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Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Hybrid Shopping to Save Money

When I think of the word "hybrid", I usually think of something with two components that makes one working whole, like a hybrid engine. My hybrid shopping actually has three components, in-person/in-store, in-person/pick-up, and home delivery. 

I began using a hybrid approach to shopping last spring to minimize virus risk. I am now continuing to use my hybrid approach to save the maximum amount of money while saving my energy and time.

I shop in-person at a couple of stores to buy those items that are true deals -- priced lower than any other store. A couple of these stores don't offer curbside pick-up, so shopping in-person is my only option. Other stores do offer pick-up service, but I might only need a handful of items and not meet the minimum spend for free service.  So, I am left with shopping myself, the old-fashioned way, where I actually have to push my own cart!

I also shop via in-person pick-up at Walmart, because I can usually meet the $35 minimum for a free pick-up. I am only buying from Walmart those items that are best deals, made in USA, and/or are only available locally through Walmart. This is usually just a handful of items, such as bathroom tissue, bar soap, dish detergent, and a few food items.

In addition, I order a few items once every couple of months from or to be shipped to my home. I discovered that some items that I would normally buy at my local store are actually priced lower if bought online to be delivered, using free delivery on a minimum spend. With's $35 minimum order for free delivery, this is easy to meet once every 6 weeks or so for our supply of coffee, decaf and one or two other items. Some items are priced the same whether bought in-person or shipped, so I add those items to whichever order (my pick-up or my shipping order) based on where I need to spend more to make the minimum $35 for free shipping or pick-up.

So, how much am I saving by combining these three approaches? Last week, I put in two orders at Walmart, one for pick-up and one for delivery. I didn't need much, but I did compare prices online for each item. I spent $47 for a curbside pick-up and just over $35 for a delivered order. I saved 39 cents on a large jar of Folger's coffee, 18 cents on a smaller jar of Folger's decaf, 38 cents X 2 for a couple of bags of Wheat Montana ww flour, 40 cents X 4 for four bags of dried cherries, and 50 cents on a multi-pack of bar soap. That's a total savings of $3.43 simply by choosing shipping for some items and pick-up for others. This savings is on top of having compared prices with other grocery stores.

It didn't cost me a single extra cent to split my order this way. Often times, when we're shopping around town trying to get the best deal, we're spending extra money (gas for our car) and time to shop those different stores.

This coming week, I'll be shopping in-person in another store to pick-up other essentials for our household, focusing on those items that are best deals in that store and/or made/grown in USA-only products.

All in all, I'd estimate that by comparing my different shopping options, I'm now saving about $25 to $30 per month while buying the same basic foods, and I'm not running all over town each week to do so. 


  1. More time to do other things and more money in your pocket. Hybrid shopping sounds like a win-win. While the pandemic has been horrible, there are some positive things that have come out of it and new ways to shop is one of them.

    1. Hi Live and Learn,
      I agree. I don't want to minimize how terrible the past year has been for so many, many people. But I'm grateful to have found some new ways to shop.

  2. Wow,that's a significant savings! I agree with L&L--the different options for shopping can be helpful beyond the pandemic and I hope they stay! I tend to think of how much easier it might be for some elderly/disabled shoppers to have curbside pickup or delivery options. My niece was thrilled with curbside during a particularly awful stretch of weather--she didn't have to schlep her two small kids in and out of the store and be out in inclement weather.

    1. Hi Kris,
      Good points. I hope curbside pick-up continues to be an option for shoppers in the future. I'm glad for your niece she had this available. (I remember those days with 3 young kids and trying to grocery shop.)

  3. I agree with alternate types of shopping. I enjoyed Walmart pickup (free) when slots were available. Sadly, they filled up quickly and I could not get a time so I was forced to go back to in-store shopping. That has changed again in that there are slots available but since I don't love Walmart, it is my last resort and I won't go there unless I'm at my wit's end. I don't mind going in to stores and have been for a while already.

    1. Hi Alice,
      I remember that, too. Time slots were hard to come by for several months. It's much better now. I can choose a slot the day before and have almost all of them available.


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