Ahh yes…free delivery on the first order – that gets me to try something at least once every time!
It’s stinking hot out, and as much as I love Wegmans, every location has insane parking lots. We have house guests coming, so I thought I would splurge.
Their app and online website for Instacart are easy to use. I went through my order, and when I got to the payment section I learned about something I did NOT know entering into this – they tack on a service fee for someone to do the shopping (which to my knowledge Giant PeaPod and Fresh Direct do not have this separate fee – just tax and delivery.) That service fee for me was about $18.00. (Yes, ouch)
BUT then it gets confusing. Although they have this little disclaimer talking about this pays for the people who take care of your order, it does NOT filter down to a tip for your delivery person.
I will admit that this makes me categorize Instacart whether you use it for ACME or Wegmans as being more in the class of Fresh Direct. I am still thinking the best dollar value in home delivered groceries is Giant Peapod.
Now I will admit it is super nice to know when I want some extra special items for my kitchen, that Instacart is a viable alternative to Fresh Direct. Fresh Direct used to be awesome, now sometimes it is a bit hit or miss, and for the money you spend it should NOT be. I hope when and if we get a Whole Foods in Exton that perhaps Instacart will add on a Whole Foods too in more areas.
Instacart is zip code driven. Depending on where you are depends on where you can order from. Some areas apparently can get Weavers Way Food Co-op deliveries.
Pro-tip: you can fine Instacart coupons on sites like Retailmenot and Groupon and so on to bring your costs down a little more – I found a $10 coupon on Retailmenot today.
The food was for the most part bagged in item appropriate grocery bags. I will note that I ordered a couple of Brie family soft rind cheeses to serve my guests when they are here and the cheeses were not packed so well. Basically, the cheese was cut and wrapped in simple plastic wrap. I could smell the cheese as soon as I bought the bags inside from the delivery person – and as soon as I smelled my stinky cheese I felt bad for the delivery woman because I bet her car stank to high heaven from the cheese.
With Instacart you can get a better range of deliveries when compared to Fresh Direct and Giant PeaPod. With Instacart you can get a delivery within a couple of hours if the time slot is available. However, as opposed to Giant PeaPod and Fresh Direct which uses refrigerated trucks or at least insulated trucks, Instacart does not. Your delivery person uses their own vehicle.
Instacart however stays in touch with you as your order is being shopped. So if something is not available and you indicated a substitution was O.K. they will actually text you your options. Giant PeaPod and Fresh Direct DO NOT do that – with these two services you do not know you are NOT getting something until the order arrives.
Bottom line: Instacart was a great experience, albeit expensive like Fresh Direct. Will I use them again? Yes. But how often depends on their pricing structure. Right now they are in the category of occasional splurge.
DISCLAIMER: I was not paid or compensated in any way by Instacart, Giant PeaPod, or Fresh Direct. These are my own opinions as a customer/consumer.