I love finding ways to make life easier.
Not only did Dave and I have a great time while camping this past weekend, but we also learned about something that has totally rocked our world. And it’s available in a few major cities around the nation, so you could benefit from it too.
Grocery delivery, my friends, via Instacart.
While I already knew that it was possible to pay for grocery delivery from Safeway (our usual grocery store in San Francisco), I also knew it’s not the most convenient or cost-effective system.
Do you see below this selection of healthy food and sustenance meant to fuel us for the week? It was hand-delivered to our door and left on the counter for us on Sunday evening, after we arrived home tired from a weekend in the great outdoors.
Let me explain.
Going to the grocery store in the city is not fun, nor is it convenient. In fact, I’ve talked before about why I hate grocery shopping. Yet Dave and I continue to make the dreaded trip each week because we assumed we had to, and we eat a lot of (healthy!) food.
With a little bit of exhaustion and Instacart’s rave reviews fresh in our minds, Sunday was a great time to take a chance on the service.
What is Instacart?
Basically, it’s a service that lets you buy groceries from your couch.
Instacart pairs you up with a personal shopper, who goes to your chosen stores and picks up your items of choice. You can even tell your shopper how you like your produce and provide substitutions in case something you’ve ordered is out of stock. You pick out your exact items and quantity on the Instacart website, check the total price and choose a same-day delivery time.
Right now Instacart is available in a few major areas, including the Bay Area, New York City, Washington, D.C., Boston, Chicago and Los Angeles. But the site promises that more locations are coming soon.
What it’s like to use Instacart
I went to the site and signed up, and from there it took me about 20 minutes to make all of our selections online, which we chose from Safeway (you can also choose from Whole Foods, Costco and local discounters). Moving forward, all of my choices will be stored to make future ordering seamless, with just the click of a button.
The first delivery was free and at our door in less than two hours. And our personal shopper even called me from the store to tell me that something I wanted was out and then asked me for a suitable replacement that I hadn’t documented online. Incredibly convenient. And great customer service. (Yes, I left him a five-star review.)
While Instacart offers your first delivery for free, there is a charge in the future. But you can also sign up for the Instacart Express service, which allows you free same-day deliveries over $35 any time, as long as you pay an annual membership price of just $99. We did the math and decided that one-hundred big ones was way worth removing the burden of a weekly trip.
Instacart does mark up grocery prices just a bit, but in the scheme of delivery, it looks like it has the lowest membership fee of other services. I did a little digging, and the competitors in San Francisco, including Envoy and AmazonFresh, both appear to have steeper membership costs.
So you may be thinking that we are lazy. But I can assure you that eliminating the two-hour ordeal that is grocery shopping, while still getting fresh and healthy foods each week, will be just what the doctor ordered.
I think we owe the couple that tipped us off to this service a drink. Cheers!
Questions of the day
Do you like to grocery shop?
Have you ever used a delivery service for everyday items? Would you consider grocery delivery?