Instacart delivery hours

Instacart delivery hours DEFAULT

Peak Hours For Instacart (2021) – The Best Times To Work Instacart

Instacart is one of the most popular grocery delivery platforms out there, operating in over 5,000 cities across the United States and Canada.

And, in terms of gig economy jobs, Instacart also lets shoppers earn upwards of $25 per hour (or even more, if you get lucky) for delivering groceries to people in their city.

But, if you’re currently working as an Instacart shopper and find that you aren’t getting enough batches, you might feel somewhat frustrated.

So, why is it that some Instacart shoppers can make over $1,000 a week, whereas others struggle to get consistent batches?


Well, part of it has to do with picking the best Instacart shopper hours so there’s a higher chance you get regular batches.

So, if you want to know the best times to do Instacart, this is the post for you!

Let’s get to it.

Looking for other lucrative gig jobs in your area? Checkout:

  • DoorDash – Make money delivering food via bike, scooter, or car in your city with DoorDash!
  • Steady – Find local, high-paying gig jobs with the free Steady app!

Why Picking The Best Instacart Hours Matters

For a lot of gig jobs, you can start working whenever you want.

For example, with Uber Eats, drivers can simply open the app and begin accepting delivery requests as they come in.

Instacart used to be different. In the past, you had to schedule shifts you wanted to work, and Instacart did this to help manage how many shoppers were out there at a given time.

Now, things are different.

Instacart shoppers can now open the app and begin working whenever they want. Furthermore, batch requests go to the highest-rated shoppers first.

According to Instacart: “In several regions across the country, batches will be offered to shoppers directly rather than selecting from the list view, and they will be given time to review without other shoppers being able to accept the batch.”

So, this ultimately means you’re competing with more shoppers and your shopper rating matters a ton!

You can learn more about how to improve your shopper rating in our post on Instacart tips and tricks, but the point stands: delivering at the right time is important to increase the chances you get orders.

Instacart Best Hours To Work – What Instacart Says

Instacart wants shoppers to get orders so they make more money and stick with shopping.

However, they don’t give much information on their website in terms of advice for shoppers.

This is different from DoorDash actually outlines the best times to DoorDash to help beginner couriers make more money.

On the bright side, if you check your Instacart shopper app, you’ll see a “best times to shop” button under the available batches:


If you tap this button, it actually shows you location-specific data for the best times to deliver for Instacart in your area.

This can be a bit buggy once in a while and not display data, but normally, it should outline some suggestions for when Instacart is the busiest.

And, again, if the app sounds like it’s giving bogus recommendations, like to do all of your deliveries at 9pm, take it with a grain of salt.

The Best Times To Do Instacart According To Couriers

Listening to Instacart’s app recommendation is one thing, but, what are the best times to do Instacart according to couriers?

Well, a lot of this question has to do with securing Instacart peak pay, which is a bonus paid on batches during busy periods.

See, Instacart charges customers with busy pricing, so if you can get batches during the busiest Instacart times, there’s a higher chance you score peak pay.


So, what are Instacart peak hours?

Typically, peak hours include:

  • Weekdays: From around 4:00pm to 9:00pm as people order groceries when they get home from work and don’t want to go shop themselves
  • Weekends: Essentially any time on the weekend since this is when people traditionally shop for groceries themselves and are home to accept orders

Now, on weekends, a lot of batches get claimed early in the morning, so I’d suggest trying to work earlier on the weekend if that’s when you have time.

It’s also worth noting that with more people working remotely now, you can probably get some earlier grocery orders during the week.

However, from what shoppers say, it looks like early on the weekend and later during the week are the best times to do Instacart:


As you can see, one shopper still does 9am to 3pm during the week, five days a week, but most shoppers stick to around 2pm to 10pm for their weekday window.

If we look at other Instacart shopper reviews on Indeed, you also see similar info:


However, as one shopper notes, it’s also important to test your market to see what works best.

Depending on the competiton with other shoppers, it might be optimal to work slightly off-peak hours just so you have more access to batches.

