In terms of delivery, Instacart is a clear winner, but if you’re looking for the best deals you’ll want to stick with Walmart Delivery or Walmart Grocery Pickup.
As someone who has years of experience with both Walmart and Instacart I wanted to share my opinions with you today as well as share a few tips for saving a few bucks when grocery shopping online.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.
Read Also: Food Subscription Boxes
Is Instacart reliable?
Instacart is a reliable online delivery service that will bring your purchased items directly to your doorstep as soon as the same day.
However, as someone who uses both Instacart and Walmart Grocery Pickup, I feel as though Walmart is the better option for me personally, despite them both having their own set of drawbacks.
With Instacart delivery you are able to approve refunds and substitutions in real-time while with Walmart you are not.
However, with Walmart Grocery Pickup if the substitution costs more than the originally ordered item you pay your original price whereas with Instacart shopper substitutions you will be charged more.
In terms of reliability and trustworthiness, both companies are reliable and trustworthy.
Are prices on Instacart inflated?
It does appear that prices are inflated on Instacart.
The prices you see on Instacart are often not the prices that you’ll find in-store. However, convenience does cost more if we’ve learned anything from ordering from DoorDash and UberEats.
This source says all potential consumers should read the fine print on the Instacart app to see exactly how much using Instacart is costing you vs shopping in-store.
Personally, when I use Instacart, I’m aware that I’ll spend more money than doing Walmart Grocery pickup. However, I only use Instacart in emergency situations (i.e. I’ve started making dinner and I notice I’m missing an ingredient).
How does Instacart pickup work?
I only have experience using Instacart pickup at Food Lion. So, my Instacart pickup experience is based on my experience with Food Lion.
Basically, it’s similar to Walmart Grocery Pickup. You make your order and then select the time that you want to pick up your order.
If you’re wondering can someone else pick up my Instacart order the answer is “Yes”. I don’t drive, so I never pick up my Instacart or Walmart Grocery Pickup orders.
For both, you just arrive at the store and they load up your car.
I will note, that when doing pickup orders, my partner does log in and use the app so they’re able to match up my delivery like that. Before using the app check in I believe he just had to show his id as he was already added as the pickup person.
Overall, if I had to do a quick Food Lion delivery Instart review I would say it’s a pretty straightforward process. Read my first time doing a Food Lion grocery pickup post for more in-depth details about what to expect when you do Food Lion grocery pickup.
Does Instacart go to Walmart?
In my specific area, Instacart doesn’t go to Walmart. However, I have heard that in some states Instacart shoppers do Walmart orders.
From my experience using Walmart Grocery delivery, the delivery goes through DoorDash.
If you’re wondering can someone else pick up my Walmart Grocery pickup order the answer is yes.
On the checkout page, it gives you the option to add a primary pickup person and an alternative pickup person.
Walmart Plus vs Instacart Plus
Let me start by saying when it comes to Walmart Plus vs Instacart Plus I’m not a current subscriber to either. For me, it’s just not worth it.
I maybe do 1 Instacart delivery a month and I use Walmart Grocery Pickup once a week.
However, in the past, I did subscribe to Walmart Plus for 30 days (in hopes of securing a PS5) and Instacart Plus for their trial period (to get the free delivery).
If I wasn’t an Amazon Prime subscriber and had to choose between the two though, I would most definitely subscribe to Walmart Plus.
I’ll give you a quick rundown of the pros and cons of each (in my opinion) so you can decide which one is best for you.
Walmart Plus: Costs more than Instacart Plus on a monthly basis, but is slightly cheaper on an annual basis. It also comes with free one-day delivery (without minimums) and free grocery delivery. Plus, it comes with members-only gas pricing.
Instacart Plus: Instacart Plus is cheaper than Walmart on a monthly basis but slightly higher on an annual basis. It includes free grocery delivery, but also adds in delivery from multiple stores (i.e. Petco, Bestbuy, etc).
Tips for saving money when shopping online for groceries
With a family of six, grocery shopping can get expensive. When you add in the current inflation rates, I’m no longer able to feed my family of 6 on $500 a month.
Thankfully, to cut costs I do have a few options and I’m currently exploring more.
First, when using both Walmart and Instacart I enable my chrome extension for Rakuten. Rakuten allows me to get cashback directly to my PayPal account from shopping at their listed stores (both Walmart and Instacart are available options among others).
Since signing at the end of 2019 I’ve gotten more than $400 cash back.
