Get Instacart Groceries Delivered in as Little as 1 Hour

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Have you tried Instacart grocery delivery service yet?

If you’ve been considering trying out a grocery delivery service, Instacart makes the process super simple! Place your order right online or in their free app and let Instacart do the rest. They’ll connect you with Personal Shoppers in your area who will shop for and deliver your groceries from your favorite local stores.

person holding phone with other persons hands holding brown bags of groceries

Hip Sidekick, Nicole, has been using Instacart grocery service for years!

I’ve been using Instacart weekly since before the start of the pandemic. I love that they let me shop at one of my favorite local stores – ALDI! I get most of the same great deals I would get in-store. I’ve had some awesome personal shoppers too. Most will let you know via chat when the store is out of something and offer replacements or a refund in real time! 

instacart online price versus in store receipt

Hip Sidekick, Emily, uses Instacart and gets the same pricing she would in-store!

My local grocery store Tops is one of the grocers that doesn’t inflate the product pricing for using Instacart vs shopping in-store. Even though my store isn’t too far, I still use Instacart for convenience since it ends up being around the same price for me while getting to stay home. I just tip my Instacart driver for saving me the hassle of shopping and have never had issues with an order to date!

Instacart app

Like buying organic groceries? Instacart partners with leading retailers of natural and organic foods (like Sprouts, Natural Grocers, etc.) so you can conveniently get organic groceries delivered to your door!

And guess what? If you want to stock up the break room at work without leaving the office, you can even shop for office supplies or snacks without leaving your desk!

Instacart delivery

Our readers are fans of Instacart, too!

I love Instacart! I have been a customer for years! I save my time and $$! No impulse buying! And Food Lion charges the same as in-store purchases. I started doing this because I didn’t want to spend my free time at the grocery store and even more now due to Covid. I love how Instacart credits you if something isn’t quite right.

Still have questions? Here are a few FAQs:

Instacart shopper on dairy aisle

How much is delivery for Instacart?

The delivery fee depends on the size of your order and the delivery time that you choose. However, you may be able to get free delivery just by purchasing qualifying items at select stores. Also, with Instacart Express (read more about this below), there is no delivery fee on all orders over $35 (service fees may still apply).

instacart pricing vs in store pricing

Does Instacart charge more than the in-store price?

Not always! There are several grocers that stay consistent with their Instacart prices in comparison to in-store pricing, so what you see on Instacart is the same as what you would pay in-store.

Rumored stores to have the same Instacart and in-store prices are:

  • Petco
  • Safeway
  • Kroger
  • Tops Markets

What is Instacart Express?

Instacart Express is a membership option for customers who want to use Instacart regularly. With a small monthly fee or one-time yearly fee, you can enjoy unlimited free deliveries on all orders over $35. Instacart Express members also enjoy the following exclusive benefits on every order:

  • $0 delivery fees on orders of $35 or more (typically $3.99-$7.99 for non-Express)
  • Reduced service fees (typically 5% for non-Express)
  • No busy pricing fees during peak delivery hours
  • Shop at a variety of stores with free delivery on the entire order
  • No pickup or service fees for pick up orders

Instacart shopping bag

What is Instacart Pickup?

Want to pick up your groceries instead? Instacart Pickup allows you to order online, set a pickup time, and collect your order at participating stores (such as ALDI, Cub Foods, Food Lion, Price Chopper, Publix, Sprouts, Tops Friendly Markets, and Wegmans) in select locations. Depending on the store, you may be able to pick up your order inside or wait while they bring it out to your car.

To place an order for pickup, just shop your order in the Instacart app and select a time to come to the store to collect it. When your order is ready for pickup, Instacart will send you a notification on your phone along with directions for how to retrieve your order. Any item available for delivery is also available for pickup.

man holding a small child lookinginto a instacart shopping bag

Does Instacart honor in-store sales?

Instacart does not honor in-store discounts, but they do offer exclusive Instacart Coupons for select items. Instacart Coupons are manufacturer’s coupons that apply automatically to qualifying products at checkout to help you save money on the products you love!

Plus, there are sales and promotions available on Instacart that may not be available in-store – so be sure to keep your eyes peeled while selecting your items!

Do I need to be home at the time of delivery?

No! Instacart now offers contactless delivery, so now customers can authorize a shopper to leave their order in a designated location instead of scheduling a traditional face-to-face delivery. Keep in mind that orders containing alcohol require the I.D. and signature of someone 21 or older, and cannot be left unattended

Do Instacart shoppers accept tips?

