A.K.A. My Love/Hate Relationship With Walmart Grocery Pickup!
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I have used Walmart Grocery Pickup since it became available here about 2 years ago. As someone who suffers from anxiety, this seemed like a dream come true.
Imagine if you will…On a beautiful Saturday afternoon, you pull up to your local grocery store and park on the side of the building. You see a happy employee walking out toting a cart of your groceries. You pop your trunk and your groceries are carefully loaded into your trunk. You didn’t even have to get out of the car. The birds are singing, the sun is shining, no hassle, no stress.
Well…it doesn’t really happen that way. Great in theory but flawed in execution. I have gotten home a few times and found out I was missing part of my order. The one time I had Steven run and get my groceries, he came home with someone else’s. My kids got a little excited as they were unpacking the bags. Mac and cheese, a box of brownies, a bottle of chocolate syrup. They thought they hit the jackpot! I quickly realized that was not my order.
Eliminate The Headaches
Over the past year, there have been several issues. I prefer to avoid issues. After a little tweaking and a couple trips back to the store, my pickup experience has improved. I thought I’d share my tips with you.
1. Find a buddy in the pickup line. Yep, find a buddy. If you want to ensure that you will have a good experience with the Walmart Grocery Pickup system, this is a big one. I have my buddy Sara and she is amazing! She has called me a couple times with questions instead of just skipping or subbing an item. When the tomato soup I ordered wasn’t available, she text me to see if the tomato rotini was ok because I had unchecked allow substitutions. She’s the best!
2. Pick up on the same day every week. Remember the college kids I mentioned earlier? One of the perks of working at Walmart during college is you can basically get a set schedule. If you always have class on Tuesdays and Thursdays, you can work the other 5 days of the week. If you get the evening shift, they normally won’t schedule for day shifts. This is where picking up on the same day every week comes in. i pick up on Friday evenings because I know my buddy Sara works on Fridays and she always double checks my order.
3. Take a copy of your order. Just in case your new buddy isn’t working, you want to be prepared. I always have a copy of my order printed and a highlighter! Now, I know I could always check my email on my phone but I feel better when I’m able to check it off. I won’t get 3 bags in and forget if I’ve accounted for the oatmeal that I now see out of the corner of my eye. I can just check my list and see that I’ve already highlighted the oatmeal and move on. It’s really handy when they forget a tote of your groceries in the store. It helps eliminate an extra trip back to the store (ask me how many times it took to figure that one out)!
4. Shop the day before. In our dream situation, you could place your order and show up an hour later to pick up your groceries. It doesn’t happen that way. You have to order several hours before, sometimes you can place your order first thing in the morning and pick up that day but you can’t always guarantee the time slot you want will have any openings. If you order several days in advance, they may not have updated stock of what you want and you will end up with extra substitutions. I usually finish my order Thursday afternoon for Friday evening pickup.
5. Search a couple different ways. Sometimes when you’re on the Walmart Grocery Pickup site and you search for something, it’s not easy to find. They have been improving this over the last 6 months.
The two things that I noticed this quickly with were chicken leg quarters and green bell peppers. We raw feed our dog, he loves chicken. Sometimes I’ll grab the 10 pound bags of chicken leg quarters for him. It’s really easy to grab a leg quarter and stick it in his bowl. Dinner is done. When I first started using the online ordering site I couldn’t find them. I searched chicken, chicken legs, they were nowhere to be found. I finally found them in the menu drop down. I had to go to meat, then chicken and there they were on page 2. You still can’t search for them to this day.
The same goes for green bell peppers, you can’t search bell peppers or green peppers and expect to find them. You have to go the drop down, to produce and then fresh vegetables. Not a major deal but when you’re first trying it out, it can be a little frustrating.
6. Double check your substitutions list. When you click to submit your order you will be shown a page listing all your items with green check marks beside each one. If you’re like me and are very picky about what tomato soup you will buy, you can uncheck the box. If you have a brand loyalty to a certain item, uncheck the box.
The substitution system can be pretty cool though. If you request a store brand product and it is unavailable, you’ll get the comparable national brand. If you request an 8oz. can of cashews and it’s not available, you could end up with the 16oz can at no additional cost. Not too shabby!
7. Make sure to rate your experience. Your new buddy in the pickup line can’t accept tips. Not fair, I know. They get their tips when you rate your experience and use their name. It only takes a couple minutes. You will get an email asking how they did after you pickup your order. Take the time and fill it out.
8. Download the app. This is a newer feature. Before the app, they would call and say your order was ready. Then you would have to call when you were on your way, about 15 minutes out. You had to call again when you got there and tell them which numbered spot you were in. Now, you can just open the app and click check in. It lets them know you’re on your way and when you get there. You even put in the color of your car so they can easily find you. Less phone calls are always a win.
My favorite app feature has zero to do with actually picking up my groceries. It has everything to do with saving my sanity! You can shop right in the app. If the kids come in and tell me they’re running low on something, I can add it right to my next grocery order. I don’t have to worry about my list getting lost. It keeps me from forgetting things. It eliminates that “Oh no! We’re out of eggs/milk/toothpaste/laundry pods scenario too. When I’m doing my meal planning, I can print my list and head to my pantry. If I’m missing anything, I can add it to my cart without leaving the pantry. Less chance I’ll forget that I’m meal planning before I get back to my computer. Ever have that happen?? Tell me I’m not alone…
So there you have it, one of my favorite sanity savers. Have you tried Walmart Grocery Pickup? How did it go for you?
If you haven’t tried it yet, you can grab $10 off here.
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