Instacart is one of the largest grocery delivery apps on the market. If you’re looking for a way to make money in your spare time, this is one to keep high on your list. It’s as easy as accepting a job, shopping for the groceries specified and then delivering it to the customer. You get to work when you want, pick the job you want, and in many cases, you can earn up to $20+ per hour for your time if you play your cards right. Best of all, you don’t have to worry about toting around strangers in your car.
In the gig economy world, there are many more options than just Instacart.
Whether you have been part of Instacart and are looking for alternatives to supplement your income and/or you’re simply looking for ways to make money like Instacart, then I wanted to create a detailed guide, showing you of the many companies out there that work just like it.
Most of the websites/apps I’m about to list work similarly.
You accept a job, you get to set your schedule and then it’s up to you complete the job as they come to your phone. They all vary in some way, but I will explain how each job works in each section. Generally, as long as you have a clean background/driving record and you’re older than 18, then you should qualify.
7+ Shopping Jobs Like Instacart
DoorDash isn’t about delivering groceries, per se, but you can deliver food and Walmart grocery orders.
The nice thing about DoorDash is that you don’t have to shop. You just accept the order, pick it up and then deliver as specified. To me, it’s a lot less work, and in some cases, you can make just as much. Of course, it depends on where you live, but if you venture out during the very busy dinner and lunch rush, it’s not unheard of to make $16 to $22+ per hour. Don’t forget to write off vehicle expenses, though!
As a DoorDash driver, you can deliver via your car, scooter or even bike. And, the great thing is that you can work whenever you want and accept/deny any job that comes your way. Since you are considered an indepdentn contactor, you’re able to select the jobs you feel are worth it.
To qualify as a DoorDash driver, you must be at least 18+, have a valid driver’s license, have a valid car insurance policy and you must have an Android or iPhone capable of running the app. Lastly, you must be able to pass a background check.
DoorDash pays out weekly, but you can choose the instant payout option for a small fee.
- Website: DoorDash
No, I’m not talking about Uber, where you drive people around. I’m talking about the other option, Uber Eats. This is the division that works with restaurants, and yes, you can set up your app so that you only receive restaurant requests.
Like DoorDash, Uber Eats allows you to deliver food from a restaurant to a home, allowing you to accept any job that comes to your phone. You can also turn on the app and work whenever you please.
Now, the thing about Uber Eats is that you can’t often see your destinations, which can be frustrating to some, but the nice thing is that you can just turn on your app and start working. Instacart and DoorDash, while they let you work whenever, still ask you to schedule, usually in half-hour blocks.
Uber Eats tends to pay the least out of the many I mention here, but in the right markets, you can still get close to $20 per hour during the dinner rush.
To qualify, Uber asks that you’re at least 19+ years old, have a valid ID, a vehicle that’s 20 years or newer and have a valid car insurance policy.
- Website: Uber Eats
Postmates works a lot like DoorDash and Uber Eats, but the key difference is that you can deliver almost everything. From furniture and appliances to simple groceries and even alcohol at a convenience store, the options are endless.
If you want to be a courier of sorts and don’t mind shopping and picking up food at a local restaurant, it may be one to consider. The only downfall is that they are limited to certain cities.
I did mention that Uber Eats tends to be pay the least out of them all, but Postmates takes the cake. Since customers often tip after you receive your payout, the tip success rate is much lower than most platforms, meaning that you may see some jobs only pay you $3. They do pay you for waiting, though, which is nice. It’s not to say you will make peanuts, however, as your market can vary from one to the next.
Nonetheless, it doesn’t hurt to add your name to as many as these apps since you can run them all at once.
To qualify for Postmates, you must be 18+ years old, have a valid driver’s license, an insurance vehicle and be able to pass a background check.
- Website: Postmates
Out of all the options I list, Shipt is closest app to Instacart as you will still grocery shop just like you would with the Instacart app. The key difference, however, is that you will work with different retailers and it’s not available in as many cities.
As a Shipt shopper, you do get to shop whenever you want, but you do need to snag your hours in advance, so nothing is guarantee. If you’re unable to secure a scheduling spot, then you won’t be able to work. Shipt allows you to select shifts up to five days in advance.
Like the many apps, when you start working, you can pick and choose the jobs you want, even choosing the retailers you want to work with. Again, being an independent contractor, you are in control.
To qualify as a Shipt shopper, you need to be at least 18+ years old with a valid driver’s license and insurance policy. You must also be able to lift 40 pounds and have an insulated cooler bag to transport the colder groceries to your customers.
- Website: Shipt
Grubhub could be the grand-daddy of them all. They pay well, they have a great reputation and the app is very easy to use. You can set your own schedule, but they do ask that you commit to a small one, two or three-hour block. Your schedule depends on the city you live in.
Unfortunately, they only work with restaurants, but if you don’t mind delivering food from point A to point B, it may make for a great option.
Now, the downfall to Grubhub is that the platform is popular. So popular that there may be a wait list in your town. This is for a good reason, though, since the pay tends to be the best, with some cities reporting more than $20+ per hour during the lunch/dinner rush. Again, it is market dependent, so your results will vary.
To become a Grubhub driver, you need to be at least 19+ years old, have some driving experience, a valid driver’s license/insurance as well as pass a background check.
- Website: Grubhub
In short, it’s an app that offers a myriad of jobs, from assembling furniture to delivering groceries.
The great thing about this app is that you can browse a list of current jobs and only accept the ones that are interest to you. So, if it’s grocery store shopping that you want, simply look for these jobs.
You get to set your own hours and work whenever you please. Depending on the gig, pay can range upwards of $25+ per hour.
- Website: TaskRabbit
Your Local Grocery Store
Depending on where you live, your local grocery store may have grocery store shopper and/or delivery positions available. However, unlike the many apps I mention here, you will be treated like an employee most of the time, so if you don’t like the idea of a schedule, then I would skip it.
To see what kind of jobs your local store offers, just Google the store’s name, followed by delivery driver positions.
For example, when I searched my local grocery store, Fry’s, I had found out that I could work as an “e-Commerce clerk,” where I shop for groceries in the store all day, but I wouldn’t be responsible for delivering.
Every grocery store probably has a position of sorts. If not, they may network with one of the apps mentioned prior. A quick search can usually get you the answers you need, though.
If you like the idea of Instacart and want to work even more apps that work similar to it, then you can see you have a lot of options to choose from.
From delivering food to picking up groceries, you can easily add three to five more apps, giving you even more opportunity to earn. Just remember; how much you earn greatly depends on where you live, so what I make can greatly differ from what you make. Plus, everyone uses the app differently, so someone who accepts all of their jobs could make much less than someone who “cherry picks.”
Now, I leave it up to you as I always do.
Do you have any alternatives I’m missing?
Which apps do you like on this list?
As always, feel free to vent in the comments below!
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