So I took the the plunge a few months ago and used my Instacart account! A new take on grocery delivery service, so here’s my Instacart review. It’s like Uber groceries if Uber had an app that delivered groceries.
Why I started with Instacart
I couldn’t make it to the grocery store and my husband was doing all the grocery shopping. I would never have any of the ingredients I needed when I wanted to cook so I would lose motivation to cook and order out. Believe me it costs a lot to do that regularly. I told my husband that I was going to do a food delivery company and he said “No, we don’t need to do that. I can make it to the supermarket.” Well he was always buying what HE wanted at the grocery and I was never able to meal plan and cook. I’d look through our pantry and try to cobble together a meal that I didn’t really want to make or try to substitute ingredients I was missing.
How Instacart works
You create an account where you can do online grocery shopping. There are several different local stores you can shop from like BJs or Cosco and your local supermarket. Nearly every product you need is listed and you can select quantity. Like any delivery program, there is a increased price on the product as opposed to if you bought it in the store. I would say their profit margin is $.25 to $1.00 per item.
There is also a 5% service fee and a $3.99 delivery fee. The delivery fee does not go to the shopper or driver, you’ll need a separate tip to send to the shopper. If you sign up for Instacart Express for $99 a year, the service fee and delivery fee are waived. You still need to tip the shopper. I usually tip anywhere from 5% to 10%. You can also rate the shopper/driver. So I signed up for the Instacart Express because I use the service almost every week and using the service at least 10x, you’ll get your money back in fees you would have otherwise paid.
I like the app, you can order from your phone as well. They also text you as process goes along. The first text tells you they’ve received your order. The next text is to tell you your shopper is shopping the order. The shopper can text you and ask questions and confirm if you want something replaced if an item is not available in store. Then you get another text when the driver is en route. And another text reminder when they’re close by. You can get a pretty good idea when your delivery is coming just from the texts alone.
Why I chose Instacart over FreshDirect.
FreshDirect is good and a lot of people order from there, including my office. It’s great you get those FreshDirect cooler bags that they leave on your front door if your not home. They offer next day and even same day grocery delivery. But what I liked about Instacart is that the delivery is more specific to time ranges (ex.1:00pm to 2:00pm). And it I have to say it’s pretty accurate. If I’m home for a certain window of time, I can make sure the delivery happens at that time so I can personally receive them. As opposed to FreshDirect which will just leave a fresh direct cooler box if your not home. I don’t really like the idea of my groceries hanging out outside, exposed to heat, bugs, other neighbors etc.
I also like Instacart for the familiarity. They shop from a local store that I’ve already shopped from before. I like to place orders at chain wholesale stores like BJs Club or Cosco. I also order from my local supermarket chain that’s listed. I know what I usually buy from there and can order on Instacart knowing exactly what product they’re going to get. FreshDirect it’s kind of like it’s own store. All the products seem different, it’s not as familiar as having someone shop at a store I’ve shopped at before. It takes a bit of trial and error to know what’s good and what’s not. FreshDirect, I heard is fresher for produce but it’s hard to gauge how much produce your getting from the description and pictures, in my opinion.
Quality of service and product
Initially I thought it would be weird to have my food delivered. A stranger is literally coming to your home to deliver food. I’m so used to picking my own food. But I was pleasantly surprised. It’s like I picked the items myself! They were not damaged and not expired and exactly what I ordered.
On a few occasions when I’ve tipped 10%, the drivers will come in and help me load the items on my counter. Their supposed to just hand it over the threshold of your front door. I thought that was really nice, they didn’t have to do that. Tipping 5% is a little on the lower side, so I don’t expect that type of treatment if that was the tip.
As far as quality of produce, there has only been one time I was unhappy with what I bought. I had bought these Dannon yogurts that were packaged as singles. I guess the expiration was in less than 2 weeks but we didn’t eat them fast enough. With someone else shopping, they’re just going to grab the items as long as they are not expired. They won’t be able to analyze and think for you whether it’s a good buy and whether you’ll be able to eat them all before they expire.
Produce and dairy items need to be used within 3-4 days of ordering in my opinion. The packaged yogurts usually have a later expiration dates as opposed to the loose ones, so I get those. Milk and eggs are something I would buy myself. Everything else I’ve had a really great experience with.
Why you should sign up
Right now they have a promotion for a free trial of Instacart express for 14 days! That’s how they got me. I was tired of not being able to make it to the grocery store or being able to cook what I wanted.
With Instacart you can meal plan so much better. With online grocery delivery, planning your meals where you would have otherwise ate out will save you sooo much money if you’re able to plan your meals consistently.
It will save you so much time. I can easily spend 1-2 hours at the supermarket. Combing through aisles, dodging other carts and pondering whether I should buy something I really shouldn’t. And also the lines! Stressing because all the open cashiers have people with carts filled to the brim, so I end up waiting 15 minutes to check out. And all this can be avoided with just a delivery. In those 1-2 hours you can be doing laundry, you can be cooking dinner, or cleaning your house. For me the minimal extra cost is worth my time back.
Since I’m already a member, I’m going to offer you a $10 discount on your first order. Use this code: ACONCEPCION2611AC at checkout and $10 dollars will be deducted from your order. When you sign up you get an automatic free trial so this $10 goes directly to the cost of your food
Let me know what you think in the comments below!
Check out my other posts on productivity!
Tags: Shopping delivery, groceries delivered to your home, online supermarket shopping, best grocery delivery service, grocery store food delivery, fresh food delivery near me