Online grocery shopping with InstaCart

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March 19, 2014 3:16:22 PM PDT
It's something all families have to do, but for many grocery shopping is a time-consuming, dreaded chore.

But now you can get someone else to walk the aisles and do the work for you, all thanks to a new service available in our area.

We're talking about InstaCart... and "instant" it is!

What makes this new service different is you can get your groceries delivered just a couple hours after you order and you can get items from multiple local stores.

Nate Nichols doesn't have a car, which means getting groceries can be a challenge. So when InstaCart launched in Philadelphia, he was one of its first customers.

"For me, it's awesome - it's a godsend," said Nichols.

InstaCart customers can order groceries from Super Fresh, Whole Foods, or BJ's Wholesale Club - no BJ's membership required!

And ordering as well as re-ordering is easy. Just go online.

"There's a feature on the website that allows you to save your favorite groceries," explains Nichols. "So I just click the button and you can even automate it."

Once you place your order, InstaCart dispatches a personal shopper like Gregory Laut. Laut's a freelance balloon artist and when he heard about InstaCart, he was immediately interested in making money on the side.

Laut tells us, "I really liked how flexible the scheduling was."

InstaCart trains the personal shoppers on how to pick produce and meats and provide good service. And while anybody with their own smart phone and car to use can apply, the company does perform background checks.

Bill Babeaux of Instacart emphasized the importance of background checks, saying, "Safety is extremely important to us at InstaCart."

Personal shoppers get paid a commission. The more you shop, the more you make. But Instacart says the average is about $15 to $20 an hour - and that does not include tips!

And how much does InstaCart cost customers?

There are various plans, but generally if you schedule a delivery for groceries totaling $35 or more, the delivery fee is $3.99, and you can have your groceries within two hours.

Babeaux explains, "Customers will pay for their entire order on our website ... then when the shopper arrives, it's basically just hand over the groceries and everything is already completed. There's no cash changing hands at the point of delivery."

InstaCart delivers groceries in Philadelphia and parts of the Main Line.

One word of caution: the InstaCart grocery prices you see online are set by the company and vary from store prices. And you can't take advantage of a store's daily sale prices, regular coupons or store loyalty cards for discounts.

Still, it is convenient.

If you want to give it a try visit www.instacart.com.


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