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Internet/pick up grocery shopping

CreeklandCreekland 7306 replies95 threads Senior Member
Yesterday and today (ordering/picking up) was my first experience with shopping online to have the store put the items in my car for me due to being with FIL and not wanting to take any chances at all with him getting the virus. We picked Walmart because it or Food Lion are the only places around us here.

I'll admit I vastly prefer my own shopping... first, there are several dented cans. I never buy them, but it seems the shopping picker didn't care so we have a fair number now. Is that common?

Also, I ordered avocado oil from Chosen Foods and they substituted Great Value. That's not a big deal, but when I unpacked it the whole bottle was covered in a thin film of oil. It leaked in my car. The cap still seems to have a safety cover under the opening, but it can't be sealed well. I'm guessing it's still ok to use?

They were out of 85% lean hamburger and didn't substitute anything for it, but still gave us the hamburger buns. Uh... guess those go in the freezer?

The green pepper is a nice one (all produce seems good), but it was packed with cans and is now cut open from being squished - still useable, but...

They wanted to substitute canned green peas for a seasoned bean mix. I rejected that at the car. They aren't even close to the same and we don't eat canned green peas.

For those of you who use this service, is this what you experience or is my first experience odd and luck of the draw?

A little over an hour away is a Kroger. Would my experience be better if I went there in the future? Or are pickers pretty much the same everywhere. Stores may even be happy to get rid of dented cans I suspect.

Or would Food Lion be ok? (I'm totally unfamiliar with them and don't even know if they offer the service. Kroger I know I like, but distance is a factor.)


I plan to fill out Walmart's survey.
115 replies
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Replies to: Internet/pick up grocery shopping

  • Parentof2014gradParentof2014grad 1098 replies13 threads Senior Member
    Well, I suspect it’s luck of the draw, but some stores have better systems and training in place than others. I suspect it varies store to store even within a chain.
    My son was a grocery order filler over the spring/summer. He learned a lot in that time, but still, it was an 18 year old who had never done grocery shopping (or much cooking) on his own in his life filling the orders. In addition to trying to figure out what people wanted if something was out, he also had pressure from above to always substitute, never leave something not filled, and he didn’t have access in the system to sale prices so he couldn’t see if he was substituting a much more expensive item.

    Our family’s best, most efficient store pickup experiences have been at Target but they are just now adding grocery to the options and may not be near you. Even there you sometimes get an item not filled and if you walk in the store they have it in stock on the shelf. I think it’s a lazy picker, or some guy that finds it too difficult to manage makeup or feminine products.
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  • TigerInWinterTigerInWinter 141 replies0 threads Junior Member
    I have no idea whether your experience is common, but the problems you had are exactly why my spouse and I haven't been willing to do our grocery shopping online. We're picky about our produce and the brands we buy, so substitutions, dented cans and badly bruised fruit would have us grumbling for days.I hope your next order (if there is one) goes better!
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  • kidzncatzkidzncatz 1171 replies7 threads Senior Member
    edited September 23
    I use Walmart's grocery pickup once a week. I've had mostly okay to good experiences except for one particularly bad week. Yes, some of the substitutions make you scratch your head, but I've never had to refuse any. I have had a few defective items (e.g., a rotten coconut) and Walmart has been quick to refund my money. I think one's experience varies depending on which worker picks your order, which Walmart location you use, and to some extent the date and time you pick up your order. I've learned not to go on Friday through Sunday (very busy, long waits). I've never used another chain's grocery pickup and we don't have any Food Lion or Kroger stores near us. It's mostly Giant (PA), Weis, Karns, Walmart, Wegman's, and Aldi around here (Harrisburg suburbs).
    edited September 23
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  • shellfellshellfell 3910 replies12 threads Senior Member
    We tried grocery pickup twice from Harris Teeter, part of the Kroger family. We weren't thrilled. Even when I entered instructions on substitutions, they weren't always followed. We found something they charged us for, but didn't receive.

    What we especially didn't like about the process was that, if we were in the store, we would make meat and veg subsitutions depending on availability or price. If the store's shopper didn't find what was on our list, we just didn't get anything.

