Our Whole Foods just started doing delivery with Instacart (I think that link includes a $10 coupon, if you haven’t tried it!) I picked up a flyer in our store offering a $20 discount and free delivery on my first order, so I figured I’d give it a try to score $20 of free groceries! I tried it the night we came home from the beach. If you haven’t heard of it, you order groceries online with Whole Foods and then use the Instacart service to have a shopper shop for you and deliver the groceries to your house. For anyone who 1) hates grocery shopping, or 2) is really busy, this service would be life changing.
Overall I really liked it, but I don’t think I have a need to justify the cost of doing it regularly.
Things I Liked:
I could make my shopping list online.
I had fun and felt organized, but it was also a little frustrating as I tried to make sure I was getting the correct products that we always get. Once you do it a few times, though, this may be one of the best parts! Especially because you can save your staples and load the list with the click of a button.
There were text notifications.
I received a text when my shopper began, as she replaced a few things that were sold out or otherwise unavailable (mostly organic –> regular).
I was able to text my shopper!
She swapped our bread out, and I knew she probably just missed it on the bottom shelf! I texted her and she found it right away. That was my favorite part!
It was convenient.
Obviously, the convenience of not spending an hour at the store or spending any gas money going there was great.
There was no impulse-buying.
Our grocery bill was about 20% lower than usual because there were no impulse buys!
Things I Disliked:
There was some confusion over the service charge verses the tip.
There was a surprise 10% service charge (which I should have figured because Instacart also needs to make money), but it canceled out half of my coupon code. I also panicked when our shopper was on the way and I realized I needed to tip her. (Did I think a robot was delivering them, or I am too used to the FedEx guy bringing a Blue Apron box?) I still don’t really know if the service charge was the tip or not. Instacart asked for a tip digitally after the order was delivered (even though I paid in cash). Google searches suggested that the service charge goes to Instacart’s profits and you can actually delete it and then just tip extra. I care most about making sure my shopper is cared for, so I want to be sure I am tipping properly and that part was all pretty confusing!
The groceries didn’t come refrigerated.
Luckily I was home when they arrived (and this saved on packaging, so that’s sorta good), but I guess you can’t use this service like you would Blue Apron and let it sit on your doorstep for a few hours.
Our order was an hour late.
This was only a concern because I initially planned to make dinner from the groceries and we were all really hungry. So, I went to plan B and made spaghetti instead. We were at home, so it wasn’t a huge deal, but while I was waiting, I pictured someone expecting this delivery at work. They would have had to stick around an extra hour! Just something to mention.
Here’s the pantry meal I made that turned out to be really good: whole wheat pasta, jarred Parmesan sauce from Whole Foods, canned artichokes, capers, and parmesan cheese.
I will probably use the service again if I’ve had a really busy or coming-home-from-out-of-town kind of week where it would be worth 10% + delivery. Other grocery stores like Harris Teeter and Kroger have shopping services that are much more affordable on the service charges ($5 flat fee, I think). Although, you do have to go pick them up and I think you have to order 24 hours in advance. That seems like the best of both worlds, especially for parents with small kids!
Do you like to grocery shop and have you ever used a service like this?
This post wasn’t sponsored in any way – I’m just sharing my experience!