Instacart is a same-day grocery delivery service that pairs you with a personal shopper.
That shopper will take an order from you, head to a local grocer, and pick up everyday essentials from your favorite stores.
You can use their website or their app, select items that are available at local grocery stores, give your shopper specific instructions about certain things to look for or avoid, and then you wait for it to be delivered to your door.
Instacart is usually offering promotions for new users, as well as some seasonal coupon codes, and more.
Here’s a brief guide to the service, its new Express membership, and how to save using it.
- How to Save Money on Instacart Deliveries
- Is There an Instacart Promo Code to Get Me Started?
- How Do I Apply an Instacart Promo Code or Credit to My Order?
- Refer Friends and Save Money
- Once I’ve Signed Up, What Next?
- What Are the Advantages of Express Membership?
- Can I Give Preferences for the Person Picking Up My Food?
- Are There Any Seasonal Promo Codes for Instacart?
- What Grocery Stores Work with Instacart?
- Is Instacart for Me?
How to Save Money on Instacart Deliveries
The first way to save is to use an Instacart promo code.
Instacart sometimes sends out coupon codes that you can use to apply toward free delivery or a discount on your next order.
Save $10 on your first order with this Instacart Promo Code: BRETTH114164
The second way to save is with credit.
If you have an issue with an order or a delivery, Instacart may issue you a credit that you can apply to your account and use toward a future order.
Instacart issues promo codes and credits to entice new people to use the service.
They also want existing customers to return and use the service again and again.
And, like other on-demand services, they know that promo codes are a great way to get people to try them out.
When it comes to Instacart, beware of coupon sites, as many promote fake codes that don’t work.
Only use coupon codes from legitimate sources, or directly from Instacart itself.
Keep reading to learn more about how Instacart works, how to apply an Instacart coupon code, and how to become an Instacart shopper.
Is There an Instacart Promo Code to Get Me Started?
Instacart almost always has promo codes and coupon codes for new users, typically offering a discount off your first order, and sometimes free delivery.
To sign up for Instacart, you can download the app on iOS or Android, or go to Instacart.com and sign up there.
To start, you just enter your zip code in the app.
From there, it will give you a list of recommended stores in your area.
It looks like this:
To search for an Instacart promo code, it’s worth following Instacart on Instagram and Twitter.
Sign up for $5 off your first order and a free delivery trial using our exclusive promo code.
Instacart also offers a referral program which gives new users $10 to spend in groceries, so search on social media for someone promoting their referral code, or check in with friends to see if anyone you know would share a referral code.
And once you’re signed up, refer away — each person you refer will earn you $10 off your next order.
How Do I Apply an Instacart Promo Code or Credit to My Order?
Once you have an account, it’s easy to apply a promo code or credit to your order.
Adding a promo code via the Instacart app:
Go to the settings page on the website or app (denoted by a gear in the top left corner of the app, or the menu on the website), and then select “Credits & promo codes.”
From there it will allow you to enter in any promo codes you might have received.
On the iOS app, it looks like this:
If you aren’t ready to redeem your code right away, have no fear.
The code will remain in your account until you are ready to use it.
(Though it’s always good to check to see if there’s an expiration date on a code.)
Adding a promo code via the Instacart website:
- Go to the Instacart website and login
- Click on “account”
- From the menu, click “Add promo code”
- Enter BRETTH114164 and click “Redeem”
Any promo code added to your account will be automatically applied to your next order.
So if you want to add a code to the order you are about to place, don’t wait till you get to the checkout point to do so.
Add it before you start putting items in your cart.
It’s also easy to view existing credit in your account so you can check to see how much you can use toward your next order.
To do so through the app, tap the account icon, tap “add promo,” and you’ll see a list of applied credits and promo codes that are already in your account.
To do this on a computer, click “account” at the top right then click “promo codes” on the left.
You’ll see a list of any Instacart coupons, codes, or credits that you have listed under the title “Available Credit/Discount.”
Like promo code offers, credits are automatically added to your next order.
It’s important to note that Instacart has the right to discontinue a promo code at any time and some have expiration dates.
Make sure you’re up-to-date on the terms and conditions of promo codes.
Refer Friends and Save Money
One of the things we love about Instacart is that you can send your friends credits and earn credits too!
When you refer friends, who are new users of Instacart, and get them to shop, you both win.
There are two ways to do this:
- In the app tap the account icon and tap “invite friends.” You can connect your contacts by tapping “invite your contacts” or you can share a referral link to a specific friend by tapping “share with.”
- To do this on your computer, login and click “account.” In the drop menu click “your account” and then on the account page tap “refer your friends.”
- You can share your referral information with a link, on social media, or by adding a friend’s email address.
- Instacart users are allowed to refer up to five friends. But just inviting friends won’t earn you your credit.