In short, Instacart can be worth it, but you really need to work the prime-time hours to get the most batches possible.

Extra Reading – How Much Money Can You Make With Instacart A Week?

What Are The Best Days To Work For Instacart?

If you’re trying to maximize your earnings, it can also help to work for Instacart on certain days, at least according to some shoppers.

As mentioned above, Sunday and Monday seem to be the best days for shoppers.

This also makes sense; people come back from out-of-town trips on Sunday and need groceries. Similarly, Monday is a catch-up day for people if they put off errands on the weekend.

According to shoppers on Reddit, it also seems like the weekend and Monday are the best for getting regular batches:


However, it’s still important to test what works in your market and to just use these times and days as a rough starting point.

When Do Instacart Hours Become Available?

If you want to work at off-peak hours, you might be thinking: hey, I’ll just work at 7am or midnight to score some easy batches.

But, Instacart actually only lets customers schedule deliveries depending on partner store schedules.

According to Instacart: “Delivery windows start as early as 9am and run as late as midnight. Check local store hours. Delivery hours are subject to store operating hours, which includes holidays.”

Extra Reading – The Best Apps That Pay You To Drive.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, it’s tough to pin down Instacarts best hours to work because, as we see from a bunch of shoppers, every market is different.

However, I think a common trend is that weekends are your friend and that you shouldn’t be afriad of later deliveries during the week.

As long as you learn to shop fast and keep testing your market, you can use Instacart to boost your monthly income.

Just remember to have patience, track your earnings and expenses, and you can find success in the gig economy!

If you know the best Instacart shopper hours for your market, definitely leave a comment down below with your advice!

Catch you guys in the next one.

Not making money with Instacart yet? Sign up to become an Instacart Shopper today!

You an also checkout our post on the best jobs like Instacart!

Looking for other ways to make money on the side? Checkout:

Tom Blake

Tom is a 24 year old recent college graduate from Canada with a passion for side hustling, passive income, and marketing. This Online World is all about providing people with honest ways to make and save more money by using technology. To learn more about Tom, read his About Page!

If you’re interested in freelance writing services or want to partner with This Online World, please visit Tom Blake Digital to get in touch!

Filed Under: Side Hustles that Pay


Using an online grocery delivery service is incredibly convenient with how much time and hassle it can save you. But when it comes to one of the US’s largest grocery delivery services, people often ask why is Instacart so slow?

So I did some research, and here’s what I discovered:

Why is Instacart so slow? Supply and demand. As more people use the service, it gets harder to find enough Instacart Shoppers to accommodate the increase. However, Instacart is still able to deliver on time for 90% of orders. Scheduling off-peak delivery times can also help with on-time arrivals.

In this article, we’re diving deep into Instacart.

I’ll help you understand how Instacart delivery works, if they give you set delivery slots, and what to do when no delivery time is available. But we’ll also look at average delivery times, and what steps you can take to ensure your order is delivered on time.

Just keep reading to know more about Instacart deliveries. 

Ready to order from Instacart? CLICK HERE to get started with your order!

How long does Instacart usually take?

The company advertises same-day delivery and states “in as fast as an hour”. You can also specify when you’ll like your grocery delivered. But like any business, it’s all about supply (of drivers) and demand (orders coming in). Peak delivery times can sometimes mean up to a 5-hour wait.

However, at off-peak times, you can also have your deliveries in two hours or less.

You may also place orders ahead of time, which is a great option, especially if you’re the type who likes to plan in advance. That way, you could ensure that you never run out of stuff, instead of waiting to order at the last minute!

Instacart is one of the biggest and best online grocery delivery services out there, but in some cases, its delivery time leaves a lot to be desired.

One of the main reasons is they don’t have enough shoppers to cope with the surge in demand as more and more people switch to grocery delivery and pickup.

If you’re considering other options, DoorDash is a good platform.

You can find out about its alliance with Walmart in a recent article of mine. Just click the link to read it on my site.

