How to Use Target Drive Up for Groceries and More

Target drive up logo

Big-box stores and grocery stores all over the country are rolling out and expanding curbside pickup services for grocery shoppers who are too busy to go inside the store — or who wish to avoid going inside stores.

Target is no different. It launched its Drive Up curbside pickup service a couple years ago and announced in August 2019 that it was officially available in all 50 states.

Until recently, however, Drive Up was available only for non-perishable goods. That meant you could use Drive Up for clothing, electronics, toys, cleaning supplies and non-perishable pantry staples — but not milk, cheese, fruit, etc. In July 2020, Target announced that it will be expanding Drive Up to allow customers to order fresh and frozen food as well. As of August 2020, Drive Up for perishable groceries is available at more than 1,500 Target stores across the country (that’s roughly 85% of Targets).

Want to give Drive Up a try? Here’s what you need to know to take advantage.

How does Target Drive Up Work?

Drive Up lets you place an online order and have it brought to your car in the Target parking lot.

You must use the Target app to use Drive Up. It is possible to add items for Drive Up to your cart when shopping on the regular Target site. However, you must check out via the app to use Drive Up.

1. Use the Target app (available in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store) to order eligible items (like groceries, pantry items, cleaning products and diapers).

2. When you find something you want to order for Drive Up, select “pick it up” in the app, then “Drive Up.”

screen shot of adding groceries for drive up

3. Check out in the Target app, and pay for your order. You’ll receive an estimate of when your order will be ready and then an official confirmation (a push notification via the app and an email) when it’s ready for pickup. Select “I’m on my way” in the app and park in the marked Drive Up spots at Target. The ability to tell Target when you’re on your way means you can pick up your Drive Up order when it’s convenient for you (on your way home from work, for example, or on your way home from daycare pickup). You don’t need to schedule a pickup window and worry about missing it.

When you arrive, a Target store team member will bring your order out. Supply the bar code in the app to confirm the order. Once you receive your order (and confirm receipt), your payment method will be charged.

How to use Target Drive Up for groceries

If the ability to order fresh and frozen groceries is available at your Target (it’s not available at all Target stores just yet), you’ll see the option in the app when you browse perishable items.

If full grocery service for Drive Up hasn’t been rolled out at your Target yet, you can still order non-perishable pantry essentials, such as pasta, soda, cooking oils, etc.

How is Target keeping my groceries fresh before I pick them up?

Because you don’t have to book a specific pickup time for Target Drive Up (as you do with many grocery stores and Walmart), you may be wondering how Target keeps your perishable food fresh until you arrive. We called several Target stores and were told that they are utilizing their own refrigerator space for perishable orders, as well as fridge space at in-store Starbucks locations. When you tell Target you are “on your way,” your order will be pulled from the fridge, combined with any non-perishable items you ordered and brought to your car.

Which items are eligible for Target Drive Up?

Items that are eligible will offer a Drive Up option when you add them to your cart in your app. You can also use the Drive Up filter button at the top of the Target app, so that your search results show you only Drive Up-eligible items.

Many items you’d pick up on your typical Target run are eligible. Select clothing, toys, electronics, cleaning supplies, home goods and many more items are available as well. Items that are out of stock at your Target, however, are not available for Drive Up.

Some larger items, including large furniture, are also not available for Target Drive Up. However, we were successfully able to add desk chairs, select desks and other smaller furniture items for Drive Up.

Is there a cost for Target Drive Up?

Target Drive Up is completely free.

Is there a delivery minimum for Target Drive Up?

No. There is no order minimum for Target Drive Up.

Can I use coupons with Target Drive Up?

Use any eligible online Target promo codes when placing your order at checkout. Eligible Target Circle Offers offers (formerly Target Cartwheel offers) can also be redeemed for Drive Up orders. Note, however, that some Target Circle offers (including many manufacturers’ coupons) are not eligible for Target Drive Up. When viewing a Target Circle offer in the Target app, the eligible options (in store, pickup, Drive Up) will be displayed. If Drive Up is grayed out, you cannot use the offer with your Drive Up order.

You can apply your 1% cash back Target Circle rewards toward your Drive Up purchase when you check out online. It’s easy. Just choose your 1% rewards as your payment option.

To save 5% on every Drive Up order, consider getting the Target REDcard debit or credit card, which gives you 5% back on all Target and purchases.

The real savings, however, may come from staying safely in your car — and not being tempted to make impulse buys by entering Target’s aisles of temptation.

Can you tip with Target Drive Up?

Target has no official policy on tipping, when it comes to Drive Up, and tipping is not integrated into the Target app. On various forums, Drive Up workers say they are told to refuse tips, but appreciate them when given….


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