- The friend needs to place an order for you to benefit, too. When their first delivery is complete, your referral credit will appear in your account.
Once I’ve Signed Up, What Next?
The next step is to order some groceries.
The app will sort things by what’s popular, then have a list of staples for you to peruse.
The app allows you to add things to your cart quickly, or click on an item to select a certain amount, or provide specific instructions to the shopper for each item.
(Like your bananas a little green? You can make a note and let them know.)
After you’ve selected your food, you will go to checkout, where you’ll be able to see the total cost, review your order, see what the delivery fee is, and enter any promo codes you might have.
From there, you can pay with a credit card or Apple Pay.
You’ll be given the time frame in which your groceries will be arriving.
Then you hang and wait for your food to show up at your door.
The app also allows you to browse Instacart coupons, which lets you see the best deals available at that store, as well as some coupons that are available only for Instacart customers.
The menu of sale items allows you to sort by savings as well as category, such as grocery items, personal care items, and more.
People who are vigilant about taking advantage of the coupons can often save as much as the cost of delivery, and often times a bit more.
It just depends on the time you’re willing to put into it and the evaluation of certain deals.
What Happens if the Store Doesn’t Have What I Want?
For every item that you select, you have the option to let the shopper know what to do in the event that the store doesn’t have exactly what you’re looking for.
You can select replacement items, ask them to find the most affordable replacement option, or simply tell them to forget it if the store isn’t carrying what you’re looking for.
Even if you don’t feel like selecting a replacement option for each item, the app will let you know at checkout if it has selected some replacement options for you on certain items, and you can either edit those or accept their suggestions.
And if the store is out of your item and your replacement item, the shopper can always contact you directly and ask what’s the best way to proceed.
What Are the Advantages of Express Membership?
Instacart Express is a service that allows you unlimited grocery delivery for an annual fee of $99, with free delivery on all orders over $35.
To sign up, visit their website and you can get a free trial for 14 days to see if you like the service.
After the duration of your Express membership trial, you will be charged an annual fee that gives you the benefits of Express delivery for the next calendar year.
You have the full two weeks to try out out, but if you don’t want to pay the annual fee, you have to remember to cancel your Instacart express trial before the conclusion of the 14 days.
Also, with that free 14-day trial, you’re basically getting two weeks of free delivery.
It’s not free groceries, but that’s a pretty fantastic savings both in time and money.
Can I Give Preferences for the Person Picking Up My Food?
The appeal of Instacart isn’t just avoiding having to go to the grocery store — though that is its main appeal — but it also allows you to talk with a personal shopper and let them know your preferences.
Don’t care about brand, or want them to keep an eye out for sale items?
They can do that.
Are you really, really passionate about the ripeness of your bananas?
Just let them know.
That’s part of the package here, a real live person who’s going to do your grocery shopping for you.
All it takes is a simple note when you’re getting ready to check out.
Say you’re ordering avocados using Instacart, and want to let them know some specific request you have about its ripeness.
Just open up your cart, and tap “Instructions.”
Once there, just type in your instructions.
This is where you have the option to provide a preference if the item is out of stock, telling them to pick the best available alternative, select a specific replacement, or just tell the shopper to forget it if they don’t have exactly what you want.
Are There Any Seasonal Promo Codes for Instacart?
Yes! Instacart constantly is updating with new promotions for the seasons.
The best way to stay informed is actually to let Instacart’s app notify you.
Go to “Settings,” then “Your Account Settings,” and then select “Notifications.”
There, you can have Instacart alert you directly on your phone to any specials or promotions that are happening seasonally.
What Grocery Stores Work with Instacart?
A host of great grocery stores work with Instacart, including Costco, Giant, Aldi, Safeway, Harris Teeter, and more.
To see what’s available in your area, just enter your zip code when you sign up for the app and it will inform you what’s available in your area.
Different grocery stores have different deals with Instacart, and some — like Costco — ask that you only schedule orders during periods of low demand.
(You should also know that with Costco, you won’t receive the 2% cash back if you are a member.
You need to shop in-person on your membership card for that benefit.)
Is Instacart for Me?
For people with busy schedules, or those who struggle with mobility to get to a grocery store, Instacart is a surprisingly affordable option for getting your groceries delivered to your door.
For those who want to make it their preferred way of grocery shopping, the Express membership is an intriguing offer that will get you unlimited free delivery on orders over $35.
While a personal shopper can never know all of your preferences, it’s easy to communicate with shoppers and let them know what you’re looking for, and for some people, the app forces them to be more disciplined shoppers as opposed to just grabbing things that look decent on the shelf.
Do your research, check out the app, price it out and see what you think.
With some deals and smart couponing, the app might end up saving you money.