Do Groceries Cost More with Instacart?(Yes, But..)

Do Groceries Cost More with Instacart?

Do Groceries Cost More with Instacart?

Instacart is a delivery service that allows you to order groceries from your favorite stores and get them delivered in as little as an hour.

Instacart has partnered with many grocery chains, including Whole Foods Market, Costco, Safeway Inc.,

Target Corporation, The Kroger Company, and ALDI Inc., to offer their customers the convenience of ordering online or through the App.

Instacart offers different delivery options for each store they have partnered with – some are free, while others will cost you a small fee after your first order.

You can also schedule your delivery time within an hour window, so it arrives when you need it most.

Instacart makes it easy to shop without leaving your house and then delivered the groceries right to your door.

If you’re looking for a way to save money on your weekly shopping, Instacart may be worth checking out.

Do Groceries Cost More with Instacart?

Yes . Groceries with an Instacart account are less expensive than if you were to buy them on-site at a grocery store like Whole Foods or Safeway – even with their membership discounts.

Here’s an example

You order $200 worth of groceries from Whole Foods and use your Amazon Prime membership discount; your total will be $160.

If you were to order these same items through the Instacart App on a weekday evening or weekend morning.

When delivery costs are higher, they would cost about $180 in total with Instacart’s service fee (plus taxes).

However, there are many other services offered by Instacart, such as meal kit subscriptions like Blue Apron. You can use this to save even more money.

As a bit of a cost comparison, grocery deliveries can cost more than shopping on-site.

However! that said, you can use Instacart to save time and money with a wide variety of services, including meal subscriptions like Blue Apron.

Does Instacart Do Upcharge Groceries?

Yes, Instacart offers upcharge groceries, also known as “add-on” items.

These are more expensive products that cost extra based on the weight or volume of the item.

You can add these add-on items to an order for a higher total price. Let’s use strawberries as an example:

Example: $4.99 per pound x 4 pounds = $19.96 for 4 pounds of strawberries. $5.00 per pound for the same amount of product (using Upright pints).

Although they do not list this on their website under upcharge items.

Nor is it mentioned in their FAQ section, customers have claimed they charged them for up things like this before.

Thus, it’s safe to assume that these upcharge items exist and therefore officially allowed.

However, the Instacart FAQ section says that a shopper’s discretion will determine any add-ons (e.g., selectivity, proximity).

So there may be some restrictions on these specific items in particular.

For a customer to see the cost of an upcharge item, they can go into “Edit” mode either within their cart or before checking out from the App.

Upcharges added before this will not reflect their total price until after editing has taken place, as seen here:

To summarize, Yes, Instacart offers upcharge groceries.

It’s also important to note that the shopper’s discretion determines the criteria for these upcharge items.

So they may not always be available.

Either way, Instacart offers other hidden fees such as an extra service fee and bottle deposit (bottles & reusable bags). Such fees are not stated on their site.

Although these add-on products have become more common in grocery delivery services, it’s important to note them beforehand.

This ensures that shoppers can save money and time during their shopping experience.

Why Does Instacart Charge More Than The Total?

When you finish grocery shopping, you expect to pay the bill once.

But Instacart charges more than what you expected because of their delivery fee, service fee, and tip.

The company says their drivers get paid well above what other companies offer for similar services. That is why they need to charge this extra fee.

They also claim that it gives customers a discount compared to the cost of doing groceries yourself or using another delivery service like AmazonFresh or FreshDirect.

While their costs are higher than some other services, Instacart has lowered its prices.

So existing customers see little savings this year.

Even though they’ve brought in new shoppers who use newer cars with higher gas mileage (and aren’t looking to make as much money).

Who Pays For The Groceries On Instacart?

Three different people can pay for a purchase made through the App.

There’s the shopper who picks up your order, there’s Instacart, which charges a fee to run an account and process transactions.

Lastly, there’s you who pays for what depends on if you’re using Membership or Express Checkout. Let’s go through them one by one so know exactly where your money goes.

This one is pretty straightforward.With membership.

Customers sign up and complete their profile to save personal preferences like favorite shops, items, and delivery times while receiving a $5 monthly membership fee.

Customers will pay for everything with that order, including delivery, item prices, and service fees.

Who pays for the groceries on Instacart?

The customers do! Who pays for the groceries when using Express Checkout? First, we need to be clear that membership fees still cover until they checkout your order.

There’s also a difference between items included in your order versus items added to your order by shoppers.

For example, if you have a default tip of 10%, it’ll only apply to items included in your order.

Items added by the shopper will not be subject to your tipping preferences. Grocery shoppers get tipped through Instacart.

Why Are There No Instacart Batches?

Customers may have noticed that when they place an order with Instacart.

They do not deliver the groceries in a “batch” like they would be if they ordered directly from a grocery store. Why is this?

Instacart has yet to adopt batches. Their business model allows them to provide higher quality service and a better value for money spent.

Batches increase efficiency for grocery stores. They do so by allowing employees to focus only on incoming orders rather than running up and down the store’s aisles.

However, Instacart’s fulfillment process does not allow this luxury. Orders come in one at a time.

