These days, it’s becoming more and more popular to have your groceries delivered to your doorstep rather than embarking on the grand quest that is traffic, crowded aisles, price shopping, checkout lines, and bag juggling.
You make it back home feeling like Frodo descending the mountain and wondering why those stupid eagles didn’t show up sooner and make the trip easier.
Thankfully, we have a giant eagle to carry us home (or at least our groceries) in the form of Instacart. In case you don’t know about this wonderful little gem, Instacart is a web-based delivery company that has cornered the market pretty well on grocery store delivery.
With a few clicks of a button and a couple of hours of sitting on pins and needles, you will have a cheery delivery driver knock on your door with your bags full of groceries, and just like that, you’ve completed an entire shopping trip without leaving your couch.
Take that, Gandalf!
Searching Aldi reveals sneaky Instacart prices...
It sounds too good to be true, right? Sadly, like most good things in life, there is a catch: You will be paying more to have your groceries delivered.
Instacart charges taxes, service fees, delivery fees, and suggested tips for the drivers. By the time you have your groceries, expect to pay significantly more than if you went to the store yourself.
There might be a more insidious way that Instacart gets into your nasty pockets, though. To investigate this clever little sneak, let’s turn to everybody’s favorite bargain market, Aldi.
Wait, who owns Aldi?
Aldi began in 1946 when Karl and Theo Albrecht took over their mother’s grocery store. The chain became more popular over the next 20 years until the business split into Aldi North and Aldi South. These two companies continued to work closely together and spread their stores across the 5 of the 7 continents. When they came to the United States, their stores became a huge hit.
Aldi North runs the store known as Trader Joe’s, and Aldi South runs the eponymous discount market with no shopping bags that we all know and love.
Is Aldi Cheaper Than Walmart?
The term discount market is not used lightly here. Aldi strips every unnecessary amenity to create the lowest prices possible. To compare how well the Germans do it, let’s look at some prices from Aldi alongside some prices from America’s lightweight champion, Walmart.
Walmart has touted “always low prices” for years, but can they really compete with the German contender? A look at some competing products says no.
Although the brands Aldi brings to the table may not be as recognizable as the ubiquitous Great Value, the supermarket giant can’t hold up to the minimalist store’s prices. For example, if you’re craving some chocolate almond milk, you’ll be paying about 10 cents more for the Walmart brand over the Aldi brand. That’s not a big deal, but things get more extreme when we look at “the good stuff”.
Are you thinking about a warm, gooey pop tart for breakfast (you are now!). You can make your culinary dream come true for a mere $2.75 at Aldi. Going to Walmart will have you waking in a cold sweat, however, when you discover the same box is $3.68!
Let's Check Out Aldi on Instacart
Now that we’ve established the good news that is Aldi’s prices, let’s talk about the bad news.
Spending money at Aldi may be the best thing since sliced bread, but if you’re shopping for that sliced bread on Instacart, you might notice something funny. Instacart has whole wheat bread listed for $1.39, but if you walk into Aldi and look that very same loaf of bread in the non-existent eye, you will discover that it costs $1.25. That seems a little fishy, right?
Now that your curiosity is piqued, a thorough search will show that all of Instacart’s prices are 10 to 20 cents more expensive! Apparently, all the extra fees just weren’t enough.
So the next time you’re sitting on the couch, debating just how much it’s worth not having to get up, realize you may be paying more than just the reported fee…