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Can You Make A Living Off Instacart? (Ultimate 2024 Guide)

Don't Work Another Day is reader-supported. We may receive compensation from the products and services mentioned in this story, but the opinions are the author's own.
  By Forrest McCall | Last Updated:  July 26, 2022

There are many ways to make money today, whether online, offline, or a mix of the two.

There are plenty of jobs in the gig economy where you can work your own schedule, including working as a freelancer, driving for ride hailing services, or even pet sitting.

But another way you can make an income is by delivering groceries for others through the Instacart shopper app.

It's an excellent service if you want to make extra money with a flexible schedule – but can you make a living off Instacart?

In this post, I'll explore if you can make a living as an Instacart shopper, how much money you can potentially make, and much more. Let's get started!

In many cities, it's certainly possible to make a living delivering groceries with Instacart if you're willing to put in the work. Depending on your financial goals, Instacart can be an excellent side hustle app to make money in your free time.

Instacart Shoppers App

What Is Instacart?

Instacart is a grocery delivery platform that operates in the United States of America through an app that is downloaded on smart devices.

Instacart shoppers order groceries through the phone, and in-store shoppers grab what they need and provide a grocery delivery service for the individual.

It has risen dramatically in popularity of people seek convenience buying groceries from their phone.

Instacart works by allowing:

  • People order groceries from the safety of their home without exposure to the outside world
  • Individuals to earn extra income with flexible hours
  • Easy, digital ways to make money whenever needed in life

In the modern world, Instacart is just one of many ways to shop or deliver through your phone. It's an excellent way to make money – as long as you meet the requirements for the app. If you want to deliver groceries for Instacart shoppers, you must meet a few standards.

With Instacart you can work your own hours and get paid to deliver groceries!
Sign Up Now!
Disclosure: This link is an affiliate link, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Requirements to Work For Instacart

The requirements for Instacart are pretty basic, but necessary.

Not everyone will meet them for a reason. If you don't meet these requirements, you cannot make a living as a full-service shopper in the app.

Here are the requirements to work for Instacart as a full service shopper:

  • Must be at least eighteen years old
  • Must be eligible to work in the United States of America
  • Must have a phone that works well in all conditions for the best service
  • Have to have access to a vehicle at all times
  • Must be able to lift at least fifty pounds without help from another person

You never know what you'll face as in-store shoppers, and these requirements ensure you are up to the challenge.

These rules cover everything you need to be a successful in-store shopper. That means being able to lift heavy groceries, having access to a phone that can allow quality contact with customers, and having access to a vehicle to complete your delivery services.

Instacart Grocery Delivery

How To Sign Up

If you meet all these requirements to be an Instacart shopper, it's time to sign up to become in-store shoppers for various customers.

There aren't many steps for Instacart shoppers, but it's critical to follow every move to ensure you get approved as an Instacart driver.

Here is how to sign up to become a delivery person on Instacart:

  • Sign up for the app and get approved as a shopper
  • Wait for verification and determine your location
  • Start shopping

Once approved, it doesn't take long to start the app and begin grocery shopping for people in your area.

The trickiest part of the sign-up is the approval process.

If you meet the requirements, you should be good to go. It's hard to wait, but it makes the system more secure and reliable for paying customers on the app.

With Instacart you can work your own hours and get paid to deliver groceries!
Sign Up Now!
Disclosure: This link is an affiliate link, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Can You Make a Living Off Instacart?

Now, the ultimate question is – can you make a living off Instacart?

It's an ideal side hustle, but does it provide enough to Instacart shoppers to be something that could replace a soul-sucking career?

Most Instacart shoppers make about $14 as the hourly wage, which turns into about $28,000 yearly.

However, some shoppers have reported earning over $100 per day.

If you have tons of time on your hands, you can make more money as an in-store shopper. However, many are too busy to put all their time into the app.

If you are single or have another financial support system, Instacart is enough money to live on the edge. You won't be in luxury, but you can survive.

If you have a family to support, it might be trickier to make enough cash with Instacart.

You may need to look elsewhere or work through another app to make enough to live off of.

While you can make a living as an Instacart shopper, it may not be enough to live in luxury.

With that said, full-service shoppers can secure more with potential tips.

How to Make More Money with Instacart

There are plenty of Instacart hacks you can use to make the most money possible when becoming an Instacart shopper. Below are some of the best options to boost your Instacart earnings.

Deliver During Peak Hours

Making deliveries during peak hours is one of the best ways to increase your earnings as a full-service shopper.

When grocery delivery is in high demand, you can easily make more money when you work.

Some of the best times to Instacart include weeknights after work (4-6PM) and weekends.

Best Times to Instacart

But this can vary depending on your exact location.

