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How I Use Grocery Pick-Up To Save Money

This post is sponsored by Stop & Shop

There was once a time in my life when grocery shopping was an experience. I’d leisurely stroll through the aisles referencing my well-detailed list. I’d price compare in the store, check out the sales, maybe even be sipping an iced coffee all the way.

But, thanks to COVID, a busy toddler, and now being self-employed, I find I have about zero time (or desire) for that luxury. In 2020, I’ve pretty much become an exclusive grocery pick-up kinda gal, except for the occasional trip to grab something for a weekend treat. Luckily for us, we have a Stop & Shop right down the road from us, and their mobile app and online pick-up make grocery shopping a BREEZE.

I’ve learned some little tips and tricks from all this grocery online pick-up time, and I’m going to share them with you!

Pros of Grocery Pick-Up

  • Shop from your kitchen: Have you ever been standing in the grocery store looking at sour cream going “do we have sour cream at home or not?” Then you get some, just in case, and get home only to see you have 2 containers already. THE WORST. With grocery pick-up simply add to your cart right from your kitchen so you don’t end up with what you don’t need.
  • Browse deals and sales easier: While sales are prominently marked in the grocery store, you can’t always see them at a quick, comparison-based glance. When adding to your cart on the app, you can easily see EVERYTHING in a given category and easily compare prices, offers, and sizing.
  • Easily search: We’ve all been in a grocery store before randomly going up and down aisles trying to find a certain product (WHERE DO THEY EVEN PUT THE RICE CAKES AM I RIGHT?!) No more with pick-up, simply type “rice cake” into the search and find all available options right at your fingertips.
  • Saves a ton of time: Obviously, this is a big perk. Once my cart is full and I’ve checked out, I only need about 10 minutes to pull up to my pick-up spot at Stop & Shop, let someone bring me my groceries, and I’m on my way. No more getting kids in and out of car seats or wasting valuable babysitter time.
  • No more random purchases: I find when I shop with the app I tend to just stick to my list. I never end up with random items that piqued my interest or sweet snacks because I was shopping hungry.
  • Stick to your budget: You can easily see your cart total as you shop, making it easier for you to stay where you want to for your week’s budget. I also love how easy it is to browse your cart before checkout and confirm you’re not missing anything or didn’t add too much of something.
  • It gets to know you: The Stop & Shop app remembers how you shop, which makes shopping quicker every time as it gives you recommendations. You can even use previous carts to fill your current cart with your favorites.
  • Earn points and rewards: With the Stop & Shop GO Rewards which is built-in to their online ordering app, you earn points on qualifying items you’d buy anyway and then redeem those points for gas savings or dollars off at your next checkout (I saved $15 on my last pick-up just from buying things I already buy!)

Cons of Grocery Pick-Up

  • Someone else is picking your meat/produce: This was the hardest adjustment for me. I was used to being able to pick the ones I want.
  • You can’t use reusable bags: It’s obviously a bummer not to be able to use reusable bags if you’ve gotten into the habit of it. Stop & Shop does use recyclable bags for all your pick-ups, though, which definitely is a plus!
  • Things might be out of stock: The app allows you to say “allow substitution” on an item so if your desired item is out of stock, they can give you something comparable. But, sometimes there isn’t something comparable. If you were in the store and this happened you might brainstorm up a solution (say… grab pineapple instead of mango for the fruit salsa you were going to make). With pick-up that doesn’t happen, so occasionally you end up missing an ingredient you needed for a dish. However, don’t forget that your pick-up associate will go over your out of stock items with you on the phone during pick-up and if you’re missing something you need you can brainstorm a substitution with them and they can go grab it for you!

Tips for Making the Most of Grocery Pick-up

  • Start your list early. I start adding to my cart as soon as I think of something I need. What I LOVE about the Stop & Shop app is you can fill up your cart without having to confirm a pickup time, so you can essentially just use it as your grocery list. Whenever I notice I’m low or out of something I just add to the cart, which helps me never forget anything. This is a huge saver for my mom brain.
  • Schedule a pick-up for the next day. Typically, I can always get a same-day pickup if I need it. But, I actually prefer to schedule my pickup for the next day because Stop & Shop will let you edit your cart usually up until about 6 hours before your pickup time. This is clutch because no matter how much I plan my husband always mentions something he wants 30 minutes after I hit “confirm” on my order. I love that I can still make edits!
  • Meal plan with the app: If you know how I meal plan (read my full meal planning post here), then you know I typically start with foods in my house, then move on to what’s on sale that week. The app makes it really easy to do this because you can literally see the weekly ad, bonus, offers, and coupons all right on the screen.
  • Clip electronic coupons: The Stop & Shop app has coupons built right in. You can browse them from the coupon section OR if you’re looking at an eligible item it’ll notify you there’s a coupon you can add (makes it SO simple). And on the topic of coupons, don’t forget with Stop & Shop’s app you earn Go Rewards to use as cash off towards your next order.

So, in short, I find online pick-up for groceries to be the way to go. Sure there are a few cons, but overall it saves me SO much time, money, and hassle, that it’s so worth it. Not to mention, in these tricky times, it’s nice to know I can just pull up, get my groceries contactless, and drive on.