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Instacart and Me

Going to the grocery store has always brought out anxiety in me.  The more often I have to go there the more anxious I get.  I don't like crowds and I surely don't like people that cannot share the lane or walk to the right.  Fast forward to quarentine and teetering on believing I shouldn't leave the house to I need to get out as this is all made up to be more than it is and I wasn't sure what the right thing to do was.  Now the lanes are one way and people are still arguing and being rude.  I recently saw an article that a woman got angry that someone went down the aisle the wrong way and she spit on him.  This happened in my own area.  Who does that?  I want to be safe, but I also want to exercise my right to freedom I feel I no longer have with the stay at home order.  I still have to grocery shop, but after hearing good things from my sister, I decided to give it a shot and use Instacart.

I have ordered through Instacart 3 times and each time I had someone different deliver.  This is not a bad thing.  Each shopper had their own preference for shopping and fulfilling the order to the best of their ability.  You download the app on your phone and it tells you the local stores in your area that offer for this program.  There are some pros and cons to ordering via Instacart, but I think the pros outweight the cons.  Let's take a look at what they are... at least for me.

I like that in my area there are several stores to choose from.  I also like that these are stores I would regularly go to.  I can use this service for grocery, over the counter pharmacy, and pet store runs.  I haven't run into any wait periods to get my groceries as they always come the same day.  I traveled this last week to Florida for my daughter's graduation and we drove from Connecticut... I was not getting back in the car after 18.5 hours of driving, but I knew I needed to get some essentials.  I did my shopping on the highway heading home and submitted it after all the stores closed. I received them yesterday morning when I got home.
Each shopper I have worked with has been so nice and has done their best to fulfill the order.  There is limited stock in supplies up in Connecticut and I fully understand it.  I like the in-app texting feature where they communicate what is going on with supplies and will offer substitutions if they can.  This helps me with meal planning and budgeting for the week.  It is a service that you pay for but most of my orders came in less than the amount I allocated for.

   I don't like not being able to walk up and down each aisle to confirm I didn't miss anything.  I don't typically use lists so this is hard for me to do sometimes.  There is an order minimum so if I forget something I would have to run out and get it or remove the meal from my planning.  It is a little thing, but it would defeat the purpose of staying home to have to run out anyway.  I also like to pick my own meat out.  It is hard to relinquish that control to someone else, because they may not shop the way you do.  I also noticed that some items will be a bit more expensive than they are in the store.  It bothered me a lot, but then I realized it is a convenience charge and not something that is so significant that it will deter me from using the service.  

I lost my job in March like most of the country, but I am in a positive place because my husband's income allows for me to take this time off without a struggle.  I looked into being an Instacart shopper, but knowing how I feel about shopping I knew it wasn't the best idea for me.  What I do know is that a lot of these shoppers are doing this job to provide for their family and their own livelihood.  I tip at least 20% of my order because their time is valuable to me.  Instacart has been something that has helped me and in turn, I am helping someone else.  

Have you tried Instacart or any other delivery service?
What has been your experience?

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