It’s no secret that grocery shopping can be a time-consuming and tedious task, but with the emergence of online grocery shopping platforms like Instacart, it’s becoming easier and more convenient for people to handle this household chore.
One of the biggest advantages of using Instacart is its free delivery service, which has revolutionized the way people shop for groceries.
Is Instacart free shipping free to use? It goes without saying that when you first sign up as a new user, you get free shipping on your first order. So how should we get free shipping on future orders?
In this article, we’ll briefly introduce Instacart, explain how it’s priced, show you how to get free shipping with a new or Instacart Express membership, and answer how you should save money on Instacart.
Let’s jump right in.
What is Instacart?
Instacart is a popular online grocery shopping platform that offers a range of benefits for users, including their free delivery service. The service allows customers to have their groceries delivered to their doorstep without any extra cost.
One of the most significant benefits of using Instacart’s free delivery service is that it saves you time and effort. Going to the grocery store can be time-consuming, especially during peak hours when crowds are high.
But with Instacart, you can order your groceries online, and they get delivered to your doorstep at your convenience.
Many grocery stores offer same-day delivery, guaranteed two-hour delivery in large cities, and even one-hour expedited delivery in some markets for an additional fee.
How does Instacart pricing work?
Instacart’s mode of operation is very simple, you only need to buy food or daily necessities through the Instacart app, and Instacart will send personal shoppers to buy things and deliver the goods to your home. Therefore, instacart’s total bill will be divided into the following expenses:
Cost of Purchased Items –
- Your total bill for purchased items
- Shipping Fee – $3.99, which excludes shipping fees for extra long distances and oversized items.
- Service Fee – 5%
- Personal Shopper Tip – 5% (Orders from Costco are 10%)
- Busy pricing
- Heavy Order Fee: $5 – $15+
- Alcohol Service Fee: $2 – $12+
If your local Instacart allows pickup, you can choose to pick it up in-store and save on delivery costs and personal shopper tips.
So if you buy a $100 order, and you’re signing up for the first time, the final price will be $95:
- Groceries $100
- $5 service fee
- $5 delivery tip
- $10 off for new users
- Extra $5 off with Topcashback
If you buy a $100 order and are not a new user, your final price is $113.99:
- Groceries $100
- $5 service fee
- $5 delivery tip
- Shipping $3.99
Service charges and tips are two unavoidable expenses in shopping on Instacart, and the amount of the shopping order is changed according to your budget.
The only direct cost savings is shipping costs. Maybe $3.99 doesn’t sound particularly expensive but know that little adds up.
Meanwhile, the $10 off your first order is only valid once for new customers, so if you want to save on shipping, you’ll have to try (or commit to) an Instacart Express membership.
What is an Instacart Express membership?
Instacart Express is a subscription-based service offered by Instacart, which is a grocery delivery and pick-up service. The membership offers free delivery on all orders over a certain amount and waives the fees for busy pricing periods.
With Instacart Express, members get unlimited free deliveries on orders over $35, with exceptions for certain areas. Members also save on service fees and surge pricing during peak delivery hours.
In addition, Instacart Express members have the option of using the “Fast and Flexible” delivery option, which means their orders will be prioritized and delivered within an hour.
The subscription fee for Instacart Express is $99 per year or $9.99 per month for a monthly subscription.
Instacart Express is now free for 14 days, and you can cancel your subscription anytime.
How to Get Free Shipping on Instacart？
To be honest, there are a few ways to get free shipping on Instacart, the most direct way is to subscribe to Instacart Express. If your Instacart purchases are so infrequent that it’s not worth subscribing to Instacart Express, here are 5 tips to help you get free shipping:
- Group Orders: Group orders with friends or family members and split the cost of the delivery fee.
- Special Promotions: Keep an eye out for special promotions or deals that offer free delivery. Follow Instacart on social media or subscribe to their newsletter to stay up-to-date on such promotions.
- Shop at the right time: Some stores may offer free delivery during certain times of the week or day. Check with your local store to see if they offer such promotions.
- Use referral codes: Refer a friend to Instacart and receive a referral code that can be used to get free delivery on your next order.
Subscribing to Instacart Express isn’t as much of a waste of money as you might think. If you need to buy ingredients on Instacart more than 4 times a month on average and each order exceeds $35, you will earn costs within six months.
How to Optimize Your Experience with Instacart’s Free Delivery Service?
Finally, to optimize your experience using instacart’s free delivery service, we suggest the following tips and recommendations:
- Sign up for Instacart’s email newsletter to receive special offers and promos exclusive to email subscribers to maximize your savings.
- Create a shopping list ahead of time to help speed up the ordering process, which can also help you order the correct items with ease.
- Review the store’s circulars ahead of time to find the best deals and discounts on offer.
- Be specific when selecting your replacements, which allows shoppers to get it right when your preferred items are out of stock and unavailable.
- Take advantage of Instacart’s loyalty program, Instacart Express, which provides free delivery on eligible orders above $35, and is so much easier when you are relying on the service regularly.
By using the tips mentioned above, you can optimize your experience while using Instacart’s free delivery service, ensuring that you save both time and money in the long run.
How to find coupons for Instacart?
Instacart rarely uses promo codes.
The company offers $10 off your first referral and offers you several ways to save with in-app coupons. Don’t unsubscribe from Instacart emails, because Instacart will send them directly to your inbox when it comes to specific promotional coupons. So please check your email regularly.
If you’re too lazy to search for coupons on Google, you can try Honey, a browser add-on that will automatically help find valid coupons and apply them to your order. You need to complete the installation step, and leave the rest of the money-saving to Honey!
The benefits of Instacart’s free delivery service are obvious. It’s more convenient and saves you time, particularly when shopping for heavy items that are challenging to bring home.
Furthermore, using Instacart’s free delivery service does not mean you lose access to the same discounts, coupons, or price drops that would typically be available in-store. In many cases, the app will offer additional coupons or deals, building up even more savings on top of the ease of delivery.
If you have ideas on how to save money on Instacart, I think this will give you more help.
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