How to Use Instacart Like a Pro

Maybe you’ve used grocery delivery apps for a while, or maybe you’re entirely new to the concept of fresh foods delivered right to your door. But with social distancing in full swing, many people are trying delivery services like Instacart for the first time. Grocery delivery apps are a great way of avoiding crowded stores during COVID to get what you need, including some of your favorite Elmhurst varieties. While many states have started to open stores to the public, we are still seeing a rise in virus cases, making grocery delivery a great option for those trying to stay in during quarantine. If you are new to using a grocery service like Instacart, or any similar mobile application, here are our top tips for the best experience.

Instacart: What is it?

Instacart is a grocery delivery service, operated through a mobile application, that partners with grocery stores and pharmacies so that you can shop online and have your order fulfilled by a personal shopper. Instacart doesn’t sell the groceries, they simply provide the shopping service.

Instacart carries no service fees, unless you’re looking to enroll in their premium membership. Once it’s time to order, all you’ll pay is the delivery fee or you may be able to select the pickup option depending on your store.

Planning Ahead: Before You Order

Take stock of what you have and what you are running low on, and plan your orders ahead so you don’t run out of the supplies you need. Planning your order ahead of time will ensure faster delivery, and it often prevents impulse purchases on items you don’t actually need.

During quarantine, it’s often difficult to get your hands on all the ingredients you need for your favorite meal recipes. That’s why we’ve compiled a convenient list of delicious recipes, for an easy week-long meal plan strategy that’s easy to plan and enjoy.

Instacart also offers you the option to review ingredients on each grocery item before you purchase. You can always start a cart and return to it later; you don’t have to worry about blocking shelves in the store while you make healthy meal choices.

Instacart also saves your past purchases in your history. This allows you to easily reorder your favorite items like that carton of Unsweetened Milked Oats you grabbed last week, save time during subsequent purchases and reference your grocery staples the next time you’re back in the store.

Don’t Forget to Check Delivery Times

With more people using Instacart, it can be more difficult to ensure a fast delivery time on the groceries you need. You should be ready to wait up to a few days for your groceries to arrive at your front door. Make sure to check the mobile app regularly for order updates after submission. Shopper availability varies throughout the day, so don’t worry if you don’t get one right away. However, to prevent running out of an essential, it’s always best to order groceries before you absolutely need them.

Fast, Flexible Delivery

To meet high delivery demands during COVID, Instacart created a fast and flexible delivery option, perfect for people who are getting ahead on their grocery shopping. With fast and flexible delivery, a shopper will buy your groceries within a particular window of time. This option is best when you are ordering your groceries prematurely, and don’t need items urgently.

Here are some great options to keep in mind while ordering:

Try “Leave at Door” Delivery

If you want to maintain social distancing at home, make sure you select leave at my door delivery. Your shopper will alert you through the mobile app when your order has been dropped off.

Get Secondary Options Ready

To save you and your shopper time and trouble, be ready with substitutions in case your store is out of an item you need. While your shopper is at the store, be available to answer any questions they may have about the items you ordered.

Send Groceries to Loved Ones Who Can’t Get Out

Many of us have friends and family members who are unable to go shopping, be it because of age or underlying health conditions. Luckily with Instacart, you are able to send groceries to your loved ones from almost anywhere in the country. Find their local store using their zip code in the mobile app, and proceed as you would for yourself. This is a great way to show your loved ones you care or to offer support to people who are working as essential workers and may not have time to shop for themselves.

Try Out the Group Cart

Instacart has made it easy for everyone to get what they need through the “Group Cart” feature. Simply add members to the group so that they can contribute what they need to the order. This feature is perfect for families and roommates. This is also a great feature when ordering groceries for others remotely, especially those friends and relatives who are not tech-savvy, or for a college student who could use some help with food. Add them to the group cart so they can pick out what they need while you navigate to checkout and payment.

Meet Your Groceries at Home

One convenient aspect of grocery delivery is eliminating a stop on your way home from work. If you are working from home and want to avoid unnecessary exposure, ordering your groceries is a great way to do that with the added bonus of saving time during your day. Just schedule your grocery delivery for when you get home from work, and meet your groceries at the door.

Be Ready to Bring Your groceries Inside!

Maybe this is a given, but make sure you are home when your Instacart delivery order arrives, so your fresh food doesn’t spoil. If you use “leave at door” delivery, you will receive a notification in your Instacart app when your groceries arrive.

Don’t Forget to Thank Your Shopper!

Instacart shoppers are working hard and putting themselves at risk by being a shopper on your behalf. Don’t forget to thank them accordingly, and tip well for their services.

Buy Elmhurst Plant-Based Milk Products at Home!

Elmhurst plant-based milks are available at many grocery stores through Instacart, but you can also order yours online! Our shelf-stable packaging means you don’t have to worry about refrigeration until you are ready to drink and enjoy, and they stay good in your pantry for up to 6 months! You need to check out our plant-based milks today.