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Woman Shares How She Saved Nearly $70 By Avoiding Grocery Delivery In Manhattan

Kamaron McNair ran an experiment to determine what is the cost for her convenience.
Representative Image | Pexels | Photo by Anna Shvets
Representative Image | Pexels | Photo by Anna Shvets

A woman has shared how she found out that she was paying nearly $70 more for having her groceries delivered. She shared her story about grocery shopping from her favorite store, Wegmans, and how she saved money by physically going down to the store. She also explained why deliveries cost more for customers who prefer convenience.


McNair’s Story of Grocery Shopping

Kamaron McNair, who works for CNBC, explained that while living in Manhattan at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the grocery delivery platform Instacart became a necessity for her. This was because her favorite grocery store, Wegmans, was located 45 minutes and several subway stations away from her.

However, since 2020, the prices of groceries have risen, and it’s gotten harder for McNair to justify the additional costs of delivery.

Photo illustration of the Instacart logo | Getty Images | Photo Illustration by Justin Sullivan
Photo illustration of the Instacart logo | Getty Images | Photo Illustration by Justin Sullivan

Thus, recently, McNair ran an experiment where she physically got down to Wegmans to do her grocery shopping and when she got back home, she added the same items to her virtual cart on Wegman’s Instacart storefront to compare the costs. To her surprise, she found that she saved $68 by going down to the store instead of ordering on the app.

McNair calculated that she spent $152.68 on groceries, plus $2.90 each way to get to the store and her home via the subway.

She further discovered that her subtotal online with the same items on the app came out to $177.99. She would’ve further paid $12.89 and a 20% tip of $35.60 for a total of $226.48. Thus, she saved nearly $70 for avoiding delivery.

McNair explained that her delivery costs more for a couple of reasons. The first reason is that it generally costs more to buy groceries through Instacart. This is clear as the Wegmans page, the app, or the website, clearly indicates that the prices online are higher than they are in-store.

“Some retailers on the Instacart platform choose to include item markups,” an Instacart spokesperson told CNBC Make It. The spokesperson further added that the delivery service’s goal is to offer full transparency to customers to allow them to make the best choices according to their needs.


The Wegmans’ disclaimer about higher costs online/ on Instacart states, “We keep our prices consistently low, every day, so you can save on the items your family uses most. Our online prices remain about 15% above in-store prices. This includes our costs of shopping your order.”

She explains the second behind grocery delivery being expensive. She said that Instacart charges a service fee and a delivery fee, on every order. Most customers would also leave a tip for the delivery person of up to 20%.

In McNair’s case, she pays about $10 a month for Instacart+ to eliminate the additional delivery fee of $1.99. The subscription also reduces the service fee. The service fee is not entirely removed because the fee supports the platform and covers the various operating costs, including insurance, customer support, and background checks, according to the official website of the platform.