An Honest Review of the Walmart Online Grocery Pickup Service

,After M was born, grocery shopping with two children felt like an Olympic sport. You have to figure out what groceries you need, make a list, pack up the kids in the car, park in a spot close enough to a shopping cart (that has a belt that actually works), put the massive carseat and toddler securely in the cart, and then attempt to get everything on your list, check out, load the groceries and kids back to the car. Oh and unload it all back at home without the ice cream melting that you inevitably bought during your stressful trip.

No thank you!

Because I was getting zero sleep, my body was still recovering from childbirth, and I needed something simple in my life, I decided to try an ordering online grocery pickup service. Just for a month, I told myself.

I started to shop around for which grocery stores near me had a program and decided to try out Walmart first, because it was free. I planned to try out the other grocery stories, but ended up just sticking with them. Surprise, surprise, that “month” turned into six and we are still going strong. Here are the ways to use the grocery pickup and an honest review of what I think after using it for almost a year now.

How to Use Walmart's Online Grocery Pickup Service -- All the details behind how to order groceries, pick up, and save yourself money and time.

How to Use Walmart Online Grocery Pickup

Here’s how it works:

Set Up Your Account

  • Find out which Walmart in your area has the online grocery ordering pickup service available. Not all locations have one, but I’ve actually seen a lot more participating in the last few months.
  • Next, sign up for an account on groceries.walmart.com. Your first order is $10 off, so it doesn’t hurt to try it out!
  • Then download the Walmart Grocery app. This will help you sync your groceries in one spot and get notifications when your groceries are ready for pickup. I’ve found it super easy to quickly add items on my phone when I think of it.

Shop Online

  • Now you’re ready to shop. It’s nice to have a desktop and an app version. You can add things throughout the week as you think of them and it will save and sync between desktop and the app.
  • They have other items besides food on there, but sometimes the inventory is limited, so I wouldn’t assume you can get all of your Walmart needs there. But I have purchased scotch tape, cardstock paper, hooks, toilet paper, and other household items from there as well.
  • Once you’ve purchased something, it will automatically go into your Favorites folder so you can reference it later. I love this Favorites section!
  • You do have to spend at least $30 in order to use the service. That’s definitely not hard for us as a family of four! But if you need a quick item, this service isn’t the best for that.
  • If they don’t have an item in stock, they will substitute items. When you review your order, make sure to mark whether or not you will accept substitutions for any foods. For example, if you want a specific brand of sour cream and not the Great Value (Walmart) brand, then you need to mark that. Otherwise, if a specific size/brand is not available, they will substitute it for the next best offer.

Check Out Online

  • Once you’re ready to check out, it’s super simple: you pick a day and time that you are available to pick it up. You can also reserve a time up to 2 hours in advance before checking out.
  • It does require some preparation on your part, because the times are normally half a day or further in the future. You can’t order groceries for one hour from when the order was placed, so you do need to order them in advance.
  • The range of time you can pickup is an hour, so for example, you can choose 3-4pm and Walmart will guarantee that it will be ready sometime within that hour.
  • If you decide to add or modify your order after it’s been placed, they give you a few hours prior to pick up to alter your order, which is very convenient!

Pickup

  • You will get notified on the app and through email when your order is ready for pickup. The Walmart I go to is actually really good about having the order ready 15 to 20 minutes before the allotted time.
  • When you are ready to pickup the groceries, all you have to do is click “Check In” and Walmart will track your car so they know how far you are and when you arrive to the store.
  • Once you arrive, there is a designated Pickup Spot for online grocery orders with designated parking spots. Once you are there, your app detects that you have arrived and a Walmart employee will come out with your groceries. If you are waiting for a while, or there’s a problem with the app, you can call a phone number that is visible on the sign at your parking spot.
  • Someone should come out with a cooler of food and review your order with you. If there are substitutions or missing items, they will review that with you as well.
  • Then they load the groceries in your car and you’re on your way!

