Mom Life

My Honest Review of Online Grocery Shopping

 

By now you have probably heard of the latest craze of online grocery shopping. There are a few different options, depending on your location and stores in your area. The three most popular right now are Wal-Mart grocery pick up, Instacart grocery delivery, and Clicklist Grocery pick up. 

 

If you have yet to try a grocery service because you are skeptical of whether or not it’s too good to be true, I’m going to share my honest review of Wal-Mart Grocery Pick Up and InstaCart Grocery Delivery, which are the two currently available in my area.

Wal-Mart Grocery Pick-Up

I first tried Wal-Mart Grocery Pick-Up shortly after my son was born. My three girls were in school, and I really didn’t want to spend most of my time while they were at school walking around the grocery store. I most certainly didn’t want to take all four of them to the store with me either! I was a couple weeks post c-section, and online grocery pick up seemed like a perfect solution to saving time. {Click here to see if it’s available in your area}.

Here is how it works. You download the Wal-Mart app on your mobile device. After you create an account and choose the store you’ll be using, you begin loading your virtual cart. You choose the time frame you’d like to pick up your groceries from the times available. (Sometimes you can get same day pick up. Sometimes I’ve had to pick up the next day. It’s usually very reasonable!). Then you pick up your groceries within the one hour window of time you have reserved. To pick up your groceries, just check in on the app on your phone. The app notifies your shopper you are on your way, and your estimated time of arrival. When you arrive at the store, you park in one of the allotted parking spots (following the bright orange signs). If you’ve checked in on your phone, you don’t need to do anything else! They will bring all of your groceries out and load them into your vehicle. Pretty awesome! Here are my thoughts on the experience:

What I Liked…

  • Save $10 First Time-You can save $10 on your first grocery order by using a promo code found online or by using someone else’s referral link. $10 is great savings, but you can only use it the first time you order.
  • Wal-Mart App is User Friendly-My favorite feature on the app is using it to scan an item when I want to add it to my list. Throughout the week, if I’m running low on something, I can scan the barcode on the package and it’s automatically added to my list. It saves it there until I’m ready to purchase.
  • Replacement Items are Always Better Than the Original-Every now and then, something I put in my cart was out of stock. Your personal shopper always replaces the item with something better than what you ordered. For example, I purchased a package of sliced pepper jack cheese, 11 slices. That item was out of stock, so they replaced it with a package with 22 slices. When you pick up your items, they notify you of any substitutes and give you the option to accept them.
  • Check-In on Your Mobile App-When you’re on your way to pick up, just click “Check In” on your mobile app. It notifies your shopper of your arrival time, and your groceries stay temperature controlled until your arrival. Because the app tracks in real time, the shopper knows when you have arrived. There’s no need to call a number, and I have never had to wait long for my groceries to be loaded.
  • Groceries are Always Ready and Loaded Directly into Your Car-Sometimes I just have one shopper, but usually I have two shoppers load my groceries into my car. I have gone with a sleeping baby, picked up my groceries, and been on my way. Amazing! You don’t even have to get out of your vehicle.
  • Friendly Staff-I have never had a bad experience with the staff who loaded my groceries into my vehicle.
  • Great Produce-This was one of my hesitations in purchasing my groceries this way. I like to look at the produce and choose what I get. I really feel like my personal shopper chooses quality produce. I have always been happy with the produce they have chosen for me.
  • Saving Time-I often make my grocery list with my 9 year old daughter while I’m cooking dinner. We talk through the menu for the week, she adds everything to my cart. She learns valuable lessons on meal planning, budgeting, etc., and I can pick up my groceries without taking any children into the store.
  • It’s FREE!-There are no additional fees for picking your groceries up after ordering them online. From what I’ve noticed, the prices seem to be the same online as they are in store as well.

What I Didn’t Like…

  • So. Many. Bags. You can’t use reusable bags like they show you in the commercials. And often times they put only one item in a bag. I find myself with far more bags than normal. I save them and take them to be recycled, but I wish there was a way to use less bags.
  • Can’t Use Coupons-If you like to save money by using coupons, this is not the grocery shopping method for you.
  • Only One Referral-Wal-Mart gives you a referral code to receive $10 off your next order when a friend uses the service for the first time. You used to be able to refer 5 friends, and save up to 5 times. They have changed their policy, and now you can only refer one friend. If you give it a try, you can try the promo code “WOWFRESH” to try to get $10 off, or find a friend who has done it recently and ask them for a referral code.

 

I have used this service a number of times, especially during the winter when I didn’t want to get my baby out of the car. I will continue to buy a portion of our groceries through the Wal-Mart Grocery Pick Up service!


