Disclosure: I am an affilate for Instacart, but I won’t put anything on this page that I haven’t verified and/or personally used. And I LOVE online grocery shopping ;)
As a private chef and former food business owner I KNOW grocery shopping. I have hosted grocery shopping tours and I have LEGIT been to every kind of food purveyor. Something else I know as a meal planning educator is that grocery shopping is often the difference between people committing to meal planning and not having it stick.
Look, I live squarely in the real world, meaning I understand that life gets in the way of meal planning; but what if you always had what you needed- or the ability to acquire it with minimal effort- to prepare delicious and easy meals?
I’ve tried SO MANY grocery delivery companies, most are great, some fall short; regardless, I find online grocery shopping is THE SECRET to cooking more at home. And cooking at home means healthier meals AND a healthier bank balance. You KNOW I love being in the black!
What Is Online Grocery Shopping
Online grocery shopping is exactly what it sounds like, shopping for your groceries online; and- best part- getting them delivered to your door! This should get you excited. I LOVE grocery shopping and I’m excited; so those who dislikes the process of shopping for food should be HERE. FOR. online grocery shopping.
Whenever I tell my friends that I’m having my groceries delivered, I get a myriad of questions, so I’m going to answer these questions here for you and STRONGLY ENCOURAGE you to start online grocery shopping!
Is Online Grocery Shopping Cheaper?
There was a time when online grocery shopping was a premium service, not because of the food cost but because of the delivery cost; but the industry has come along way. Food purchased via online grocery shopping is the same price- I believe there is some illegality to charge more.
BONUS: it’s MUCH easier to price compare when online grocery shopping; let’s make armchair grocery shopping a thing!
Instacart, babes…it’s all about Instacart
When online grocery shopping was originally offered it was offered in house, meaning you (and I) ordered from the actual grocery store and they delivered it, which was limiting- certainly if the grocery store was high end; but Instacart has changed the game!
Instacart is the middleman, who connects you to MANY grocery purveyors in your area; which means choice! But there are some limitations as you cannot order from VARIOUS purveyors in one order, but, as the saying goes, greatness takes time!
What drew me to Instacart was the ease, point blank. Honestly, the panic I was feeling about not having groceries and not having the time to get any meant that Instacart could have delivered from a bodega and I likely would have ordered; but I was WHOLEHEARTEDLY impressed with the Instacart online grocery shopping system.
How Online Grocery Shopping with Instacart Works
Online grocery shopping with Instacart is really easy- seriously a 9 year old could do it. I will admit, some online shopping portals (food and other goods alike) can be super confusing and clunky, but Instacart has their sh*t together!
Step by step, here is how to online grocery shop with Instacart:
Visit Instacart and enter your area/postal code and view stores in your area.
Choose which store to order from.
Add groceries to your cart.
Choose your delivery window.
STEP SIX…not really a step
Sit back and wait for your food to arrive.
I mean, I love living in the future, don’t you?!
Are Instacart Groceries More Expensive?
Again, it’s not on the up and up for any online grocery shopping portal to charge you more than if you were to visit in store; instead the added cost is for delivery.
Canadians rejoice! Because Instacart is offering $3.99 delivery as a Canadian launch bonus. Americans, the usual $7.99 delivery fee stands. That said, you have to ask yourself- especially if grocery shopping eludes you weekly or stresses you out- what is your time worth? I know mine is certainly valued higher than $8.00/hr.
How Are Instacart Groceries Delivered?
The day of your delivery Instacart will first notify you when you order is being picked; this also serves as a great reminder. I actually forgot about my order until I got the reminder lol. And then you get updates throughout the process- when they are shopping, when they’ve left the store etc. This helps with timing, in case you want to hop in the shower or something lol.
Instacart groceries are delivered in the bags from your designated store. Now, you must be home for the delivery OR give VERY good instructions for drop off ie. the cooler on the porch etc. Personally, I order all of my food deliveries (groceries, meal kits etc.) on Sundays because I can guarantee I’ll be home.
FULL DISCLOSURE my order was late by about 20 minutes; that said, they let me know AND I still didn’t have to set foot into a grocery store. I still consider this a win.
Where Is Instacart Available?
Because Instacart uses your area/postal code to determine which stores deliver to you, most people will have access to Instacart; but the stores available will vary GREATLY depending on where you live. So your cousin Vinny might have 5 stores available while you may only have 2, it’s just how the Instacart cooking crumbles.
NOTE if you live in an area where online grocery shopping with Instacart isn’t available, go down to your favourite grocery and ask them to get it. Squeaky wheels get the olive oil grease ;)
Why I use Instacart
Honestly the catalyst for my first Instacart order was that I missed the cutoff for my meal box delivery (more on that later!), and I just DID NOT want to go the grocery store, and let’s just say the universe had my back!
The old adage “the cobbler has no shoes” rings true for this chef, because the irony that I cook gourmet food for my clients and either eat out (not really complaining about this) or eat something fast and easy (complaining about this) is not lost on me. But online grocery shopping with Instacart got my home cooking groove back.
Look, I love grocery shopping (generally) and even I’m excited about online grocery shopping with Instacart, I can only imagine how those who hate grocery shopping must feel about Instacart. And the beauty of Instacart is that it’s there for us in a pinch- seriously; when I placed my order I could have had it delivered in 1 hour- ONE HOUR; this alone makes Instacart a loud and resounding YAAAS!
So, are you ready to say F*CK YOU to the stress of grocery shopping?