We all know the ills of going to the grocery store with kids: long lines, tantrums in Aisle 2, littles getting lost and the rare but all-too-familiar abandoning of a full basket after a half-hour of shopping because of a code red meltdown.
Well, it’s high-time to explore an alternative: drive-up grocery pick-up and even grocery delivery services. Amazon Prime is amazing for regular scheduled diaper shipments, but getting those farm-fresh fruits and veggies hand-delivered to your doorstep is another story.
Here are Austin’s best options for getting groceries without ever having to leave the carseat:
Yes, you’ve read that right folks: H-E-B is beginning to roll out curbside grocery pick-up! It’s currently only available in Austin at the Lakeline H-E-B Plus! location. They aren’t really even advertising it yet because it’s such a new service and they are working out the kinks. But, hold on to your hats because “H-E-B Curbside” is a thing, y’all. For a $5 fee, a personal shopper will gather and pack everything from your online shopping list and bring it out to you. Just select a personal pick-up time when submitting your order and voila! Someone will come out with your essentials (even cold cuts!) and load them up in your car.
Negatives: you cannot add to or change your order once you click “finished,” order mistakes were made on the store’s part which resulted in a return trip to fix, and some moms experienced a bit longer wait time for someone to come out with their goods.
Who knew? Wal-Mart now does curbside grocery pick-up, too! Same concept as H-E-B but I’m hearing the service is a bit more flawless and is available at Wal-Mart Supercenters across Austin. Another huge plus is that it’s totally free — absolutely no service fees or marks-ups and tipping is discouraged. And, you can make edits on your order up ’til 1 a.m. the night before pick-up. I hear that one location a friend of mine shops at has the same associate handling the shopping on these curbside orders and she takes pride in selecting the best produce, just as you would do as if in the store yourself.
What is that you say? You don’t want to be confined to H-E-B or Wal-Mart produce? — You don’t even want to leave your home to acquire your goods? Enter Instacart: providing same-day delivery (or whenever you want) from other grocery stores, including my personal favorite — Whole Foods Market. Now, there are a few nuances to note: there is an order minimum of $35 (in my zip code, anyway), items can sometimes be priced slightly higher than they are in-store, there’s this tricky thing they call ‘Busy Pricing’ similar to surge pricing on Uber, there is a delivery charge, and tipping is automatically added-on at a default amount of 10 percent. Humph, that’s a a lot of things to note.
If your average grocery bill is $100 like me, the cost of modern convenience can really add up. But, it’s delivery y’all…I don’t even have to pause the new season of Orange Is The New Black to get my groceries.