If there's one person who has been against getting groceries delivered, it's me. See, I actually love grocery shopping and happen to have several good stores within a few miles of my home. I love sifting through all the fresh produce, checking out the aisles, and scanning the end caps. And I always will.
But when I heard that Aldi, one of my favorite grocery stores, was expanding its reach on Instacart, I knew I'd have to give it a try. I started hearing good things and I had to find out for myself what all the hype was about.
Read more: Shopping at Aldi Is About to Get Way Easier
So I went online and got to ordering. Into my (virtual cart) went my typical fresh produce, whole grains and cereal, coffee, frozen fruit, etc. I quickly discovered a few things I like and dislike about this experience. And here they are!
The Perks of Shopping Aldi on Instacart
1. It's super easy.
You don't have to be a frequent online grocery shopper in order to figure this out. I found the process to be simple and stress-free compared to the in-person process with crowded aisles. You just type in what you're looking for and your options come up. You can even set a filter just to see the organic items or shop by department.
2. It's convenient.
Obviously. Because who doesn't like shopping in their pajamas?
3. It works around your schedule.
I was able to schedule the delivery within the hour or any other time that I wanted. This feature is great for someone who doesn't work from home, has kids, or might just have one heck of a busy week. Pick the time, and, ta-da! Groceries are at your door whenever you want. I chose the one-hour delivery and my delivery person was at my door exactly 55 minutes from the time I placed my order.
4. It's still pretty affordable.
Prices on Instacart are obviously going to be a little higher (you have to pay for that convenience!). But because Aldi is already so inexpensive, I didn't notice a prohibitive markup. For example, the cereal pictured above is usually $1.39 in person and it was $1.55 on Instacart. Prices varied by a few cents here and there, but I can understand how some people might not want to pay more for the exact same thing. I also Googled around for a promo code to use online and that made my order total even lower.
As for delivery, Instacart offers free delivery for first-time users. After that first order, the delivery fee depends on the size of your order and the delivery time that you choose (it's very Uber-esque in that sense). The minimum order is only $10 on regular deliveries and $35 on express deliveries.
5. My shopper picked out good produce.
I was a little worried about how my fruits and vegetables would arrive, as I'm pretty picky and that's what stresses me out the most about shopping for groceries online. I'm sure each store and shopper will lead to a different experience, but all of my produce items looked great and were comparable to what I'd buy myself.
6. I found almost everything on my list.
I found almost everything I was looking for, which is a good sign for shoppers who have a regular shopping list. You can also "favorite" items to keep track of them and easily make lists to add to your cart in minutes. There were a few things I couldn't find that I have seen in-store, but these were far and few between.
The Cons and Quirks of Shopping Aldi on Instacart
1. You can't read labels.
This is actually something that would keep me from ordering groceries online again. Even if I wasn't a nutritionist, I'd still want to read the labels before I bought something new; I like knowing the ingredients and nutritional facts about my food. (It's especially important for people with food allergies, those watching their sodium intake, etc.) Because I couldn't read the labels, I didn't buy anything that I hadn't bought before. And that's sad because trying new things is fun.
2. It's not as enjoyable.
Listen, I love shopping online in my PJs as much as the next gal, but fresh groceries and items with important expiration dates are things I enjoy picking out at the store. There's also the entire grocery store experience that I happen to love — especially in stores like Aldi, Costco, and Target where there's always something new and fun to discover!
3. It could lead to overspending.
If you just need a couple of items in a pinch, I can see how delivery charges could add up or it would be tempting to buy more than you need out of impulse. My advice? If you have a strict grocery budget and don't need much, do your shopping in-store.
The Final Verdict
Overall, I'd say my first-time experience with Aldi's new grocery delivery was a good one. But would I do it again? Probably not (it's just not my thing!). Unless I wanted to try out other stores to compare experiences. Or if I couldn't get out of the house and was in dire need of groceries, in which case, I'd definitely recommend Aldi via Instacart to anyone!
Have you tried Aldi's new delivery through Instacart? What did you like or dislike?