Instacart: The Pros and Cons

Grocery delivery is more popular than ever in the US. So, you may have heard of the delivery service Instacart that lets you order groceries from the comfort of your home.

You fill up a virtual basket on the website or app, and a personal shopper will head to the store to pick up your groceries for you before delivering them to your door.

It’s a simple concept that works as a convenient alternative if you don’t want to head to the store.

However, there are processing and delivery fees. So, what are the pros and cons of Instacart? And is it worth it?


  • The service is available throughout the United States and 9 Canadian provinces
  • The Instacart Express membership offers discounts
  • Depending on when you order, same-day delivery is available
  • There is plenty of choice through the app, from local stores to nationwide chains
  • Personal shoppers help pick replacements if something is out of stock
  • You can order from multiple stores at once


  • The service is only really available in urban areas
  • One-off purchases are quite expensive without a membership due to processing and delivery fees
  • You sometimes don’t benefit from in-store discounts
  • Some may find the service difficult to use

What’s Available?

You can filter your search through various categories – it’s not just groceries available through Instacart. You can filter for categories such as: grocery stores, pharmacies, alcohol, convenience, pets, bulk, or beauty.

Some of the retailers available include:

  • Target
  • ALDI
  • Price Chopper
  • Costco
  • Dollar Tree
  • Walgreens
  • CVS
  • Sephora
  • The Vitamin Shoppe
  • 7-Eleven

What are the costs?

Obviously, you need to pay for the cost of your items – no help there!

You don’t need a membership to use Instacart. You can use the service and pay a 5% service charge, plus delivery fees and a tip for your driver. These fees can really add up depending on the size of your order, making it substantially more expensive than simply heading to the store yourself. That being said, you are saving on gas!

However, for a $9.99 membership fee, you get no delivery fees on orders over $35. For a family that does a regular shop, that could represent a substantial saving.

However, many shoppers report that using Instacart means you often don’t benefit from in-store discounts that could bring your bill down.

The verdict

Instacart makes for an excellent service, particularly if you are in a rush and manage to get same-day delivery. If you choose to use the service regularly, then the membership option works because that $9.99 payment quickly offsets what delivery and processing fees would be.

Ultimately, it is worth paying for it just for the convenience of not having to spend time out of your day ambling around the shopping aisle. We do hope, however, that Instacart will work out a way of ensuring customers get the same deals they would get in the store.

Try it with a promo code

Why not test the service out for yourself with an Instacart promo code? Get $5 off your first order and see how you like getting those groceries delivered directly to your door.