swim lessons on Monday mornings, so I schedule my grocery pickup for right after we’re done. We’re already out of the house and I don’t have to drag a wet-headed, tired little girl into the store with me to shop.
- I can still use the Walmart Savings Catcher. After you pick up your groceries, you’ll get an emailed receipt from Walmart. Just find the TC # at the bottom of your receipt and enter it into Savings Catcher to get the same great cashback rewards as if you’d scanned your paper receipt.
- You always get the lowest price, even if a larger or more expensive item has been substituted for what you ordered. One time I ordered a small bottle of BBQ sauce and they were out of it. I received a HUGE container (that lasted us months, which is a big deal in our house) for the price of the smaller bottle.
- The associates are friendly and professional. I’ve always had a great experience with the associates who bring my groceries to the car. They’re polite, friendly and very helpful. I’m frequently asked if I’d like to check my produce for quality or if I’d like my eggs and bread up front with me for safe keeping. They also do not require, or even allow tipping, so there’s no pressure with that either.
Are there drawbacks?
I had a hard time coming up with drawbacks for Walmart Grocery Pickup. Have I had some frustrations? Sure.
- There are times that I’ve forgotten something and had to go back to the store and go in, but I did that when I was shopping in the stores too, so it’s not a dealbreaker for me.
- A few times I’ve gotten the wrong items, but Walmart is great about fixing any mistakes they make.
- It can be frustrating to use Ibotta with your Walmart Grocery Pickup receipt because Ibotta only accepts original store receipts. But someone found a way around that. It’s a little cumbersome, but if you’re dead set on getting every penny back from your shopping, it’s worth it.
- Sometimes the items you’re looking for aren’t available, but they wouldn’t be available in the store if you went in either.
- You have to spend $30 in order to place an order and get free pickup. I’ve never had a problem with that, but if you just need one or two items, it might be easier just to go inside the store.
How Do I Place my First Order?
Now that you’ve heard all about how wonderful Walmart Grocery Pickup is, I’m sure you’re itching to place an order. It’s pretty easy to sign up and get your first order going.
- Log into your Walmart account. If you don’t have one, create one.
- Choose which items you’d like to order.
- Checkout and choose a pickup time and location.
- Show up at that location at that time and pick up your groceries.
That’s it! Walmart Grocery Pickup has been a game changer for me and I hope it can be for you too. It’s made a chore that I dreaded into something so simple I don’t bat my eyes at it anymore. If this is something that sounds interesting to you, you can get $10 off of your first order of $30 or more. I’ll be honest, I get a $10 discount if you sign up, but I’d tell you all about this even if I didn’t. That’s how much I love me some Walmart Grocery Pickup!
Have you used Walmart Grocery Pickup? Tell me about it in the comment section below!