The other day I had a thousand and one things to do. I was way behind on work obligations, I had to walk the dog, and to top it off, I had zero groceries. Adding to the stress was the fact that my mom's birthday was this past weekend, and I wanted to make her some carrot cake muffins. My friend was telling me about this app called Instacart where you essentially set up a grocery list, and the app sends someone to shop for you. (PS - I've told multiple friends about this app and they all look at me like I have three heads and say, "Where have you been?! I use it all the time, you've never heard of it?!" I guess I live under a rock.) Anyway, for my fellow rock dwellers, you pay through the app, set a delivery time (or a pick-up time, if you'd rather), and with the touch of a button, you can move on to the next thing on your To Do list, because your groceries have been scheduled.
Now, I personally like picking out my groceries but it was one of those days where I was just too busy and adding a grocery run would've added more stress to my plate, so I thought I'd give it a try. I had questions, though. Who was this mystery personally shopper? Was he going to blindly pick any old tomato or would he look for the most ripe one?! What if he ran other errands and my milk spoiled?!
I put all the questions aside, placed an order, scheduled my delivery for between 1-2pm, and went about my business. Because it was my first order, I didn't have to pay a delivery fee (which starts at $5.99). You can also add a tip through the app which will go to your driver. Another option is to become an Instacart Express member where you can pay $149 per year or $14.99 per month and receive unlimited deliveries on all groceries over $35.
Around 11am, I got a text saying Crystal was about to start shopping for me! Ok! Question one was answered. The text also informed me that I could add or make any small changes by simply texting her. About ten minutes later I received a text from Crystal herself, asking if it was okay to substitute cod filet for haddock filet (it was). When she left the store, I got another text saying my delivery was on its way.
Man. The sheer convenience of it all just made me so happy...but I was still slightly skeptical I'd get everything I'd ask for, and I was (unreasonably) concerned about the quality of the produce she'd pick out.
At around 1:20pm, Crystal called saying she was here. I met her outside and collected my bags. Back inside, I examined the produce (all perfect), and the status of my milk (she'd put ice in the bag to keep it cold!) and put away my goods. Later that day, I whipped out the ingredients and was able to make my mom some healthy-ish carrot cake muffins which she enjoyed on Sunday.
It takes a lot to impress me, and I was blown away by how easy it all was, and how convenient it was. I'm not sure this is something I'd use often - I'm rarely so busy that I don't have time to stop at the store, but for the odd occasion that I am, I'll definitely be using Instacart.
The app is pretty cool, too. Some features I like:
- You can share a cart with coworkers or friends. So if you live alone or you just need one or two items, you could ask your coworkers or friends if they need something as well and then share the delivery cost.
- Instacart shops a number of stores from Whole Foods to CVS to PetSmart to Stop and Shop.
- Instacart uploads recipes from the store you're shopping, so if you want an easy, no brainer way to try a new recipe, you choose the recipe and all the items you need pop up. You simply choose what items you need, and they'll shop them for you.
If you're interested in trying it out, you can use this link (affiliate), which will give both you and me $10 credit. Technology for the win!