How to Save Money by Spending More

“Give yourself an extra hour back this week.” Sounds like an ad that shouldn’t be trusted, right? I’ve often felt that, in this day and age, you couldn’t give someone a free car because no one would believe you. And yet I’m here to tell you this ad was true to its word.

 

As I sit here writing this, I’m receiving text messages from my own personal shopper, Nick. No, I didn’t win the lottery since my last post. I’ve decided to try Instacart.

 

Instacart is a website and mobile app that lets you order your groceries online and then a shopper goes to the store to do the actual shopping. If they have a question, or if something is out of stock, they’ll text you from the store. They’ll let you know if there’s another brand available, and since it isn’t a robot but a human, it’s quite fun.

 

The service makes its money by upping the fee for each item (sometimes as much as 20%). You also pay a service fee and are asked to leave a tip. (Do you want bruised apples or shiny ones?)

Instacart

The crazy part is that my total was $25 less than if I’d gone to the store myself, even after the service fee and tipmaybe because there were no impulse buys and I could see the amount of the total purchase as I added items. Another benefit is they alert you for coupons. For example, when you add something, a window pops up informing you that if you add a few more items, you qualify for a specific coupon.

 

As I sat working on an important price quote for a client, my shopping was done for me. I had my personal shopper leave the groceries on my doorstep. (It’s 26o out with a threat of more snow, so leaving my food outside was the same as already having it in the fridge.)

 

Tonight, I’ll go home, feed my family dinner, and then we’re off to my youngest daughter’s concert. As you can imagine, time is of the essence, and knowing my grocery shopping for the week is donethat’s a win!

—Heather Sidorowicz

Heather Sidorowicz is a frenzied mother of two who happens to also own an audio/video
technology company (Southtown Audio Video) in Buffalo, NY. When not designing or
selling or project managing or pretending to do financials, you can find her attempting to
stand on her hands at the yoga studio or writing in the third person.

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