June 20, 2024
Is Instacart really free? We explore the costs and benefits of using this popular grocery delivery service, including delivery fees, service fees, and tips. Learn how to save money on Instacart, how it compares to traditional grocery shopping, and when the added convenience may be worth the extra fees.


If you’re like most people, you probably don’t love grocery shopping. It can be time-consuming, stressful, and just not very fun. That’s why services like Instacart have become so popular in recent years. With this handy app, you can order groceries and other goods from your favorite stores and have them delivered right to your door. But is Instacart free? While there are certainly fees associated with using the service, many people find that the added convenience is worth the extra cost. In this article, we’ll explore the costs and benefits of using Instacart so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not it’s right for you.

The Truth About Instacart: Is it Really Free?

The short answer is no, Instacart is not free. While the app itself doesn’t cost anything to download or use, there are several fees associated with using the service. For starters, there are delivery fees. Depending on where you live and what store you’re ordering from, these fees can range from a few dollars to over $10 per order. There are also service fees, which can range from 5-10% of your total order cost. And of course, if you choose to tip your Instacart shopper (which we highly recommend), that’s an additional cost as well.

How to Save Money on Instacart Despite the Fees

While there are certainly fees associated with using Instacart, there are also ways to save money. One of the easiest ways to do this is to keep an eye out for promo codes. These can often be found online or through the app, and can provide significant discounts on your order. Another way to save money is to sign up for a membership. Instacart offers two different membership levels – Instacart Express and Instacart Express Trial. Both options provide free delivery on all orders, but the latter is just a free trial period lasting for two weeks. Finally, you can save money on Instacart by avoiding peak delivery times. If you’re able to be flexible with when your order is delivered, you may be able to snag a discounted delivery fee.

Exploring the Hidden Costs of Instacart’s “Free” Service

While the fees we’ve discussed so far are fairly overt, there are also some less-obvious costs associated with using Instacart. For example, many people report that the prices on Instacart can be marked up compared to the prices you’d find in-store. Additionally, certain sales or promotions that you might be able to take advantage of in-store aren’t always available through the app. Finally, there’s the opportunity cost of not being able to physically shop for groceries. While Instacart can be a big time-saver, some people may actually prefer the process of picking out their own items and hunting for deals in-store.

Is Instacart’s Convenience Worth the Extra Fees?

This is a question only you can answer for yourself. For many people, the convenience of having groceries delivered directly to their door is worth the added fees. Instacart allows you to save time and avoid crowded stores – both of which are certainly valuable commodities in today’s fast-paced world. However, if you’re someone who is on a strict budget or who really enjoys the process of grocery shopping, Instacart may not be the best choice for you.

Instacart vs. Traditional Grocery Shopping: Which is the Cheaper Option?

This is a bit of a tricky question to answer, as it can vary depending on the individual circumstances. Generally speaking, if you’re someone who is able to get to the store easily and who is able to take advantage of in-store sales and promotions, traditional grocery shopping may be the cheaper option. However, if you’re someone with mobility issues or who simply doesn’t have the time or energy to go to the store in person, Instacart’s added fees may be worth it to you.

Why Instacart’s Delivery Fees May Be Worth It

While delivery fees and other costs associated with Instacart may seem steep at first, there are certain situations where they may be justified. For example, someone with a hectic work schedule or who is dealing with a new baby at home may find that the added cost of Instacart is worth it in order to save time and reduce stress. Additionally, for individuals with mobility issues or disabilities, Instacart may be the only option for getting groceries without having to rely on family or friends for transportation.

The Pros and Cons of Instacart’s “Free” Grocery Delivery Service

Overall, it’s difficult to say definitively whether or not Instacart is “free”. While the app itself doesn’t cost anything, the fees associated with using the service can add up quickly. That being said, Instacart can be a great option for individuals or families who are short on time or who face mobility issues that make grocery shopping difficult. Additionally, if you’re willing to be strategic about how you use the service and take advantage of promo codes and memberships, you may be able to save money in the long run.


So, is Instacart free? No, it’s not. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not worth using. As we’ve discussed, there are pros and cons to using the service, and ultimately it’s up to you to decide if the added convenience is worth the extra cost. The good news is that there are ways to save money when using Instacart, from using promo codes to signing up for a membership. At the end of the day, we encourage you to weigh the pros and cons for yourself and make an informed decision about what’s best for you and your family.

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