Instacart Grocery Delivery Service

The area I live in recently got Instacart for Aldi. Woohoo! I was excited to try it out for the first time a couple weeks ago. It was different than I expected, and I had mixed feelings about my experience.

Instacart is different from Wal-Mart grocery pick up because it is a grocery service that shops from one of the stores in your area (participating locations only), and then your shopper delivers the groceries to your door. Super. Convenient. {If Instacart is available in your area, and you’d like to give it a try, use the promo code WSMITH23F1F0 to save $10}. 

Here are my thoughts on my experience:

What I Liked…

  • User Friendly Website- My 9-year-old actually created my account and started shopping for the things I told her to shop for…all while I was cooking dinner!
  • Digital Manufacturer’s Coupons-There are digital coupons available from some national brands. I didn’t need any of them, but they would be beneficial for someone purchasing those items.
  • Groceries Delivered Right to Your Door-Say what?! I didn’t have to leave the house. It was a busy weekend. It was spring break for my older kids, and I had let each of them invite a friend over for a sleepover. My groceries arrived literally moments before the sleepover drama. Instacart saved me a ton of time.
  • Text Updates– I received a text when my shopped began shopping, started checking out, and approximate arrival time for when she would be at my door. I also received a text about my out of stock items, and I was able to approve what the replacement was. I was purchasing some pureed baby food pouches for my little guy, and a couple of them were out of stock. I didn’t like the first replacement they chose, so I easily picked from a list of other options. This would have come in handy for someone with allergies or specific dietary needs.
  • Discount for Friend Referral-Similar to Wal-Mart’s program, you are provided with a referral link that your friends can use, and you’ll both receive$10 off, up to 5 friends.
  • 14-Day Free Trial for Free Delivery-While there IS a delivery fee, I was able to use a 14-day free trial to receive free delivery for the duration of the trial.
  • Good Customer Service-I used a promo code for $20 off my order, and it showed up as valid and deducted $20 at check out. However, when I checked out, the code was no longer there and I was charged the full amount. I responded to the confirmation e-mail I received after placing my order, and they credited my card for the $20 and apologized for the error. I didn’t appreciate the hassle, but I was thankful they graciously credited my order.

What I Didn’t Like…

  • Extra Fees-I knew going into it that there was a $5.99 delivery fee. I also knew I was going to get that for free and save $10 off my first order using a referral code from a friend. So when I checked out and saw a $10 “suggested” driver tip and $10 service fee, I was definitely surprised. The driver tip was optional, but who wants to be the person who doesn’t tip the driver? They are shopping for you and delivering your groceries, after all! But I searched the Instacart website and small print for information regarding the “service fee,” and I couldn’t find anything. I’d like to know if it’s a first time fee, or if it’s on every order. I have e-mailed their customer service for more information. I’ll update when I know more. You can imagine my surprise to see that ordering from Instacart would mean a $5.99 delivery fee + $10.00 driver tip + $10.00 (varies) service charge. That’s $26ish extra for the convenience of having my groceries delivered to my door if I chose to use this service on a regular basis.
  • $50 hold on my account-According to their website, Instacart’s policy is to put a hold on your bank account for 5-10% of your order for up to 7 days. After that, the balance will show your actual charge. However, in my case, my bill was $199, and my bank account was charged $250, which is 25% extra beyond my total. It took one week for my account reflect the balance. I didn’t like having to monitor my bank account to ensure that I was in fact charged the correct amount.
  • Some Prices Were HIGHER on Instacart-I shop at Aldi on the regular. Their prices don’t fluctuate too much on a regular basis. I actually ran into Aldi a couple days later for one or two things I had forgotten from my list, and noticed that some of the things I had purchased were priced slightly higher on Instacart. Prices were sometimes between 39 cents and 89 cents different, which doesn’t seem like a big deal, but those prices really add up when you have a large grocery order.

While I thoroughly LOVED having my groceries delivered to my door, I will not make Instacart a regular part of my shopping routine. The increase in expense threw my grocery budget off, and it just wasn’t worth it to me. 

I could see myself ordering a few items if I was in a pinch and needed a few ingredients without running to the store. There is a $10 minimum to use Instacart. 

If Instacart is available in your area, and you’d like to give it a try, use the promo code WSMITH23F1F0 to save $10. 

 


I would LOVE to hear from you! Have you used Walmart Grocery Pickup or Instacart? What was your experience like? Have you used Clicklist? I am looking for a guest post to share their honest review of Clicklist! 

 

1 thought on “My Honest Review of Online Grocery Shopping

  1. I used walmart and completely was satisfied. Friendly fast fresh vegetables were awesome will definitely use walmart again.

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