Yes, I know it doesn’t seem like I lot but for doing nothing other than enabling an extension, which takes less than a second, it’s a win for me.
In fact, if you join via my link, you’ll get $30 in cash back for spending $30.
Secondly, I’ve started using Ibotta. They do require more work than Rakuten, but by using their app you get to see cashback offers available on individual items vs the entire shopping trip.
I’m still new to using this app, despite the fact that they have millions of users and have been around for years. However, from what I’ve seen so far it does seem like a very promising app when I’m willing to put in the time and effort to go through their offers when doing my weekly online grocery shopping.
Use the Ibotta code CLEFVWA and get a bonus the first time you earn cashback using their app.
My final online grocery shopping savings hack is to start getting paid for your opinion and use that income to pay for your groceries.
Read my post about how I get paid for giving my opinion for ideas to start getting paid for your opinion.
This month alone I’ve made over $500 dollars giving my opinion for Profolic and Ibbu (feel free to email me for referrals to get started).
I had my groceries delivered by Instacart and this post clearly shows why I’ll be sticking with Walmart Grocery Pickup for the most part.
It works best for me and keeping my groceries within my budget for my family of six.
Feel free to share your thoughts regarding Instacart vs Walmart delivery below.
I use Instacart, but you told me some things I need to consider. I like Aldi and that’s the only service that I know that delivers from Aldi.
I wish we had delivery service where I am. We have to do the pick-up because no one comes out this far.
We have never tried Instacart. We thought about it during the pandemic, but we decided to just go to the supermarket and pick our groceries ourselves.
I have never used a grocery service before. It sounds like it would be convenient, but there are also these pros and cons to consider.
Very often I really need a delivery option like this! Thanks for these important details!
I haven’t tried any grocery delivery for me. I have gotten it for my mom in another state though.
I’ve had a pleasant experience with Instacart, however, I prefer going to the store myself and grabbing what I need.
I use walmart grocery pick up all the time. It saves me so much time and energy as a single mom. plus, with chronic pain bringing them inside and putting them away is hard enough.
Doordash is no longer fulfilling walmart delivery orders. There is another company doing it.
Oh wow, looks like I’m behind regarding DoorDash. I just did a grocery delivery order for them a few weeks ago and it was delivered by Doordash. Thanks for the update though.
It seems like sticking with walmart is the better choice!
I think I should really try this one! How ever Instacart should improve their website more to be a user-friendly website. Thanks for sharing your feedback.
Thanks for offering a comparison, and sharing your experience.
I am sure this would be helpful with a busy schedule! There’s a lot of positive and negatives towards having food delivered.
I enjoy shopping in the store. I used Instacart in 2020 and I so agree.
I honestly have never tried it. I prefer to go on my own. I actually like grocery shopping. I’m sorry it didn’t work well for you!
I would never allow someone to touch my food.
You couldn’t pay me’ to have someone shop for me.
Did they wash after the bathroom?
Are they sick? Is it transmitted?
Are they just pissed off for whatever reason and decide the food that just dropped, can be put back in the cart? You don’t know. I’ve had bags drop and lunch meat fall out.
Is the food fresh? Does it look fresh?
Who is touching my tomatoes? My kale to bag it?
Is this person pissed off about their life and spits in my food? Doesn’t happen? Oh yes it does. Google it. Is there ever a good enough reason for a maniac to do it? No -but do they? Yep!
Everyone picks up their food.
Has meals prepared and shipped. Etc etc..
The thought of that is terrifying enough, add in the cost… Um NO, I’ll pass thank you very much.
Especially where my family is concerned.
Or has it delivered via shoppers.
Pricing… Um what do you expect? You’re gonna pay, in some cases, dearly. Like your experience here.
Do you think these people care about you?
Like you care about you, and your family? No, they don’t.
Not to say they are all that way, not at all.
Could some be? Absolutely! Are they gonna admit it? No way.
Not sure what would happen if bad things ever happened really bad in this country. People can’t even shop, and cook anymore?
Really? Life is THAT busy?
Mine is too. My families is too. However, we’d never allow anyone to do any of that and feel good eating it.
If you do, you really can’t complain.
My truth may seem harsh, but if you think about it, honesty, you’ll conclude, it’s not farfetched.
I’ll stay with it the way my grand mama did, my mama did it, I’ll do it, my own kids are doing it, and hopefully my grand daughters or sons will do it.
Anything to easy to get, is never really as good, as the hard work put in, to get it.
