Why I Use Instacart and Love It! Best Instacart Review!

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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!

Why I Budget and How to Budget: Personal Finance In A Nutshell

Motivational Book Club: 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

Work Smarter, Not Harder

 

 

 

Tags: Shopping delivery, groceries delivered to your home, online supermarket shopping,   best grocery delivery service, grocery store food delivery, fresh food delivery near me

 

Motivational Book Club: 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

It’s been a while since I’ve written a motivational book review post. But this is a meaty book with lots of knowledge and information. I initially thought it would be another “how to be successful” type book but surprisingly it wasn’t. It’s more like how to be successful in all aspects of your life.

Stephen Covey is a motivational business man, life coach, relationship coach and a lot of other things. His book focuses not on his own successes but on carefully curated stories about others that tie into 7 Habits.

I will admit, it’s a very meaty book that requires your full attention. It’s highly conceptual so bear with me.

He has 7 habits that will help you take your life from mediocre and without vision or direction, to a life that has purpose, intention and success.

Habit 1: Be Proactive

This is mainly about how to build your character and also make choices in your life. It’s pretty solid advice considering most people are living their lives in autopilot. He basically says build your character so you know what you stand for and what your strengths are, then get ahead of yourself and make choices in your life that matter.

Here he tells us to question our Paradigms: our assumptions about how the world works.

Habit 2: Begin With The End In Mind

This was a bit confusing for me. All the stories and examples he gives can really make you lose focus on the message but I think I got the gist.

Covey suggests to create a personal mission statement and think hard and long about who we are and what we stand for. Through this we’ll be able to act through our principles, that we chose for ourselves, and make sound decisions. Most people make decisions based on motivations from friends, family, financial, selfish, professions and other influences. Having a set of principles that you carved for yourself and built will allow you to be consistent and make better decisions long-term.

There is also an exercise called “visualization and affirmation” that helps you to really dig into yourself, visualize the behavior in yourself you want to change, then create an affirmation you can use to remind yourself to follow the vision.

Habit 3: Put First things First

Covey makes it clear you must master Habit 1 & 2 before you can get to 3.

It’s mainly about time management. Truly efficient people know how to time manage. He recommends focusing your time on things that are important but not urgent towards your growth/business. This is the area that’s most ignored by pressing but not urgent matters. And this is the area that’s going to result in the biggest impact.

Also learning how to say no is a must. Because we all have the same hours in a day and limited time, saying no to one thing means saying yes to something else.

Covey recommends planning to do lists on a weekly basis. It forces you to prioritize and focus on your long-term vision.

He also touches on the power of delegation. True delegation, giving fundamental instructions but not micromanaging.

Part 4: Public Victory

Covey Starts off talking about dealing with people. Essentially you want to act towards others with integrity and honesty. Because with every moment that you prove your character, it’s more likely to pay off when you really need it.

He reminds you that building relationships take time. Never go for the quick fix, that doesn’t work.

The things that will help you build your relationship:

1. Understanding people

2. Small acts of kindness

3. Keeping Commitments

4. Clarifying Expectations

5. Showing Personal Integrity

Covey discusses the importance of interdependence, the idea that you can be independent but also that you need other people and they need you. A type of Win/win scenario

Habit 5: Seek to Understand, Then Seek to be Understood.

Empathy is an absolute must. You need to put yourself in the shoes of others. Often we want to be understood first, rather than take the effort to understand others.

Empathy is actually a personal strength of mine, so I found this chapter to be very obvious but I definitely would recommend this section for people who struggle with connecting or understanding people so to be persuasive.

“If you really seek to understand, without hypocrisy and without guile, there will be times when you will be literally stunned with the pure knowledge and understanding that will flow to you from another human being.”

Then Covey discusses “how” to be understood. You have to explain your point of view though other people’s perceptions. And you can only do that once you understand other people.

What??

It’s actually quite brilliant and efficient. So the empathy portion is vital to being persuasive and getting your point across..

Another way to build open communication is to really invest time in the people in your circle of influence, like your family, friends and coworkers. If you’re nice to them, they’ll be nice to you.

