Too Cold, Too Busy, Too Tired: Instacart Grocery Delivery Service

I have written about deliver options before from having your Organic foods delivered by Boston Organics, to the service I currently use,  Farmers To You, and other grocery store delivery options.  Some are still going strong and others have stopped or have limited options.  Most recently, I wrote about Heirloom Kitchen that will deliver prepared foods to you.  Now I would like to introduce you to Instacart, which is a relatively new service to the area.  Find out about my experience with Instacart (I will be using it again soon!) or get started on your own order now.  Use code Leah10 for $10 off your order and free delivery.

Grocery bags filled with everything I need.  On my counter without leaving the house.
Grocery bags filled with everything I need. On my counter without leaving the house.

If you shop the way I do, you buy your groceries from at least two types of stores (I do way more as I like to go to a butcher, a fishmonger, a cheese shop, a bakery, and a farm.  It is not as crazy as it might sound because I have most of these really close to me and it is something that it important to me.)  I don’t always buy my provisions at all of these places and, if time necessitates, I shop at one place for everything.  What I love about Instacart is that you have a personal shopper who will go to several stores for you whereas other grocery deliver services are limited to a single source.  Right now the choices are limited to Shaws and Whole Foods, but Instacart is looking to add more stores soon.  I hope they add Russo’s, Market Basket, and Wilson Farms.  When it comes to the butcher or the fish monger I like to go in person to choose which cut of meat or fish looks best.

Choose a store.  I look forward to when this list grows a bit more, but for now it covers the basics.

Most of the time I shop to cook, which is why I like to go to a store in person and see what speaks to me whether it be a beautiful head of lettuce, a sale I cannot pass up or a seasonal ingredient I have been craving.  On the other hand, if I am making a menu from several recipes, I love having the ability to sit with my cookbooks by my side in front of my computer just checking off all the ingredients I need.  There is less chance of a cranky child trying to grab something off the shelf, or stand up in the cart, distracting me from the task at hand.  If I am planning a party I often end up having to make two trips to the store because I have forgotten something.

I was given $35 to test out Instacart and found the site really easy to use.  I even got to order beer!  I don’t know why that makes me so happy but it does.  My shopper was very nice.  He ran out of reusable bags so I had one plastic bag, but I learned that if I continue to use the service regularly I can just have them use some of the reusable bags each time and give them back at each delivery.

Add an ingredient that you need.In addition to shopping with the online list, you can add an ingredient that might not be there.  There is also the option to have a substitution for something that is out of stock or decline any substitutions.  I was able to tip my shopper online so I didn’t have to search for small bills at delivery time.  As for prices, I found them to be on the higher end but not inflated.  You can’t use coupons, but I am not a regular coupon user.  If I am feeling organized and thrifty I’ll save the coupons for when I shop myself.

Delivery times were not restrictive at all, and I was surprised I could have same day delivery. Either have a last minute late evening delivery or plan ahead and choose a time that works best for you the next day.  Deliveries can be early morning or after the kids are in bed.

If you try out Instacart, feel free to share your experience in the comment sections and let me know how it goes.  Instacart seems keen on working with users to create the best possible experience.  I look forward to seeing Instacart grow and develop in the coming months and years.

Instacart serves Boston’s Back Bay; Beacon Hill/West End; the Financial District; the Theatre District; the North End; Kenmore/Fenway; Allston/Brighton; the Seaport; the South End; and South Boston. They also serve Cambridge, Charlestown and Somerville. Update: Recently added neighbourhoods are Dorchester, Mission Hill, Roxbury, Jamaica Plain and Brookline.

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