Monitor when Instacart is busier than usual and adjust your schedule to make more money.

Use Insulated Bags

Using insulated bags can help to keep groceries cold and prevent any issues that may occur with melted ice cream or warm milk.

This will help to improve your customer satisfaction rating, which can lead to more clients and bigger tips.

Batch Your Orders

Batching your orders is another great way to make more money with Instacart.

Instead of making multiple small trips, batch your orders together to make fewer but larger trips.

This will save you time and gas money, which can lead to more profits.

Become an Efficient Shopper

Knowing your local grocery store like the back of your hand is a great way to become an efficient shopper.

The more efficiently you can shop, the more orders you can complete and the more money you can make.

You can easily make $500 per week with Instacart when you work efficiently and some Instacart drivers can make it a full time job depending on how many hours per week you choose to work.

Work Extra Hours

An obvious way to earn extra cash is to increase the hours per week you work.

Depending on how many batches you can complete in an hour, working extra hours could be a great way to make more money.

Does Instacart Pay for Gas?

Gas is costly.

And many delivery side hustles require your car, including in-store shopping.

It's a big thing if an app pays for the gas of their drivers, as that can make a difference between making a living as an independent contractor and making money for a side job.

Unfortunately, Instacart does not pay for gas.

Because you will work as an independent contractor, the shopper is responsible for managing their items through the app, and you are in charge of paying the fees of your gas. They do not reimburse for what you spend.

If gas is expensive where you live, this might prohibit you from making a full time income as an Instacart shopper.

What Does Instacart Require You To Do?

As an Instacart driver, you are responsible for picking up groceries for a customer.

Full-service shoppers locate the items, buy them, and then deliver the products to the home.

You will need to contact the orderer to ensure you have everything. You can suggest substitutes if they don't have everything.

You will need to drive, shop, and then deliver as a driver. It's a simple job that anyone can complete in their spare time.

But there is another option to make money with Instacart.

If you aren't too excited about having to drive your car to customers, you can opt to work as an in-store shopper instead of a full-service shopper.

Where full-service shoppers are required to deliver groceries, in-store shoppers will only search the store for items on your list and bring them to the front of the store for you to pick up yourself.

The average hourly pay for full-service shoppers is obviously much higher than in-store shoppers, but both services are a great way to make more money on the side.

Pros Of Working For Instacart

There are many good things that come with working for Instacart.

It's critical to consider the benefits and disadvantages of the job to determine if you want to put in full-time hours.

Here are the pros of working for Instacart:

  • You can choose when and how long you work in a day
  • You get tips
  • You could get mileage reimbursement
  • You get a guaranteed minimum wage income
  • You get paid weekly through direct deposit

These make it an excellent company for the average person to work for during the week.

Many excellent things come with working for Instacart. The best for interested parties is that you can choose your schedule. In a world of people who head to the office for a 9-5 job, something this freeing can change someone's life.

Cons of Working For Instacart

There are also some things about working for Instacart that some people may not be happy with.

These are just as critical to look at as the good qualities.

You can compare them to each other to determine if attempting to work full-time at Instacart is the correct move for your life.

Here are the cons of working for Instacart:

  • There are cases where you may only get twenty-nine hours of work per week
  • You have to handle your taxes
  • You have to cover all your expenses including maintenance costs and gas for your vehicle

Most companies handle taxes, but you must pay yourself as an independent contractor with Instacart.

This factor means that the money you earn isn't necessarily yours. You must have a hand in all expenses, including car repairs and gas which can quickly add up.

Instacart Alternatives

There are many pros of Instacart and many cons. If you want something similar, where would you go? Are there any alternatives to Instacart?

Here are a few of the best jobs to Instacart:

There are plenty of options if you want an option other than Instacart.

Most of them need you to cover gas and communicate with a customer and some rely on customer tips for a chunk of the pay.

Ensure you research ahead of time to determine which is ideal for you. Sometimes, the best thing is to take on multiple apps.

Final Thoughts on Making a Living with Instacart

Instacart is an excellent app that provides a way to earn money in addition to your day job.

Although you can make a decent living for one person in a cheap area, it's can be tricky to earn a living as a driver through Instacart in places with a higher cost of living.

Ultimately, it is possible to make a living with Instacart if you're willing to put in the, offer top notch customer service, and you love shopping. 

By using a few Instacart tips and tricks – you'll be on your way to earning a decent income.

Forrest is a personal finance, entrepreneurship, and investing expert dedicated to helping others obtain life long wealth. He has a Bachelor's degree in business and has been featured in many popular publications including Forbes, Business Insider, Bankrate, CNET Money, and many others. To learn more about Forrest, visit the About Us Page for more info.
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