    We eventually decided that going to the store every 10-14 days was more to our liking, but I understand why you needed to do pickup.
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  • abasketabasket 22128 replies936 threads Senior Member
    I did Instacart one time and it actually went pretty flawlessly. I had a shopper who checked each substitution with me via the app.

    That said, I'm picky and I decided that my anxiety and expectations would be better if I went into stores myself and was just cautious. Earlier on in the pandemic, I would pick a smaller store, have a list, be focused during shopping. Once home I would wipe down all items, toss plastic bags, wipe off the counter surface and strip and wash down myself! That didn't seem much more risky than a service shopping for me and was MUCH better for my mental health.
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  • CreeklandCreekland 7306 replies95 threads Senior Member
    My son was a grocery order filler over the spring/summer. He learned a lot in that time, but still, it was an 18 year old who had never done grocery shopping (or much cooking) on his own in his life filling the orders. In addition to trying to figure out what people wanted if something was out, he also had pressure from above to always substitute, never leave something not filled, and he didn’t have access in the system to sale prices so he couldn’t see if he was substituting a much more expensive item.

    Thanks for this as it puts into perspective what the gal said when she was returning the canned peas. She told me their system tells them what to substitute and often makes odd suggestions. Fortunately with Walmart, they either gave me the lower price if the substituted item was less expensive or matched the price of what I wanted if the substituted item was higher priced. I commend them for that.

    Upon closer inspection, the cantaloupe is not one I ever would have bought - way too green. If that's all I saw available in a store I just wouldn't have bought one. Does anyone know if it will ripen? I left it out of the fridge hoping for the best.

    And recounting the dented cans, there are 5 of them, but I bought 24 canned items, so it's roughly 1/5. It just seems like a lot when I would have bought none - esp since one is very dented. The other four are smaller dents that maybe didn't get seen by the picker.

    FIL is 92, has heart issues and one lung. We'll do what we have to do and I'll admit I'm glad stores are offering this service. It would be very difficult for H to live with if we were the cause of him getting Covid.

    At home I'll take my chances shopping when it's not as crowded though. I prefer to pick my own items making decision changes if I have to while on the spot.
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  • Mom2jlMom2jl 719 replies6 threads Member
    I've only done grocery pickup at Ralphs, which is in the Kroger family here in the Los Angeles area. I've had pretty good luck with the shoppers there. I've mostly gotten what I ordered and am notified ahead of time if they're out of anything or if they have to make substitutes. I really think it's the luck of the draw though. And I much prefer going to the store in person so I can make substitutes on the fly. The reason I often pickup at this particular store is that it's too crowded most of the time and I don't like to spend a lot of time in there. I have a couple of other grocery stores close by (including Trader Joe's) that I much prefer shopping at.
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  • ClassicMom98ClassicMom98 744 replies1 threads Member
    Our food lions by us don’t offer pick-up, but I think one out in the county might. In general, they are a lower quality grocery store than Kroger, Harris Teeter, etc. but some are nicer than others. The new one by my parents’ lake house is nice, but they also have higher incomes people shopping there.

    I’ve never done pick-up. Your experience is why. We are picky and prefer to get our own stuff and very few places offer the service anyway.

    Good luck
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 11045 replies137 threads Senior Member
    We used Instacart for about a month and a half at the beginning of Covid. We found it to be very hit or miss. Some orders we’re nearly perfect. Others were a train wreck. As soon as we felt safe enough to go back to the market we did so.
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  • MADadMADad 2106 replies82 threads Senior Member
    edited September 23
    Before COVID we would buy many non-perishables at Target for better prices and 5% off with Target Red card. We have continued to do that by way of ordering online and picking up order in local store. We've done this about every 3 weeks.

    Only problem was once getting unsalted nuts instead of salted ones. Other than that orders have been accurate. Order ready in a few hours. I go to service desk, show ID, pick up order, out of store in minutes.

    Have had Wal Mart ship some things (spend $35, shipping is free). Stuff comes from different warehouses, so we've gotten UPS or FedEx packages containing a single package of napkins, or 2 bags of chips. Have been able to get paper goods that way

    For perishables wife or I venture into the supermarket, get what we need, and get the hell out of there, maybe once every 3 weeks. Freezing bread, buying lactose-free milk (LONG expiration dates).

