Grocery Curbside Pickup Review – Day 4 – H-E-B & Walmart

Grocery Curbside Pickup Review – Day 4 – H-E-B & Walmart

 

We’re back with Day 4 of the 5-Day Series on Grocery Delivery Services and Curbside Pickup Reviews.  Today’s post is a slight departure from the previous 3 days since we’re only focusing on curbside pickup services.

 

And, as a recap, the 5-day series is going to provide you with details and honest reviews about 5 grocery-delivery services and 2 curbside pick-up services:

How Did I Compare the Grocery Pick-Up Services?

I went online and ordered groceries from both H-E-B To You Curbside Pickup and Walmart Curbside Pickup.  I’ll explain this process for each service, the fees for the service as well as the comparative cost of the groceries.

Tomorrow, I’ll wrap up the series by sharing with you which are my favorite services in a few categories.  I hope you’re as excited as I am!

Alright, let’s get to it!

 

Comparing Grocery Curbside-Pickup Services in Austin

I compared 2 grocery-delivery services:

As I mentioned in my first post of the series, right off the bat I want to find out “how much is this going to cost me?”  Well, for both of these curbside pickup services, there is either a $5 fee or no fee.  Awesome!  Also, they don’t want you tipping, so the pricing is much more straightforward than with the grocery-delivery services (see Instacart’s review or Burpy’s review if you want to hear about random fees).

Under each service’s individual review below, you’ll find more details about each service and related fees.  But, I want to also start with the product price comparison table.  This gives you an idea of what your actual grocery prices will be with the services.

 

Grocery Curbside Pickup Price Comparison - HEB and Walmart

 

As you can see, there’s not much difference in their total prices!  Also, you should know that these product prices were hands-down cheaper than any of the delivery services.  That’s the number one advantage of curbside over delivery — you’re paying a premium for delivery services.

 

Before we get started, don’t forget to sign up for my weekly email to get a recap of these and all posts.  This way you’ll never miss a post! 

 

Now, let’s talk details about each curbside service.

 

H-E-B To You Curbside 

Where we live in Austin, H-E-B is the only grocery store within a 15-minute drive, so it’s our “go-to” store.  Even better, H-E-B has great prices and their product and meat are usually pretty good.  So, I was excited to try out the curbside pickup service.

 

How It Works

Go to the H-E-B To You website (which is just the name of the shopping online portion of the H-E-B website).  To be honest, I’m not a fan of their website.  When comparing it to Instacart, Shipt, and Amazon Prime Now, it wasn’t as user-friendly.

 

 

You’ll first need to find your store after entering in your zip code or address.

 

 

Where we live, we have 3 different H-E-B locations within about a 25-minute drive that offer curbside pickup.  Unfortunately, the two closest to our house do not offer it.

I used the service on a Friday afternoon, the day before my daughter’s birthday party, hoping to save some time.  Unfortunately, the traffic on 620 probably caused me to save only 15 minutes (and spiked my blood pressure for those extra 20 minutes spent in traffic).

H-E-B – please bring curbside pickup to the Four Points or Anderson Mill H-E-B!  Thanks.   😉

 

Time to Shop

Once you’ve picked your store, you can start shopping.  You can enter your item in the search bar at the top or shop by department.  As with all of the other services I’ve used, it’s much easier to just start with the search bar because it can be difficult finding what you’re looking for when you search by department.

 

 

If you compare the search for milk in the above screenshot with shopping by department for fruit below, you’ll see that the department shopping takes a few extra steps.

 

 

When you find what you’re looking for, you just click on the item to add it to your cart.  The website also allows you to search for “Previously Purchased” items or create a Shopping List for future trips.

 

The Shoppers

Your “personal shopper” can follow notes you provide when ordering to ensure the items are as you like them.  Based on reviewing the website and my experience using the service, I don’t think that your actual shopper will be the one bringing your groceries to your car, but I might be wrong.

Substitutions

As I mentioned, you can add special notes for your shopper to help them shop they way you would (i.e., I like green bananas).  Also, you can check a box to allow substitutions.  The website explains that they will pick a substitute product that is as close to size and price as possible.

 

 

Order Adjustments

The website does not discuss whether you can add an item or otherwise adjust an order that’s already been placed.  Actually, this was the worst website for getting random questions like this answered.  Most sites have easy-to-use FAQ or Help sections.  This Help section looked mostly like a long word document and didn’t include answers to several questions I had when writing this post.

 

Product Prices

As discussed earlier, the product prices for H-E-B To You Curbside is very reasonable.  I found that most prices appear the same as in the store, but the website does clarify that there might be differences in price.  Regardless, though, the prices will be lower through curbside than through a grocery-delivery service.

 

Grocery Curbside Pickup Price Comparison - HEB and Walmart

 

Sales and Coupons

First, H-E-B is offering free pickup for up to 4 visits through the end of September.  Woohoo!

For other sales on products, You can shop by items on sale or even the H-E-B Weekly Ad on the website.

