Whether or not you’ve had a chance to try Instacart, I’m willing to bet you’ve at least heard of it. You know the app that assigns a personal shopper to you so that you can get your groceries without stepping foot into the store? You can’t beat the convenience.
After talking to different people, I’ve learned that one of the greatest hesitations to using Instacart is the fees associated with it. Unfortunately having someone shop for you isn’t free. On top of your grocery bill you’ll be charged a service and delivery fee. Why pay someone to do something you can do yourself?
As you’ve probably gathered from the title of this article, I’m a firm believer that using a service like this can actually SAVE you money (and no, I’m not an affiliate for the company).
1. It Curbs the Impulse Buys
If you look at your last grocery receipt, how many items did you purchase that weren’t originally on your shopping list? Don’t worry; I suffer from impulse buying, too.
We are surrounded by temptation as we walk up and down the store aisles. Everywhere we look we see our favorite snacks begging us to buy them. It’s not our fault, either (well, partially)! Stores strategically place items so that we make those impulse buys.
The beauty of using an online grocery service, such as Instacart, is that there are no impulse buys. You simply go online and search for the specific items on your shopping list. That’s it. It’s so much easier to fight the temptations to toss in an extra item or 10.
2. You Know the Total Before You Check Out
So you’re desperately trying to stick to your budget as you fill up your grocery basket. You’ve tried to keep a metal tally of your total, but history tells you that the number in your head is smaller than the number that will appear on the screen.
When you order from Instacart, you get to see your final total before you checkout. If it’s higher than you want it to be, you don’t have to ask the clerk, “How much will it be if I take this away?” Simply remove the item from your cart without the walk of shame back to the frozen foods section.
The problem is most of us won't take things back. We'll just ignore the overage and swipe our debit card anyway. Ordering online can help you stick to your budget. It's a lot easier to will yourself to delete items when you're doing it from a computer screen.
3. It Helps You Avoid Coupons
Did you have to read that headline twice? I know what you’re thinking. Coupons are a good thing, right?
Coupons are great when they are for an item you were going to buy anyway. Clipping a coupon for $1 off of the laundry detergent you normally buy is a great way to save on your grocery bill. However, some coupons can cause you to actually spend more.
Tell me if this has happened to you. You’re at the store and you see a coupon hanging from the shelf in front of the coffee creamer you like. Your money saving brain is drawn to the words “Buy 2, get 1 free” written on the slip of paper. You immediately dump 3 of them into your basket and keep moving. Great savings? Sure, but you also just spent twice as much as you planned on coffee creamer.
Even more dangerous are the coupons for things you didn’t need in the first place. “Buy this special brand of coffee, get the creamer free!” You were going to buy the creamer anyway, so you’re thrilled to see you can get it for free. However, instead of spending $2 on creamer, you spend $10 to get the deal.
4. Time is Money
Let’s face it; going to the store can be pretty time consuming. In order to go the store, we have to sacrifice time doing something else. Whether it’s work, or just time with our family, we spend one of our most valuable resources every time we go to the store.
Try online shopping and see what your results are. Compare your online grocery bill to your average bill when you shop in person. If nothing else, they are usually pretty close. That means even if you don't save money, you saved yourself some time.