What is Instacart? Here’s how to use the grocery delivery app

Modern-day technology has made it really easy to stay at home and relax if that’s what you want to do. You can order food via your smartphone with just a few taps, you can shop for books and household supplies via online retailers such as Amazon, and now, you can even have groceries delivered straight to your door. That’s right — today’s technology has made it so that you can shamelessly be a couch potato and skip out on a trip to the grocery store. One of the most popular grocery delivery apps is Instacart, which you can use to receive your groceries in as little as an hour. A shopper near you will help you pick up everything you need and deliver it all straight to your door. How does this magical tool work, you ask? We break down everything you need to know about the app.

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What is Instacart?

Instacart allows you to shop your favorite grocery stores from the comfort of your home, using your computer, tablet, or smartphone. Select the items you want, and schedule a delivery. The groceries can be delivered to your doorstep in as little as an hour, but you can also request for them to be delivered later in the day, or even in a few days (you can schedule a delivery up to six days ahead of time). You also have the option of picking the groceries up yourself in store, which still saves you the hassle of walking the aisles in search of your desired items. Simply shop for what you want on Instacart, select a pickup time, and show up to the grocery store later to pick up your items. Only select locations of some grocery stores offer the option of pick-up.

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Who shops for you?

A personal shopper will choose all your produce for you, carefully selecting fresh items on your behalf. You can also leave a note for your shopper, specifying the level of ripeness you’d prefer for your fruits and vegetables. For example, if you’re planning to make banana bread tomorrow, you’ll want very ripe fruit, but if you’re preparing avocado toast next week, you may want to specify less ripe produce. Instacart shoppers are also attentive to expiration dates, so you don’t have to worry about receiving items that expire tomorrow. Shoppers handle fragile items such as eggs and glass jars with care, and if an ordered item is out of stock, the shopper will find you a close replacement, verifying it with you before purchasing it.

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Where is Instacart available?

Instacart is available in regions all over the country. If you’re curious to find out whether you can use Instacart where you live, enter your zip code here. Although Instacart may not be delivering in your area just yet, the company could be expanding to your neighborhood soon. Click “Get notified when we expand to your area” if you want to receive an update when Instacart becomes available to you.

What stores does Instacart deliver from?

To find out the stores from which Instacart offers delivery, enter your zip code here. If Instacart delivers in your area, you’ll find a list of grocery stores that your Instacart shopper can visit on your behalf. New stores get added to the list pretty routinely, so you can check back to see if your favorite store has made the cut.

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How do I get a referral bonus?

Refer your friends to use Instacart, and you could save a bit on your own grocery orders. Send people Instacart credit via email, Facebook, Twitter, or another form of social media. Then, once they make their first purchase on Instacart, you’ll receive some credit in return. You can refer up to five friends to the app.

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Can I become an Instacart shopper?

If you’re in the market for a part-time job that offers flexibility and the ability to choose your own hours, Instacart could be an option to consider. Instacart hires both Full Service Shoppers and In Store Shoppers. Full Service Shoppers are independent contractors who shop for and deliver orders. There is no maximum cap on weekly hours, although these contractors are required to have a vehicle with the proper insurance coverage. In Store Shoppers are part-time employees who can only work up to 29 hours a week, and those hours will fluctuate on a weekly basis based on customer demand. In Store Shoppers also stay at a single store location for the duration of their shift, helping customers shop for their orders — thus, these employees don’t have to own a car. For more information about the sign-up process you’ll need to go through to become a shopper, click here.

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