Outsourcing Grocery Shopping: An Instacart Review
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Instacart is an online grocery delivery service that I have tried using as a new mom. You place your grocery store order via an app, select a delivery time (can be as quick as within two hours) and then wait for your groceries to be delivered to your doorstep. After two years of using Instacart off and on I feel very familiar with this grocery delivery service and this is my honest review.
I have heard of people that exist in this world that love going to the grocery store. I feel almost certain that those people do not have children.
As you may guess, I am not someone that enjoys going to the grocery store – with kids or by myself. I am also a big fan of trying to streamline my tasks as much as possible. If it isn’t something that brings me joy or moves me forward on my goals, I would like to spend as little time on it as possible.
Grocery shopping very much falls in that category. And thankfully, there are quite a few services out there that will help you streamline your grocery needs.
Many grocery stores have started opting for a service where you can drive up and have your groceries brought out to you and placed in your car. And while I do like that model, I find it even more convenient to have my groceries brought directly to my house. At almost any time of the day.
Which is why I use Instacart to do all of my grocery shopping. I have been using this service for at least 3 years now and have a ton of benefit to it. Which is why I wanted to cover the ins and outs in an Instacart review so you can decide if this would be a good fit for your family. If you want to try Instacart use my referral link to get $10 off your order!
A BUSY MOM’S INSTACART REVIEW
Yes, Instacart is going to cost a little bit more than your average grocery store trip. But I have actually found that the cost evens out for our family.
The delivery fee is $3.99 each time you order, and that delivery fee decreased from $5.99 when I signed up due to Instacarts desire to compete with Amazon since they acquired Whole Foods. I would certainly say that an hour of my time is worth more than $3.99 so I have no problem spending that money for someone else to take a task off my plate.
I actually pay for the yearly membership, which is $99 which gets rid of the delivery fee as long as you order $35 in groceries at each order. We get our groceries delivered weekly so this definitely pays off.
There is a slight markup on products when you shop through Instacart depending on which store you are shopping in (about .02 to .05 cents per product). When I have looked at our grocery budget and compared our pre and post-Instacart spends, they are pretty much equal.
We actually spend a little bit less on the actual groceries because I can plan out our meals at home and make my grocery list with a little more intention than I did in the store. When I buy through Instacart, I don’t have the ability to make impulse purchases like I did when I walked through the stores. Which saves me a good bit of cash in food that we never ended up eating.
There is a tip for the delivery shopper that is added to your charge, but I have no problem paying that either. I usually tip 15-20% and still feel great knowing that it was worth the hour of my time that I got back to be with my family.
Instacart delivers to most places. I have had them deliver to my office so I could take my groceries home after work and I have had them deliver directly to my house.
The delivery hours range from 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM so you can surely find something that works best for you.
I have never felt like I am planning my schedule around my grocery shopping which is amazing. When I used to do my shopping myself, I would always have to calculate the time it took to travel to and from the store as well as preparing the shopping list and doing the actual shopping. And now I just need to take the 10 minutes it takes to plan out my shopping list.
Using Instacart gives me so much more flexibility in my day. I typically have groceries delivered right after our daughter goes to bed, or just before dinner time if I ordered something that I plan to make for dinner that night.
Any time I talk to my friends about Instacart, I always get questions about the quality of the produce. I completely understand the worry some people have that they aren’t going to get the top pick of the produce if they don’t go in and inspect it themselves. And maybe I am not getting the VERY best apples the store had to offer that day.
But I have never gotten produce that is old or has issues (like mold). And if you did, Instacart does have a pretty helpful customer service system that you can submit your issue to and get it refunded.
I have had a few times where I didn’t get my complete order (by one or two items) and customer service was very helpful in getting me credits and refunds. But I have not ever experienced being dissatisfied with the quality of my food.
The stores that Instacart will offer you will be different depending on your region. I live in a suburban community and Instacart gives me access to 4 stores that all have slightly different price ranges. I have a love for HEB grocery stores, so I get pretty much all my items from there, but you can get items from multiple stores in one order if you wanted to.
When I lived closer into town, I had access to several more store locations which was nice, but I still pretty much ordered all of my items from HEB. No matter where you live, Instacart is likely already partnered with your grocery store of choice (unless it is Whole Foods) which makes decision making easier.
I absolutely love the time I get back now that I don’t have to grocery shop in stores. My time is finite and I put a lot of value on each hour I get in the day. I would gladly pay a delivery fee to get that hour back to spend at the park or to actually cook the groceries I purchased.
I highly recommend Instacart and the Instacart Express service (which makes a great gift for new moms!). Get $10 off your first order with code MGIVENS24!