Editor’s Note: Meijer Curbside Service is now offered, for a fee, at both Champaign and Urbana locations.
By Kelly Youngblood
When I first heard about Meijer’s new curbside shopping experience, I thought to myself, this is just too good to be true.
Could I really do all of my grocery shopping online and then pick it up later, without ever having to step foot in the store?
No trudging through aisles, no kids pleading for Pop Tarts, no lines, no loading 20 bags of groceries/50 pounds of dog food/three gallons of milk into my car?
The skeptic in me had trouble believing this new service could actually work. But the eternal optimist in me made me want to try it out. And now the reporter in me wants to spread the word for all to hear- it works! I did it, loved it and will definitely be doing it again.
Here’s how it works:
You need a Meijer account (easy to set up if you don’t already have one) and a computer (or other device) to log into http://www.meijer.com. Make sure you select Champaign as your primary store.
Click on the Shop tab and choose products from a variety of different categories ranging from grocery (which includes meat, produce, deli, bakery, etc.) to clothing, pet care, electronics and more. Or you can do what I did and just use the search tool to put in specific products on your list.
Then just add the products to your cart. When you’re ready to check out, you can schedule a pick up time. If you have 12 or less items in your cart, you can plan to pick up in about an hour. If you have more than that, you need to give them a minimum of three hours to get everything together.
The price you get online is an estimated one because it depends on the weight of produce, meat, etc. So the final cost will be determined at the time of pick-up. But mine was really close. Plus, they add a fee of $4.95 for the curbside service but they are waiving that fee until May 7.
You don’t get charged when you place the order but a valid credit card needs to be entered online. Your card will get swiped when you pick up your groceries. (Cash and check are only accepted inside the store.)
I placed my order on a Tuesday night at about 6 p.m. Since they only offer curbside service from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., my pick-up time got pushed to the next morning. That was totally fine by me, as I wasn’t making a trip to “town” until the next day anyway.
After I thought I was done with my order, I kept thinking of things to add, which I could do that night. The next morning, however, when my order status was “in progress” I could no longer add anything else. Makes sense to me.
I had a variety of things on my list ranging from ground beef and chicken (you can specify the weight of meat you’d like) to toilet paper and paper plates. It’s easy to see what products you can choose from (anything in the store really), what’s on sale, and which ones will get you those mPerks.
There’s also an opportunity for you to add personal requests in a comments box so if you’d like to tell them you want ripe bananas or soft avocados or you’d rather get 2 pounds of pork tenderloin instead of 3, that’s where you’d want to include that information. How amazing is that?
I wasn’t sure what to expect with pick-up but it went great. I got an email about an hour before my scheduled pick-up time letting me know my order was ready. They have designated spots on the north corner of the store (towards the movie theater) where you park and call a number listed on a sign.
Then, just a few minutes later, my new best friend Amanda came out with a cart full of groceries and loaded them in my van. She had a problem getting the receipt to print outside so she did have to go back in to get it to print. No. Big. Deal. The whole pick-up process was about 15 minutes. I wouldn’t have even gotten through Aisle 1 in 15 minutes.
Everything was packed nicely in brown paper bags and separated into frozen, refrigerated, and room temperature categories. Everything was there and accounted for when I got home. My produce looked great and the meat was wrapped in plastic bags to prevent leaking all over the place (which I appreciated).
To me, the best part about this new service is the time and money savings. I’m not even a person who hates going grocery shopping (unless I have my kids) but my time is stretched pretty thin these days. I liked not having to spend an hour or two at the grocery store.
Plus, since I wasn’t at the store I stuck to my list and didn’t give into those random, impulse purchases, so I think it will be a big money-saver too.
Here are some questions I’ve heard people asking:
Do you have to tip them? Nope
How does my frozen stuff stay cold? Dedicated freezers, refrigerators and warmers keep your groceries fresh until you pick them up. Plus, they don’t shop until it’s closer to your pick-up time.
Can I use paper coupons? No, but you can use your mPerks.
What if I’m late for my scheduled pick-up time? They will hold it for you until 9 p.m. that night. If you need to reschedule, call them at 217-353-4025.
For more information about Meijer curbside service, go to www.meijer.com.
Have you tried this new service yet? What did you think of it?