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Posted: 3:53 p.m. Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Instacart grocery delivery debuts in Atlanta  

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By Nedra Rhone

Want to do your grocery shopping in one hour without leaving your house? Check out Instacart, the new online grocery delivery service that debuted in Atlanta today.

Originally launched in San Francisco, the service allows you to select grocery items from multiple stores and have them delivered in an hour for $5.99 on orders above $35. Currently in Atlanta, you can order from Kroger or Costco and your first Instacart order (over $10) is delivered free.

You can save a few bucks if you're not pressed for time. Two hour deliver costs $3.99 on a minimum $35 order as does scheduling your grocery delivery for a one-hour time period later in the day, says Matt O'Connor who is launching the service in the metro area. If your order is less than $35, one-hour delivery costs $9.99 and two-hour or scheduled delivery is $7.99.

If you're not a Costco member, this is a great way around that barrier, since Instacart does not require a Costco membership to order items from the store. The company expects to add other stores in the future. Other cities have stores such as Whole Foods Market and Safeway available through Instacart.

To use the service, visit Instacart.com, enter your zip code. Complete the information to create an account. Order your items including meat, dairy, produce and personal care. At checkout, you enter your address and phone number and decide which delivery time you want.  

For now, Instacart is only available ITP for neighborhoods including Buckhead, Midtown, Downtown, Decatur, Virginia-Highland, Brookhaven, West Atlanta, Lenox and Old Fourth Ward. It will expand to areas OTP in the coming weeks, O'Connor says. 

Instacart is one of the many online grocery/delivery services cropping up. While the biggies -- Amazon Fresh and Walmart-To-Go -- are being piloted on the West Coast, there are some other grocery delivery options in Atlanta:

Grab A Buggy costs $9.95 for standard delivery and has a $100 minimum for any order. The service is available in several counties including Cobb, Paulding, Cherokee, Bartow and Forsyth.

ColdLife Organics will deliver fresh organic items for $4.95 and if you place your order by 8 p.m. you will get it the next day.

Atlanta is the 12th city to have an Instacart presence and the first in the Southeast, says O'Connor. It is staffed by "Personal Shoppers" who shop for and deliver grocery orders using their own transportation. O'Connor said they are well-trained on how to choose the best produce, since bad produce is one of the biggest complaints about grocery delivery services. Any issues with your order can be resolved through the customer happiness team, he says.

There is also a membership program called Instacart Express which costs $99 annually and gives you free delivery on all orders over $35. You can sign up for a free two-week trial of Instacart Express here

If you want to give the service a try and save some cash, you can get a $10 credit by signing up and clicking on this link: https://www.instacart.com/store?code=ajc10. (Or you can just enter AJC10 at checkout in the coupon code box).

Nedra Rhone

About Nedra Rhone

Nedra Rhone finds and shares tips on money, deals and consumer issues in metro Atlanta for the AJC.

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