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, but tips are optional and the default tip may be adjusted at checkout or when rating an order after delivery. You can add to your tip up to 14 days after delivery and reduce your tip 2 hours after delivery.

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About the writer:

Evan has a Bachelor's Degree from the University of South Carolina with 7 years of content writing experience specializing in pop culture, sports, technology, and living frugally.

Join The Discussion

Comments 8

  1. Laura

    If you pick up from Aldi, do you still tip? I didn’t see a place to add the tip so I’m not sure if one is expected if you do not have it delivered.

    • A

      Tipping IS NEVER EXPECTED, it’s given as a reward for good service. However, with Instacart, it’s automatically added to your order before you check out. You can adjust your tip if you want and if you are picking it up, it’s like Wagman’s and they use their own pickers, so I don’t see why you should. It’s part of their daily duties. You will get some people say you have to, but… it’s whatever… even their customers service says you do not have to. I’m kind getting fed up with Instacart people delivering expired and shitty food, that lately, I’m only doing water through them. And YES, I always tip more then suggested on those heavy items. I never had issues with regular delivery people but lately it’s overall bad, it’s not just my area though.

    • Amy

      I’ve never used the pick up option but I would still tip just for the fact that they’re doing the shopping for you. Driving to the store etc.

  2. Amanda

    I am a shopper for Instacart and always see a bit of back and forth on tipping for this service and just wanted to share what it is like on the shopper side.

    This is gig work much like UberEats or DoorDash. There are no set hours or guaranteed pay and the worker has to use their own vehicle for the job. For a shop and deliver, we have to drive to the store, pick the items, consult with the customer on out of stock items and substitutions (which there are a lot of right now), checkout and deliver. The base pay for most shops is only $7, so shoppers rely on tips for compensation. There is a $.40 fuel surcharge at the moment and that does go directly to the shopper, however this amount does not go up with extended miles. The shopper is doing a service and should be tipped accordingly. Many people do not think twice about tipping 15-20 percent at a restaurant and this service should be similar.

    Also, if you have a good or bad experience with a shopper, rate and tip accordingly. I always love hearing good feedback and strive to make sure that the customer has an amazing experience. Because this is gig work, often there are shoppers that do not do as well. If you have issues contact Instacart, people do get banned from the app if they are not good shoppers. Every business has the occasional issue with bad employees, do not let that stop you from trying the service again. 🙂

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks so much for taking the time to share what it has been like for you, Amanda! 🤗Good to know about your experience and to hear your suggestions. We sure appreciate the feedback! 💞

  3. dealzgurl

    I’m an infrequent user of Instacart because the prices for Publix, the store that I would most want to use it for, are just too inflated.

    My Kroger does not inflate the prices and I can shop the sales, get discounts, etc. My problem is the location Instacart shops from sucks. The majority of items are out-of-stock and on my last order a couple of weeks ago, I didn’t even know though they were on the way or that they had arrived and left. I kept checking my phone for notification and just thought they were running behind. Just happened to check my door cam and saw bags. My frozen items sat outside for nearly 20 minutes in the hot sun. Not happy.

    I definitely think the shoppers should be tipped; especially for heavy items. However, I find instacart to be too expensive overall for me with the higher prices, the various fees, and the tip. When possible, I opt to go to the store for free pickup. Those fees could pay for an actual food item.

    What IS annoying to me is when these restaurants offer curbside pickup and want you to tip the person walking 10 feet to bring the order to your car. I guess they’re the equivalent of an inside server but that really irks me for some reason. So, I opt to go inside for pickup or just don’t order unless there’s a compelling reason.

  4. Jenny

    Instacart has updated their timeframe on tipping. Customers now have 2 hours to lower the tip, and 24 hours to increase the tip.

    I am an Instacart shopper and we basically just work for tips. Instacart pays $7 per order, sometimes a little more for heavy items. Most customers do not tip accordingly, but some customers appreciate our efforts and tip generously. I’m not saying to over tip or anything, but no tip or $2 tip to do the customers full grocery shopping is just insulting. I often wonder what these people tip their pizza delivery driver, probably more than they do the person doing their grocery shopping (and using their own car). Speaking of using their own car, since I’ve been doing IC for almost a year, I’ve had 2 car accidents which basically wiped out my IC pay for 2 weeks (deductible). Because we are in the car more often, we are prone to more accidents/traffic tickets/break downs, etc. yet some customers don’t feel the need to tip. We do more work than a waitress, but they get tipped 20%. Anyway, end rant lol 😂

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks, Jenny! It appears they now list that you have 14 days to increase the tip. Those details above have been updated! ❤️🙌

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