Shopping at the grocery store is annoying. Because I enjoy food, I used to enjoy shopping for it. But after having kids, lugging them up and down grocery aisles as toddlers became a nightmare. I’ve been using Shipt to deliver my groceries for going on 3 years now, and it’s been a huge relief!
My first foray into deliveries came about when I started using Amazon Subscribe & Save instead of Costco about 6 years ago. I put in all the bulk orders for things we definitely always need and never want to run out of (like toilet paper!). It felt like an instant good decision, and it made me wonder what else could be delivered. Now I have everything delivered — even veggies from my local farmers.
How Shipt Works
In my desperation to have groceries delivered, I tried just about every service that’s local to my area — Instacart, Amazon Prime Now, even something called Burpy (I kid you not). Shipt is hands down my favorite.
Because it’s a real person going to the store, shopping my order for me, and driving it to my house. He or she texts me if the store is out of something, suggests real, usable substitutions, and allows me to contribute my own substitution ideas as well.
This is in contrast to Amazon Prime Now (which delivers groceries from Whole Foods & Sprouts), where people are “picking” my food order from a warehouse, a computer generates often stupid substitution suggestions, and if I text back “no, I’d prefer this other thing instead,” the computer registers “no” and completely removes the item from the order. Frankly, it sucks.
To be fair, Instacart does have full service shoppers, but they don’t service my area. They are in Austin proper (where I’ve used them to deliver to my friend’s homes), but not up in my hometown of Georgetown yet.
Shipt is in 250+ metro areas, serving more than 5,000 US cities.
Shipt is Coast-to-Coast
When Shipt was bought by Target, it allowed them to immediately expand into shopping different stores and areas of the US. Here in Georgetown, TX they can shop at Target, CVS, PetSmart, and H-E-B. I’m aware that in other markets, they shop at stores Georgetown doesn’t have like Publix and Aldi and Fred Meyer and Meijer.
When you log into your Shipt app, you select the store you wish to shop at from the list of available stores. You can also request anything at these stores — flowers, toilet paper, bedding, even supermarket sushi.
The advantage of them being a coast-to-coast company is that it’s very likely they service your area.
The Shipt Exerience
Once you open the app and select your store, you can browse by section or just search up the individual products you need and add them to your shopping cart.
Your cart stays active for up to several weeks, so I use it like a shopping list. Whenever I run out of something in my fridge or pantry, I open the app and save the item to my Shipt cart. Whenever I plan my meals for the week using Real Plans (literally the world’s best meal planning app), I save the foods I need to my Shipt cart. It’s very handy for helping me to remember all the things I need to buy.
The advantage in doing it this way is that I don’t make impromptu purchases of unnecessary items.
Especially when shopping with kids, I’ll easily find anywhere from 3-5 additional things I didn’t really need and toss them in my cart. Removing myself and the kiddos from the equation? Definitely saves us money.
The day you want your groceries delivered, just open the Shipt app, double-check that you don’t want to add anything else to your order, then checkout! SO EASY.
Shipt can schedule a delivery for a one hour window as soon as one hour after you place your order.
Shipt lets you pick your delivery hour window, guaranteeing that a shopper will be there with your groceries somewhere within the hour you choose. The best part? You can schedule it for as little as one hour after you place your order.
It’s basically as fast as heading to the store yourself, but without you doing the hard work.
After your order is delivered, the next time you log into the Shipt app you’ll be prompted to review your shopper and leave a tip.
If you leave a 5-star review, then Shipt adds that shopper to a list of “matched shoppers” for you. That means that whenever you place a Shipt order, it will get offered to your group of matched shoppers first before it goes out to be offered to any shopper in your metro area.
As a rule, I always leave a 5-star review for everyone on these apps unless the experience was just atrocious. That’s because the app’s algorithms punish workers with 4-star and lower reviews, offering them fewer opportunities to earn money, and leaving these gig-economy workers out of luck.
As far as tips go, I try to be generous as a rule and overly-generous if a shopper does an exceptional job. Shipt pays their shoppers about $5 a shop plus 7.5% of the final order total. But that does not account for their time or distance traveled. I know each shop can take anywhere from 35 minutes to two hours, depending on how big and complicated my order is. So I like to tip a minimum of $5 per order ranging up to $15 per order depending on how much time they spent shopping it and delivering it to my house.
