The CDC recommends we make as few trips out as necessary, and many states have strict social distancing rules. Online grocery shopping was already gaining popularity before the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, but it has become a more widespread practice. Sign up for a free Twin Cities Kids Club membership to take advantage of discounts around the Twin Cities area.
Budget-minded parents can use things like their TCKC membership and online grocery shopping for wallet-friendly family dining and entertainment options. Here are some tips and recommendations to become a savvy grocery shopper.
When Online Grocery Shopping, Order Pickup is a Budget-Friendly Shopper’s Best Friend
Online grocery order deliveries often carry a fee (more on that later). However, first, let’s take a look at online grocery order pickup. Of course, you don’t get the convenience of groceries brought right to your door, but this method has other advantages.
When you arrange to pick up groceries that you order online, there is often (but not always) a minimum purchase requirement. Before you place an online pickup order at a grocery store, check whether the store requires a minimum dollar amount.
However, if you are doing a “big shop,” the online grocery order pickup can be a good option for you. You avoid the additional fees of home delivery of your online grocery shopping orders. Furthermore, if you are already out, this method can be preferable to grocery delivery, which requires you to be home.
Many essential workers do not have the option of staying home. When you order your groceries ahead of time, you have the option to pick it up yourself after work.
For example, at Walmart, you place your order online through their grocery app. You choose a time slot, and you can pick up your order any time in that hour-long window. When you arrive at the store, follow the Pickup signs and park in one of the numbered slots.
A bonus feature is that you are not limited to grocery items. You can usually place orders for things like sidewalk chalk, art and office supplies, and more.
The actual pickup procedure can vary depending on the individual store, but regardless, you notify the store of your arrival. You can even check in on Walmart’s grocery app to notify the store you are on your way.
These days, when you arrive to pick up your online grocery shopping order, the store likely employs social distancing procedures. The person who brings your groceries out to your car is probably wearing a mask and gloves. They may ask you to stay in your car or stay six feet away while they load the groceries in your vehicle.
You may be wondering whether you should tip the delivery person. It depends on the store, but they may explicitly state not to tip the worker who brings out your order. Read the fine print on this issue in the FAQ page for your grocery store of choice.
Due to the high demand for remote grocery ordering, you may experience difficulty getting convenient time slots. Whenever possible, try to place your order a couple of days in advance to avoid an annoying time slot.
Additionally, you may have several grocery chains in your area. Check to see if stores in different areas have more available times than the one closest to your home.
No system is perfect during uncertain times. Ultimately, though, online grocery shopping order pickup is a way to conveniently and safely get groceries while avoiding additional fees.
The Ins and Outs Grocery Delivery
Various grocery stores offer home delivery for a fee, or partner with apps like Shipt and Instacart to deliver.
You can order from a variety of stores with Shipt and Instacart, not just major chain grocery stores. During a time when certain stores may be out of specific items you need, virtually shopping around is helpful.
The benefit of using delivery apps is you can likely get what you need within an hour or so. Additionally, they often have secure text messaging services that allow you to communicate with your shopper about substitutions.
Of course, these customizable services come at a price. In addition to membership or delivery fees, you are expected to tip your shopper. You can usually add your tip through most delivery apps, although you should verify how you should tip your shopper.
Amazon Prime provides a membership fee that you can pay annually or monthly to get Whole Foods delivered to you. Note that the month-to-month payments add up to more than the single annual fee.
Remember Local Grocery Options
The previous recommendations are focused primarily on chain grocery stores. However, you might want to check and see if any locally-owned and operated stores offer online shopping options. Shop local when you can!
In some rural places, the old-fashioned doorstep milk delivery is making a comeback! See if any nearby farms may have delivery options for fresh produce, meat, and dairy. You can feel good about supporting local agriculture and business, while being responsible and socially distancing.
Go Beyond Online Grocery Shopping and Delivery and Support Local Businesses with Twin Cities Kids Club
Now more than ever, it is important to support small and local businesses. Twin Cities Kids Club has always operated under the philosophy that families thrive best when rooted in their communities. Sign up for a free Twin Cities Kids Club membership during this time where our neighbors need us the most.
We understand everyone is watching their wallets; that’s why a Twin Cities Kids Membership is a smart move right now. Twin Cities Kids Club members have access to discounts at local businesses, activities, and restaurants around the metro area.
As hard as it may be to believe, one day, we will evolve some type of new normal. Whenever (and however) businesses reopen, you and your family will be able to take advantage of more activities and opportunities. Sign up for a Twin Cities Kids Club membership to reap the benefits to the full.