The new wave of the future seems to be heading in the direction of getting everything delivered to our doors. And is this really a bad thing? I love being able to place an order for groceries from my phone and have them delivered within 2 hours. Who wouldn’t love that?
So I finally took the plunge and decided to try Instacart Express, and use it to have my groceries almost exclusively delivered for a month.
For those not familiar with the option, Instacart in and of itself can be used without the “Express” option but you’ll pay not only a delivery fee but also a “Service” fee as well for every order that you place.
The Express option, allows to to get free delivery on all orders over $35 plus you don’t pay the Service Fee.
When they offered free Express for two weeks, I decided to give it a try (new customers can try it free for 2 weeks).
This was right before the holidays, and I did NOT want to go to the store in the middle of the holiday shopping insanity. Can ya blame me?
So I made the leap and decided to try it.
For my first order, I browsed the deals from multiple stores and actually placed orders from both Publix and Kroger in the same day. I was able to get the best deals, but not have to spend hours out shopping mere days before Christmas.
This in and of itself made me feel like grocery delivery is worth it. I went on to pay $9.99 for another month of Instacart Express (you can pay $99 for the year, or get on the $9.99/mo plan), to see if I would actually continue to use it.
Here are the Benefits:
- I saved a lot of time – obviously, I didn’t have to go the store – winning!
- I saved gas money.
- I saved myself some stress (obviously shopping during the holidays would have been stressful, but I still feel regular shopping days can be stressful).
- I avoided impulse purchases, which ultimately saved me some money.
- It helped me plan out our meals better. Being able to see the list of grocery items visually helped me to plan better. Anything that helps me plan better is a keeper!
- I was able to focus my time on other things that I needed to do vs. having to run around town shopping for groceries.
- I helped someone else make money (Instacart shoppers get paid both by Instacart and can earn a tip).
- You can communicate directly with your shopper when they begin. Being able to communicate is important should something be out of stock, or if you decide you want to add something to your order.
- They do offer some special deals and promotions that you won’t find in store (ie. Save $5 if you buy XX amount of certain brands).
- You can order from multiple stores at the same time (depending on availability in your area). I can currently get groceries delivered from Aldi, Kroger, and Publix (these are my favorite stores!).
- If you’ve ever been sick and needed some tea and soup from the store, you know that being able to have someone bring you those things is GOLDEN!
Some of the drawbacks/things I don’t like:
- The prices of some items may be more than in the actual store. Instacart states this in the app, as it goes to support the app and the shoppers. However, since I was able to see the receipts, I didn’t end up spending more than a couple of dollars total than if I had bought the items myself.
- You can’t pick your own produce. Both times I ordered avocados they didn’t turn out to be the best and I ended up throwing them away. I probably could have reported it, if I had wished to.
- It will cost you more because you need to include a tip for your shopper (P.S. If you don’t plan to tip them nicely for their hard work, don’t use the app. They work hard!). 😉
- For Kroger shopping, there’s not really a way to use your Kroger Plus Card unless you private message your shopper and ask them to put in your number. I’d love to see Instacart add this feature!
- Obviously the fee in and of itself may be considered a drawback. It’s one of those things where you have to decide if the value is there for you.
- Sometimes the shopper can’t find certain items if you order items that are unique/not commonly ordered. I have a specific vegan soup that I like, and both times I ordered it the shoppers couldn’t find it (even with help from a Kroger associate). I was able to find it in the store myself when I stopped by afterwards.
- You can’t use your paper coupons. This in and of itself may be a deal breaker for a lot of people.
- You can’t order wine/alcohol. Still crossing my fingers that this changes soon!
Overall, I do really like being able to have groceries delivered. The time and stress it saves me is worth a few dollars more. And to me, all the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks and I’ll continue to use Instacart Express.
Do you use Instacart or the Express option? I’d love to know if you think I missed anything as far as benefits/drawbacks are concerned.
And if you haven’t tried it yet, go HERE to get $10 in free groceries and try Instacart Express for free for 2 weeks:
We will both get $10 in free groceries, and you can also refer your friends as well – win/win for everyone!
Happy Shopping (from your couch)! 😉 And do please let me know how you like it!