In the article, I explored how it works with Walmart, the states it operates in, the few where it doesn’t operate in, how to get your groceries from Walmart, whether you’re supposed to tip the drivers, and even the markup it adds to the store price.

So, now, we know the average delivery time, let’s understand how Instacart works, in a nutshell.

How does Instacart delivery work?

With Instacart, you order, set a delivery window, and pay & tip all from the app. You decide which store(s) to order from & add specific items to your cart. Instacart employees, known as Shoppers, shop the order, pay on your behalf, and then deliver it, or stage it for pickup depending on which option you select.

Instacart is available in over 5000 cities in the US

So, using its mobile app or website, you can buy groceries online. Then the Instacart Shoppers go to the grocery stores, pick each item, pay, and drive (in their own car) to deliver the items to you.

A Shopper may have to visit more than one store if they can’t find everything on your grocery list.

And, there are a few items it doesn’t deliver, such as tobacco (but click to read my recent article on who DOES deliver tobacco products). Just click that link to read it on my site.

Essentially, the platform allows you to create a virtual shopping cart – a common way of ordering most products and services we buy these days. And, because the products can’t be delivered digitally, a human being brings all you’ve ordered to your door.

Here’s a step-by-step walkthrough of using Instacart:

  • Visit the website or download the app.
  • Choose a store and enter your location.
  • Fill the virtual shopping cart (with what you’ll like to order).
  • Select your item substitutes and delivery time.
  • Pay and place your order.
  • You can track the progress of your order.
  • Ensure that you’re available to collect your order

In most cases, the prices of the products are higher than those in the stores. You’ll also pay a delivery charge (and it’s cool to tip the Shoppers).

Most people tip on the app, but you can tip in cash in person if you wish. But how much to tip?

In a recent article of mine, I provided a guide on what to tip Instacart shoppers. While Instacart suggests a 5% tip, it’s probably a better idea to tip a lot more than that. But I’ll get into those details in the article.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

Does the platform promise a set delivery time? That’s just what I was about to write about.

When I order from Instacart, do they give you a set delivery time?

Instacart customers are given a set delivery window, mostly within five-hours. Their delivery windows start at 9 am and runs to midnight. While they advertise “as fast as an hour”, that’s not always true during peak hours. But the earlier you place your order, the more likely you are to receive an on-time delivery.

Because of the demand increase of 2020, and probably complaints about slow service, the company has launched two new features.

The company also announced that it was going to employ more shoppers. I’ll explain how both new features work.

In another recent article of mine, I wrote about everything you need to know about Instacart pick up. It works similarly to grocery delivery with 1 key difference!

Just click the link to read it on my site.

And before I forget, you can also use Instacart to order and pay for groceries to be delivered to other people.

But why is Instacart slow? Keep reading!

Does Instacart take longer to deliver than promised?

Most of the time, Instacart deliveries are made on time. Demand for Instacart orders has soared by over 300% this year, and that the average order has grown by 35%. Yet the company is still able to deliver on time 90% of the time.

This surge in demand is the highest it has ever experienced.

This is apt to affect any company’s efficiency, but they only miss their appointed time about 10% of the time.

Instacart has employed more people to cope with the astronomical increase in demand, and it introduced two new features aimed at ensuring that groceries are delivered when promised.

In mid-2020, when demand was at its highest, delivery times were as long as five days!

It has normalized now. Yet, the company has planned to employ 500,000 more shoppers. A substantial fraction may have been engaged since it’s rare to see a large number of people complaining about slow delivery times anymore.

The platform naturally charges you more than what you’ll pay at the store (the price of convenience, if you like).

This is a standard business practice since it incurs costs in delivering its service. I showed that it doesn’t always charge more.

But how much are you actually being charged?

I researched it, and in a recent article of mine, I shared all you need to know. Just click the link to read it on my site. I even showed the stores whose prices it doesn’t markup, and I compared Instacart and Aldi’s prices.

But can you always place your order at any time?

What does it mean when the app says Instacart delivery time not available?

When the Instacart app says no delivery times available, it means there are no shoppers currently available to take and deliver your orders. They would rather tell you no than take your order knowing it would not be handled promptly.

