How To Make The Most Money With Instacart

It’s not a new phenomenon, but the appeal of the “gig economy” hasn’t faded. Some 36 percent of American workers have a side hustle, according to a Gallup poll in 2018. Uber and DoorDash, two service-based applications, have grown into indispensable tools for anyone wishing to supplement their income or establish themselves as their own boss.

Instacart is a platform you may have heard of. To answer your questions about whether or not Instacart is worth it, we’ve put up a comprehensive guide. For those of you who have already signed up for Instacart and are looking for ways to maximize your side hustle, we’ve got some helpful advice for you as well.

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Tips for making more money with your side hustle

  • Use Keeper Tax: Keeper Tax is a service for freelancers and gig workers to ease the burden of tax filing. Use the Keeper Tax app to keep track of all of your work-related transactions throughout the year instead of trying to find your receipts at the end of the year. You can learn more about how this service can help you save money by reading our Keeper Tax review.
  • Make sure you’re using the correct credit card: As an Instacart Shopper, your gasoline expenditures will be one of your expenses. With the right gas credit card, though, you might be reimbursing yourself in the form of cashback or reward points for all of your travel. As an illustration, the Blue Cash PreferredĀ® Card from American Express offers 6% cash back at US supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year, then 1X) and on US streaming services, 3% cash back at US petrol stations and on qualified transportation, and 1% cash back everywhere.
  • Earnings should be put to good use: To save for the future, consider investing the money you earn through side-hustling. Investing in your favorite company doesn’t have to be expensive when you use Stash because you can acquire fractional shares. 1
  • Increase the value of your surplus funds by earning interest: As a side hustler, it’s imperative that you use your earnings to help you achieve your long-term goals. Put it in a high-interest savings account instead of a standard bank account to get the most return on your money.

When and how does Instacart work?

Grocery delivery service Instacart is available in the United States and Canada. An Instacart personal shopper offers consumers same-day delivery via an app founded by Apoorva Mehta and released in 2012. The San Francisco-based startup has partnered with more than 350 national and local shops, including Wegmans, Safeway, CVS, Kroger, Costco, and Aldi.

A 4.8-star rating on Apple’s App Store and a 4.3-star rating on Google Play from over 27,000 reviews are presently available. Grocery delivery applications like these are quite popular.

How does being a shopper for Instacart work?

The registration process is straightforward. The first step is to visit the Instacart website, where you can select whether you want to be a Full-Service Shopper or an In-Store Shopper.

Full-Service Shoppers

Full-Service Hand choosing groceries, bagging them and delivering the order (also known as “batches”) to the client are the responsibilities of the shoppers. These customers are treated as self-employed individuals.


Using Instacart, you may sign up for specified hours each week to create a weekly calendar for your workday. A first-come, first-served basis is used to assign shifts, and you can select several shifts if you like. Those who have shopped at Amazon before may be given “early access” to the following week’s schedule of delivery times.

Even if you’re not working, you may still claim batches from Instacart’s “on-demand” delivery service. As of right now, this is merely a test option offered in a small number of markets. It’s a win-win situation for both the shopper and the Instacart delivery driver.

Accepting batches

When your shift begins, you’ll open Instacart’s Shopper app and get a notice of a batch that’s ready for you to pick up. The notice includes the following information:

  • A map of your present position, with a point indicating the delivery location.
  • Earnings based on digital tips, but not possibly cash tips.
  • The total driving distance is determined by the following factors
  • To what extent is hard lifting required by the order?

You’ll have four minutes to accept an order, and the app will keep pinging you throughout that time to keep you informed. It’s up to you whether or not to accept it. It’s important to remember that if you pass over too many batches, you might face a penalty.


The instructions to the store will be provided once the consumer has placed an order. As soon as you’ve arrived at your destination, open the app and select “Start shopping” to see what you still need to pick up. The app must be used to scan any barcodes on the products in the list. The weight of produce and deli goods must be put into the app as well.

The consumer has two options if an item on the list is not available: scan a replacement or begin the refund process. Using the app, you can also send a message to the client and ask a question about a proposed substitution.

At the store’s normal checkout counter, you’ll use an Instacart-issued credit card to pay for your groceries. You’ll deliver the order to the consumer as the last step.

Instacart keeps track of how quickly and accurately you complete and deliver the order throughout the whole process for your convenience.

In-Store Shoppers

Instacart considers in-store shoppers to be part-time employees. Store shopping for bulk products and order staging (i.e. bagging and labeling) are responsibilities of this position. Both the consumer and a delivery-only Instacart shopper are able to pick up the order.
Select zones and retail locations feature In-Store Shoppers, although not every store or location participates in this sort of shopper position.


Instacart limits your weekly working hours as a part-time hourly employee to 29 hours. In order to apply for the job, you must be able to commit to a minimum of 15 to 16 hours per week (however that amount of hours isn’t guaranteed).

Using the app, you’ll know when to clock in and out for your shift and when to take breaks.


With Instacart, you can work out of any grocery shop of your choice. Launch the Shopper app when you’re ready to begin your shift. You will be given a batch to finish by Instacart rather than Full-Service Shoppers who can pick and choose which batches to accept and complete.

A detailed list of items to buy, together with the amount of each and the aisle in which it may be found, will be sent to you when you receive batch information. If you’re looking for a certain product at a shop, aisle information might help you narrow down the location.

Similar to what Full-Service Shoppers are needed to perform, the shopping procedure is carried out. Weigh or manually input produce, meat, and delicacies; scan or manually enter barcodes for those things; and pick substitutes if the item is unavailable. When you’re done shopping, use your Instacart credit card to pay for your order at the register.


