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May 1, 2014 10:50 AM

Instacart- are people using it? How is it working out?

I just read that that they are now including Russo among the stores they deliver from and I am tempted to try it. it is such a zoo on weekends. Their delivery fees look quite reasonable and the list of groceries is ok. Plus you can make a special request for each store. Any hounds out there who already tried it?

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  1. Wow. You have to join to learn anything at all about this service. Will just have to read the responses here.

    1. Nope. Not letting anybody else pick out my produce for me. And besides, if you know how (and just as importantly, when) to hit Russo's, you can be in and out in 20 minutes with two giant bags.

      (Hint: keep Yogi Berra's adage "Nobody goes there anymore, it's too crowded" in mind.)

      6 Replies
      1. re: Jenny Ondioline

        Hope you never need to use a delivery service, but I have had to on occasion and have nothing but raves for Roche Bros/Sudbury Farms online order/delivery service.
        When I last used it, a couple of years ago, there was a $10 flat rate. Not everything in the store is on the online shopping inventory; I noticed that my favorite liverwurst was absent. But you can find just about anything you'd need and the system allows you to be quite specific in your requests for produce, meat, seafood, and the like. I was wary of other people selecting these things for me, but my wishes were followed to the letter. E.g., I requested that the Granny Smiths be shiny, dark green, and have white freckles because that's when they are tartest, which I like. That's what I got.

        1. re: greygarious

          wow, now THAT is cool ! plus you taught me a new apple lesson. thx!

        2. re: Jenny Ondioline

          I'm with you. I select my own produce and other groceries

          1. re: C. Hamster

            I also pick out my own groceries, but life circumstances make it tough for some for a variety of reasons. A close family member was caring for elderly parents and her own children as well as juggling a full-time job. The Stop and Shop Peapod deliveries were a godsend and helped her to retain just a bit of sanity and take one thing off a too-full plate. She was pretty happy with the quality, too. I can also imagine that it would be a real benefit for people who have difficulty with mobility.

            1. re: bear

              Obviously, being in circumstances such as that makes delivery services worthwhile, and I support their use in those circumstances.

              But for myself, as someone who works from home and therefore has no one to talk to except for three cats and a parrot for 8-12 hours a day, I genuinely like going out and doing my shopping, just for the getting-out-there aspect of things.

              1. re: Jenny Ondioline

                Oh, I get it. I don't even mind Russo's at madhouse hours, and the same goes for the Somerville Market Basket. Of course, I tend to shop in small batches a few times a week so I'm not trying to do a week's shopping at once, and I'm grateful that I have the flexibility in my life to do that.

                Now, if I could just convince my husband's 92-year-old great aunt and her husband to use one of the Cape delivery services...they and the roads might be a little safe.

        3. I've been using Instacart in the SF bay area for a month and it's been great on the whole. Some shoppers are more careful about produce. It's a godsend not having to go to Costco. The prices vary a bit from the store prices, but sometimes they are much lower. You can leave notes about what you want e.g. thick asparagus rather than thin, and you can order things not listed on the Instacart website. All in all it's a fantastic service with great customer support and response.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Helene Goldberg

            Totally OT Helene but saw an older post of yours about stuffed cabbage. Would love if you could get me your recipe. Sounds exactly like my grandmother's - using sour salt, raw rice, cooked forever, melting cabbage, etc. It was the most fantastic stuffed cabbage. My mother, never learned/figured out how to make it like my grandmother did but I would like to try. Would be so wonderful to be able to make it again. Would you be so kind as to share your recipe?

            1. re: laylag

              lay, if helene hasn't responded, you might go to her home San Fran board , to a thread she's currently posting on, and repeat your request there. (but first click on her name and see if she has a contact address on her member profile pg.)

            2. re: Helene Goldberg

              What I have seen the prices are 30-40% marked up. I usually get 100USD worth or groceries a week and a 40USD markup is too high to justify the convenience. Sad part is that are not transparent about the markups. I shopped thrice through them , the first time 10USD off and free delivery was good the second two times i ended up paying roughly 50USD more per order including delivery and tips. Plus they screwed up a lot of my groceries. No to mention, i wont use Instacart again.Amazon Fresh is in NYC and the service is pretty good.

            3. I noticed an article today that listed local participating grocers: Harvest Co-op, Whole Foods Market, Shaw’s, Costco, Market Basket, and Russo’s.

              1. I was excited when I saw that Market Basket was an option, but their pricing doesn't match up with the actual in-store prices. For example, a can of Cafe Bustelo is $3.00 in the store. On Instacart it's $5.79!

                I use Peapod sometimes, so I know about paying for convenience, but the whole purpose of MB is the cheap prices.

                7 Replies
                1. re: LeoLioness

                  Yeah, on an average prices are jacked up 30-40%+ delivery+ tips. roughly i shelled out 50USD instacart fees for grocery worth 100USD the store. am glad New York has Amazon Fresh now. Freshdirect is not too bad too.

                  1. re: timnewyork

                    I actually haven't found this at all. I used Instacart for Whole Foods and all of the prices that I knew by heart were the same on Instacart as they are when I shop in the store. Of course, you don't benefit from the sales in the store (although they had a few of their own sales) and the produce prices seemed higher than in store, but everything else looked the same. Anyway, just one person's experience... I'll definitely use it again!

                    1. re: erfer007

                      You are lucky. I was really a fan until noticed the huge markup. All my friends whom I referred have also stopped using. We just got Amazon Fresh and with all the deals etc the prices are cheaper than store.

                        1. re: cambridgeMike

                          If he does, he doesn't seem to have gotten the memo that Amazon Fresh isn't available in Boston.