Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Walmart, but all opinions are truthful and my own. Read my full disclosure policy here.
We have been so busy lately with events and holiday prep that the pantry and fridge were looking pretty bare. We’ve had lots of sandwich suppers and clean-out-the-freezer meals.
Grocery shopping, which is never one of my favorite chores, gets pushed really far down my to-do list at busy times like this.
But when we got down to the last roll of toilet paper, I knew that I couldn’t put it off any longer.
So I headed to Walmart with my list…
Actually, I plopped down in my favorite chair in front of the fire with my list and my phone…
.. and tried out Walmart’s free online grocery shopping and pickup service, which is available at select stores in Greensboro, N.C., and other markets. (To find out if it’s available where you live, check here.)
I first tried out online grocery shopping when my son was an infant and it was difficult to get through a shopping trip with a nursing baby. But I only started shopping online regularly about a year ago when I realized how much time (and money) I could save by letting someone else do the shopping for me. By the time I drive to the store, shop and unload, a trip to the grocery probably takes me at least two hours. And that’s time I’d rather spend working, doing something fun or hanging out with my family.
To me, that time savings was worth the convenience fee most grocers charge for it. But I have to say I’m really thrilled Walmart offers the service for free, along with its low everyday prices.
In this post, I’ll be sharing my experience with Walmart Grocery, along with tips for getting the most out of your online grocery shopping experience.
To prepare for my shopping trip, I downloaded the Walmart Grocery app on my phone. (You can also order from your computer.)
With my shopping list handy, I browsed through the categories and used the search feature to add items to my cart.
The weather was horrible on the day I shopped. It was pouring rain, and I just wanted to stay in front of the fireplace and drink my coffee. So that’s what I did.
Since we were out of just about everything, and also getting ready for holiday celebrations, I had a lot of groceries to buy. I’m sure I would have been in the store for hours. But I was done in about 20 minutes.
Once everything was loaded in my cart, I picked my store and my pickup time and checked out. Walmart does require you to use a credit card when you place your order, unlike some grocers that will let you pay with cash, credit or check at pickup. But if something you ordered is unavailable, your credit card will be refunded.
After I placed my order, I had a window of time make changes to it. I love this feature because I always seem to forget something. With the other stores I’ve used for online grocery shopping, you have to call to make changes or additions. It’s so much easier to do it in the app or on the computer.
Later that day, I headed out to pick up my groceries at Walmart at the designated time.
When it’s time to pick up your groceries, the app prompts you to check-in on your phone so your personal shopper will know exactly when you will arrive. If you don’t use the app, Walmart recommends you call 15 minutes before arrival so don’t have to wait.
The app showed me exactly where to pick up my groceries. When I arrived at the store, there were lots of signs in the parking lot directing me to the pickup area on the side of the store.
Once I pulled into the loading area, I called my personal shopper — as the signs directed — and within minutes he was loading the groceries in my van. I hopped out of the car to take a few photos as Devin loaded the groceries, but typically customers stay in the car. So convenient!
After a short drive, I arrived at home where my husband was waiting to help me unload the groceries.
Curbside service at the store and at home — that’s how I like to grocery shop!
Since this was my first time using Walmart’s online grocery pickup service, Devin, my personal shopper, gave me a goodie bag with snacks, a bottle of water and some fun samples. That was an unexpected treat!
I will definitely be using Walmart’s online grocery shopping service again. And I would encourage you to do the same if you’re looking to save time and money. (In addition to Walmart’s lower pricing, you will make fewer impulse purchases than you would in the store.) And through Jan. 31, 2017, you can save $10 on your first online grocery order with Walmart using promo code REALEASY.
Now for my online grocery shopping tips.
Order ahead of time.
This way, you will be able to choose the pickup time that best fits your schedule.
I recommend ordering a day or so in advance, or at least the night before. Same-day ordering is possible, but you will probably get a later pickup time. And the service may be booked around the holidays.
Shop from your favorites and past purchases.
Once you’ve use the shopping service once, your past purchases are saved, which makes it easy to buy them again. You can also manually favorites, and this will save you time every time you shop.
Sometimes specific brands or items you order will be unavailable. Unless you absolutely need the specific item you ordered, let your personal shopper choose a substitution. You always have the option of refusing it at the store.
My husband and I have a great system. I place our grocery order, and he picks them up on his way home from work. He drives right past the store, so we save gas and time. And it means I have help unloading.
Arrive during your designated pickup time.
Take advantage of the check-in feature on the Walmart Grocery app or call ahead to let your shopper know your arrival time. This will minimize your wait.
Be courteous to other customers and your personal shopper by arriving on time. If you will be late, call ahead.
Make sure your trunk is clean.
Do your personal shopper a favor and clean out your trunk before you get to the store. It’s courteous, and it also ensures that your groceries don’t get smushed.
Show your gratitude.
Tipping is not necessary — and Walmart does not allow it. But you can show your gratitude by being kind and courteous and by filling out any post-shopping surveys you receive. Your pickup confirmation email from Walmart includes a link to rate the service and offer comments about your experience.
Photo graphic copyright: stockasso / 123RF Stock Photo