Taking four kids to the grocery store is like a full-on workout. But really, taking even one cranky toddler shopping can be no easy task. Especially in this weather.

So when Instacart offered Cool Mom Picks an exclusive first look to try out their brand new Philly service, which happens to launch today in addition to Boston, Chicago, Washington D.C., and the San Francisco Bay Area, you can bet I jumped at the chance. Grocery delivery from Whole Foods (as well as Costco and coming soon, a few smaller groceries) within two hours of your order? Yes please.

That’s right–same day delivery.

-Don’t miss an exclusive discount on your first order below-

Now I’ve tried other grocery delivery services like Fresh Direct and Peapod, both of which I love, but Instacart is different in part because you work with an actual personal shopper. Granted, I still have to order everything online or through their free iOS app, which means perusing the extensive listings and selecting amounts, which can be a little overwhelming for a newbie–and generally haphazard shopper–like me; if you’re more organized and are familiar with your general grocery list, it will be a snap. But the personalized touch is pretty great.


Instacart grocery shopping service | Cool Mom Picks


If any items aren’t available, you’re offered replacement suggestions for items, which I really, really like. Either agree to the replacement item, or you just say “no, thanks” and the item will be omitted with no charge. Place your order, then a shopper is assigned to you. I love that he called me a couple of times to check on some items that weren’t available. I gave him options, and within two hours he was at my door with all my groceries, my list perfectly completed, and even produce that was perfectly selected.

That’s a nice improvement over Fresh Direct which, while overall a very good service, sometimes simply excludes items you were counting on because they were out, or the produce wasn’t up to par.

Of course, there is always a price with a service like this: There’s a $3.99 delivery fee, or pay $99 for an annual membership which includes coupons plus free delivery for all orders over $35–smart if you’ll use it more than once a month. But be aware you’re also paying a premium for the price of the items. Also, I only placed a small order, so I’m just wondering how much it would cost with my usual grocery list, which for four kids, is pretty big.

My feeling is it’s great for working parents or city-dwellers for whom getting out to the store really is an inconvenience, or that it’s perfect for quick shopping trips or forgotten items–say you have last-minute company coming over and you’re happy to pay for the convenience of someone running to Costco for you to grab some party-size boxes of appetizers and dips.

If you’re in one of Instacart cities, I think the service is definitely worth a try. There’s something to said about the personalized service, as well as the quick delivery window for busy parents. Or heck, busy everyone.

EXTRA COOL: Save $10 off your first Instacart order when you use this link. Right now, Instacart is in the San Francisco Bay Area, Boston, DC, and Chicago, as well as Downtown and Northwest Philadelphia starting today.

Thanks to Instacart for allowing CMP to give the service a try with a small order.