My Review of Buying Groceries Using Shipt
I am in no way affiliated with Shipt, its employees, or their participating stores. I just like to write about new experiences as much as you like to read about them before trying!
I've written before about my desire to do almost anything other than grocery shop. On a scale of one to ten of things I want to do with 1 being having oral surgery and 10 being locked in my bedroom sans responsibility with a book of my choosing for the entire afternoon, grocery shopping is a solid three.
So, when I heard that Shipt was coming to my city I basically started shouting praises up to heaven.
But then I started to wonder, as with all amazing things, what's the catch? How much would Shipt cost? Who was going to get my groceries? Would it be a serial killer?
I'm here to answer these questions for you too.
How Much Does Shipt Cost?
The pricing for Shipt is pretty straightforward and based on a subscription.
You can choose a monthly subscription which is $14 a month. This would be great if you just want to try the service before committing to it or you're from an area that isn't serviced by Shipt but you are visiting an area that is.
The other subscription option is $99 for a full year, which comes out to a cost of $8.25 a month to use the service.
See the table below for a total breakdown of the costs associated with using Shipt.
How Much Does it Cost to Get Groceries Delivered Using Shipt?
Fee Per Month
Fee Per Delivery
Upcharge on Products
$14 for a monthly subscription, or $8.25 per month with a yearly subscription of $99.
Orders over $35 are delivered free, orders under $35 come with a charge of around $7.
There is a small upcharge on each product. For instance, the 2 for $1 chips at my local grocery store are 2 for $1.09 through Shipt. What I'm personally finding is that my orders come out to a few extra dollars than they would in store. Keep in mind though that you would also have to spend money getting to and from the store on gas.
Although you don't have to tip your shopper, hopefully you will. I tip 10% of the total order but the app let's you pick whatever amount you want.
Are Groceries Through Shipt More Expensive?
Yes, as the table above shows, groceries through Shipt are slightly more expensive. You have to decide for yourself if the cost is too out of reach. For our definitely not wealthy family, the extra cost of a few pennies on the dollar for each item is totally doable.
How to Download and Use the Shipt App
To use Shipt you will need to either download the app to your phone (it's available for Android at the Google Play store or for iPhone on iTunes) or use the Shipt.com website on a computer. You can't place orders over the phone or through any of the participating grocery stores websites.
Once you've downloaded the app or opened the Shipt webpage you'll need to register with the following information:
- Your name
- Your address
- Your phone number
- A credit or debit card so that Shipt can charge your grocery order
You'll also need to decide on and pay for a membership whether it's the monthly or annual option.
How to Choose the Store You Want to Shop at Using Shipt
Now that you're registered, you can browse the stores available in your service area. In some bigger cities there are many stores available to shop at through Shipt. In smaller cities or areas new to Shipt there may only be one or two stores available. Before your start your "shopping trip" just pick which store you'll be purchasing from. You can change stores with each new order.
What Can You Buy With Shipt?
It really depends on which stores are participating in your town. In my town we have one store, Meijer, available to shop at currently (though our options will probably expand in the future). This is a huge, one-stop shop for us, so I'm able to get all of our produce, dairy, meat, deli, and bakery in one fell swoop (I'm still ordering all of my pantry and non-food items online for delivery, but you can buy these items as well as non-food items too through the Shipt app).
Alcohol is one thing that is not an option at every store or city as well as cigarettes, cigars, and other age-restricted items. (Updating to add that as of July/2017 Shipt is indeed delivering alcohol in my area so it seems like even if a location doesn't have alcohol delivery right off the bat, they work to get it eventually.)
Creating Your Shopping List
Once you've picked your store you can start a shopping list at that store, if you'd like. It's not a necessary step in ordering groceries but it can be nice for staying organized. For instance, I have a "breakfast favorites" list where I've added some of my kids' morning must haves like sausage links, fresh fruit, and bread for toasting.
From your shopping lists, you can quickly add frequently purchased items to your cart without searching through the store's digital aisles to find that gallon of milk or daily cup of Yoplait.
Filling Your Cart
If you're not filling your cart from a shopping list then you can browse or search the aisles.
To browse the aisles "shop by category" from your store's main Shipt menu. At Meijer I can shop all of the usual aisles like "Fresh Bakery", "Meat & Seafood", and even "Pets". I can also shop the weekly sales, special promotions, dinner ideas for when I'm lacking inspiration, and summer grilling favorites.
If I already know what I need, I'll just type it up in the search bar. I don't need to browse for milk or eggs because I buy the same brand, size, and type each time. Once I've found the product I want I just add it to my cart. If I want two cartons of eggs I'll use the "+" button to add two.
If you're using the app to fill your cart, definitely double check it before paying. If you scroll too fast or hard the app will just start adding extra stuff to your cart because it thinks you're tapping the screen. The first time I used it, I ended up with more sour cream than I knew what to do with and after reading reviews from others I see this isn't an isolated issue. So, in a word, the app is touchy - like literally, be careful touching it.
What Payment Methods Can You Use When Checking Out on Shipt?
Once you're happy with the contents of your cart, head to the checkout where you'll pick your payment method. Keep in mind that with Shipt, you can only use a debit or credit card as your payment method, and only one card can be used per purchase.
