Read This Before Ordering From Aldi With Instacart

Services like grocery delivery or third-party food delivery usually have a markup. You may not be aware, however, that some services such as store pickup can also have a price increase over traditional shopping. This is the case with Instacart pickup at Aldi. Exactly how much that markup is, however, is something Redditor malepitt actually took the time to find out, doing some smart math. The user explained, "This probably won't be news to anyone, that it costs extra for curbside pickup at ALDI through Instacart; that's the Instacart business model, after all. But I wondered how much extra I've been paying for this convenience during the pandemic, at least in my area" (via Reddit). 

This reviewer "did the side-by-side pricing of the exact same 55 items covering nearly all product categories, except fresh meat." First, they made a purchase using the curbside pickup option and followed up at the same Aldi location to check products' shelf prices. On average, the markup for items was roughly 12% apiece. While the savings for in-person shopping could seem small to some, these costs can add up quickly. Shared the Redditor, "As this savvy Redditor concludes, "MORAL OF THE STORY: If I resume shopping in person at ALDI, I'll save about one dollar for every eight dollars I spend, compared to curbside pickup."

Obviously, Instacart isn't just hiking up prices for the fun of it. There are many factors that can determine the price you are seeing for products.

Prices for food are more variable than you might think

Other Instacart shoppers have also noticed price differences. Aldi Reviewer found these differences in costs to occur on more of a case-by-case basis. For example, the site noted that Happy Farms String Cheese cost just $2.79 at the store. But when ordering on Instacart, the amount rose to $3.09. Yet the cost of a dozen eggs only changed by 4 cents between the two shopping methods. Scheduling deliveries to take place during busier days and times slots can also alter the price, as does the overall cost of the purchase. Furthermore, service fees, sales tax, and driver tips also factor into the total. At some Aldi locations, customers might even pay a fee for using bags.

Of course, Instacart is hardly alone in changing prices based on the details of a purchase. For instance, if you're shopping at Target, you'll get a different price for your groceries based on whether you're at the storefront or at home. A professor at the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management Marketing, George John, explained to KARE11, "Somebody at Target programmed in an algorithm which says someone who is 50 feet within the store is willing to pay more" (via HuffPost). So for savvy shoppers, the research is worth it. You might be surprised about just where you can save $1.