Since the start of the pandemic, shopping and food delivery services have skyrocketed. With people unable to leave their homes, grocery and food delivery quickly became an option for those who needed certain items right at their doorstep. Ease and comfort are the main drivers for this type of service. Getting to order whatever you want or need with your fingertips via phone, tablet or laptop is a game changer, and for those who either don’t have time to stop by the store or those who may have anxiety over shopping in person, ordering groceries from the comfort of their homes is a welcome alternative. Now, instead of rushing out to the grocery store to buy an essential yet forgotten ingredient, online shoppers can simply click a few buttons and have it delivered. This saves time, and stress and opens up doors to spend more time doing what you love most.
There are many options for grocery delivery services including Instacart, Shipt, Walmart Delivery Service, Misfits Market, Publix Delivery, Hello Fresh and more. Instacart is one of the more flexible grocery delivery options. Unlike others that are restricted to a certain store, Instacart allows you to pick items from different stores and fit them into one Instacart shopping experience (time and distance restraints apply). Instacart employees essentially serve as personal shoppers for you. This service also allows the flexibility of having the groceries delivered directly to you, or for you to pick up your grocery order directly from the store.
How Does Instacart Work?
Essentially, Instacart is an app that can be downloaded on your phone, tablet or computer. Because Instacart collaborates with a wide variety of stores, you can get items from grocery stores, pet stores, beauty stores, arts and crafts stores, clothing stores, home goods stores and more. Location does play a factor in which stores you can order from, but Instacart allows you to get items delivered straight to you at just your fingertips.
The Perks of Using Instacart
Besides quick and easy delivery and a high volume of stores to choose from, Instacart also allows for smooth communication with your shopper. If a store is out of a specific item that you want, the shopper will communicate with you, allowing you to replace the item with something else or completely take it off the grocery list. While Instacart may have higher fees, the seamless shopping experience is completely worth it.
Signing Up for Instacart
Signing up and creating an order account for Instacart is a simple process. You’ll sign up using your email, phone number, Google or Facebook account. After signing up, you’ll enter either your zip code or address to see which stores are available near you. Then, you’ll shop by entering what you want into the search bar or shopping by category. Instacart has a wide range of items, so you can search for vegan food, gluten-free items, items pertaining to allergies, and items for specific recipes. It’s also great for meal prepping and planning. If you don’t know which items you’ll need for a specific recipe, you can type in, “What items do I need to bake a cake” and items like flour, eggs, and sugar will pop up.
After completing your grocery list, you’ll have full access to speak with your personal shopper. If you need an item replaced or something added to your list at the last minute, you can communicate that via the app to your shopper. You’ll receive text messages from your shopper if specific items are out of stock, and will receive suggestions for replacement items.
How Does Delivery Work?
While you’re engaging in your shopping experience, Instacart allows you to select specific delivery times, so your items can be delivered at your convenience. This especially works well for those who are ordering from another place besides their home and want to plan delivery around a personal schedule. If you’re looking for fast delivery, you can also opt to pay an extra fee for priority delivery.
As an added convenience, Instacart allows you to order up to five days in advance. You can still specify a specific delivery window and, happily, never worry about making another trip to the grocery store or convenience store.
Is Instacart Worth the Cost?
Instacart can be classified as both a need and a luxury for some. Higher costs are expected because of factors such as service fees, tipping, and inflation. Costs also depend on location, the number of items, which store you order from, substitutions and more.
With a flat fee of $99, users can enjoy free delivery on carts over $35 for a year. This may sound like an additional cost, however, because of the sheer convenience of planning groceries in advance (or on the fly) and utilizing personal shoppers for you, Instacart can be quite an economical convenience for some.
Bottom Line: Is Instacart Worth It?
Because Instacart has become a luxury service and convenience over the past few years, it’s worth investing in it if the pros outweigh your cons. Having someone do your shopping while you’re busy working, cooking or doing other activities takes a huge load off your shoulders. Instacart also serves as a great option for those who are sick, disabled, have a demanding job or a lot of stress. For those willing to pay for convenience, Instacart serves as a practical solution.
On the other hand, there are many who still enjoy perusing the aisles of the local grocery story looking for inspiration for a next meal or surprise dessert. Instacart doesn’t necessarily prevent this perusal, it just changes it so that users now do it online instead of in person. A learning curve, to be sure, but one that is not insurmountable.
When all things are considered, and the time-savings are taken into consideration, Instacart may just be the tool and opportunity people are looking for these days.
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by Arielle Clay | January 19, 2023
Whether it’s luxury or ease, every area of your home should be as fabulous and unique as you.
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