19 Best Hacks To Make More Money With Instacart

Do you want to know the best hacks to make money on Instcart that top delivery shoppers don’t like to share?!

You just need to apply minor details in your workflow with Instacart to start seeing exponential growth. 

Both in your income and productivity.

Let me show you

Best Instacart Shopper Hacks

1. Don’t Accept Far Away Orders

The Instacart app offers nearby orders first.

You can still accept a far-away order if it’s convenient for you.

So how much money does an Instacart shopper make per delivery?

The answer depends on how long it takes from start to finish.

If the grocery store is close by and there’s no traffic, then an order that’s a few miles away shouldn’t take too long to complete.

If you’re getting sent to a store across town and there’s rush hour traffic, it could quickly turn into a two-hour delivery.

In this case, you’re not making as much money per hour as you would if you only accepted orders near your location.

2. Choose Your Hours Wisely

You can optimize the money you make on the Instacart app by selecting the best days and hours to work.

It’s essential to learn which days and times get busy so that you can plan accordingly.

The busiest times for Instacart shoppers are usually weekends.

However, weekday mornings and evenings also tend to have high demand as well.

The best way to find out how busy it will be during your shift is by checking the app.

If 100+ orders need filling from just one location, then chances are good you should get out there to work a shift.

In addition to busy times and days, some areas are also more popular than others for Instacart shoppers.

Consider working in a high-demand area if you’re looking to maximize your earnings potential with Instacart.

3. Make a Personal Service

Even though you are shopping through an App, grocery delivery and personal shopping is a service-based industry. 

So, if you’re working to increase your hourly rate, start by making it a personal service to increase the tip. 

The first step in doing this is to take a selfie as you’re entering the store and send it to the customer.

It might seem like a “waste of time” to spend the first 3 minutes sending a selfie and then a text introducing yourself to the person you’re shopping for, but this makes all of the difference in tips. 

With the first two orders I sent selfies and introductions of my “why” I’m Instacart Shopping I received $20 cash tips in addition to the tips on the app.

4. Be Selective with the Batches You Choose

The real secret to achieving high earnings is to be selective with the batches you pick. The key is to wait to take orders until they make you about $30 per hour. This is done by getting preferably only one order and not two or three.

You must consider the number of items in the order and the total distance. 

While Instacart does pay you $0.60 per mile, you can make the most money with Instacart by sticking to batches closer to the store to cut down on delivery time and open you up to another batch as quickly as possible. 

The sweet spot for completing a delivery in an hour is about 25 to 40 items in a batch.

Most of the time you can find these optimal batches in the morning, later at night on the weekdays, and around 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekends.

5. Learn 4 or 5 Stores Well

Other than increasing tips, the other easy way to increase your hourly rate is to shop fast! 

What’s the easiest way to do this? Learn a couple of stores really well so you know where certain products are. 

Once you become a shopping all-star, you’ll even be able to strategize more on the order of items in which you shop for the most efficient shopping!

6. Keep Track of Tax Deductible Items

When you’re grocery shopping for Instacart, make sure to keep track of the tax-deductible items.

Doing so will help reduce how much money you have to pay in taxes at the end of the year.

7. Go to a Location with High Demand

To get higher earnings you’ll need more batches. The best way to make the most money with Instacart is to be in an area with high demand. 

These zones have less competition and more opportunities to find higher payments per batch.

Instacart has recently updated its Shopper App to help you find these high-demand areas. 

The app will show if your current zone has limited batch availability and if there’s another zone nearby with more. 

Orange and red “busy areas” indicate where more batches are available, and you can move to any busy area you choose.

8. Bring Insulated Bags with You

Always bring insulated bags with you to keep food cold or hot, Amazon has some at a great price and they are durable.

This will help you a lot to maintain the quality of the groceries you are buying for the customers, increasing the chances of getting tips from them a little bit.

9. Save Money on Gas

If you can complete multiple orders in one trip, it will save you money on gas.

You’ll use your car for a shorter amount of time, which means less fuel consumed.

You can also help save money by using gas rewards cards and finding the cheapest gas stations in your area.

10. Make Your Work Hours Fun

You may love high-end health food stores – they bring me a sense of calm!

The idea is a couple of times per week when you need a change of pace from your day job staring at a computer, you should pack your favorite cup of coffee, grab a headphone and pick up an Instacart order to relax while listening to your favorite music! 

