In the recent two years or so food delivery had become a trending business which I can definitely appreciate since sometimes I really don’t want to cook but I also don’t want to leave the house and I don’t really want pizza (generally only business that does delivery in SoCal). With the ongoing business wars on who has a better system, many companies are trying to find ways to give customers even more services. With that being said, that food delivery concept has now reached the grocery supermarket industry. ‘Instacart‘ a recent startup company that basically does what Postmates, DoorDash, GrubHub, Eat24 does came up– instead of delivering food… They deliver your groceries.
The Smart & Final Extra that we frequent in our neighborhood recently added Instacart option that allowed free delivery on the first order AND get $20.00 with their shopping code. I thought hey, why not since our groceries usually ranged in the $50-$70. But I had wanted to save the opportunity for when we actually needed and thankfully that chance came quite soon. Last weekend, we were too busy with plans and events that we didn’t have the time to do our weekly grocery shopping errands so I opted to use Instacart grocery delivery. I went online and checked out Smart & Final’s site, I created an account and logged in. You can create sharable grocery carts (and send a link to a friend or family so they can add stuff into the car) or just have your own personal shopping cart. I set my location to Diamond Bar where we lived and went shopping.
A few things I noticed, the site didn’t have all the items that were usually in stock from our Smart & Final (e.g. So Delicious Coconut Milk Yogurt, they only had the milk, Farmer John Smoked Beef Sausage, etc.). I even double checked but there was definitely some items I usually get that weren’t on the site. I also saw that weekly ad specials weren’t all updated correctly– example: last week the Farmer John Pork Loins were supposed to be on sale for $1.49 a pound, but when I checked they were still original price of $4.49 a pound. Bummer. I really wanted to get in on that special. Then another issue was that some items that came in prepacked trays (chicken thigh, chicken breast, turkey meat, etc.) that you just pick-up and go, but Instacart needed the customer to add in how many pounds they would like. Um, how are we supposed to know that when we buy them in prepacked trays at the market?
Anyways, I selected all the available items into my cart and checked out. You pick a time you want your groceries to be delivered and chose, 7:00PM-8:00PM so I know that I will be home on time to get it. You also get text messages sent to you on the progress of your order. There’s a optional (but set to default ‘give’) 10% service fee. You can opt out of it if you really want when you check out, but I think it’s a fee that gets your deliverer paid since a portion of it goes to them. I’m glad that I had the discount code for free delivery, I saw that normal delivery would be $10.00 each time + 10% service fee + tipping is kind of expensive for groceries. Or you can pay $149.00 a year and get all your groceries delivered for ‘free’. Mmm. I don’t know about that.
My food was delivered by a girl named Monique and she was nice and dropped off all our food (with the help of a brother? Friend? I wasn’t sure LOL). I gave her 10% tip (of the total of your groceries) for the troubles of my dogs getting excited and barking. Other than that she actually did our shopping really late (later than I would’ve liked), she didn’t start shopping until 7:20PM and then I got a text saying she might be arriving later than the time I wanted of 8:00PM. She ended up arriving at 7:59PM which I thought was too close of a call/might’ve been late. Would’ve been better and more efficient if she went shopping at 7:00PM and gave herself time to deliver the food on a more relaxed schedule.
Would I use them regularly? Mostly likely not unless it was an emergency like last week where we had 0 time to do groceries and didn’t have food. Takes too much effort since not all of our usual food were listed on the site so that ended up going to the market anyways to pick up the remainder of the food ourselves. As well as the fact that weekly specials were not all there either so that means spending more money than needed on top of the fact that it’s already expensive if you choose not to purchase their yearly delivery package of $149.00 with a $10.00 charge per delivery, that’s $40.00 a month for a shopping order that may not even contain all the things you need because it seems not all items are listed. But I did like that it was same day delivery (1 hour delivery even) which I thought was very nice so that food will be there when needed day of.