In effect, the system is overwhelmed!

This happens, though infrequently when the demand outstrips the number of shoppers who are free to serve you.

As you probably know, Instacart does not have its own store. Its shoppers have to go from store to store picking and delivering others to different parts of the city.

For additional help, you may visit the Instacart Help Center. Just click on the link and search for your query on Instacart’s website. 

Or perhaps, try again later!

How can I speed up my Instacart order?

In spring 2020, Instacart introduced 2 new services designed to speed up the order & delivery process for customers. Their “Fast & Flexible” program allows customers to have their order delivered by the first available Shopper, instead of just scheduling it for a set window. 

Then their “Order Ahead” program allows customers to place orders up to 2 weeks ahead of time.

That effectively doubles the previous delivery window of 7 days. You can also build your delivery cart of products well in advance too which didn’t use to be an option.

Checking the “Leave at My Door” delivery option also allows for faster delivery as they don’t have to wait for someone to be home.

Lastly, if you’re a regular Instacart user, consider joining Instacart Express.

You’ll avoid the per shop delivery fees and get faster deliveries. The program does come with an annual fee of $99 though. But if you order from Instacart regularly, it’s totally worth it. 

Did I cover all you wanted to know about why is Instacart so slow?

In the preceding paragraphs, we checked out:

  • How Instacart operates
  • Its delivery time
  • The reliability of the service
  • How to use the platform
  • And what is meant when the app shows “delivery time not available” and what to do about it

We learned that the platform is one of the best and that there are some occasions that explain why Instacart is so slow.

This is probably caused the uptick in demand this year, but they are still doing just great. 

Ready to order from Instacart? CLICK HERE to get started with your order!

Photo which requires attribution:

Instacart_PwG_anim_02 by 姿穎 呂 is licensed under Public Domain

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Instacart No Delivery Times – Why is Instacart So Slow?

Many of us prefer using a digital grocery service because it saves you a lot of time, energy, and stress compared to personally going out and getting your groceries. But a lot of people tend to ask us why Instacart, like a tortoise, is?

What is means “Instacart no delivery times” in the Instacart app?

“Instacart no delivery times” notification in the Instacart app refers to the situation when no shoppers are currently available to take items from the grocery shop and deliver items to customers’ doorstep. Instacart wants to warn customers that they are busy instead of being late. 

Why is Instacart So Slow?

Instacart was slow latest months because of the increasing demand for online grocery delivery services. As a result, it was tough to find Instacart Shoppers. However, based on recent data, more than 90% of all orders were delivered on time.  Off-peak delivery times were an excellent scheduling solution. When Instacart can not guarantee on-time delivery, customers get a message in the Instacart app “Instacart no delivery times.”

We’ll be diving deep into Instacart in this article to learn more. We’ll also tell you how Instacart delivery works in real life if they provide you with set delivery carts and what you can do when there is no available delivery time. Last but not least, we’ll also have a look at the mean delivery times and things you can do to make sure that your order is delivered right on time. 

How fast does Instacart deliver?

Instacart offers same-day delivery within a five-hour window for customers who need groceries sooner rather than later based on the normal schedule. In addition, Instacart is adapting to the pandemic with a flexible delivery option focused on speed over fixed schedules.

When is the best time to order Instacart?

The best time to order Instacart groceries is during off-peak delivery times, before noon, or during working days. However, the biggest peak is during Sunday and Saturday when Instacart orders can be late.

The brand states ‘’in as rapid as an hour’’ in some states for same-day delivery. One can also mention the time at which they want their grocery to be delivered. But like the other businesses, it depends on the supply of Drivers and the demand for delivery orders. Peak delivery orders can also make you wait for up to 5 hours.

However, you can expect your groceries to be delivered in less than hours at off-peak hours.

You also get an option to place your orders before the time, which happens to be a great idea if you’re one of those people who like to plan. This also saves you the worry of having to wait at the last moment for your stuff to get delivered if you don’t get ample of it at any point in time. 

