I love shopping as much as the next person but too much spending can derail your budget pretty quickly. Ever since I started paying off debt and learning how to budget, I haven’t spent nearly as much time shopping as I used to. That’s when I got to thinking: What if you could make money by turning your love for shopping into a couple side hustles? What about becoming an Instacart shopper? Maybe you are wondering how to make money as an instacart shopper.
Getting paid to shop is like a dream come true for some people, and Instacart can make it happen. Instacart shoppers earn money by purchasing groceries for other households and delivering them to their door. Whether it’s a busy family who doesn’t have time to shop or someone who has trouble getting out of the house on their own, Instacart pays you to do their supermarket runs.
It can be a full-time gig if you wanted it to be. But the schedule is flexible, so doing it on the side in your spare time is an option, too.
Want to know more? For the inside scoop, I talked to Valencia Morton. She’s a financial coach and the CEO of Millionairess Mama who also makes money with Instacart on the side.
Keep reading to find out if Instacart could be a great side hustle for you!
How to Make Money as an Instacart Shopper
Instacart is a grocery delivery service that makes it easy for people to get fresh food in their house even if they can’t make it to the store. The company hires shoppers to buy groceries for customers and pays them to shop and deliver the orders to the customers.
Cashing in while shopping sounds like a sweet deal. As a full-service shopper, you have the flexibility to choose your own schedule. You can work as much or as little as you want – as long as someone wants their groceries shopped for and delivered, Instacart will pay you to do it.
Valencia works from home managing her business and providing financial coaching. As a single mom, she takes full advantage of the freedom to work when it fits her schedule.
She says, “I got debt free through side hustles. I started Instacart because I enjoy doing new side hustles and enjoy grocery shopping.”
Q: What do you have to do to get started?
A: Instacart hires shoppers that are 18 years or older and eligible to work in the U.S. You should be comfortable lifting heavier items that you might find in a grocery store, such as a case of water or bag of dog food. Because you deliver the groceries after you shop for them, you also need to have access to a vehicle.
When Valencia applied, she had to fill out a few forms with her contact information and consent to a background check. If you’re worried about making a good impression on the hiring manager, you can relax. “There is no formal interview process,” said Valencia. “You go to orientation, pick up a shirt and lanyard, and get to work.”
Q: Are there any start-up costs?
A: Luckily, there’s not much to worry about because Instacart is one of the cheapest side hustles to start making extra money on the side.
Valencia says, “You will need to purchase insulated bags to keep customer food cold while you shop but they aren’t too costly.”
Instacart has insulated bags on their website that shoppers can buy but you don’t have to get it from them. Cooler bags are available at most any supermarket.
Q: How much does an Instacart shopper make?
A: Instacart shoppers can earn money right away. “On average, shoppers can make an extra $200 to $500 per week,” said Valencia. Although, herValencia’s experience has shown that the amount you make depends on the size of the order, time of day, day of the week, and the area.
It makes sense. Most people do their grocery shopping on the weekend so you could get more orders and more opportunities to earn cash during peak times.
She also says, “The bigger the batch, the more the money you make.”
Bonus pay is also an option but only if the customer gives you the highest rating. Every time a customer leaves you a 5-star review, you earn an extra $3.
Instacart sends you a paycheck every week on Wednesday. There is an option to get paid instantly, but you have to pay an early cash-out fee which, Valencia said, “only costs a few cents.”
Q: What does a typical shop look like?
A: “Honestly, there is no typical shop. They are ALL different,” said Valencia. “You can do a delivery-only order where someone else does the shopping and you pop into the store and grab the bags. Or you can do the full-shopper experience which is doing the shopping PLUS delivery.”
Q: What tips would you give someone looking to start a side hustle with Instacart?
A: Valencia has been shopping with Instacart for a few months. Her advice to you is, “Don’t get overwhelmed! It might seem like a lot of work but by job number two you will be like an old pro.”
She also recommends having reliable childcare so you don’t worry about your children while you’re shopping and delivering your orders.
Valencia enjoys working for Instacart and says, “You can make as much money as you want plus pick your own hours. It’s a great hustle!”
Like any other side hustle your income with vary per week, but if you keep consistent you can earn a lot of extra cash! You can sign up to be an Instacart Shopper here.