Cook Smarts + Instacart: A New Cooking & Shopping Routine

I recently discovered a company that’s kinda changing my life, and if you’re looking to outsource your grocery shopping, it might do the same for yours too.

  • By Jess Dang
  • April 22, 2014

I owe this recent discovery to my friend Dunagan. Dunagan was my freshmen RA, so he’s always played the role of oh-wise-one in my life. Last fall he took over dinner duty in his household, so with the help of our meal plans, he now cooks almost nightly for his wife, their 4-year-old daughter, and 2-year-old son.

I visited shortly after they switched over to their new dinner routine to see how two working parents who share one car manage daycare and activity pick-ups and drop-offs and a home cooked meal at the end of the day.

I needed to see how these amazing parents make the magic happen!

While most of it is hard work and coordination, Dunagan says part of the credit goes to Instacart, a grocery delivery company. Every week when he gets his Cook Smarts meal plan ‘Menu is Up!’ email, he makes his grocery list, logs into his Instacart account, and orders everything he needs for the week.

The groceries are delivered by a friendly shopper, and he gets to focus on the important part – cooking a delicious dinner for his family.

This service sounded amazing, and I immediately hopped onto Instacart’s website when I got home that night and put in my first order. While I don’t mind grocery shopping, I certainly don’t need to spend as much time and money at Costco as I do. I go in there to pick up 2 things and walk out with like 10 (please tell my husband this isn’t just me . . . ?).

Now, I have the few things I always get on my favorites list and just order what I need when it runs out. Here’s my shopper dropping off my order yesterday morning:

I’ve been such a happy customer and wanted to pass on the love, so I called Instacart to see if they would offer our community a little discount, and they happily agreed. So, if you want to check out Instacart, click here. You can find out if they’re available in or coming soon to your zip code and what stores they service (in my area it’s Safeway, Whole Foods, and Costco for now). If you decide to make an order before Sunday, 6/1, be sure to use promo code cooksmarts and get $10 off (applies to new customers only).*

I got to see Dunagan’s cooking routine in action last week using the Cook Smarts and Instacart combo. Even though he was juggling single parent duty with his wife away on a business trip, he still cooked for his kids almost every night.

I swung by to give him a little sous chef help one night but clearly he had it all under control with his Orzo and Broccolini Salad recipe steps pulled up on his iPhone and a beer by his side.

Have you ever tried a grocery delivery service in your area? I’d love to learn more about your experience in our comments.

*Note: Cook Smarts has absolutely no affiliation with Instacart and doesn’t make any money with this referral. We just love spreading the word about great companies that can help out our members!

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