How to Choose a Delivery Window and Location to Meet Your Shipt Shopper
At the checkout, you will also choose a pickup window and location. I always just have my groceries delivered to my home, and yes, you must be present when your groceries are dropped off.
But let's say my daughter's ballet class (lol, we totally don't do extracurriculars, this is a hypothetical for cool moms) isn't letting out for another twenty minutes. If her class is within the service area for Shipt I can have my Shipt shopper meet me in the parking lot so that I don't have to rush home to meet her.
For the pickup window, you will choose a one-hour time slot. Sometimes, I've found this time slot easy to procure. I can do all of my shopping, head to the checkout and pick a window for an hour from now. But on really busy days, like Saturday, I may not be able to get a time slot until Sunday from 3-4 PM. So, that's something to keep in mind when you know you need groceries. Most of the time, delivery is on demand - but not always. Plan accordingly.
Setting Your Preferences
At the checkout you will also set your preferences for substitutions. Sometimes, the store is out of a brand or type of product. You can let your shopper know to either use their best judgement in finding a substitution or ask them to text you with alternative options. I always tell them to use their best judgement. They almost always text me anyway.
Another option is to leave delivery notes for the driver. My note includes that they should text me when they get to my home and I will carry everything in.
Will My Shopper Kill Me?
Guys. People. I do think about this stuff. One of the perils of being a work-from-home mom is that I often have NPR on in the background or push notifications from my fave news sources popping up on my computer screen while I work. And sometimes the news is that someone, somewhere got killed by a stranger.
But no, I don't think you're going to get killed by your Shipt shopper. I mean, I haven't. Plus, they're just at risk of some psycho ordering groceries from them. I've found the interactions to be brief, and always pleasant. They just pull right up into your driveway, text you when they get there, and you meet them to grab your groceries. These people are awesome and they just want to deliver your groceries to you and get on with the rest of their day.
I personally find that it's easier to snag a shopper right away if I make two smaller trips totaling $40-$60 than if I do a large trip over $100 or more.
Rating Your Shipt Shopper
A few minutes after your shopper has left, usually about the time it takes to get the groceries put away, Shipt will text you to remind you to rate your shopper. RATE YOUR SHOPPER. The Shipt system is based on rating, so if your shopper did a good job, make sure they're recognized for it. You will use a star rating and then an attributes rating (shopper was a good communicator, etc).
Tipping in the App
Once you've rated you can also tip your shopper. TIP YOUR SHOPPER. They don't make as much as you think off of the shopping trip alone. I try to tip 10% of each trip, which isn't even that much, and is much less than the cost of the junk I would have bought my kids trying to keep them happy in the grocery store.
I like to start with bad news first and work my way up to the top, so here's a list of the cons of using Shipt that I could think of:
- Can't use coupons
- Selection isn't as big as the store selection (it's still huge though, honestly)
- Small markup on items
- Pickup window is sometimes limited
- Sometimes items aren't actually in stock (but a substitute will be)
- Can't touch or inspect the product yourself before purchasing
Now for the good:
- You don't have to drive anywhere
- The upcharge on items is actually pretty small and ends up being less than what most of us would spend on unnecessary purchases
- You can shop sales!
- You can shop store brand
- Saves time for other things you have to do (homework, yay...ish!)
- You're supporting flexible work options locally
- Makes it easy to meal-plan and avoid impulse purchases on less-than-healthy foods just because your tummy is rumbling or you need to get the hell out of that store
- You don't have to drag toddlers through the cookie aisle
- Is a fantastic option for the elderly, those who don't drive, working parents, or anyone who just doesn't feel like making a trip for groceries.
The Downright Awesome
I've been waiting this whole time to gush.
SHIPT IS AMAZING. I seriously can't say enough about how awesome it is to have this service in our area, finally. I've used it five times since I bought the membership last month and it has been a huge lifesaver for our family and made it easier to balance work, school, and juggling a one and three-year old. Just yesterday my husband informed me he had to get a bunch of stuff for a picnic this weekend at work and I was able to, without an ounce of added stress, say "don't worry, I've got this."
So, Is Shipt Worth It?
Whether or not Shipt is worth the extra cost to you is going to depend on a few things. The first thing to consider of course, is the convenience - if you have your groceries delivered what can you spend that extra time doing? Are you even hard pressed to find extra time or is your day-to-day pretty flexible as-is?
Another thing to consider is the mobility factor. Are you a non-driver? Are you a one-vehicle family?
One of the ways that we cut costs with Shipt is to only buy our fresh food with Shipt. All of our household and pantry items are ordered online without much inflation (and often times cheaper than in-store).
After taking some time to think about if Shipt will allow you to spend time doing other important things or if it alleviates stress it'll be easier to decide is Shipt is worth it.
People: I've been using Shipt for a couple of months now and it's seriously the best. The little kinks that needed to be smoothed out when they first arrived in my area have been, and I can honestly say that I'm not sure how we survived without this service before.
It's the bee's knees and my kids are always so excited to greet our Shipt Shopper and help carry groceries inside. If you're on the fence, I say try it for one month and if you love it go for the one-year membership!
Questions & Answers
© 2017 Kierstin Gunsberg