By Katie Taube
Confession: I HATE grocery shopping. Before kids (BK) I would hear the people around me say they loved grocery shopping because it was the only time they got alone. I thought that was so crazy. Fast forward a few (who's counting?) years and it's now after kids (AK) for me. I am now one of those people. Grocery shopping was one of the only times I enjoy peace and quiet alone.
Enter Instacart. With three boys, 3 (almost 4) years old and under, this company is LIFE CHANGING for me. I'll share why here and if you want to give it a try...I have a gift for you! Use my promotion code so you can get $10 off your first order!
REFERRAL CODE: KTAUBEHAGEN1FB
(if the website doesn't ask for a referral code, I will go into how to apply the code later in the blog)
My husband is the money person in our family. When I told him I was going to try this, he immediately started trying to figure out where the money is made. I on the other hand don't care if it's saving me time and keeping me out of the grocery store.
We are huge fans of Aldi. With kids....our foodie days are put on hold and we can get everything we need in a half hour at a discounted price when compared to other area grocery options. Therefore my review will come from mostly testing its use at Aldi. I ordered some of our weekly staples from Instacart...and took that same list to the actual Aldi grocery store to compare prices and see if Instacart helps us come out ahead. Our results are shown in the graph below.
First, you need to know we signed up for the Express Membership. If there's more than two people living in your home....this is likely the option you'll want. It offers unlimited free delivery fees on grocery orders of $35 or more and it offers unlimited free delivery at a variety of other stores. Those stores include Aldi, Sam's Club, Sprouts, Costco Natural Grocers, CVS, Petco and Dillon's. You can also save money by not ordering at peak hours (mornings and evenings). The express membership runs you $99.00 a year or if you go monthly, it's $10.00 per month. You can use Instacart without the Express membership but you'll have a $4.00 fee every time your order regardless of how much you buy. There are also tipping fees - which aren't required but your delivery person will appreciate. An amount is suggested and you can opt to change the amount if you wish. Some quick math shows if you plan on having more than 2 orders a month...you'll benefit from the Express Membership.
Once you place an order, Instacart will ask you to approve any substitutions that may be necessary, for example Cheerios instead of Tastee-Ohs. You'll also choose your desired delivery time - anything from an hour or later. Your shopper gets your order within minutes and you can opt in for text messages (or use the Instacart website) for set-by-step updates on your order. If you realize you've forgotten a few items, an Express Membership will allow you to add those items to your cart after you place your order, and you can also make those requests to your shopper via text messaging. It's another perk of the Express Membership. Your driver also has the ability to text you with any questions or preferences. The rest is a little bit like Uber. You can see the minute your driver will arrive. The delivery person will have a clearly displayed Instacart badge and will bring your groceries inside if you wish. All you're left to do is put the groceries away.
As you can see from our chart above, there's a small fee attached to each item you order on Instacart in addition to your monthly cost...it works out to about 10% extra per order. It's up to you to decide what your time is worth. For me, not having to load up any of our kids, drive the 15 minutes to Aldi and spend an hour in the store, bagging it, hauling it to the car, loading it, getting it home, unloading it and putting it away....the fees are MORE than worth it. I'm tired now just typing all that! There are also other grocery services: Amazon Fresh - not available currently in the Wichita area when I looked into it, and Shipt. We automatically went with Instacart because it offers an Aldi option so I haven't broken down the costs associated with Shipt.
In conclusion, as of now I highly recommend Instacart. I can now take that precious "alone" time and use it to do something I actually enjoy...rather than go grocery shopping!
Now about that referral code, here is how you get your $10! Signing up with this code will also give me a little kick back for a referral.