Really can’t lay blame at anyone else when it doesn’t go as you think it should.
This made me laugh out loud.. The things you complained about were ridiculous. She chose items for you because you never chose replacement items yourself. I laughed and read out loud everything you complained about and my whole family just laughed along with me. You are the definition of a Karen my friend. Feel bad for any retail person that has to deal with you.
Thanks for your feedback. Please keep in mind this review was originally published several years ago when they probably didn’t have all of the kinks worked out as they may, or may not, have improved now.
I have worked as an Instacart shopper. The app tells the driver to “leave at door” by default. Customers can leave instructions to ring the bell. I have had customers ask me to bring the badge inside. I don’t feel comfortable going onto someone’s home during this pandemic, so, not happening. Replacements. Please select a replacement, no replacement, or refunds item. Shoppers are paid a flat rate and are also shopping for up to 3 customers at a time. Shoppers are trying to accommodate but must complete orders quickly in order to earn a fair wage. Also, tips are based on a percentage of the order, so when something is out of stock, grabbing a cheaper replacement lowers the tip. Also, Instacart marks up just about every item. I compared muy own Costco order to my receipt shopping myself. $1-5 mark ups.
Thanks for your feedback. This post was published in 2018 when I first tried Instacart. I’m still a Walmart Grocery Pickup person till this day so thanks for providing some insight from an Instacart shopper’s point of view.
It seems that they may have improved the leave at door issue. I wouldn’t want someone to enter my home and bring my groceries in, but it would be nice to have the bell rung just in case I’m upstairs or in the back and don’t hear/see someone at the door and have food sitting outside until I check a device to see what’s taking so long.
I have used a local grocery delivery service years ago, but the company went out of business . And I haven’t used a similar service since. I keep hearing people speaking good things about Instacart, but I’m glad you shared your honesty about them. I think I’ll stick with going to a grocery store myself and shopping.
Insatacart sounds really great I would love to try this, This looks so easy and hassle-free.
This sounds really great. great job from Walmart. I have to check this out.
I like the idea of having my groceries delivered… even ready for me at pickup, but there is a part of me that also wants to pick it out myself. I think I would use this service though.
I really appreciate your honest feedback about this one and for sharing your experience. I’ll check more about this for sure.
ok wow. So glad you wrote your experience with it. I won’t be using it now. I had heard of it but nope you just saved me money by writing this! I can’t believe she didn’t ring door bell. I love your comparing it to Walmarts service.. I had not yet tried them. #productreviewparty
No problem. I hate to see others wasting money and since this service is popping up everywhere now I figured I should give some insights into what to expect.
It’s a couple of years later and instacart has gotten worse. This is my last rodeo with them. We’re not talking the need for high level performance – 2 active brain cells should do the trick. If they pick and choose which orders they shop they shouldn’t be doing the job. Grab the ticket, grab the dang groceries, check out and deliver. Simple – if you can’t do it find another gig!
This looks so easy and hassle-free. Great idea from Walmart. I think I should try this one
What a great idea from Walmart. I think I should try this one. Looks like it is so easy and no hassle at all.
We’ve never tried having our groceries delivered via Instacart. We’ve never tried Walmart’s grocery pickup service either although we shop at Walmart every week. We thought about it. Maybe we’ll give it a try one of these days. Thank you for sharing your experience.
It is nice to read about stories that did not go well. And I love how you explained all the positive and negative aspects of the both services.
We don’t have grocery delivery in my area but we do have WalMart pickup and I LOVE it! The people are so dang friendly and I still feel like I get good deals on my items!!
I have never gotten my groceries delivered. I feel like I need to touch and see the food… and I often shop a few times a week for recipes. BUT, this would be super helpful on those insanely busy weeks. I need to look into it more for our family!
I’ve never heard of Instacart until now. I still have not used any of the grocery ordering sites yet, I actually like going when the kids are in school.
I used to do that but it seems even busier then. Plus, I get so worn out from shopping, then putting the groceries away that it makes me less productive for work. On occasion when I’m out I will get things that have to be picked up in person such as fresh seafood, but that’s a 10 minute in-store visit max lol.
I have not tried having someone do my grocery shopping for me. I am that picky! If I would go that route, I would rather do it with larger, more reputable companies, i.e. Walmart. Thank you for your honest review.
InstaCart looks like a great service! I think it would be much more convenient to have groceries delivered, although I do like walking around the store. I’m not sure if we have something like InstaCart in the UK so I’ll need to do some research!
