My sister-in-law recently turned me on to a new same-day (super fast, actually) grocery delivery service that she has been using for a few months – Instacart. I tried it and have to say that it’s pretty great! The customer service was superb and my groceries were ordered and delivered all while Simon was napping (and we know he doesn’t take long naps!).
I don’t think that this will replace every trip to the grocery store because I like to browse and see what’s new / get inspired, but it definitely replaces the “ugh, I have to go get the essentials for the week” trips…
Instacart is all online.
You go to the website, put in your zip code and it tells you the stores in your area where they will deliver from. In my case I could choose Whole Foods, Jewel, Marianos, Costco, or Food 4 Less.
Once you choose your store you can start adding groceries to your cart. The interface is easy to use and I found that “shopping” was quick and painless.
Once everything that I needed was in my cart, I submitted payment information and checked out. Easy peasy.
I got a few text message updates and a phone call during the hour-ish I was waiting for my groceries. The phone call was to ask if I wanted to substitute a couple of the items that they couldn’t find at the grocery store (or the substitute I had pre-selected), which I really appreciated. The texts were timing updates and a request to rate the service.
I gave it a 5, btw.
The other thing that I really liked was that I could leave notes on each of the items that I was purchasing AND I could select a substitute if the item was unavailable.
I left a note on all of my perishables like milk and bread that said, “please look for the furthest expiration date” because I know that sometimes bags of lettuce or bread show an expiration date of the same day or just a couple of days out. I was pleased when I got my groceries and saw that all of my expiration dates were more than a week out.
The only thing that I didn’t like about Instacart was that things that are sometimes on sale, like yogurts 10 for $10, showed up as being their regular price. I don’t know what happens if you choose something that’s on sale… maybe that’s how they make their money?
Overall I was extremely pleased with the service and like that now everything I ordered is in a “favorites” section of my website for future easy re-ordering.
Delivery is $3.99 unless you order off peak, then I think it’s free. You can also leave a tip with your order or tip them when the groceries are delivered.
I was really impressed with the customer service – I was a little unsure about someone else doing my grocery shopping for me, but like I said, for the stuff that I buy weekly, it makes this an errand that I can do from home, which I really appreciate these days!
Next time I think I’ll try Costco because I always buy the same things there and I despise going there for just a couple of items.
Instacart is currently available in Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Connecticut, Denver, LA, NYC, Philly, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, and WashingtonDC.