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ClickList, an online grocery ordering system, partnered with Kroger (Fred Meyer) to offer curbside grocery pickup (AKA: you don’t leave your car while a nice grocer loads your entire order into your trunk).
And get this, you can still use coupons AND rebate apps.
Your first three pickups are free, and then the service will cost $4.95 every time you choose to pickup your groceries curbside.
But here’s the thing: My weekly grocery bill averaged $60 less each week that I used the pickup service, which meant I’d still be saving around $55/week if I kept it up. Suddenly, using Clicklist became a no-brainer.
Here’s what you need to know to save more money, while saving time:
1. Hand over your coupons in the parking lot, and wait in your car while the cashier scans them inside.
When you pull into the grocery pickup parking spot, use your mobile phone to tell them you’ve arrived and mention that you have a stack of paper coupons that need to be scanned.
They’ll send a grocer runner out to take your coupons back inside and apply the additional discounts while you nap or rock out in your car.
You can’t stack one of their digital coupons and another manufacturer coupon on the same item, but they can both be used on the same order.
2. Get free upgrades when an item you order is out of stock.
If your store doesn’t have an item you ordered in stock, they’ll offer a comparable substitution (that’s usually more expensive) and only charge you for the less-expensive item.
For example, the grocer told me the strawberries I ordered were not “up to their standard of quality” that week, so they gave me a package of nicer organic strawberries instead (without any extra charge to me).
Or when they didn’t have a small package of stir-fry veggies, they gave me the larger pack for the lower price.
Free upgrades happen almost every single time I do grocery pickup, but you can always refuse the nicer substitute if you don’t want it.
3. Upload your receipt to Ibotta, just like you would if you shopped in-store.
When I first used Walmart’s free grocery pickup, I was pretty upset to find I couldn’t get Ibotta rebates, because you don’t get a receipt with a QR code to scan. Especially since I’d purchased certain items specifically for the rebates.
No problem here. You’ll get a regular receipt, just like you would if you were shopping inside, so you can collect all the offers you want.
4. Compare sale prices online, without tricky in-store marketing gimmicks.
If you create your grocery list based on Kroger’s weekly flyer, you’re not seeing every sale item.
When you’re filling up an online grocery cart, tricky in-store gimmicks like shelf placement or end-cap aisle promos are non-existent. You’ll see every single sale price marked in red (and highlighted in yellow) on your screen to maximize your savings while planning meals.
5. Staying out of the store means you’ll buy less junk.
Axing impulse buys alone saves me about $40/week.
I found that if I am in-store (especially with a toddler or two in the mix), I start throwing items into my cart without fully comparing prices.
It’s easier to control your spending when the total dollar amount is sitting on your screen. And if you go over your budget, you can just “delete” certain items from your cart.
6. Pick up your Saturday order the same day, or risk losing your discounts.
If you order on Saturday, schedule your pickup for the same day.
The reason? Prices change every Sunday, and the amount you owe will be based on Sunday’s new sale prices. So even if you place your order on Saturday and schedule a Sunday pickup, your total bill will change overnight.
This is the only day of the week you’ll have to worry about that overnight difference, so plan accordingly!
7. Don’t tip your grocer because Kroger employees can’t accept cash.
You might want to tip the smiling, helpful grocer who bounds out to your car and loads up all your groceries without expecting you to lift a finger. . . but don’t.
For safety reasons, they aren’t allowed to accept cash — and that includes tips!
8. Take advantage of digital coupons — like 4x’s the fuel points.
Kroger organizes their digital coupons by department, and you can set coupon preferences to prioritize deals on items you buy the most, like Greek yogurt or milk.
Many of the digital coupons can be used multiple times (which will be clearly indicated), and you’ll often see coupons to quadruple your fuel points.
Just sign in to your store loyalty account, and start loading the coupons onto your account. Make sure your ClickList order is also linked to your loyalty account so the discounts will be taken off your bill before they even bring out your groceries.
TIP: Take advantage of the Free Friday Download offer — a weekly food freebie that refreshes every Friday.