Instacart happens to be one of the largest and the best delivery services one can find, but sometimes the delivery times can leave you wanting more. DoorDash is also a good option if you’re considering other delivery services. Now that we know about the median delivery times, it’s time for us to interpret how Instacart works in a compact nutshell. 

Does Instacart deliver to apartments?

Yes, Instacart delivers goods to apartments. You need to provide security instructions, gate code to the deliveryman. However, if your gated community has internal employees for deliveries, please provide instructions to Instacart.

Does Instacart deliver to hotel rooms?

Yes, Instacart delivers goods to hotel rooms or resorts. It would help if you informed the hotel front desk about delivery. However, some hotels do not allow Instacart deliveries. Would you please check before ordering hotel rules?

Does Instacart deliver to college dorms?

Yes, Instacart delivers goods to college dorms. However, some college dorms have strict rules about delivering time, so you need to follow the rules.

Does instacart deliver on military bases?

Yes, Instacart delivers goods to military bases. However, it would help if you waited for the deliveryman at the entrance gate instead of delivering to your door.

Working Mechanism of Instacart

While using Instacart, you get everything in one place, i.e., ordering, setting a delivery setup, payments, and even giving tips! You can finalize which store(s) you want to get the order form and add major items to your cart. Instacart employees, also known as the particular shoppers, will buy the order, pay on their behalf, and deliver it or stage it for delivery depending on the option you choose. 

Instacart is present in almost five thousand cities in the US at the moment. So, you can buy groceries on a laptop using their App or Website. 

Instacart shoppers arrive at the grocery store, pick up the items, pay, and then drive down to your place in their very own vehicle to deliver the commodities to you. You may also note that the shopper would have to visit multiple stores if they can’t find everything on the list in one place. 

Also, some items aren’t delivered by Instacart, such as nicotine, Tobacco.

The Instacart platform permits you to create a virtual cart, which is a usual way of ordering most products and services we need. Also, as the products cannot be delivered virtually, a human gets everything you’ve purchased to your doorstep!

A Quick Step-by-Step pace of using Instacart:

  • “Download the app, or visit the website.
  • Choose a location and store.
  • Fill your cart with whatever you’d like to buy.
  • Select your item, if any, and the delivery time.
  • Finalize your order and pay virtually with your preferred mode of payment
  • You can also track the progress of your order.
  • Make sure that you’re there to have your order.”

The rates of most products are usually higher than you’ll find in stores. Also, you’ll have to pay a delivery cost.

You can also tip your delivery person either virtually or in person. But how much is good to tip?

Instacart recommends a tip of more or equal to 5%.

How late does Instacart deliver?

Instacart delivers till midnight. Instacart provides customers with a set delivery plan, mostly within 5 hours, from 9 am till midnight. While the advertisement says ‘’as quick as an hour’’, that doesn’t hold during rush hours. The more advanced you place your order, the chances you receive on time go up.

Instacart deliveries on time or not?

Instacart deliveries actually are on time. Even though the need for Instacart orders increased by 300% in 2020 and the average has grown by 35%, Instacart can still deliver on time most of the time. This surge in demand and need is the highest the company has experienced in history. That is enough to affect any company’s efficiency, but they tend to fail by only 10% of the time in their appointed time.

To cooperate with the ever-increasing demand, Instacart introduced two innovative features to deliver groceries on time. 

The demand was the highest in mid-2020, where delivery times were as long-termed as 5 days!

Even though it has become very normalized, the company has planned to employ around 500,000 more shoppers. A substantial amount of people would have been involved by now as it’s quite uncommon to see a huge number of people complaining about delayed delivery issues anymore.

What to do when delivery times aren’t available!

If the app says that the delivery times are unavailable, then it clearly means that there aren’t any shoppers to buy and deliver your items as they would rather deny having your order than taking your order as they know that the order wouldn’t be assisted promptly. This is really infrequent and only happens when the orders surpass the multiple shoppers who are all about to serve you as they have to go from varied stores picking and delivering items to different directions within the city.