How to Save Money with Online Grocery Pickup -- All the details behind Walmart's online grocery pickup, including how to order groceries, pick up, and save yourself money and time.

How to Save Money with Online Grocery Pickup

You Plan Better

My goal in using Walmart’s grocery pickup service is to avoid going to the store at all during the week, which means that I have to be extra organized in what food we will need, what meals I will make, and make sure to order enough. Because of that, I have to be very organized!

Before using this service, I would have loosy-goosy meal plans, but now I have to be very intentional about shopping my pantry, fridge and freezer first, and making sure I know what meals and snacks we will need throughout the week to avoid going to the store again.

This helps save me time and money, because I’m doing it all from my home and not in the grocery store. I don’t know about you, but I’m just not one of those people who can look at individual ingredients and throw together meals… I have to plan. And doing the planning and shopping from home has made it so much easier.

Meal planning is also made simpler by using our synced Amazon app. We have the Amazon Echo and can simply say “Alexa, add cheese” and it will add to our shopping list. I will then take the list of things we need and add them to my Walmart grocery app. Super easy!

No Impulse Decisions

Because all of my shopping is done online and at home, I am not tempted by sales or unnecessary items I don’t need. When I shop in the grocery store, there’s inevitably always something added to my cart besides what was on my list, but with the online service, I have to intentionally add it. This saves me money and keeps me on track because I can easily see the total price when I add something to the cart. Our grocery budget has gone down since we are able to shop more intentionally with this service.

They Price-Match Substitutions

This is one of my favorite things! If an item’s price changes between the time you place your order and the day your order is packed, we will charge you the lower price automatically. If you decide to allow substitutions for your order and substitutions are made, you will also be charged for the lower priced item.

An Honest Review of Walmart's Online Grocery Pickup Service - All the details behind Walmart's online grocery pickup, including how to order groceries, pick up, and save yourself money and time.

My Honest Review of Walmart Online Grocery Pickup

Convenience

Excellent! Oh my word, the first time I did it I was amazed that I went to the grocery store and came away with a ton of food without even getting out of the car. It was so lovely! It is so convenient to arrange all of my food and save time, energy, and stress with the girls buckled in the back the whole time.

I will say, though, if they don’t have an item and it’s something that I need for a recipe or a specific brand I want and I don’t want a substitution, I will have to go to another store to get it. So, that’s not very convenient. But I normally can wait for the next week or do without. Plus if it’s normally just one or two items and I can quickly do that by myself when J has the kids or ask him to pick it up on his way home.

Price

Excellent. There’s a reason why Walmart grocery is so popular: the prices are so cheap! If you price-check with other stores, it’s almost always cheaper, especially if you get Great Value (Walmart brand) items.

Like I mentioned above, we have saved on our grocery budget and are able to easily see a difference in our spending. Because we can easily meal plan and see which food we need for the week, it helps us tremendously save money and keep within our budget and not buy excessive

Customer Service

Great. I’m not sure how all stores compare, but I have had great customer service with the Walmart I go to. They are almost always very prompt in getting my groceries to the car, communicating anything with the order, and loading them up. Of the dozens of times I have gone (seriously, I think it’s been 30?), there was only one time that I had to wait longer than 10 minutes for them to come out to my car.

Quality

Good. This is probably the one that prevents most people from trying out an online service — you can’t pick out your own produce! I definitely understand that, but for the most part, everything we’ve received is in good condition and would be items I would have picked out myself.

The only things that haven’t been the best quality are fruit that are out of season. For example, just the other day (in August) we got a carton of strawberries and they were fresh when we got them, but lasted just a couple of days before they started to turn. I don’t know that I would have chosen differently had I seen this carton in the store, but it’s probably the fact that I’m ordering strawberries when they aren’t in season.

So there you go! A full tutorial and review of how I shop on Walmart for my groceries. If you’d like to try it out for yourself, check out grocery.walmart.com and sign up for $10 off your first order.

Have you tried an online grocery pickup service? I’d love to hear what you think of ways it’s saved you time and money, even if it’s with a different store. 

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