Looking for an easy life hack to get you out of grocery shopping? Yeah, join the club. You may be considering Instacart, but are wondering, is Instacart worth it, or is it a waste of time.
Grocery shopping is one of the necessary evils of life, and if you’re a busy person it can be especially daunting. That’s why Instacart has become so popular in recent years – it eliminates the need to go to the store, saving you time and energy.
Is Instacart worth it?
If you’re like most busy people, you’ve probably been tempted by the promise of convenience that comes with signing up for an Instacart membership. But is Instacart really worth it? Let’s take a look at how much value you get out of a membership and why it might be right for you.
We’re no strangers to discussing productivity hacks, so let’s get into it.
What is Instacart?
If you’re in our home, you have heard us say a few times, “let’s just Instacart it!” Meaning, that let’s order our groceries online using the Instacart website, and have a store shopper gather all of our items for us. This way, we don’t have to go inside the store, up and down aisles. This is a bonus because (1) we don’t spend money on things we do not need, and (2) We save a ton of time, especially now that Instacart knows our regular purchases, and we can just click, and reorder.
Using Instacart is very easy. If you have purchased anything online, ever, you can use Instacart. Once you place your order, one of several Instacart shoppers will shop for your order. You can choose if you would like delivery services or pick-up.
Who is shopping for my order with Instacart?
In case you weren’t aware, we are in a gig economy. Plenty of people use Instacart as a side job or work the hours they can to supplement their full-time job. Most receive hourly pay and will sign-up to perform jobs at their local stores in order to make more money since they are getting paid per hour.
We’ve had the pleasure of having wonderful customer service with Instacart shoppers. Most will chat with you via the Instacart app messenger, asking you about substitutions if an item is unavailable. Once a shopper receives a review, that rating goes into factoring in how often they will receive Instacart jobs. Isn’t everything with economy jobs that utilizes an app dependent upon an algorithm?
In our opinion, being able to discuss the options for substitutions with our Instacart shopper makes Instacart itself worth it.
What you get with an Instacart paid membership
The basic benefits of an Instacart membership are free delivery on orders over $35, as well as access to exclusive discounts and promotions. For many, this is enough to make the cost of the membership worthwhile. After all, if you order groceries from Instacart often enough, the savings from grocery delivery services alone can quickly add up over time.
But that’s not all; if you upgrade to an Express membership, there are even more perks! These include no delivery fees on any order over $35 (including one-hour deliveries!), reduced service fees on orders under $35, 5% cash back rewards on every eligible purchase, access to exclusive products and deals, and more. You also have free access to Instacart Express, which allows for faster service at no additional cost.
Sure, there is a cost associated with becoming a member – but when you consider how much money it can potentially save you in the long run Instacart may be well worth it if your shopping habits align with what they offer. It really depends on your spending habits and your busy schedule.
How much does an Instacart membership cost?
Instacart offers two types of memberships – Express and Plus (or Instacart +). The Express membership costs $99 per year or $9.99 per month and includes free delivery on orders over $35 (usually $7.99) plus exclusive discounts on select items each week. The Plus membership costs $149 per year or $14.99 per month and includes all the benefits of the Express plan plus additional discounts and exclusive offers from select stores. Both memberships come with a 14-day free trial period so that you can decide if it’s worth committing to before actually paying for it.
We definitely recommend you give the plans a try during their free trial to see if it behooves you and your grocery situation. Just don’t forget to cancel before it renews, or the trial isn’t free. Pro-tip: put the cancel date on your calendar with a reminder notification so you don’t forget!
When it might not be worth it
If your grocery shopping needs are limited or sporadic—say if you only buy groceries once every few weeks. A membership probably isn’t going to be worth it for you. In this case, your money would likely be better spent buying something else. That same amount can be used toward something you need. Additionally, if your orders tend to fall below the $35 threshold for free delivery—or don’t require super-fast one-hour deliveries—then again, it may not be worth getting a paid membership either due to its cost versus potential savings ratio.
The Instacart free plan
We have tried both, and we have found that while there are plenty of advantages to having the membership, hello, grocery delivery service with no charge, it still adds in tips for the service shoppers and delivery person. They obviously deserve it as they are providing a service that is needed. You just may find that the Instacart plan to order everything online and pick up your groceries is more advantageous.
Final thoughts on if Instacart is worth it
All in all, whether or not an Instacart membership is worth it depends on how frequently and how much you shop through their app or website. If those habits match up with what they offer in terms of discounts and other benefits then absolutely – sign up! On the other hand, if they don’t align then either skipping out on the membership or using another provider may be more beneficial for your shopping budget overall.
Ultimately though that decision is up to each individual shopper to decide! Happy grocery shopping!
Save with an Instacart discount
For those who do decide to sign up, however, rest assured that all plans (paid and unpaid) offer great value in terms of convenience and savings! If you use this link to sign-up for Instacart, you can save $20 on your first order.
Frequently asked questions- FAQs
You can visit this link to get signed up, but to know about the demand in stores near you, search for “Instacart shopper” in the job search platform of your choice. Like most gig economy jobs, these types of jobs are on job apps like Indeed.
The Instacart app can give you an idea of how much time you have saved, but it is an average based on how much time most people spend shopping. We have always had a list, so we probably spend less time than most going inside, so on average, we save about 4 hours per month by using the Instacart platform.
Yes! Over the holidays, we had several food items delivered to our front door from people who wanted to get us gifts and know that we wouldn’t want a gift. But a consumable? Yes, please! Purchase the groceries and send them to someone’s address.