Instacart, Your Life Might Be Changed

What is the first thing you want to do at the end of a long, busy day? If you said grocery shopping you might be delirious from working so hard.

Grocery shopping may or may not be your favorite activity. There are no shortage of companies that are providing services to make our lives easier when it comes to cooking and food. There’s, of course Amazon Prime that promises a drone will fly your (non-perishable) food to your fingertips. A local grocery delivery service, Farmhouse Delivery formerly Greenling, started by a native Texan and Austin urban farmer brings fresh produce, dairy and meats for a nominal membership fee. H-E-B and Walmart offer a pick-up service where they can prepare your groceries for your arrival to the store. Other ready-made style delivery services include companies like Blue Apron, which delivers grocery ingredients and recipe cards to assist in the buyer preparing home cooked, delicious meals. Most recently we tested Instacart, it’s an online shopping experience that is unique from others.

We first heard about it from a contact based out of Atlanta, GA. She told us about how she could order groceries online from a variety of stores (including alcohol) and a personal shopper would deliver the items in about an hour. This was several years ago and at the time it was not available in San Antonio. After much waiting, this morning Instacart opened up San Antonio zip codes for delivery.

Of course, we had to test it.

Login as with most websites, create and account with email and password (not a lengthy process). You can then select from a variety of stores (based on location) such as Whole Foods, Costco, H-E-B, Petco, Specs, Total Wine and more. We had a grocery list and searched to add the items to our order. You can browse by aisle, sales, price or search, and pictures of each listed item are available for most products. We added fresh, frozen and non-perishable items to our cart from both H-E-B and Costco. It is note worthy to mention that you do not need a Costco membership to order from Costco. After you are ready to check out simply select a day or time when you would like the items brought to you. One of the main benefits with this service is that you can have them delivered in 1-2 hours!

Screen Shot 2016-05-24 at 12.27.19 PM

The first delivery, with new service, is free but after that its $3.99 if you would like you items in 2 hours or $5.99 for an hour turnaround time. Of course, if you order half of H-E-B’s inventory you might be charged more.

Instacart Delivery Times
Instacart delivery times and stores that are available for your grocery shopping needs – based on location.

After you have checked out you are assigned a personal shopper who goes to the store and hand picks every item. If they are out of stock on an item, you can add notes to replace or omit it. Also you can ask that your personal shopper texts you with updates, this can also be viewed in the computer window.

An example of how your personal shopper refunds, replaces and/or finds your grocery list items.
An example of how your personal shopper refunds, replaces and/or finds your grocery list items.

In our case, the personal shopper sent us a text message (can be viewed in the shopping window) as she actively shopped for our items.

Text message from our Instacart personal shopper.
Text message from our Instacart personal shopper.

There is a timeline and map where we tracked the progress of our grocery delivery.

Map and timeline where Instacart delivery can be tracked.
Map and timeline where Instacart delivery can be tracked.

Since we ordered from H-E-B- and Costco, there were 2 separate deliveries but both arrived in about an hour, delivered by a real person! Both of them were extremely helpful and friendly. They offered insight about the service and to our dismay, confirmed that specific shoppers cannot be requested.

All in all it was a success! We received our fresh and non-perishable items in perfect condition from a friendly personal shopper without stepping foot out of the office. Ready to try it for yourself? Use the code LSERRATO21 to get $10 and free delivery on your first order.

Some of our delivered Instacart items.
Some of our delivered Instacart items.

It’s easy to get started and for a homeowner who just moved, certainly this would be a great option. The majority of us are busy working, caring for children, errands and other daily tasks. So a service like this begs the question, how valuable is your time?