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When to Use HEB Curbside Pickup vs. Shopping In-Store

In today's fast-paced world, grocery shopping has evolved to offer multiple convenient options. HEB, a beloved grocery store in Texas, provides both curbside pickup and traditional in-store shopping. But when should you opt for curbside pickup, and when is it better to go inside the store? Here’s a guide to help you decide.


For more curbside tips, check out this blog post: Best Tips For a Flawless Curbside Pickup


When to Go into HEB


1. The Latest Flavor of Blue Bell Ice Cream

Blue Bell Gooey Butter Cake Ice Cream

Some items, like Blue Bell ice cream, are best chosen in-store. Not all flavor options are available in the app, making it tricky to get exactly what you want. While you can select a different flavor and add a note for your preferred choice, this requires turning on substitutions and still comes with a risk. The best way to ensure you get your favorite flavor is to browse the freezer section yourself.


2. Seasonal Decor and Specialty Products

HEB Blue Texas Tumbler, Cowboy Boots, Texas Shape, Summer 2024

For unique and seasonal decor, going inside HEB allows you to see the latest selections and pick out items that fit your taste. Sometimes items are accidentally not loaded in the app, so you have a better chance of finding that cool tumbler in-store.


3. Expensive Products to Avoid the 3% Upcharge

HEB 3% markup on products in the HEB App, Products are more expensive in the app
3% Markup on Products in the HEB App

While curbside pickup is convenient, it comes with a 3% service fee on each item. For expensive products or large orders, this fee can add up. Shopping in-store helps you avoid this additional cost and can be more economical for high-ticket items. So if you're getting an expensive steak, cooking a lobster dinner or purchasing a $100 curling iron, you'll save some $ by popping into the store.


4. Fresh Produce and Meats

When it comes to fresh produce and meats, nothing beats inspecting the items yourself. You can choose the ripest fruits, the freshest vegetables, and the best cuts of meat. This ensures you get the quality you desire.


5. Impulse Buys and New Products

If you enjoy discovering new products or indulging in impulse buys, shopping in-store is the way to go. HEB often has special displays, new product launches, and in-store promotions that you might miss with curbside pickup.


6. If You Hate Plastic Bags

HEB Curbside Pickup Sign That Says Recycle Plastic Bags Here

Every curbside order comes in plastic bags; a common complaint is that more bags are used than necessary. You CAN bring them back on your next trip and HEB recycles them into plastic packaging for other items in-store, like salad containers, but if this is going to drive you crazy, going inside will allow you to use reusable bags.



When to Choose HEB Curbside Pickup


1. Busy Schedules and Time Constraints

If you’re juggling a hectic schedule, curbside pickup is a lifesaver. You can place your order online, choose a convenient pickup time, and have your groceries brought to your car. This option saves you the hassle of navigating the aisles and standing in line.


2. Routine and Bulk Purchases

For regular groceries and bulk items, curbside pickup is ideal. It’s perfect for weekly shopping lists, pantry staples, and household essentials. The process is streamlined, and you can avoid impulse buys that often happen when browsing in-store.


3. Health and Safety Concerns

During flu season or in the aftermath of a pandemic, curbside pickup minimizes your exposure to crowds. It’s a safer option if you’re concerned about health risks or if you’re caring for someone with a compromised immune system.


4. Large and Heavy Items

If you need to buy large or heavy items like cases of water, bulk paper towels, or large bags of pet food, curbside pickup is a convenient choice. Let HEB employees handle the heavy lifting and loading into your car, especially if you recently had surgery or will struggle to lift these items yourself.



Choosing between curbside pickup and going into HEB depends on your specific needs and circumstances. Curbside pickup offers convenience and safety for routine and bulk purchases, while in-store shopping is better for selecting the latest Blue Bell Ice Cream flavor, fresh produce, and avoiding extra fees. By understanding the strengths of each option, you can make the best choice for your shopping trips.


For more curbside tips, check out this blog post: Best Tips For a Flawless Curbside Pickup

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Hi, I'm Emily

I'm a Texas mom and I'm obsessed with HEB. If you're equally obsessed, you're in the right place!

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