Isn’t it expensive?
Not really, no.
Yes, there’s a membership fee, paid annually or monthly.
But, it comes with unlimited free deliveries on orders over $35!
Yes, you’ll need to tip your shopper.
But, you’ll save money by avoiding impromptu purchases. I don’t know about you, but I can “accidentally” spend anywhere from an extra $5-20 on each grocery store trip.
Avoiding personally shopping at the grocery store is easily saving me from making anywhere between $20-100 in extra purchases each month.
And you’ll save on all that gas you’d have spent driving to the store and back. My local H-E-B is relatively close at 5 miles away, an 18 minute drive. That’s a 10 mile, 36 minute round trip. Depending on the cost of gasoline, that can run anywhere between $1.35 to $2.75 per grocery store run in my family’s minivan. It’s even more if we take my husband’s truck!
Avoiding just one grocery store trip per week easily saves us anywhere from $5-12 in gas per month.
You see what I’m saying? The savings offset the cost of membership, basically gaining you a whole lot of convenience for no added cost.
So how much does a Shipt membership cost?
Shipt offers two membership plans, an annual membership or a monthly membership. It’s usually $99 per year or $14 monthly.
But I got your back.
You can get $50 off the annual membership and pay just $49 per year by clicking the link below.
That comes out to around $4 per month — a sum easily paid for by all the savings you’ll have from shopping with them.
Is Shipt right for you?
That’s the kind of question only you can decide for yourself. Do you love and enjoy shopping? Then by all means, continue your retail therapy!
I, on the other hand, represent the kind of person who would much rather avoid going to stores to shop so that I have more time to spend doing things I actually enjoy.
In fact, I don’t just use Shipt. I use Farmhouse Delivery to avoid the Austin area farmer’s markets and get fresh produce and goodies from my local farmers delivered to my door. I also use Favor — a Texas delivery service owned by H-E-B — to have literally anything delivered. Seriously, their runners are personal assistants who can go to any store or location and do anything you ask them to. Need someone to drag your trash can to the curb because you’re out of town and forgot? They can do that. Need someone to swing by the local creamery and pick up a pint of grass-fed ice cream for you? They can do that. Need someone to call in an order to your favorite farm-to-table restaurant and bring it to you? They can do that too. I’ll probably write a whole post about them soon.
In the meantime, if you live in Texas, you can get $5 off your first Favor by using coupon code KRISM96N at checkout.
In other words, I’m kinda maybe sorta addicted to having things delivered to me in order make my life more convenient. We do live in the future, after all.
Are there any cons to using Shipt?
There are two downsides that I’m aware of, but both strike me as easily fixable.
The first con is that while you can choose which store you’re shopping at (like, say H-E-B), you can’t easily choose which location of said store. The app chooses the location closest to your house, even if you regularly shop at one that’s slightly farther away because it has a better selection. I fixed this by calling Shipt Customer Support and having them assign my address to my preferred H-E-B location. Annoying? Yes. Inconvenient? Definitely. Difficult? Not really. It was actually pretty easy to do, and I only had to do it once.
The second con is that you don’t have the same access to in store coupons and discounted prices as you would if you shopped in person. That said, I’ve found a couple of work arounds. One is to use a third-party coupon app, where you get rebates after your purchases. (I use BerryCart because it’s got the most coupons for natural and organic goodies!) The second is to leave a note on the Shipt order that requests that the shopper pay attention to in store coupons and use them, if available.
Did I mention that Shipt has a free two-week trial period?
If you’re not sure about buying a Shipt membership, why not take advantage of their free, two week trial period and get in a couple of shops? You’ll have to sign up for membership, but your card won’t be charged for 14 days. You’ll have all that time to try it out and cancel with no penalties if it just isn’t for you. Just remember to place an order for more than $35 worth of stuff so that it’ll have no delivery fee.
Pretty cool, right? I know many of you will diss this idea and criticize me for my luxurious ways. That’s okay. I feel good about how I’m prioritizing my time, and know that Shipt is saving me money.