The Best Time to Order Groceries Online, According to an Insider at Instacart

updated Feb 28, 2021
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Credit: Instacart

Nearly 12 months ago, the first wave of pandemic panic led to a not-so-surprising consequence: It suddenly became next to impossible to secure an online grocery delivery time slot. For online grocery shopping veterans and rookies alike, systems were slammed and over capacity, making the process of non-contact grocery shopping unpleasant and difficult to navigate. At one point, it seemed as though you needed magic powers to successfully place an online order.

In the months since, services like Instacart have scaled up to meet the increased demand. It is much easier, now, to get groceries delivered or scheduled for a pick-up. Of course, there are still a few tricks to the trade that can make the process even smoother — particularly when it comes to making sure you get everything that’s on your list.

According to Laurentia Romaniuk, Instacart‘s trends expert, “The best time to order your fresh grocery items, including produce, proteins, and dairy products, is early in the morning or first thing when your local grocery store opens. Grocery stores will typically restock items overnight, so that’s when you may experience the best item availability.”

While it’s best to place the order first-thing in the morning, she suggests making your life easier by building your shopping cart the night before. “To liken your odds of finding all the fresh items on your shopping list, create and schedule your order the night before you’d like it to be delivered, so you can select the earliest delivery slot for the next morning,” says Romaniuk.

For people who place similar orders from week to week, here’s another helpful trick: Shoppers can revisit past orders and click on “Add All Items to Cart” to build a repeat cart super quickly. Items in the cart can easily be adjusted or deleted from there.

“Another option is to go to your favorite store on the app, and peruse the ‘Buy it Again’ carousel or tab at the bottom of the screen to quickly add your most purchased items to your cart,” says Romaniuk.

Now that you’re equipped with this insider info, we hope you never struggle to place an Instacart order again!

Have you tried this method? When is your favorite time to place an online grocery order?