(This article is one of two. This first one will give you an idea of what it is like to work for Instacart and the second I will show you how much I made vs hours worked.)
Side hustles are a great way to earn extra money. You guys, there is a whole new world out there of what I like to call “App Jobs”-jobs that you can get just by applying and downloading an app!
I have been working for Instacart for about 7 months now. If you have never heard of Instacart, it’s a grocery delivery service that is affiliated to certain stores such as Kroger, Food City, Aldi and more. It is not the same thing as Wal-Mart or Kroger pick-up since it is through an app and the groceries are delivered right to your door.
The application process is easy. You just apply online, wait for the background check to go through and your Instacart debit card to be shipped to you. All of this took about a week. You are also required to have 4 insulated reusable grocery bags. You can purchase them through Instacart but I suggest to get them elsewhere. My Trader Joe’s bags I already have, work just fine.
Instacart’s app is amazing! It is super easy to use. And besides a couple of videos that I was required to watch on their website, I didn’t feel like I needed much training.
After receiving my card and background clearance, I was able to pick my hours. This is where it gets a little tricky. Just because you have scheduled hours, doesn’t mean you will make money. Instacart does NOT pay by the hour. You are paid by each order or batch you complete. So think of it as commission only.
The very first day I worked, I chose a zone about 20 minutes from my house. This was a huge mistake. Unless you just know that the zone is saturated with Instacart customers, I suggest only working in the zone you live in. This will prevent frustration and wasted time.
My shift started at 6pm and I had to sit in front of a Kroger until I received a batch. At 6:30, I received my first batch (order). You have the option to accept the batch or deny it which I think is pretty awesome. The app clearly tells you before accepting, what store to shop at, where the customer’s house is located and how much money you will make.
The zone I was working was very broad so this particular batch took me a good 45 minutes from my house. I was so nervous and very slow. The app tells you exactly what to get. When you collect the item, you are to scan the bar code which notifies the customer that you have shopped for that item. If the item isn’t there, the app has a list of alternatives which instantly notifies the customer of your replacement. It is seriously the easiest!
So over all my first day was nerve racking. Like any new job, there was a learning curve but I quickly gained confidence and speed over the weeks following.
Going back to the zones, I suggest you only work in the zone in which you live because you are basically on call. As a matter of fact, you can be on a shift and not get batches at all. This is very frustrating and it has happened to me a few times. However, If you are waiting at home, you can do your normal daily chores and activities that you would normally be doing anyways.
I only work evenings and weekends when my hubby is home to watch the kids. The stores that I shop are about two miles from my house so it is perfect. Also, the flexibility is out of this world! You can cancel your shift up to 6 hours prior with no penalty. A shift is as little as 2 hours so if you have a couple of hours to spare between activities, why not make a few bucks?
Instacart came out with a new feature in some areas now where even though you are not on the schedule to work, you can receive batches for the taking. It is a first come, first serve so you have to snatch them as fast as you can but this feature has allowed me to make random money when we are just sitting around and not doing much anyways.
I really am enjoying being an Instacart shopper! It gets this stay at home mama out of the house and allows me to make a little extra money to help contribute to our financial goals. I really do love this side hustle!
I however don’t recommend it for everyone.
- Instacart is very fast paced. The app times you while you are shopping and you are required to deliver the batch by a certain time frame. If you are not one that can be quick at the store, this job is not for you. It is much like that old game show “Supermarket Sweepstakes”.
- If you don’t live close to a couple of Instacart affiliated stores, I would not bother. Waiting at home is ideal. I have heard of people waiting in their cars during their entire shift and that is just a huge waste of time.
- If you are looking for a steady income, you will be severely disappointed. This job will come in waves. Some weeks I make bank and some weeks are scarce. Instacart is NOT consistent.
If you have any questions about Instacart, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment! I would love to answer any questions you may have.
If you choose to start working for Instacart, please use my code!