Instacart Ordering: Pros & Cons

Pros of Ordering from Instacart

Disclaimer: I was not compensated by Instacart for this post.

Order on Vacation

I first found out about Instacart when I was researching ways to save a buck on our Disney World vacation. We opted out of the Disney Dining Plan, and I was determined to keep our food expenses low. That meant not eating breakfast out, or at the parks. I knew our hotel would have coffee for us, so it was really just a matter of ordering a few groceries to keep the troops fed.

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As we headed to the airport, I downloaded the Instacart app on my phone, set up a free trial Express Member account (which came with free delivery) and managed to quickly ‘fill a cart’ with all the breakfast essentials and snacks we’d need.

I ended up with a $43 cart comprised of 12 items. It seemed a little high, but I somehow came across a $20 discount and, like I mentioned, that Express Member trial offered free delivery. (I cancelled that trial when we got home, before it charged my card).

All in all, it came to just over $25. The kicker here is that it got delivered to our hotel before we even got to our departure flight. The shopper handed our order off to the bellhop who kept things refrigerated until we arrived. Once we had checked in and settled into our room, Hubs grabbed a valet cart and wheeled the order to our room. And, just like that, we had milk, cereal, popcorn, a case of bottled water, and a whole bunch of other stuff ready for the partaking.

Instacart is great, sometimes. Find out the pros and cons of the grocery delivery service and how it can save you time, but rarely money.
©2019 Instacart

Every item in our order was correct, undamaged and fresh. I couldn’t have been more pleased. The ease at with which we got everything we needed delivered was fantastic! I know I will be using this service again for our next vacation. (Though, admittedly, I’ll probably start up a free trial Express Membership under Hubs’ name, to take advantage of all the discounts again.)

Coupons & Discounts

While I weaseled my way into $20 off my first order, I haven’t seen that coupon in quite some time. Though, each customer is able to refer friends. Which means every time you share your unique code or link with a friend, they get $10 off an order and you get $10 off an order. It looks like, though, that Instacart has put a five-person referral cap on it. Either way, that’s $50 to spend on your own groceries, and let’s be real, we could all use that!

Once you’ve signed up with Instacart, make sure you’re reading the emails they regularly send out, too. They come with some sweet deals, like free delivery from Publix.

Plus, the Instacart website offers coupons and deals, like free delivery if you purchase certain items.

Ideal for Folks Without Transportation, or a Helping Hand

There are a few times in my life when I could have used someone to bring me groceries:

  • When I didn’t own a car and had no one to take me to the grocery.
  • One time, I was hospitalized and really needed tampons, because all the hospital had to offer were pads.
  • Anytime I was sick and single, and just wanted some soup, and, okay, cupcakes.
  • When I was a pregnant military wife and Hubs would be in the field for weeks at a time.

Instacart would have been a lifesaver back then. Alas, it did not exist at the time.

Cons of Ordering from Instacart

“Convenience Fees”

They aren’t really called convenience fees, and the company will most likely deny any markup in price, but the prices of every item are slightly higher than if you went to the grocery on your own accord. I mean, the company has to make money and they have to pay their shoppers. That means they have to find the money somewhere. Though, I will say the markups are minimal: a nickel here, a dime there. You probably won’t notice it, but it is there.

Not a Necessity

If you don’t have a huge coupon, or an offer for free delivery, or you’ve got someone to go to the grocery for you (like Hubs, in my case), you don’t need this service. It’s a luxury, and one that the world did without for, well, ever, until recently.

If you’re trying to save a buck, shop at Aldi or Lidl. Though, Instacart does offer deliveries from Aldi now, too. Keep in mind those delivery fees and markups, though.

Give it a Try

Try it for yourself, especially if you’re flying somewhere on vacation.

Instacart is great, sometimes. Find out the pros and cons of the grocery delivery service and how it can save you time, but rarely money.

Instacart Shopping: Pros & Cons

Have you ever thought about being a shopper for Instacart? After I was introduced to them as a customer, I became a shopper. Check out my other post on the Pros & Cons of shopping for Instacart to find out if it’s the right side hustle for you.

©2019 Mom of the Moment

16 thoughts on “Instacart Ordering: Pros & Cons

  1. I have been hearing a lot about instacart lately but more so from the employment side. It is supposed to be a great way to make some extra cash on the side. What a neat idea to use for your vacation essentials. I always struggle with things like should I bring tons of diapers, sunscreen etc or buy there. This solves that problem!

  2. I’ve never tried instacart! But it sure seems nice. I thought Walmart grocery pick up was the best thing out there lol.

  3. Love this! I really wish I had Instacart in my area! I do agree that it isn’t a necessity. However, I work from home & homeschool. So, the convenience alone would be worth totally worth it for me!

  4. Thank you for sharing this. I’m waiting for a grocery delivery service in my small town, but it’s good to see the pros and cons. It would definitely be more convenient since I can’t drive, but I know some services don’t charge extra for the groceries, but they do have a delivery fee. I suppose they have to make their money somehow. I think as these services get more common, things will become more competitive.

  5. I have used our local grocery stores curbside/delivery option when we had a newborn and when the weather is awfully rainy or cold.

    But I totally view it as an extra service and. Or a normal thing (and more expensive, which keeps me going to do it myself).

    I think it’s just nice to know it’s an option.

    1. One more awesome thing is that most of the items you plan to purchase have all that information listed on their site. If you select your item, scroll down and it will show you the ingredients and nutrition label.

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