While many stay-at-home orders have been lifted, the risk of getting coronavirus is definitely not gone. Social distancing is still implemented and many public facilities and as nonessential retailers have started opening up for business, there is definitely a shift in the way people maneuver around the stores.
Grocery stores have been open throughout this entire time, with employees wearing face masks and gloves, as well as deep cleaning the stores more than once a day. However, you still may feel uncomfortable physically going to the store to get your bread, eggs, and butter.
So that is where grocery delivery Apps like Instacart comes in.
I personally am an avid fan of the service. It has allowed me to have my groceries delivered right to my doorstep during the quarantine.
Here is a Rundown And My Personal Review on Instacart.
Instacart is a company that allows consumers to purchase groceries to be delivered to their homes. You can create an account using the website or app. Once you put in your address or zip code it will show you the stores around your vicinity that offer delivery.
The selection varies depending on where you live, but I have personally found the selection around me to be more than what I could ever hope for. For example, I can choose between Jewel-Osco, Aldi, Pete’s Fresh Market, and Target – just to name a few.
Another store I was ecstatic to see? Costco. As a big Costco shopper pre-quarantine, you can imagine my relief when seeing it was on Instacart during the quarantine. After all, bulk buying and a pandemic seem to go hand in hand, right? Jokes aside, you more than likely will be very pleased with the stores you have to choose from.
How Does Instacart Work?
A personal shopper will be grabbing the items on your list and can interact with you through messaging as they are looking for your items. Instacart also notifies when your shopper is finished shopping and on their way!
Anyways, once you select your store it is time for the fun part – shopping!
Each store seems to have their inventory categorized a different way, so just make your way through them and select what you need. When you click on an item, you will also be able to mark how many of the item you would like.
There is also a section called savings which allows you to see the current products the store has on sale. Click “add to cart” and continue shopping until you are finished.
Once your shopper begins shopping, you can see how your order is coming along one item at a time. Instacart will show you once each specific item has been successfully found, replaced, or unavailable. This is a big plus because you can literally track your order by the second (which I personally enjoy).
You receive updates through email and text throughout the shopping as well, depending on which one you opted for at the time of sign up.
Depending on how you decide to replace products, your total bill will change as you select items higher or lower in price.
The first current total I see has always changed whenever I shop through Instacart because items are replaced or unavailable at all, so my final charge is typically around $10 lower or higher than the original by the time shopping is completed.
Once, I got about $50 in refund because so many of the products I selected were out of stock (quarantine life).
When you finally have everything you need in your cart, I recommend you go back and review it at least twice. This is to make sure you selected the correct products and quantities. This is the time you can delete or go back and add items to your cart.
When you are finished shopping and have selected a time, you will be prompted to enter your name, address, and payment information. You can then select what percentage of your bill you would like to tip. I recommend at least 20%.
Instacart’s standard delivery fee is usually $3.99. It can vary and be higher depending on factors such as location. Instacart has nothing to do with the price differences on their service versus in-store prices. That 100 % depends on the actual store.
Another thing that is important to note is that store membership perks and certain sales will not apply when placing an order through Instacart.
Instacart Express: Cost and Membership Option
There is also the option of signing up for Instacart Express. If you plan on using Instacart frequently, this may be a practical option for you. It costs $99 for an annual membership or you can choose to pay $9.99 each month. Orders of $35 or more will be delivered for free.
You also select a time frame for when you would like your groceries to arrive. Depending on when you place your order and the number of orders they are getting that day, your groceries can arrive anywhere between one hour within placing the order or anywhere within five days of placing it.
I have noticed that when I ask for my order to be delivered earlier than later there is a higher service fee, so keep that in mind.
Make sure you are at home to receive your groceries. During COVID-19, Instacart gives users the “Leave at My Door Delivery” option which allows for no contact delivery.
We personally like to have our groceries delivered in our garage since we have a second fridge in there, so we simply chat with our shopper and request they leave the groceries on the table in the garage.
Instacart Pros and Cons
Every service has its pros and cons, so I have compiled a list of Instacart’s pros and cons. Here’s the rundown.
- Convenient (you do not have to leave your house)
- Shopping for Costco products without a membership
- Very good selection of stores to choose from
- The product variety is great and very close to what you would find in stores
- Prices vary from that in-store, typically a bit higher (personal experience)
- At times it is difficult to find the exact product you need (or an adequate replacement for it)
- Store rewards, coupons, and sales are not applicable
Note: 95% of the time I have had an excellent experience when it comes to my personal shopper.
They are great at communicating whether a product is available or not, asking if certain replacements are okay, and delivering my items efficiently and in a friendly manner. However, I did have one not so ideal experience when the person kept telling me everything was unavailable and was automatically replacing my items with others that weren’t really solid replacements.
All in all, I would highly recommend using Instacart. It’s easy and convenient to use. The no contact delivery option is great for the current situation we are all in, and the service itself is so ideal for a time like this. The selection of stores and their products are more than adequate. And my Instacart review? Overall, Instacart gets an A in my book.