I-TEAM: Grocery apps – are you paying too much?

DAYTON — People are turning to grocery delivery apps to help them stock up while they’re on the go But, how much more are you paying to have your groceries brought to your door?

Investigative Consumer Reporter Xavier Hershovitz went to find out how much extra consumers are paying.

During the pandemic, grocery delivery services such as Instacart and Shipt skyrocketed.

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Michele Puterbaugh of Miamisburg said, “It was a completely positive experience.”

Now, many still use the services to take care of their groceries while they are preoccupied with the many areas of a busy life.

Kaylee Wagers said, “Usually they just get everything you need, and if there’s something they substitute it so it’s also very convenient and easy to use.”

But how much more are you paying to avoid the grocery store? News Center 7 went shopping to find out.

Hershovitz went to a local grocery store with a list of seven items, most to make dinner and then some basics. He picked up a pack of chicken breast, a two-liter to wash it all down, and 5 other items and headed to the checkout.

The total was $23.72. The same items were bought using Instacart and the subtotal was $28.62 with free delivery. The service fee with Instacart was $4.00, bringing the total to $32.98.

That is $9.26 more than the in-store visit and that’s with free delivery. And don’t forget that did not include a tip for the shopper.

The same seven items were bought using Shipt. Once you add a delivery fee and tip the driver, the total comes to $45.56, which is $21.84 more than in the in-store total.

“They earn their money. So, for me, it was well worth it. I still think it’s reasonable and it was a totally positive experience,” Puterbaugh said.

News Center 7 reached out to Instacart and Shipt. A spokesperson for Instacart told the I-Team that when it comes to delivery fees, it can vary based on same-day service and if your order is under $35.

Instacart also said when it comes to their service fees, it helps cover operating costs and they vary and are subject to change based on different factors.

A spokesperson for Shipt told the I-Team that prices vary by retailer and in some instances, they differ from in-store.

A statement from the company said membership options are the best way to use the service. Those with memberships can place as many orders as they want throughout their membership and get free delivery on orders over $35.

For non-members orders under $35 will incur a service fee.

Many grocery stores offer a free grocery pickup option. That saves you some time by having them still shop for you and saves you money by just swinging by and picking it up.