The pandemic has many people reducing their outdoor errands. Grocery shopping is an essential activity. But that doesn’t mean you need to rub elbows with supermarket shoppers. Many stores offer curbside pickup or contactless delivery.
If you are like most people, you shop at multiple stores. You may prefer fruits and vegetables from Sprouts or Walmart. Costco or Smart and Final are popular places for bulk items. You may favor Albertsons, Ralphs, or Bristol Farms for other food items. You can download separate apps for each store or you can download one integrated app like Instacart.
With a compelling entry offer, Instacart offers no charge on your first delivery. One of the advantages of Instacart is that your designated shopper can gather groceries from multiple stores. Instacart adds a modest service fee. The average tip is 5% or more. If you plan to order more than 15–20 times per year, the optional up-front annual subscription eliminates individual delivery fees. Some stores require minimum value purchases for free shipping. Within about 2 hours a shopper can have your items on your front porch. You receive progress reports within the app.
Select each store from the menu and add products to your list of favorites items. You will need to invest some time to do so. The advantage is that name brand products show up in the favorites lists across all stores within the app. If you select something like Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup, you can compare prices at Walmart, Target, Vons, and Pavilions. If you add Kroger Chicken Noodle Soup, it appears only when shopping at Ralphs. The Instacart app keeps a history of shopping lists for easy reordering. Save multiple delivery addresses to shop for family and friends.
Stores often run out of items you desire. When shopping in person, you can choose alternates. To replicate this for your proxy shopper, you have the option of specifying an alternate item for each line item. You can also type a specific note like, “Expiration date should be minimum of 2 weeks away.” Give Instacart a try, but have them deliver nutritious food, not truckloads of booze and processed snacks. Let me know what you think of Instacart or whatever comparable service you use.
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