Brigid Daull Brockway is technically a writer

Brigid Daull Brockway is technically a writer

A blog about words, wordplay, and etymology, with slightly more than occasional political rants.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020


If you want to minimize your COVID-19 risk, the best way to buy groceries is online. Instacart allows you to buy groceries from a variety of nearby stores and have them delivered to your home. All you need are a credit card and an internet connected device.
The cost of delivery varies based on how high demand is when you order and how soon you want your groceries. You’ll generally pay about $5.99 per delivery plus tips, but the company often offers deals and discounts. If you plan to use Instacart regularly, it may be worthwhile to invest in their Instacart Express service, which offers unlimited deliveries for a yearly fee. 
Instacart doesn’t deliver from all stores in your area. Some larger chains, like Walmart, offer their own delivery services. 
These steps assume you are shopping on a laptop or desktop computer. If you’re shopping on a tablet (such as an iPad) or phone, the process is similar, but the position of the fields and buttons on the screen will be different.

  1. Open a Web browser, and type in the Search bar. The Instacart main page appears.
  2. Type your zip code in the Address or zip code field and click Continue. If Instacart service is available in your area, an Available in [your area] message appears, and you are prompted to create an account.
    • If Instacart isn’t available in your area yet, a message appears stating We aren’t in [your area] yet. 
  3. In the Email field, type your email address, and then click Sign up with email. An account is created and a Select Store for Delivery page appears.
  4. Click a store name. The page for that store appears.
  5. Find the items you need by typing their names into the Search bar and then pressing Enter.
  6. When you find an item you need, click on it, and then click Add to Cart to add it to your virtual shopping cart.
  7. When you’re finished adding items, look for the Cart button near the upper right of the screen and click it. The contents of your cart appear.
    • If you want to, you can change the quantity of an item by typing a new number in the field next to the price.
    • If you want to remove the item from your cart, click the trash can icon below the product name.
  8. Click Go to checkout. A checkout screen appears.
  9. In the Add delivery address section, enter the information requested. 
  10. In the Choose delivery time section, select a time and date for your delivery.
  11. In the Delivery instructions section, enter any special instructions, like “Please leave groceries on doorstep,” or “Please use side door.”
  12. In the Mobile number section field, enter your mobile phone number. Your delivery person will text you at this number if they have questions about your order. If you don’t have a mobile phone, or would prefer not to communicate via text, use your landline number.
  13. In the Contact Name section, enter your first and last name. 
  14. In the Payment section, enter your credit card number.
  15. If you want to add a tip, click the Add tip button on the upper right side of the screen. Note: A large portion of Instacart employees’ income comes from tips.
  16. If the store doesn’t have one or more of your selected items on the day of your delivery, your Instacart shopper will call or text you and ask if you want to substitute something else.