In-Store retailing The store has a special “staging” space for customers. Batches are created, grouped, and stored here until they are picked up. Refrigerators (for perishable goods, such as dairy and meat) and shelves for non-perishable items are located in this section.
You’ll need to scan your receipt at the staging area after you’ve completed your transaction. Batch labels will be printed by a machine so that they may be easily identified during pick-up. Place the bags on a shelf or in the refrigerator with the labels on. Now that you’ve finished the batch, you may relax.

Instacart sets a time restriction based on the quantity of the order, and you must meet it. Shop, wait in line at checkout, pay for the batch with your Instacart credit card, bag the products, and stage them for pick-up during this time.

Customer feedback for all shoppers

Retail establishments that provide in-store Customers have their own “staging” space in the store. Preparation and storage of batches take place in this area. Perishable foods like dairy and meat are kept fresh in dedicated refrigerators in this area, as well as shelves for storing non-perishable goods.

After you’ve completed your transaction, head to the staging area to scan the receipt. During pick-up, batch labels will be printed by a machine. The bags can be stored on a shelf or in the refrigerator after the labels have been attached to them. Once the batch is complete, you’re done.

As the amount of the order increases, Instacart gives you a time restriction to finish it. As soon as the order is ready to be picked up, you’ll need to shop, wait in line at the checkout, and pay with your Instacart credit card.

Who can be an Instacart shopper?

If you’re interested in becoming an Instacart shopper, the criteria differ.

Full-Service Shopper

Full-Service Shoppers are free to work as many hours as they like each week because they are self-employed. Be eligible for consideration:

  • You must be at least eighteen years of age.
  • Be eligible for employment in the United States or Canada.
  • Have access to a mobile phone (requires Android 5.0 or later, or iOS 9 or later)
  • Have a car that is both registered and insured.
  • Lift at least 30 pounds.
  • Follow Instacart’s guidelines for food safety.

The skills needed to be a good Full-Service Shopper may already be present in those who have worked in the transportation business (e.g., as a taxi driver or a personal shopper).
If you own a car and don’t mind putting a lot of miles on it, this is the job for you. Also, if you’re hoping to make this your full-time job, the hours aren’t constrained. Additionally, higher-paying batches are possible.

In-Store Shopper

For In-Store Shoppers, in addition to working the appropriate number of hours and being able to reach their allocated store on time;

  • You must be at least eighteen years of age.
  • Be eligible for employment in the United States or Canada.
  • Have access to a mobile phone (requires Android 5.0 or later, or iOS 9 or later)
  • Lift at least 30 pounds.
  • Follow Instacart’s guidelines for food safety.

This position is best suited to people who aren’t looking to make this a full-time job. People who do not own a car, but still want to work with Instacart but do not want to put more miles on their vehicle, could consider this alternative.

How much does Instacart pay?

Your shopper function, for example, has a significant impact on how much money you may make. You’ll be paid on an hourly basis according to the terms of your contract as an In-Store Shopper.

Full-service shoppers pay a variety of fees. Depending on your location, Instacart guarantees a minimum batch payment of $7 to $10 if you finish a full-service transaction. Your guaranteed minimum payment is $5 if you merely completed the delivery of an order.
It is possible to obtain a “quality bonus” or a “peak boost” bonus for qualifying orders (when you earn a five-star review). Additionally, you’ll get all of the $5 in tips that people leave for you.

Depending on the market you service, as well as how many batches you complete, if a consumer contributes an optional tip, and other circumstances, you may make $15 or more per hour on average. You’ll get paid by direct deposit to your bank account on a weekly basis. If you need money quickly, you may use the Instant Cashout option.

Tips for increasing your Instacart income

If you want to earn more money as an Instacart shopper, here are some tips. To maximize your revenue, here are a few tips:

  • Set a reminder during peak shopping hours so that time slots that already have a large number of customers aren’t used by anybody else. Plan ahead of time by setting up regular reminders on your phone to take advantage of as many available hours before they expire.
  • Make sure you’re driving a fuel-efficient vehicle so that your money doesn’t go to waste at the gas station.
  • Check out the list of things you need to buy: Don’t spend your time going back and forth between the aisles. You should always check the complete batch order before taking anything off the shelf to determine which shop aisles and sections you need to visit and what things can be grabbed quickly before taking anything off the shelf.
    Shoppers who plan to do their shopping in-store should take the time to get to know the location. Try wandering the aisles during your free time to acquaint yourself with the store layout.
  • Move quickly, but with caution: The more batches you can complete in less time, the better your Instacart rating will be. For example, you can scan products as you walk down the aisle, but be careful not to damage yourself or anybody else in the process.
  • Let the Shopper app do the work for you when it comes to finding a replacement for an item on your shopping list. If you don’t need to run the replacement past the consumer before making a choice, don’t.
  • You want to get in and out of the business as quickly as possible, so grab the first parking place you see. Do not get hung up on finding a 20-footer. If you’re lucky enough to find an empty parking lot, take advantage of it by choosing a place near the door or near a cart corral so you can get out of there as quickly as possible.

Become an Instacart shopper by following these instructions.

The first step in becoming an Instacart shopper is to fill out your basic information online or through the Shopper app.

Once you’ve set up an account, you may apply for Full-Service Shopper status online or using the app, and you’ll be able to pick up where you left off if you run out of time.

Filling out a form in the app or online is the first step in applying for an In-Store Shopper position. Make a note on your application that you do not wish to be considered for the position of Full-Service Shopper.

A local onboarding session is necessary following the examination of your application form. Every week, new sessions are added. If you are unable to attend your booked appointment, you are invited to reschedule.

About the author: David Krug is the CEO & President of bankovia. He’s a lifelong expat who has lived in the Philippines, Mexico, Thailand, and Colombia. When he’s not reading about cryptocurrencies, he’s researching the latest personal finance software.