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.
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
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 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.
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