I’ve never tried this because our grocery store is across the street, but I’ve always been curious. It definitely doesn’t sound like something I’ll ever do.
Thanks for the warning about Instacart. Maybe they’ll improve this service. I would love if it worked with Sprouts and Kroger. But I think Kroger has a click list option, but they charge where Walmart is free.
Delivered groceries are seriously the future. Just had my first time and I don’t think I will go to the store again.
I love the grocery pick up!!! I do this once a week and it saves so much time and has actually helped me to budget my groceries better because I can fill up my grocery list while staring at my fridge or pantry and know exactly what I need without assuming. It’s been a godsend. I still go to Sprouts for my organic produce unless Walmart happens to have it, but it’s really helped me so much!!
I love grocery pickup too. It is what keeps me within my food budget each month. My SO usually gets the groceries after he gets off work and all I have to do is put them away.
I am so sorry to hear that you had such a negative experience with Instacart. I haven’t used this service myself but I can imagine that if it were set up properly it would be a helpful thing!
Absolutely, I love the idea, especially for when you’re cooking and realize that you’re missing something. But, unfortunately, since the service has been around for at least 2 years if they aren’t implementing customer feedback and making changes based off that I think it’s not very likely that they will be changing anything.
WOW! That sounds like such a negative experience. I have not thought to use this to be honest. I do shop online through click and collect sometimes and have always found that to be a positive experience.
I’ve never done any of the grocery delivery programs other than Amazon. I need to try the Walmart option though. Time’s precious, and if I could cut out an errand or two I’d be happy. Sorry your experience with Instacart was a slum dunk
I haven’t tried Amazon’s grocery delivery program. I may have to check it out to see if it could be another grocery delivery option for me. Well, that is if it’s even available in my area yet.
This is the best thing to ever happen to us, haha! I’ve also used it before and it’s FANTASTIC! It definitely makes life much easier – especially when you’re in the middle of cooking a huge meal and you forget something!
Oh dear it doesn’t sound very well thought out, I am sorry you had such a bad experience. I do prefer to do my own grocery shopping as I like to pick of my fruit and veg myself instead of getting what I am given.
That’s definitely a terrible experience with them. Also, I love saving money and I don’t like the fact that they have the option to replace brands that I prefer over more expensive ones or different ones. Looks like Walmart has better service.
I have never tried having my groceries delivered. I would use a service like this if I could figure out a reliable one. Sounds like this was a frustrating online shopping experience from start to end. I am sure this is an area that will be offered at many many stores. I like the idea.
For a busy person like me, this is something that I really need. Looks like it is user-friendly and no hassle at all. I’m gonna check this on Walmart.
It seems like this was more of a headache than a help! I don’t think I’ll try out the service if they can’t even have items pictured on their site.
Yes, the website definitely needs more to make it user-friendly. If it’s like this on the shoppers end it makes me wonder if it’s any better on the person’s end who is actually getting the groceries.
Wow, instacart really raked you over badly. I believe we have that here although, I have never used it or thought about using it. I will think about it now, NOT to ever use it kinda thought!
I’m old fashion!! I love going to Walmart and being IN store. I’m sure that the grocery delivery would save time and money (there’s no things to tempt you in the check out!), but I use the alse to remind me of thing I may need that I didn’t write down!
I used to love shopping in store too. However, with three kids it’s more hassle than it’s worth. While having groceries delivered to my home did seem like a good idea at first, I’ll settle for grocery pickup for now.
Oh, it doesn’t seem to be too user-friendly and at this point, I’m not really looking to change services or learn a new platform. But I could see how it could benefit others!
That sounds like it was a mess. It sounds like they need to revamp their entire website to work a lot more smoothly. I have never tried Walmart pick up either but I have been wanting to do that.
We have instacart options here but I have never tried it. I’m too picky with my vegetables and fruit so I wouldn’t be able to have someone else shop for me.
I know what you mean. I only had limited fruit needed this week, so it wasn’t too much of a big deal. I’ve been a faithful Walmart grocery pickup customer for months and never had a problem with their fruit and veggie picks though. Also, with the fruit, I did get via Instacart that turned out good.
Yeah, I would rather use Walmart myself. It’s so easy to see everything, and it’s incredibly user friendly.
We tried to get groceries delivered when we were in the states.
The set up was really easy and quick but we couldn’t actually use it as our resort didn’t except deliveries from other venders. 🙁
Haven’t tried it here in Canada yet but would love to!!