Shop for groceries without leaving your couch

Instacart /Courtesy

As college students, shopping for groceries and stocking our fridge is an unfortunate but necessary part of our everyday lives. But most of us don’t have cars to drive to Costco or Safeway every week, and who wants to carry groceries on the bus? That’s where Instacart  comes in — a super fast, customizable and cheap grocery delivery service.

22state-web2-master675You can either use the website or the smartphone app, both of which are cute and user-friendly. Instacart delivers from four local grocery stores: Safeway, Whole Foods, Costco and Berkeley Bowl. Choose a store from the dropdown list, and search for whichever grocery items you want.

Check out and pay online using a credit card and choose your two-hour delivery window. Instacart delivers from 9 a.m. to midnight every day, and you can even choose same-day delivery if you order early enough.

Delivery is $7.99 for Whole Foods, Safeway and Berkeley Bowl and $13.99 for Costco if you order less than $35 from a store. It’s $3.99 for Whole Foods, Safeway, Berkeley Bowl and Costco if your order is more than $35. However, if you opt for Instacart Express, shipping for orders of more than $35 is always free. Express is $99 per year, which is worth it if you order from Instacart at least 25 times per year. To help you out, we at the Clog shared with you the pros and cons of using Instacart.

Pros

One of Instacart’s unique features is that they employ personal shoppers to find your items. One to two hours before your delivery window, someone will go to the store to buy your groceries and deliver them straight to your door. Say goodbye to bruised apples and mushy bananas, because your personal shopper will screen your produce for you.

When you place your order, you can also specify replacements. For example, if Costco runs out of frozen chicken breasts, choose frozen chicken thighs as a backup. Your shopper will call you to confirm the replacement when they’re at the store, and you can tell them what to buy in real time.

Cons

Shipping isn’t free. But $3.99 isn’t too bad if you want to avoid the trek to Safeway, especially if you lost your bus pass, and it’s nearly impossible to bus to Costco in Emeryville.

Also, Instacart isn’t officially affiliated with the grocery stores, so they customized the prices for everything except alcoholic beverages. Prices for some items may be more expensive if they’re harder to deliver, but we’ve found that they tend not to vary too much.

Image Sources: redshuttersblog, Image 1f

Contact Katy Yuan at [email protected].