Thinking to Speed Up Instacart!

Instacart, during Spring 2020, announced two new services to amp up the order and delivery steps for their customers. First, the ‘’Fast and Flexible’’ program lets customers have their order delivered right away by the first reliable shopper instead of scheduling it for later hours and windows.

The ‘’order ahead’’ program comes in handy if you plan to place your orders well in advance and helps you schedule your orders by up to 2 weeks before time, which is double the previous delivery counter, i.e., 7 days. In addition, one can also create their delivery cart well in a before action cart, which wasn’t an option before. 

You can also choose the ‘’leave at my door’’ option that permits spontaneous delivery as the driver doesn’t need to wait for anyone to get home. 

Also, if you are a promising Instacart user, you can think of joining Instacart express. It helps you avoid the pet shop delivery charges, assists in faster deliveries, and is available at a nominal cost of $99 a year. But it justifies the price if you are a regular Instacart user. 

Filed Under: Grocery Business

The Rise Of Instacart And Online Grocery Delivery
  • Instacart has launched two new features, including Fast and Flexible delivery for shoppers at home, as well as an Order Ahead feature.
  • The delivery app allows you to shop local grocery stores, specialty retailers, and pharmacies from the comfort of your home.
  • COVID-19 has not affected operations, but Instacart officials say there are a few things you can do to better locate open delivery times during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

With national health experts now advising Americans to stay out of grocery stores for the next two weeks if they can, many of us are looking for ways to shop for groceries without leaving our homes. Instacart is one of the largest, most widely available grocery delivery services across the United States – the delivery app partners with most supermarkets, local speciality shops, and even pharmacies in your area, including membership stores like Costco and BJ's Wholesale. But the company is facing challenges when it comes to meeting the high demand for grocery delivery right now. On April 8, the grocery delivery provider launched two new features to hopefully help shoppers get their deliveries faster, especially if they plan to shop in advance: Fast & Flexible and Order Ahead.

Apoorva Mehta, Instacart's founder and CEO, says the company has seen customer demand soar over the last few weeks — and customers are ordering more than ever. Average orders are 25% larger than they were a month ago, and the platform has seen 300% growth since last year at this time. "The launches of Fast & Flexible and Order Ahead allow us to speed up our delivery service for customers and ultimately offer more flexibility based on how people are shopping right now," he says.

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Below, we're answering the most commonly asked questions about Instacart's grocery delivery service, including how they're pivoting services during the COVID-19 pandemic. We're also breaking down the two new features for you.

How does Instacart work?

Instacart allows customers to shop at local grocery stores via a mobile app or their website, creating a virtual shopping cart that is later fulfilled by a "personal shopper" on a designated day. Normally, Instacart offers same-day delivery within a five-hour window for customers who need groceries sooner rather than later. Shoppers can head to the store of your choice and later deliver the order all in one day using their own car — or you can also plan an order in advance for delivery on a different day.

Since Instacart doesn't sell any groceries itself, your shopper will notify you in the app if something you've purchased is out of stock or unavailable, and will work with you to find a suitable replacement.

What stores does Instacart work with?

It all depends on where you live. Local grocery stores in your area — including small businesses like liquor stores or gourmet butchers — may partner with the platform to allow Instacart shoppers to deliver their goods. But it has relationships with many of the major big-box retailers that Americans know well, including Aldi, Wegmans, Kroger, Safeway, Giant supermarkets, Food Lion, Harris Teeter, and regional options like Publix. Customers are able to place delivery orders in 5,500 cities across the country, with offerings from more than half of all the grocery stores in the U.S. and Canada.

If you want to see which grocery stores deliver in your area, enter your zip code here. Instacart also partners with membership-only stores that offer bulk items, including Costco, BJ's Wholesale, and Sam's Club, allowing you to shop at these stores without having to buy a membership outright. Plus, you can find other retailers in some areas, such as Sur La Table, among others.

How much does Instacart cost? Are there any fees?