Habit 6: Synergize

This is a shorter chapter but he goes over making using habits 1-5 all together and watching the success that follows.

Covey follows the idea that using all the habits together is more powerful than the sum of each part. Is damn incredible! He says.

Using habits 1-5 require you to be courageous, authentic, and true. Which can be uncomfortable but growth never came from comfort.

Synergize isn’t about just compromising.  Compromising means that both people get part of what they want but not all.  Synergize is about coming up with solutions that please everyone, so that no one feels like they are getting the short end of the stick.

Habit 7: Sharpen The Saw

Covey starts this chapter about a man sawing down the tree.  The conversation reveals that, he had been going at the tree for 5 hours.  It’s suggested he should take a break and sharpen the saw, a sharper saw will make him more efficient.  The man replies that he doesn’t have enough time!

This chapter is about taking a break sometimes.  We all like to be efficient and productive but not giving ourselves rest is a recipe for disaster.

But specifically we need to rest so we can achieve a balanced life in the areas of spiritual, mental, social, and physical activities.

This is quite a hefty book, though I’m glad I read it.  It kind of confirmed a lot of things I thought about life and made it easy to understand why character and integrity, though not obviously important, are essential for any successful person.

This book is a must read for those who are still figuring their way out of life.  It kind of puts things into perspective and allows you to dig deep inside of yourself to find the answers that will change YOUR life.

If you’ve read this book, feel free to tell me more about what you think!

Check out my other motivational book posts here:

Motivational Book Club: The Defining Decade: Why Your 20s Matter, by Meg Jay

Motivational Book Club: The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*ck By Mark Manson

Motivational Book Club: The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey

I’ve included a few places for links above to purchase the book if you’re interested.

How To Be More Organized & Be More Productive With Your Day

How To Be More Organized & Be More Productive With Your Day
How To Be More Organized & Be More Productive With Your Day

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I find myself scrambling most days.  In the mornings I’m scrambling to get my daughter ready for school, get myself ready for work, eat breakfast, get out the house and catch my bus, then commute to my job in the city.  Once I get to work, I’m almost immediately bombarded with tasks to be done, work-fires needing to be put out and clients to meet.  My day goes on like this until I can finally escape work and make the commute back home.  Once I’m home, I’m scarfing down a quick microwave dinner, showering, then relaxing for an hour before it’s time to go to bed and prepare to do it again the next day. And at the end of the day all I can think is, “Goddamn it!, I need to learn how to be more organized &be more productive with my day.”

Weekends are just as busy with errands like groceries and Target runs, family obligations, and chores.  A two day weekend seems too short suddenly and the work week begins again.

Now that I’m a working mom with a full time job, full time child and full time husband, I’ve come to find life almost unmanageable.   I always envisioned my life to be very organized, put together and successful.   Most days it feels far from that, but I try, and I actually manage to get a lot done with the help of my husband.  I think over time, I’ve realized the importance of time management and learning how to be more organized.

So how can you be more productive?  Here are my go-to’s and best time saving tips for how to be more productive and how to be more organized:

To Do List:

  • This is my go to.  Everything I need to do goes on a list.  I personally do not have enough attention span to remember all the tasks in a day.  I’ll go into a room with the intention to do something and completely forget what I was there for.
  • For me, lists are a way of organizing my life.  It’s not just enough to create one but it’s also important to follow through and get the tasks done.  The absolute KEY to productivity is to tackle your tasks from hardest to easiest.  Often I never finish a list but if I’m able to tackle the first most important tasks, then that makes the effort worthwhile.  I tend to procrasinate with the smaller easier and more enjoyable tasks to do.  It gives me an excuse, once I’ve completed “enough” tasks, to skip out on the most difficult ones.  If I tackle harder list items, I become more energized and have the motivation and energy to complete the easier ones. That’s a major tool I use in how to be more productive

