Why I Let Instacart Do My Grocery Shopping
I want to preface this by saying this is not a sponsored post, it's just a thing I started using and really like so far — Instacart.
If you haven't heard of it, it's a grocery delivery service and app that's now in many, many cities across the country.
It's almost too easy. You pick out your things (I takes me about 5 minutes on the app, even with a large order) and then set up the time you want your groceries delivered (as soon as two hours from the time you place the order).
Here are some other reasons why I like it:
1. The time saved is absolutely worth the delivery fee.
The New York Times just published an article about how money can buy happiness, at least when it comes to outsourcing chores and errands you don't like to do. Buying yourself time does actually make you happier.
As I get older (and busier), I am fortunate enough to be able to contract out certain things in my life that I do not enjoy doing. It's not like I am swimming in disposable income, but this is a luxury for which I am extremely thankful. Rather than spending quality time running to the grocery store during a super packed week, I can spend it working out or writing or hanging out with my fellow humans.
2. It forces me into meal planning + leaves me no excuses not to cook.
I always feel like a real adult when I map out what I'm going to cook and eat for the week on Sundays and then prep a bunch of stuff that evening. Normally, I make my list(s) and then I'm like, "UGH, now I have to go to the store (and probably another store)." And it takes an additional two hours of running around just to get the groceries into my possession, and by then I'm too zapped to actually do any preparation for the week. I'll do something like pick up Thai food on the way home and ignore all the groceries I just bought. That's absurd. With the app, it's like a) make the list, b) groceries appear at the door, c) make some food.
3. The real-time interface is awesome.
You'll have to excuse me while I nerd out on the tech for a second, but the UX on this app is impressive. You can add things to your list right up until the time your shopper starts shopping, just in case you forget something right after you press send (we all do).
While your shopper is shopping, they'll send you direct notifications on things they might've had to change or substitute. Like maybe they couldn't find a 2 lb. roast so they grabbed a 2.5 lb one for you. Or maybe the store was out of Honeycrisp apples, so they substituted Fuji. You can approve these changes in real time on the app, so they know you're cool with it before they check out.
It's important to pay attention, because the choices can honestly be hit or miss depending on who is doing the shopping. Once I had a shopper try to replace a $3 yogurt with a $7 yogurt. And another time, they substituted ground lamb with ground beef. Um, no. Not the same.
4. I can still shop at stores and markets I love.
I like to buy a lot of produce at farmers markets in the summer and I could never quit my precious Asian grocery stores, but those errands are the fun kind. It's satisfying to pick out fruit and vegetables (for me anyway).
I can send Instacart to do my regular, boring shopping at Cub or Whole Foods.
It hooks up with both chain stores and local stores in each market, so you'll likely see things like Whole Foods (at least until Amazon changes things), Costco, Cub, Kroger and Ralph's. In Minneapolis, The Wedge and Lakewinds are both available on Instacart. I'd love to see Trader Joe's and Aldi on there someday, but one can only hope... and send multiple requests to the Instacart customer service department to make that happen.
Anyway, that's why I enjoy Instacart.
Like I said, this isn't a sponsored post but I do have a referral link should you want to try it. First-time customers get free delivery on the first order, and this link will get you another $10 off (yay, discounts!). You can also use this code rather than going through the link: ADSOUZA18410A.
photo by Leonie Wise