So, shoppers must fulfill orders as quickly as possible so that Instacart can continue fulfilling more orders.

Besides, the company compensates Instacart shoppers for using their vehicles to deliver orders.

This model allows Instacart to save on operational costs and pass the savings onto customers at lower prices.

Instacart says that this business model has not gone unnoticed by its partners. The partners say they appreciate how well-trained each shopper is.

They are also pleased with how much time they spend with customers at checkout.

The next time you’re shopping on Instacart’s website or mobile app, keep a watchful eye out for when your groceries will get delivered.

You may become pleasantly surprised by the grocery delivery services.

Is Costco Partnered With Instacart?

Costco boasts a partnership with Instacart, an online grocery shopping and delivery service.

Customers use the Instacart website or app to find out which items are available at their: Local Costco store

They also use it to schedule a time to deliver those groceries. Items available for delivery include:

  • Fresh produce
  • Meats
  • Seafood
  • Baked goods
  • Dairy products
  • Frozen foods
  • General groceries (including canned food)
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Office supplies and more.

The Instacart personal shoppers purchase the requested items on behalf of customers using their carts.

This happens when they are shopping at the brick-and-mortar Costco store.

At checkout, each shopper selects their customer based on the number provided by Instacart once they place the order.

They will then give the shopper the contact information to arrange the delivery time and place with the customer.

And the payment method if they have used a Costco coupon for any item in the order; Instacart emails informing customers of that fact before charging their credit card.

Instacart guarantees that all fresh food orders get delivered within one hour of being at the store (if not sooner).

Instacart can’t guarantee items that spoil more efficiently, including meat/seafood, dairy items.

These items have either a 3-hour or 6-hour delivery window. Fresh produce is within 24 hours.

All orders will have a customer notification of arrival sent as soon as Instacart receives the order.

Customers can also track their orders during delivery from Costco to Instacart. They use “Track Order” on the Orders page once they place the order.

To date, there are over 100 Costco locations partnered with Instacart on food delivery. This service began at stores in California and then expanded to other states such as:

  • Colorado
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Massachusetts
  • Maryland
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Washington D.C

The services were most recently extended into New York State and parts of Connecticut and New Jersey.

Currently, only one store location (Washington Township) in Ohio offers service for grocery delivery.

They also partnered with Instacart with over 1800 stores for non-grocery or general merchandise delivery across the United States.

Instacart offers two different accounts for customers to choose from Personal and business.

Whether you’re an individual, a couple, a small family, or a large household, a personal plan is available to meet your needs.

The Instacart website features a helpful calculator. The calculator can help you determine which account would best suit your specific needs.

It also provides valuable information on shopping and delivery guidelines. You’ll be able to order much more or much less than the average shopper.

However, this depends on what type of membership you opt for. Here’s a breakdown of each service:

Individuals: This plan costs $5 per month and allows an unlimited number of orders. There is no delivery fee, but there are a few restrictions on what they can deliver.

Instacart doesn’t offer alcohol or tobacco products; orders cannot exceed $35 from Costco.

Couples: This plan costs $10 per month and includes one personal shopper for each household member.

Two-person households have no delivery fee, but additional charges apply if other individuals want their shoppers. You can place one order per day with this plan.

Small Families/Large Households: This plan costs $149 per year, but there is a minimum requirement of two paying members in the household (including children).

Each member receives a personal Instacart account. This plan also allows for one order per day.

They personalize Instacart accounts based on the shopper’s preferred method of communication, including phone, email or text messaging.

Customers can choose to have their Instacart shopper contact them directly at home, work, or via mobile device for all orders and pickups.

Customers will receive a text notification when an order gets received by Instacart, as well as an email confirmation of everything purchased from Costco for that trip.

Details like delivery times, items ordered, costs, and other information about any customer’s account are always kept private upon request.

Individuals in charge of placing orders through Instacart can customize how frequently customers should expect to hear from their Instacart shopper.

As for prices, Instacart charges a delivery fee of $3.99 on each order.

However, there is no delivery fee if an order contains just non-perishable items or general merchandise, such as:

  • Gas grills
  • TVs
  • Other large/heavy objects

Other expenses include: a service charge varies based on the number of items ordered.

The more expensive the thing is from Costco, the less additional services (customers save money when ordering bulk orders or more expensive items).

There is also an initial membership fee of $5.00 per account.

These fees are in place so that Instacart can maintain its business model by charging enough to keep overhead costs low (which means they can pass on to customers at lower prices).

Instacart also provides a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

They encouraged customers to contact the Instacart customer service team with any problems or suggestions at the companies website help page.


The grocery delivery service Instacart has been a hot topic of discussion lately.

Some people love the convenience while others complain about how much it costs and what you get for your money.

We found they sometimes charge groceries as much as $1 or more than the total cost.


Hi! I' am Tom. I was a manager in one of the biggest stores for over 10 Years, am also an SEO by night. I don't like to call myself a blogger; they are very analytical, do email marketing, and know all SEO stuff. I faced many questions from customers about different products, and there was hardly any help on the internet. After learning all the things about these products as a manager the hard way, I decided to start a blog and help other people.

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