Outsource

  • There are some things I can’t bring myself to do.  Adding them to my list, stalls me.  I never get to it and it keeps me from feeling accomplished for the day.  For those kind of tasks or items, I’ve found it easier to outsource them.
  • I absolutely hate washing dishes and ironing clothes. I’m also not a great cook.  It takes me twice as long to cook because I’m usually procrastinating trying to make it more interesting.
  • For washing dishes, I was 27 before I lived in an apartment that had a dishwasher.  I would let them pile in the sink until they were insurmountable and took over 30 minutes to take care of.  Now that I FINALLY have a dishwasher, I’m fine to outsource them to the machine, though my husband still finds hand washing dishes faster and more efficient.
  • For ironing clothes, I just outsource to my local dry cleaner. Dry cleaning and pressing my best quality clothes tends to make them last longer and better. It takes me an hour to iron 7 collared shirts. I’m a perfectionist and like them neat, so I take my time. With the dry cleaner, I can just drop off and pick up, it cost a bit of money but it saves a lot of time.
  • For cooking, my husband is a better cook so he gets credit for all our amazing meals.

Down time

  • At the end of the day, we are not robots and can only be so productive. Don’t over do it! Relax, go on vacation and don’t let yourself burn out.
  • Burnout will kill your motivation. Burnout will keep you from achieving long term goals. So don’t feel bad when you need to take a break. Taking a break isn’t quitting. Taking a break is when you take a moment to gain the energy you need for the long haul ahead of you.
  • Never stop hustling but don’t let the hustle beat you out of the game.

Focus

  • Having absolute focus is a must if you’re going to learn how to be more organized.  I’m the queen of procrastination.  Even as I write this post, I’ve been procrastinating.  But you’ve got to reign it in.  You’ve got to cut out the distractions in life and keep your eye on the prize.
  • The biggest distraction?  Social Media.  OMG whenever I post on Facebook or Instagram, I’m constantly checking how many likes and comments I get.  Because what’s the point of posting, if no one’s looking?  Then I get sidetracked by other posts that people are sharing and going down that rabbit hole.  But at some point, you have to realize what a TIME WASTER it is to be sidetracked randomly by things that are unnecessary.   RECOGNIZE your biggest time wasters, then make a plan to cut them down.  Yes, social media is fun and is even good for business, but I worked on cutting it out and blocking those apps until I absolutely needed it.
  • Learning to say NO to lesser important tasks also helped with my focus.  I don’t need to spontaneously take on every responsibility that is presented to me.  A random problem not caused my me at work, but requires my attention?  Nope, it’s going to the back of the priority list.  I need to stick to my priorities and keep from putting out other people’s fires.  This might sound like I’m not a team player at work but in reality, this will help keep you from being constantly relied on to fix other peoples mistakes.  It’s called, HOLDING OTHER PEOPLE ACCOUNTABLE.  Of course this only applies to people at work, sometimes you need to create boundaries.  For family and friends, I’m running to help put out their fires.

Schedule

  • I’m terrible at scheduling,  It’s really not my thing.  But it is a MUST.  Keeping dates and a calendar can help you manage your time better and not miss important dates. It gives you the ability to plan ahead and avoid conflicts.
  • How many times have I missed a important day or ended up scrambling last minute to complete a deadline?  That’s not efficient nor is it responsible.
  • I used to think I could keep it all in my head but that is a LIE.  The most efficient people know they can forget or miss a detail so they make it a habit to follow a calendar to the letter.  “Let me check my calendar,” said every single person that respects their time and yours.
  • The worst thing, I think, are people who over schedule and over book.  Because, guess what, the person at the other end of the overbooking won’t forget how unreliable you were or that you were sloppy in following through.  They’ll know that you don’t use your time efficiently and that memory of you will be hard to erase.

All these things have helped me so much professionally and personally save a lot of time and be more productive.  I’ve grown a lot over the years and these tips have helped me leverage my time with my money.  I’m able to manage being a mom, wife, and being career minded.   In 5 years I was able to have a child, get married and grow 3X my salary.  Productivity matters and will get you noticed.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post on how be be more organized, if you liked it please support by following, liking and sharing.

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