Original Instacart Review
Note: Fees etc. may have changed since this was originally posted.
I actually tried Instacart for myself about three weeks ago, but life has been so busy since then that I never finished writing up this post for you! Never fear: All the info and the amazing coupon code, still good — just note that the specific sale price examples shown were prices in my area during that particular week. 🙂 So, here’s my ALDI Instacart review for you.
ALDI Is On Instacart!
I have some huuuuge news for ALDI fans who also sometimes need a little convenience in their lives: ALDI is now on Instacart for home grocery delivery in select locations, including parts of the Chicagoland area! They recently launched by me, so of course I had to give the service a try and tell you guys about the experience.
Flat delivery fee of $3.99! unless you choose to pay for free unlimited delivery with Instacart Express (currently $149 a year, or $14.99 a month).
So, how did Instacart prices compare to normal in-store prices? Luckily, I shop at ALDI a lot, so was able to compare pretty closely. Overall:
- Most items had a slight surcharge over normal in-store pricing.
- Advertised sale items also were slightly more expensive through Instacart.
- Some items (including most of the meat I looked at) were priced the same.
- None of the items I checked were cheaper on Instacart than in store.
Other participating Instacart stores offer the occasional brand-specific coupon to clip digitally, but nothing of that nature for ALDI.
Just a few examples. El Milagro corn tortillas are $.33 in my store, and flour tortillas run $.89. On Instacart they were $.39 and $.99, respectively.
In store, the regular price of this bag of flat leaf spinach is $1.49 — but it was $.16 more on Instacart. Organic baby spinach is $2.49 everyday price in store, but $2.75 for Instacart delivery.
The week I ordered from Instacart, strawberries were on sale for $.99 in store — but $.10 more in my Instacart cart, at $1.09 a carton. However, sour cream was running the same $1.19 both in store and online.
I found something similar with meat prices, too. Looking at whole chickens, for instance, Kirkwood was running $.95/lb both at its everyday in store price and on Instacart; Never Any! whole chicken was the same $1.49/lb both in store and for Instacart delivery.
Add your promo code, if you have one
Once you have created your Instacart account and logged in, click “Account” in the upper right-hand corner, then “Add Promo Code.” Type your code in the box that pops up and click “Redeem” to add it to your account. Once the code is in your account, it will automatically trigger once you hit the required amount in your cart.
The site offers tracking a-la-Uber that show your delivery person approaching your house on a map, but this was a bit off for me — she was ringing my doorbell at the point that the Instacart site still showed her as being seven minutes down the road. (My order also came half an hour earlier than the earliest estimated time, but I’m pretty sure this is because Instacart’s grocery algorithm underestimates how quickly you can get in and out of ALDI!)
Tips (on tips)
Updated 4/25/18 — as of 4/24/18 the service fee is no longer waivable, so I’ve removed the section on that. Instacart is now also suggesting and automatically adding a 5% tip for your delivery person at checkout; you can modify that as desired or go back and tip up to three days after the order is complete.
You can either accept their suggested tip for your delivery person at the time you place your order, change the amount, or go back and add a tip after the delivery is complete — you’ll also get an email prompting you to rate the service and tip after the delivery is complete. I chose to go back and tip after delivery, where Instacart will give you the option to choose any amount and lets you know that 100% of that tip goes directly to your delivery person.
The overall experience
What if an item is out of stock?
If an item is out of stock, your Instacart delivery person can refund the price back to you or substitute a similar item, and you can let them know if you don’t want them to substitute. (Note: I had a couple of items refunded, which brought me under $35 — but that did not affect the $20 off $35 discount code, so no worries there.) I received text messages as she was shopping letting me know when she refunded specific items.
What if an item is priced per the pound?
If an item is priced per pound, your delivery person will try to find as close a match as possible — which means that your exact total on items like produce and meat may be a bit off. I’d requested two pounds of the green grapes, for example, and I got an alert that I’d be getting 2.25 lbs.
Real time tracking and communication
The Instacart app will show you in real time as they add items to your cart, and you can communicate with your delivery person as they shop.
But what about the bags?
I was wondering how this would work, given that ALDI charges for bags. My delivery order came in two of the big bags they sell for $.10 each. The cost of these bags was not added to my order; some of you, however, have reported that you were charged for bags. Instacart has now added a note that says: “A bag fee may be added to your final total if required by law or the retailer. The fee will be visible on your receipt after delivery.”
Was ALDI Instacart delivery worth it?
With the code, the verdict is a resounding YES: Trying out ALDI Instacart delivery was actually kind of fun, and a great deal! All of the above ran me $12.51 + tip after the $20 off $35 code I had at the time — and it was delivered to my door. I was a little concerned about produce, but my ALDI grocery delivery person did a great job picking out good strawberries and grapes, got a good expiration date on the milk, and everything went super smoothly.
Without the code? Well, getting ALDI groceries delivered through Instacart will definitely cost you more than going to the store, given the item surcharges, delivery fee, and tip — but, as always, cost is a trade-off with convenience. If you work long hours, if you’re shopping with little ones, if you have health or mobility issues, if you’re overstretched and overbusy and overtired, it’s good to have options: And, ALDI on Instacart will definitely be cheaper than other home grocery delivery services.
Hope this ALDI Instacart review was useful! Let me know how it works out for you, if you decide to give the service a try.