How Does Instacart Work? Our Review!


Wondering how does instacart work? Check out our Instacart review below!

How Does Instacart Work – and Is It Worth It?

Wondering how does Instacart work?   Trying to figure out if you should give it a try?  

If you're an impossibly-busy mom, who just needs a hand to get everything done, Instacart is going to be your new best friend.  Check out PPP Team member Jamie's Instacart review below!

Jamie here!  If you've heard about Instacart but aren't sure what it is – you're in the right place.  I'm here to walk you through everything you need to know about Instacart – from signing in, to eating a whole bag of Oreos in your pajamas – in no time 🙂

This grocery delivery service combines everything I love about shopping for deals – the B1G1 Freebies, Clippable eCoupons and Extra Savings – along with the SUPER CONVENIENCE of having someone deliver it to my front door.   (Below is my first delivery ever….)

I love my Instacart delivery lady!!

I mean – HOW. EXCITING. IS. THAT.  This little lady came to my door within ONE HOUR and was as sweet as could be.  She even sent me this text when she was on the way….


Instacart gives me a little of my sanity back on an especially crazy week – and if you need a little more sanity in your life too, let me tell you all about it 🙂

Using Instacart for the first time, I was able to get everything I needed for the week's worth of meals I wanted to make – and not give up my Sunday evening!

Below is me admiring the $42 worth of groceries that just magically showed up at my door with free delivery during my Instacart Trial 🙂

How Does Instacart Work Exactly?

  1. Head over to Instacart and create an account (Sign up for a FREE 2-Week Trial so you can play around with it)
  2. Choose a nearby store to shop
  3. Add items to your cart
  4. Choose your payment method and delivery timeframe
  5. Sit back and wait for your groceries to come to you!

It's REALLY REALLY user-friendly, even those of you who might not be super tech-savvy should have fun placing your first Instacart order!  (I'm talking to you mom!)

Now that you know how Instacart works – let's talk about how you can really save money using a grocery delivery service…. (No really – you can!)


How to Save Money with Instacart

There are several ways to save money with Instacart – and you'll definitely want to take advantage of them to offset the cost of delivery (Cost ranges from $4 – $8 per delivery normally  OR $149 annually for Instacart Express with it's impressive 2-hour delivery.)


1 . FREE Delivery On Your First Order.  Instacart offers free delivery on your first order – or a FREE 2-week trial of Instacart Express (their annual plan that gives you free delivery on every $35+ order).

*Please keep in mind that after your 2 week trial of Instacart Express ends – you will be charged the annual fee of $149.  You'll be sent reminder emails –  but if you don't want to be surprised with a charge, I'd definitely set yourself a google alert so you don't forget to cancel!

2 . Buy $ ~ Save $$ Offers.  Check out the exclusive “Buy certain products and save $$$” types of offers at the top of the page.  Last week I noticed that Kraft cheese was part of a Spend $20 ~ Save $5 promo.  (ON TOP OF being B1G1 Free) You'll often find this is the case and you can stack savings together!

3 . Shop Weekly Specials.  I LOVE getting all the BOGO deals each week!  You can sort by weekly specials so you can just shop from the sales ad and avoid regularly priced stuff.

4 . Use Insta Coupons.  Instacart also has a whooooole bunch of eCoupons you can clip to apply extra savings to your order.   If you've not been successful at couponing the old-fashioned way, this might end up saving you a bundle!

5 . Save on Gas. If you invest in Instacart Express, you'll pay essentially $12.50 per month.  I spend more than $12.50 per month in gas during my weekly (sometimes bi-weekly!) grocery runs.

6 . Avoid Impulse Buys.  By not being in the store, I'm able to shop my list without much chance of adding in random impulse buys that make me total jump up.  Check out this receipt. I was able to save ALMOST HALF off my total because I just shopped BOGO's.  All because I wasn't distracted by everything I passed in the store!

7 .  Refer Friends.  Instacart has a great friend referral program – give a friend $20 off & earn $20 for yourself when you share your link!  Make up to $100 this way – and you'll have your annual membership 2/3 of the way paid off!




Instacart FAQ:

How much is delivery for regular Instacart orders?

The delivery fee depends on the size of your order and the delivery time that you choose. The fee for each delivery will be displayed when selecting a delivery window during checkout, before you place your order.  Please keep in mind that all orders must be $10 or more.

How much is delivery for Instacart Express?

With Instacart Express, you will have no delivery fee on all orders over $35.  Instead you're charged an annual fee of $149.  Service fees may still apply.

Do I tip my Instacart Shopper?

  • Shoppers appreciate tips as a way of recognizing excellent service and 100% of your tip goes directly to the shopper delivering your order.
  • By default a 5% tip is suggested at checkout, with a minimum suggestion of $2 per individual store delivery.
  • Tips are optional and the default tip may be adjusted at checkout or when rating an order after a delivery. You can add and change a tip amount up to 3 days after your delivery is complete. Your receipt will update accordingly.

How do you know if they'll find you good meat and produce?

Shoppers are guided to look for the freshest possible groceries when shopping for you; paying close attention to expiration dates, broken seals, and produce quality.

What if some of my items are out of stock?

You'll be given the option to pick “back-up” or replacement items if some of your chosen groceries are out of stock.  But keep in mind – if you are specifically shopping a sale and you pick items that aren't on sale as your back-ups, you could wind up paying more!  You can also choose that NO replacements can be made for certain items.

What's Busy Pricing?

When we experience high demand for a delivery time, a Busy Pricing delivery fee may apply.  Your delivery fee will be displayed clearly when you select a delivery time. Delivery fees that include Busy Pricing are noted.

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  1. So is tipping the norm with instacart delivery?

    • Great question Paula! There’s an optional 10% service fee (or tip) that you can choose to add to your total during the checkout process – but you can ALSO wait until after they deliver and add your tip then. (If they were extra speedy or you are just feeling generous!) Either way – a tip is totally optional!

  2. Shipt is so much better and they shop at Kroger and Target! It depends on where you live so many different stores. Two week trial and they have sales also.

  3. This sounds like a great service. Bummer, it’s not available in my area. Hopefully soon it will be.

  4. How do you know if this is available on your area ? I live in a small community. My hubs is disabled and thus would be such a blessing for us .

  5. Hi Deb!! You can just go here and enter your zipcode – it will let you know if they’re in your area yet! (Fingers Crossed!)

  6. Hi Deb, if not in Instacart area, certain stores, like Giant, offers same service. Giant uses Peapod. Check the various stores.

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