In order to get the most out of your Instacart or Shipt shopping side hustle, find a way to make it fun! 

The more you trick your brain to make it enjoyable, the better it will be!

11. Bring the Right Things to Shop Faster

Try to shop with only your Instacart debit card, phone, and car keys. It makes your trips a lot easier! 

Use an I.D. holder that has a zip compartment (to hold a quarter for the Aldi shopping cart), the Instacart debit card and my driver’s license (in case you need it).

Bring your car phone charger with you, a quarter for your Aldi grocery trips, and also a wagon and insulated bags to be faster with the delivery after shopping(more on that later)

12. Focus on Quality and Substitutions

A customer deleting the tip will really hurt your bottom line (I’ve had it happen), and the best way to avoid this is to ensure, no matter what customers order, that they are happy with what they receive. 

Did your customer order 4 Roma tomatoes and there are none in stock? 

Before you grab a box of grape tomatoes and call it a day, take a photo of possible replacements and ask the customer what substitution they prefer!

Always try to ask the customer for a replacement and the replacement options list in the shoppers’ app. 

This helps improves your customer service for the customer and keeps the customer from going back to the store themselves.

13. Invest in a Little Wagon 

Invest in a little wagon or hand truck, depending on the area. 

Hand trucks are helpful for apartment deliveries, helping you to do deliveries even faster.

14. Pick The Right Checkout Line

When you’re choosing a check-out lane at the store, make sure to pick the one that will go fast.

Some lanes have more people than others, which can slow down how quickly you’re able to complete an order.

For example, if there’s a long line at the express lane, you can choose a different lane so that you’re not held up.

Don’t forget to use instant cashout, as well.

15. Refer Your Friends

If you have friends who want to get paid to shop, Instacart will pay you to refer them.

Once you’ve logged at least 40 hours on the platform, you’ll get a personal Instacart referral code and link to share. 

When someone signs up using your referral code or link, is approved, and completes 45 batches in 30 days, you’ll get a referral bonus.

The actual bonus varies by your location, but it’s reported to be anywhere from $100 to $1,000.

16. Use Receipt Award Apps

Consider using receipt award apps if you’re looking to increase how much money you make with Instacart.

These allow you to earn cashback on groceries already paid for through the app.

When you use a receipt award app like Fetch Rewards and Ibotta, it’s possible to earn up to $50 per month in cashback rewards.

17. Join Instacart Facebook Groups

Join Instacart Facebook groups. 

If your area has a local group join that group as well. 

Local groups are really helpful, where you can find multiple of existing shoppers that you can give you advice on a very specific issue that you may have.

18. Park Near the Cart Corral

Park near the cart corral. You will thank yourself later. You don’t want to walk a mile just to go back to your car after you shop the groceries for the client.

This can be a huge time-saver, always try to do it.

19. Carry Always a Power Bank 

Carrying a power bank is a lifesaver for those days you may forget to charge your phone or you are just super busy and do not have time to charge it. So charging while working is a huge help!

FAQ About Making Money with Instacart

Can You Earn Tips as an Instacart Shopper?

Tips are optional but a great way to show your shoppers appreciation and recognition for their excellent service. 100% of your tip goes directly to the shopper delivering your order. 

The default tip is 5% or the percentage you chose for your most recent order, whichever is higher.

How Do You Get More Batches with Instacart?

Just improve your customer rating. If your ratings have dipped, make sure to be very efficient, pick good quality food items, and remain professional and friendly around your next Instacart customer. 

Try to deliver the food quickly as well. This way, your ratings should improve, and you should gain more batches on Instacart.

How Much Can You Realistically Make with Instacart in One Day?

An average “batch” for Instacart pays between $15-20, and shoppers can do about 1 batch per hour, more or less. 

This means for an 8 hour shift, you can expect to earn a minimum of $120-160 per day shopping for Instacart.

How Much Do Instacart Shoppers Make in a Week?

As an Instacart shopper, you can expect to earn anywhere from $200 to $1,000 per week. The amount you make will depend on several factors. 

These factors include how many orders you complete and the size of the orders. In general, shoppers who complete more orders will earn more money.

Wrapping It Up

Making more money with Instacart is just a matter to be more efficient with your time, how fast you shop and deliver the order, but also how exceptional and personalized your behavior with your client is. 

Believe me, that makes all the difference between making $10 per hour and $40 per hour with Instacart.

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