Instacart allows you to place orders for grocery delivery even if you do not sign up for one of its memberships, which includes Instacart Express, priced at $99 annually or $9.99 a month. Shopping without a membership often results in higher delivery and service fees per order, which can range based on your order's subtotal and how fast you need your groceries delivered.

If you have an Express membership, you'll enjoy free delivery on orders that are more than $35. Moreover, you'll avoid many of the fees that non-member shoppers are subjected to, including busy pricing, which is an extra charge that occurs when Instacart shoppers are facing more orders than usual, as well as free one-hour delivery (which normally comes at a surcharge). Orders under $35 may be subject to a delivery fee between $3.99 and $9.99, depending on how soon you'd like to receive it and if you have a Express membership (which lowers this fee).

Groceries priced on Instacart are often directly set by retailers — and some users have reported that in certain cases, items sold within the app are marked higher than they would be in store. Since Instacart users can shop at warehouse grocers that they'd normally have to fork over a membership fee to, including Costco, items are priced higher in this case to reflect that discrepancy. A 2015 Recode report indicates that Costco items on Instacart's platform in Manhattan were marked up by 15%, but markups can vary based on location. Normally, Instacart will notify its users when it has implemented a surcharge, but it's something to keep in mind — you may be paying more for the added convenience of digital shopping.

Is tip included?

Tipping is not included in service fees or Express membership costs, but tips are strongly recommended, especially now when demand is higher than ever. Instacart allows you to tip directly in the app itself, and often recommends leaving a tip that's proportionate to your total bill, with percentage options that are automatically calculated. A word of caution: Instacart automatically selects a default tip of 5% for new users, and you'll need to adjust your tip before you select a final checkout. You can also add custom tips altogether. A new feature allows returning customers to have tips already set to a default amount they used on their last orders.

When do Instacart's delivery times open?

Instacart officials tell Good Housekeeping that delivery times open on their app automatically on a rolling basis, based on a formula that considers the store's volume and shopper availability. As delivery times become available, customers will see these delivery options become immediately available on Instacart. If you're having trouble finding a delivery slot for your groceries, Instacart officials advise that you check delivery times frequently throughout your day.

If you are shopping in advance, Instacart has now added Order Ahead capabilities on its app that allows customers to place orders two weeks in advance. Previously, shoppers could only shop one week in advance. The extension might allow you to seamlessly plan to restock pantry staples without anxiously stockpiling your kitchen right now, flooding the app with non-crucial orders. The new Order Ahead feature is currently available in select cities and will be rolling out across North America within the coming weeks.

Is Instacart still delivering during the coronavirus pandemic?

In a statement provided to Good Housekeeping, Instacart officials confirm that its shoppers are still delivering to customers right now, despite the COVID-19 outbreak. To keep shoppers and customers better protected, Instacart began offering contactless delivery last month, which allows customers to authorize a shopper to leave their order outside their door, on their porch, or in their building's lobby, rather than traditional face-to-face delivery.

Courtesy of Instacart

What is Fast and Flexible delivery?

Historically, shoppers had to place orders for particular delivery time slots on any given day, usually same-day orders or those within two-hour windows of time. But as demand recently surged, these time slots were being booked almost immediately, and many days in advance — some shoppers weren't able to place orders at all due to delivery schedules being completely booked up, according to the Post Crescent.

Instacart's new Fast and Flexible feature allows customers to select a wider delivery window that allows shoppers to deliver more orders outside of a strict schedule. If selected, shoppers will be able to receive their order by the first available shopper, which means they'll have an estimated delivery range that can be within a 48-hour window. They'll be notified when their order is being shopped and when it'll be delivered at any point in that window.

Instacart officials say they'll continue to offer 2-hour and same-day delivery windows for customers who are looking for them. But if you or a family member are home throughout the day, the Fast and Flexible delivery option might help you get your groceries sooner, as these are assigned on an available basis.

Zee KrsticAssociate Health EditorZee Krstic is a health editor for, where he covers the latest in health and nutrition news, decodes diet and fitness trends, and reviews the best products in the wellness aisle.

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