My kids never napped unless I put them in the car and drove them around. I would have killed for grocery pickup so I could multi-task.

If you’re a busy mom and want to try grocery pickup, or curbside delivery, but aren’t sure how it works, here is everything, and I mean everything you need to know, made really simple. We’ll start with general information about curbside grocery pickup, and then break it down per store.

Download the KCL app and we will tell you when we see any changes regarding grocery pickup.

 

UPDATE: Coronavirus (COVID-19) effect on grocery pickup services

Many people are choosing to follow the CDC’s How to Prepare advice to create a household plan including gathering a 2-week supply of prescription medications, food and other basic essentials.

Since everyone is trying to gather essentials at once, grocery pickup services have been stretched. A Walmart associate we spoke with said “we are only able to fulfill up to 40% of any given pickup and delivery order.” If Walmart can’t keep up with demand, you’ll see “Sorry! Due to increased demand, no times are currently available.”

When we checked back the next day, there were Walmart grocery pickup times available starting two days out.

Not every store has suspended grocery pickup, but expect inventory to be limited and don’t expect same-day pickup. We will update this list often.

Current grocery pickup updates due to high demand:

  • H-E-B: Currently scheduling a week out for pickup times.
  • Walmart: Currently scheduling two days out for pickup times. Mornings offer the best chance to get on the schedule.
  • Giant Eagle: Text SUPPORT to 737587 to get Giant Eagle COVID-19 updates. Limit two per customer: bread and milk. Limit one per customer: paper towels, toilet paper, wipes and hand sanitizer.
  • Kroger: Some high-demand items (like bottled water or baby wipes) are listed as “in-store only.”
  • Meijer: You may not get the date and time you sign up for. Your shopper will contact you as they begin your order to coordinate a good time for you to pick it up.
  • Target: Limited inventory, otherwise operational. First hour the store is open every Wednesday is for vulnerable shoppers only (elderly and those with underlying health conditions).
  • Publix: Currently scheduling three days out for pickup times.
  • Fred Meyer: Currently scheduling two days out for pickup times. Some high-demand items like bottled water or baby wipes) are listed as “in-store only.”
  • Harris-Teeter: Limited inventory, otherwise operational. You may experience a delay in your order — a Harris-Teeter employee will reach out to communicate with you.
  • Smith’s: Limited inventory, otherwise operational.
  • Food Lion: Items that seem to be in-stock online might actually be out of stock. You’ll receive substitutions for items that are out of stock.
  • Safeway: Your order might get rescheduled due to limited stock.
  • Ralphs: Some high-demand items (like bottled water or baby wipes) are listed as “in-store only.”
  • Albertsons: Your order might get rescheduled due to limited stock.
  • Stop & Shop: Suspended
  • Whole Foods: Inventory and pickup availability may be temporarily unavailable due to increased demand.

 

Grocery pickup is great for busy moms, and is free at Walmart!

People either have time or money, but rarely both and often neither. If time is first on your list of needs, then curbside pickup is for you.

At some stores, grocery pickup costs more than in store, carries a fee, or precludes you from using coupons. At other stores, online grocery pickup prices are identical to in-store. Rarely do you find any stores that allow you to stack coupons for curbside pickup, which is why time is the biggest deciding factor for whether or not you use this service. The Curbside Grocery Cheat Sheet breaks pricing and coupons down by store.

Shop all Walmart deals now.

 

Grocery pickup is a bad idea when buying household and beauty products, except at Kroger.

Since you can’t stack coupons at most stores with grocery pickup (with Kroger and Target being the exception), you won’t save up to 70-80% at drugstores when buying household and beauty products, like you can through the KCL app. These non-food items have the highest-value coupons, so skipping the chance to use those can cost you money!

Kroger (and its affiliates like Fry’s and Fred Meyer) and Target allow you to stack coupons curbside! Click on the curbside grocery pickup cheat sheet to see what the other stores allow.

Shop all Kroger deals now.

RELATED: Everything you need to know about Kroger Grocery Pickup

 

Your RedCard 5% discount and Circle offers will apply to all Target grocery pickup and Drive Up orders.

Target has two pickup options: Order Pickup and Target Drive Up — both are 100% free.

With Target Order Pickup, you can order ahead online or through the Target app and receive notification once your items are ready. You’ll have to go in store to pick up your order at customer service.

With Target Drive Up, on the other hand, you can literally leave your car running while an associate delivers your order to you in the parking lot. You can’t order perishable items like food, flowers, or alcohol via Drive Up.

Check the Target app for Circle offers and eligible items.