    Still too many people with a mask around their necks or below their noses to make me feel safe. One such person was hacking up a storm, with her mask hanging off one ear. Did not think I could push a shopping cart that fast to get away!!!
    edited September 23
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  • momo2x2018momo2x2018 1308 replies97 threads Senior Member
    I did Instacart a few times at the beginning; I was impressed with the last shopper I had and took her # when she delivered. I then paid her to shop for me independent of Insta. and i am glad I did, she did an excellent job, communicated any changes or substitutions and she got the entire $$$
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  • 2VU06092VU0609 3732 replies62 threads Senior Member
    I have been using Kroger pick-up since late March and have had no significant problems. Don't get some of my requested items at times, but it has gotten better in recent months and you can specify that you don't want substitutions. They don't charge a fee regardless of amount purchased and our Kroger is still honoring senior discount on Tuesdays and will take your paper coupons back into the store to process for a final total. All that said, I don't buy produce at Kroger. I have gone to the small gourmet market owned by one of S's friends for produce for years because they have organic and locally grown produce at competitive prices mostly. I have occasionally gone to stands at a local farmer's market. The small market has a drive thru window, but I've been going inside the last few months as I want to pick out my own tomatoes. Our local Walmart is okay as well, but they've raised their minimum purchase amount since the pandemic began and I get far better service and wait less time at pick-up at Kroger. Guess I've been lucky.
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  • boudersbouders 2793 replies195 threads Senior Member
    I've been using Target's pickup since the start of COVID. Originally, I was picking up in store and now I'm using their pickup in the parking lot. I'm going to make a run today. If the picker can't find something on the shelf that the website allowed me to put in the cart, I'll get an email saying they've removed it from the order. Sometimes, they'll give me the option of having the item shipped instead. There's only some refrigerated or frozen items that they'll allow to be ordered online.

    Generally, if I need a refrigerated or frozen item, I'll go in the store, but I'll still have preordered most of what I need and pick that up in the parking lot. If I do go in, I use the self checkout. They are very good about sanitizing the checkout area between customers.

    The only time I've had a problem with Target is when one of the things I ordered was a computer charger and that was not in the bag when I get home. I had to make another trip just for that the next day.

    I've also done parking lot pickup at Home Depot and Lowe's. That has gone fine.
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  • CreeklandCreekland 7306 replies95 threads Senior Member
    Walmart's survey didn't allow much for comments. I had typed mine out and it said they had technical issues, so retry it. I typed it again copying it this time and got the same problem. When I did the survey leaving a brief statement about technical issues the system took it. My guess is I had too many characters, but I never saw a limit.

    I'll probably try Kroger next time if we do this again. In the past we've brought food from our house, but now we're staying longer so needed a refill.
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  • bookwormbookworm 9385 replies76 threads Senior Member
    #10, mathmoms comment, was what turned me off to even trying on line ordering. Ham has never been welcome in my house.

    I must admit, I can’t wait to go to the market and buy short ribs and Stubbs barbecue sauce. I’m still using my orange crockpot from 1976. Corn beef was also mentioned in another thread, and makes me hungry. I think I’ve lost weight cuz I get to the market so rarely.
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  • surfcitysurfcity 2883 replies64 threads Senior Member
    I have used Instacart at Wegmans and it was awesome. The shopper would text me every so often and show me a photo of something and ask if it was okay to sub. Or she would photo 2 different packages of chicken and ask which I wanted. And the Wegmans site was very easy to use with photos and specific info on the items, so I could order exactly what I wanted.

    Pre COVID I have used the Giant pick up service and love that too. They don’t text you in real time but when they subbed it was a bigger or more expensive brand that they charged the original price or just left the item off.
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  • deb922deb922 6636 replies209 threads Senior Member
    edited September 23
    I just did an online order/pickup from Walmart yesterday also.

    I think it probably has to do with the shopper you get. Every time I’ve used it, I have been more than pleased. I’ve even had them pick out produce and it was great. No dented cans.

    You can check a box and won’t get substitutes. All of the things I’ve received are a fine substitute. Yesterday they didn’t have caffeine free Diet Coke and they thankfully did not substitute anything for that. Because there is no substitute!

    I recommend this service to everyone, I love it
    edited September 23
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