 

 

 

 

Checking Out

To check out, you just click the grocery cart on the top righthand corner of the website.  You’ll see a preview of the items in your cart and can decide whether you need to make any adjustments.  If things look good, click on checkout.

 

 

Then, you can review your cart again.

 

 

You confirm your pickup location and then reserve a time slot.

I have noticed that when trying to reserve a pickup on the same day, it can be difficult.  However, if you plan a day in advance the pickup times are wide open.

 

Pickup

When you arrive at H-E-B for pickup, you follow the signs to find the pickup location.  The Lakeline location was very easy to navigate. I haven’t used it at the Westlake location, but I’ve driven by it and it looks a bit crowded and confusing.  When you place your order, you receive a text message from H-E-B telling you to text them back when you pull up.  So, when you’re there they’ll bring out your items within a few minutes of you pulling up.  Easy peasy, especially if you have a sleeping baby in the car!

Also, if you’re running late to your pickup time, no worries!  They’ll keep your items at the correct temperature until you get there.

 

Fees

Typically, the pickup fee is $4.95.  However, H-E-B has been offering free pickup since the service began months ago.  As they try to expand this part of the business, I encourage you to try it out (especially if it’s free)!

 

H-E-B Curbside Wrap Up

What I love:  Generally speaking, I’m a fan of H-E-B so I enjoyed using this service at my favorite grocery store.  It was free and easy once I got to the parking lot.

What I don’t love:  The website is a bit clunky and I wish the curbside pickup service was available at the store nearest me.

 

Walmart Curbside 

I’ve heard great things about Walmart curbside for quite some time, but I didn’t try it out myself until last month.  The closest Walmart to us is about 20 minutes away and we just don’t head that way often.  So, I hadn’t thought to use it before.  But I’m glad I tried it out!

 

How It Works

To start using the curbside pickup service, go to the Walmart grocery website.

 

Enter your zip code to discover whether there is a curbside pickup location nearby.  If so, you can start shopping.

 

 

Time to Shop

It’s the same song and dance with the Walmart website as the others.  You can search through the main search bar or by department.  However, I found that the search function was much more user-friendly on the Walmart website than it was on the H-E-B website.

 

 

 

 

Similar to the other websites, it’s really simple to just click on the item you want to add to your cart.

 

 

When you find what you’re looking for, you just click on the item to add it to your cart.  From what I can tell, previously-purchased items get added to your “Favorites” so you can easily find these items next time.

The Shoppers

Walmart staff will be selecting the items for you, reviewing your order and any included notes you provide.

 

Substitutions

During checkout, you have the option to check a box relaying whether you are okay with substitutions or not.  When you pick up the items, you have the option to hand the items back to the associate who brings the items to your car and you won’t be charged for them.

 

I want to point out that this is the only service in which you can’t provide extra notes or won’t be notified by a shopper ahead of time to ensure a satisfactory substitution.  This was the the least favorite part of my shopping experience with Walmart Curbside.  There were three substitutions made that I would NOT have picked myself.  For example, the substitution chosen for the travel baby wipes I ordered that were out-of-stock were flushable wipes for adults.   I ordered low carb tortillas and they instead gave me whole wheat tortillas.  I ordered all fish-flavored cat food and they substituted with chicken-flavored that my cats wouldn’t eat.  If I had been notified about the substitutions I would have definitely told them other products or told them not to worry about them.

 

Order Adjustments

You can make changes to your order by logging into your account and clicking on My Order.  As you might expect, you can only make changes until your order is being processed.

 

Product Prices

Walmart makes it clear on their website that you are getting the store’s lowest prices whether you shop in the store or curbside.  This is the only service I’ve reviewed this week that makes that claim.

 

Grocery Curbside Pickup Price Comparison - HEB and Walmart

 

Sales and Coupons

Walmart offers $10 off your first order with the code WOWFRESH (on a $50 minimum order).  Otherwise, you’re going to get the same sale (or rollback) prices that you’d find in the store.  You can’t use coupons through this service though.

 

Checking Out

You click on Checkout and you are shown your options for pickup.

 

 

Then, you can review your cart again and place your order.

 

Pickup

You can use the Walmart app and enable location services to automatically alert store associates when you have arrived.  You can also manually tap “I’m ready” in the app to let them know you’re there and waiting in the designated parking space.

 

Fees

Every time I’ve looked, pickup is free.  However, there might be busy times in which the fees are higher.  Again, I’ve never seen that at my Walmart though.

 

Walmart Curbside Wrap Up

What I love:  The website is easy to navigate and the prices are the expected Walmart low price.  I like the app and how it notifies your shopper as soon as you pull up.

What I don’t love:  The substitution process did not go over well with me.  In the future I will click on do not substitute (which is a bummer because if I was doing the shopping I’d obviously find a good substitute).

 

Alright, tomorrow we’ll reveal the winners!

Or, check back in with the previous days so you’re absolutely ready to hear all about it!

 

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