New Year, New You: Grocery Pickup Services Streamline Shopping

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New Year, New You. To focus on yourself, how about freeing up some “me time” in your schedule? Services are available at several stores allowing you to streamline shopping.

A busy San Antonio mom shares that a grocery pickup service has saved her time while staying on budget. Inga Cotton keeps a busy schedule caring for her two children and writing for several blogs. Her son, Nicholas, is 10 years old and her daughter Annika is eight.

With books to read, museums to explore and lots of putty to play with, spending hours taking trips to the grocery store won’t cut it. Cotton has been using the free pickup service at Walmart for about a year. The San Antonio locations are expanding by adding availability in more neighborhoods.

“In the past Walmart was the place where you would go where it was like if you had a really weird shopping list. I need a hula hoop and I need tissue paper and I need ketchup,” said Cotton. “Now, I can get meats that I feel good about feeding to my family. I can get things like apples and strawberries where having organic produce really makes a difference.”

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You fill out your order online. Groceries, household items; it’s all fair game.

When it’s time to pick up your items, the app will notify the store that you are outside.

An employee then delivers your items and lets you see what you're getting before you pay.

“We show them … the fruits and vegetables and so forth and if they don’t like it we just go in there and reject it and they get a credit on their bill,” explained Olivia Peralta an Assistant Manager at the Walmart store off Austin Highway.

The store has offered the pickup service for about six months. They say working moms love it. They’ll create an order during lunch and the items will be ready by the time they’re headed home. Shoppers with limited mobility and even community living facilities have also taken advantage of the service.

Along with curbside pickup, customers also have the option to wait in the store by checking in at a kiosk.

Cotton likes the option to stay in the car.

“We’re not in the store, [my kids are] not saying oh, but can we get this? Oh look there’s the candy,” said Cotton. “So it helps you stick to your list and not have those battles or meltdowns about what choices you should be making, whether the healthy choices or the treats.”

She says the real treat is being together at home.

Walmart pickup is free unless you want the order expedited.

HEB also offers a curbside service for about $5.

They’ll deliver to your home for about $13.

Whole Foods also offers a similar program. Fees start at $6 an order.