No Instacart, either

Yesterday we almost tried Instacart. Sara did the shopping, and we noticed from the get go that they have a significant markup — for example, a half gallon of Clover organic milk is $5.19, which is more expensive than the little grocery next door. I know that a half gallon of organic milk is less than $4 if I actually *go* to Whole Foods.

Earlier I had complained about the pain of going grocery shopping, and I still believe that it’s annoying. Nevertheless, I realize that you don’t get a big benefit out of doing a large grocery order through a service like Instacart. For one thing, the delivery fee increases with the size of the order. Your best bet is to order just over the minimum for free delivery, so $35 exactly. That way, you’re only paying a few dollars of markup.

When we went to check out, Instacart asked us if we wanted to tip the delivery person. Of course we would — we are always generous to service workers. But up till that point, we had assumed that the tip was included in the charge, as with a service like Uber. We decided to scratch the whole thing and do our shopping IRL. We can’t afford the markup plus a tip.