Man smiles while picking up curbside order

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Since the pandemic, retailers have introduced a wealth of delivery and pickup options for groceries, with many stores offering the service for free. Redditors recently discussed the merits of these services on r/Frugal, and the consensus is clear: curbside grocery pickup can save you time and money. Here’s how.

Online-Only Features and Information

If you order groceries online — whether for pickup or delivery — then you can take advantage of the website or app’s wealth of information, such as an item’s unit price. Having that pricing information and the ability to quickly compare products means that consumers can always pick the cheapest products, Redditors say.

When you organize your cart digitally, it’s also easier to keep track of the entire order’s total and delete products if you’ve gone over budget.

“I can favorite items that I regularly purchase, so I no longer have to mentally run down the list of my basic items. I can also rework my shopping cart to fit my budget, something I really couldn’t do in person,” a Redditor explains.

In short, it’s easier to budget online than off.

Self-Control and Planning

Going into a grocery store without a list can be hard on your wallet. Why? Retailers intentionally design their stores to make you spend more.

"Stores are laid out in a way to force you to roam the aisles and attract you towards things you weren’t planning on buying,” one r/Frugal member writes.

Experts agree. Even the playlist that stores play might be curated to maximize profits, says marketing professor Aaron Ahuvia in an interview with Marketplace.

“Oftentimes, they’ll play music that’s a little bit older because it brings up these nostalgic feelings,” Ahuvia says. “And that is a positive experience for a lot of people.”

The thinking is that happy shoppers buy more.

Of course, shopping online helps shoppers avoid marketing tactics like loss leaders and nostalgic muzak. However, it’s worth noting that retailers can also manipulate their online stores to maximize profits (that’s what user experience designers are paid to do).

Curbside Grocery Pickup Options

Here’s an overview of the country’s largest retailers and their grocery pickup options.

Note: Availability and fees may vary.


Pickup fee: $7 (for orders below $35)

Place an order on, pick a time slot, and pay for your items. You’ll receive an email when your groceries are ready for pickup. Signing up for Walmart+ unlocks free pickup and free delivery on orders over $35.

Sam's Club

Pickup fee: $4 for Club members, free for Plus members

Shop online or in the app, and select curbside pickup when you pay. After you receive a notification that your order is ready, you can check in via text or app at the store. 

If you're not already a member, sign up for Sam's Club here.


Pickup fee: free

Place an order on, select “Pick it up” or “Ship to store,” and pay for your groceries. When your order is ready — most take around two hours to prepare — you’ll receive a pickup notification with more information.

Whole Foods (Amazon Prime members only)

Pickup fee:$2 (for orders below $35)

Select your location, place an order on Amazon’s Whole Foods store, and pick a 1-hour pickup window. You’ll receive a notification when your order is ready and can grab your groceries using the confirmation email or Amazon app.

Gallery: Grocery Shopping Mistakes You Don't Want to Make

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