How Much Money Can You Save With Instacart Vs Buying In-Store?

I recommend all the time that when you go grocery shopping, you use stuff like Instacart because it cuts down on impulse buying. I never compared how much money I spend on Instacart versus in-store, so we will test that.

The other thing that I find is not talked a lot about is how much time we spend saving money. I always say saving money is the same thing as making money. If it takes you 4 hours to save $2, then essentially, you are basically making $0.50 an hour, which is a waste of time.

First, I will log into Instacart and place an order with Aldi for pickup.

I'm not going to grocery shop the way I usually grocery shop because this is more of an experiment. I'm going to order twelve items that are not weighable so that we don't get a difference in price because it's being weighed. These are things that we are low on, but that also won't go bad. 

Placing an order with Aldi for pickup

The other thing I'm going to do is, I'm going to time how much time this takes because time is money, and at the end, we will compare both time and price. 

On our list are bread, lunch meat turkey, lunch meat salami, potato chips, a package of mini cucumbers, lemonade, chicken, pasta, cheese, veggie burgers, butter, and frozen pizza.

Aldi Instacart total

My total today, not including the cashback, was $42.80, which took me about ten minutes. 

Let's see how this compares to in-store prices. 

Now we're at Aldi, and they just messaged me that my order pickup is ready. Wonder if they're going to laugh at me. The fact that I'm buying the exact same thing that I'm picking up.  

Price comparisons in-store and online

I got my carts, and we are ready to roll. Here we are; we got the bread. 

The thing I love about Aldi is everything is in the same place every time. We have some cucumbers and lemonade that were on the list. Next up, we have the butter. I have wanted tofu at all these forever, but it's not on the list, and even though I want to buy it, I will put it back. 

How much money can you save with Instacart?

Next is the sliced cheese and cheese and the package of bricked cheese. Here is the turkey, and right next to it was the salami. We have our potato chips and frozen pizza along with the pasta. 

My favorite Aldi aisle is the special buy aisle. This is going to take some tremendous willpower not to pick up some of these great deals.

Crisis averted. I did not impulse buy. I finished my shopping, and I only got things that were on the original list of twelve items. 

I think the results are surprising. How much more money did it cost me to buy the items online, and how much more time did it take me to buy them in-store? So it only took me about 23-24 minutes to buy the items in-store as opposed to 10 minutes online. Of course, I didn't calculate driving there and driving home because I would have done that anyways. 

The really surprising part was it cost me $40.22 to buy the items in the store today, which only saved me about $4. I did the math wrong. It only cost me $2.58 more to shop online. I will say that not impulse buying worked for me. I think the only reason why I didn't impulse buy today is that I had an accountability partner, which was you. 

How much money can you save with Instacart?

What did you guys think of this, and how much money am I actually 

saving by going to the stores as opposed to shopping online? Let me know in the comments below. 

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2 of 14 comments
  • Lisa Fluckey Lisa Fluckey on Jan 06, 2023

    I use Walmart + and Sam's Club for deliveries. I don't have to fight traffic, my cases of water get carried in for me, I don't have to deal with rude cashiers or other shoppers, I don't impulse shop and waste $. And if you get a bad item they refund your $ without you leaving your couch! This is well worth it to me. When I go to Costco I can shop @ Aldi.

  • Tara Tara on May 08, 2023

    I think you may have broke even b/c of gas prices driving to and from. I don't know how long it takes you to get to and from your home and store and back. Also you are right about impulse buying, I loved those ceramic pumpkins.