Grocery Cents: The costs of curbside pickup and home delivery

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Time is money. That’s why many grocery stores in our area now offer to do your shopping for you.

With curbside pickup and home delivery, you can kiss trips to the supermarket goodbye.

“It’s giving all kinds of people options to shop and to get their grocery needs,” says Kroger ClickList specialist Candace Bingham.

She explains how the store’s ClickList program lets customers choose their products online them someone else walks the aisles to get them. Shoppers pick up their purchases curbside.

“I feel like I’d rather be doing something else more productive, so this makes it easy,” local mom Elizabeth Smith explained.

Anne Denny feels the same way.

“It saves me a lot of time and its fun, so whats better than that,” she said.

Home delivery kicks it up a notch. Customers shop online then wait to answer the door.

“If you really don’t want to go through the Short Pump traffic, you can just go to Wegmans right here,” laughs mother of four Lynne Holloman.

She uses an app on her phone to order a weekly load of groceries for her family.

“I feel like if they pick out the best produce that you’re looking for, you know its worth every dime,” adds Holloman.

So, what does this convenience cost? Right now, only two stores offer curbside pickup.

The service is free at Walmart. At Kroger, it costs $4.95. Kroger also offers home delivery for $11.95 per trip.

A new company that just moved into our area called Shipt will provide a year of unlimited free delivery from Kroger for a membership fee of $99.

Instacart is another option. It delivers groceries from Food Lion, Publix and Wegmans. Membership is $149 a year for unlimited free delivery. Instacart also offers the option to pay as you go starting at $5.99 per delivery.

Things to keep in mind:

Some supermarkets charge higher than in-store prices to recoup the cost of personal shoppers. It will point that out on the website.

Delivery drivers survive on tips so there’s an added expense there.

You can link most store loyalty cards to your online accounts. It will enable you to take advantage of e-coupons but you can’t use paper coupons for curbside pickup or home delivery.

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