Shop all Target deals now.

 

Amazon Whole Foods grocery pickup is free for orders over $35.

Another sweet perk for Amazon Prime members is Prime Now and Whole Foods grocery pickup. Both services are available in select locations and offer the convenience of shopping for groceries online through Amazon.com or the Prime Now app.

Under normal circumstances, Prime members can receive delivery through Prime Now within two hours of placing their order. For Whole Foods grocery pickup, an associate will have your order ready within an hour, sometimes in 30 minutes depending on the size of your transaction.

As long as you have at least $35 worth of groceries, pickup and delivery are free. Under $35 will cost you a fee starting at $1.99. Prime members also get regular Whole Foods discounts that apply to pickup like 40% off select produce and grocery staples.

Shop all Whole Foods deals now.

 

H-E-B will substitute an item and apply your original coupon.

In your online order, all stores will ask you if it’s okay to substitute if an item is out of stock. If you say no and an item is out of stock, you’ll see the item price come off your total when you pick up, or it will get credited to you if your store uses Instacart. H-E-B will even apply your original coupon to the substituted item!

 

Safeway only needs a three-hour order window.

Most stores need a four-hour window to get your order ready, except for Safeway. This is good to know when you have to plan carefully around that nap. If your guy goes down right after lunch, then order a few days before or by 8am so you can buckle him in and do the car nap while you run errands.

Shop all Safeway deals now.

 

Giant Eagle Curbside Express is free and wants your coupons — both paper and digital coupons.

It’s true! Bring your coupons and hand them over to the Curbside Express team — no need to go in. Plus, you can stack both when applicable. Pay online or at the curb if you have coupons.

 

Meijer grocery pickup will take your digital coupons, but expect a $4.95 fee.

Meijer grocery pickup doesn’t have a lot of perks, but at least the prices online are the same in store, and they will take digital coupons. There’s also no minimum order.

Shop all Meijer deals.

 

Stop & Shop grocery delivery is through Peapod, allowing you to pick up orders at multiple convenient locations.

Book a time and pick up your Stop & Shop groceries at one of Peapod’s pick-up locations — or get your groceries delivered.

There’s no coupon stacking with this grocery pickup service and you’ll have to pay a $2.95 fee per order. Get the fee waived when you sign up for a PodPass membership with annual fee. Your first order is free when you sign up!

See all Stop & Shop deals.

 

Albertsons, Publix, and Food Lion use Instacart — our least favorite for grocery pickup and delivery.

Fortunately, many stores are starting to bring grocery delivery and pickup in house, but for those who still use Instacart, here are the pitfalls:

  • The service fee charged to customers is anywhere from $3.99 to $7.99 an order.
  • They have minimum order amounts.
  • No coupons, ever, other than what they offer on their Instacart site.
  • Most stores will price items higher in Instacart than in store.
  • Instacart workers also expect a tip.
  • If you don’t show up to get your order, they charge you a restocking fee, which none of the other in-house curbside delivery stores will ever do.

Click here for a free chart that tells you which stores use Instacart for curbside delivery!

 

 

Curbside pickup helps if you’re an impulse buyer or stink at math.

If you get sucked into those last-minute purchases grouped around the checkout lines or pull things out and hand them back to the cashier when your total gets too high, then ordering your groceries online will help you keep track of your items and stay on budget.

RELATED: Stores that Offer Free Store Pickup When You Order Online

 

Picky about produce? Use notes to ensure quality when online grocery shopping.

Most people (me included) are very picky about things like produce. Don’t let that deter you from curbside delivery. When you order online from your favorite grocery store, make use of the “suggestions” or “notes” and give as many instructions as you like to your shopper, such as: “green bananas only,” or “no bruised apples.” Personal shoppers like the specifics, as they want to get your order right and keep you happy.

 

The best time to pick up curbside groceries is in the morning.

Does your baby do the mid-morning nap? Perfect! Most stores set aside a limited number of parking spots for curbside pickup, so if you can go when it’s not crowded (late afternoon, early evening) you are guaranteed a spot and a short wait.

 

For questions like whether or not your Walmart grocery pickup takes coupons, or if H-E-B Curbside accepts EBT or WIC, check out this chart!

Don’t scroll up! Here are the articles we mentioned:

Stores that Offer Free Store Pickup When You Order Online
Everything you need to know about Kroger Grocery Pickup

 

DoorDash, Grubhub, and Restaurants Offer Free Food Delivery

 

UP NEXT: 12 Affordable Ways to Get Fresh Produce Delivery