Interested in getting your groceries delivered with Publix delivery but you don’t know where to begin? No worries, I’ve got the scoop on what you need to know from start to finish. This Publix delivery 101 guide will walk you through each step, like how you might have the option to waive all of your service fees. Let’s get started!
1. Publix delivery groceries cost up to 30% more through Instacart.
When you shop for Publix grocery delivery, expect the Instacart markup to be hefty, up to 30% more than if you had shopped in a Publix store. The reason? Because Publix offers delivery through Instacart and the difference helps pays the fees Instacart charges Publix.
Take a look at these few items that were in the Publix weekly ad for one price but a vastly different price in my Publix Delivery cart that would be delivered by Instacart:
In app: Kraft Velveeta Macaroni & Cheese, 12-ounce boxes $4.31 each
For six boxes that’s a difference of $7.86 or 30%.
2. The Publix Delivery app doesn’t offer the same coupons, promos, or deals as in store.
Although the Publix Delivery app didn’t offer Velveeta Macaroni & Cheese 2/$6, it had all the BOGOs I found in the Publix weekly ad. Other items that had promos in the Publix weekly ad, but not in the app, added an extra $2.17 to my delivery order.
In app: Nestle Coffee-Mate Pumpkin Spice Liquid Coffee Creamer, 32-ounce bottles, sale price $3.33 each
In app: DiGiorno Original Self-Rising Pepperoni Frozen Pizza, 27.5 ounces, sale price $6.09 each
3. Alcohol is available with Publix delivery in Florida, North Carolina, and Virginia.
You can order liquor, beer, and wine in Florida. If you live in North Carolina or Virginia, you can order beer or wine.
4. Enjoy your first Publix delivery with a zero delivery fee.
Instacart will deliver your first Publix grocery order over $10 for free.
5. Publix delivery requires a minimum order of $10.
Even if you only need one or two things, make sure they total at least $10, otherwise, Instacart won’t deliver your Publix order.
6. You MAY have the option to waive ALL the service fees with your Publix order.
Before I go into ALL the fees Instacart tacks onto your Publix order, (there are so many it makes my head hurt) as well as the nuances of the Instacart Express Membership, I need to tell you about this one weird little quirk that, try as I might, I could not get any clarification on, from Publix or Instacart.
When you check out on your Publix Delivery app, you may or may not have the option to COMPLETELY WAIVE ALL THE SERVICE FEES! Why on earth would anyone want to pay fees is beyond me, but trust me, if you have this option, for the love of all that is sacred at KCL, take advantage of it!
Here’s how it works:
- When you get to the final “Place Order screen, look for the green outlined button marked “Change” next to the “Service Fees” line item, which includes all of the fun stuff I’m about to explain.
- If you have that green box, TAP ON IT. PLEASE!
- Select the circle that says, “Waive ($0)”
- Then tap on “Save Changes,” which is a green button at the bottom of your screen
- Double check that the “Service Fees” line item says “$0”
- Do a happy dance around your house, ’cause it’s your lucky day. Take that, Instacart.
7. Pay a $3.99 Instacart delivery fee for orders over $35, orders under that pay up to $7.99.
Instacart is gonna get paid one way or another. If your order is $35 or over, they’ll charge you a $3.99 delivery fee. If your order is under that amount expect it to cost you up to $7.99.
8. Earn free delivery with Instacart manufacturer promotions.
You can find digital coupons, special promotions, and “Stock Up and Save” items that can earn you free delivery or money off your order. Here are a few examples of what you can find and how you can save on delivery fees:
- Spend $10 in Secret products and get free delivery
- Spend $20 in Totino’s items to get free delivery
9. Watch for Instacart service fees in your Publix grocery cart.
In addition to delivery fees, Instacart has several “service fees” you should watch out for:
- The “general service fee” is based on the subtotal of your grocery order and varies as it doesn’t include alcohol
- The “non-Instacart Express member fee” you only incur if you’re not an Instacart Express member, and it starts at 5% of your subtotal
- The “Instacart Express Member” fee starts at 1.9% of your subtotal
10. Buy alcohol and get hit with another sneaky Instacart service fee.
Yep, add any alcohol to your Publix grocery delivery order and expect another service fee tacked onto your total. Instacart says this fee helps them cover the cost of proving you’re old enough to drink. This fee is based solely on the alcohol portion of your order. Here’s the breakdown:
- $0-$35 of alcohol: $2 fee
- $35.01-$75 of alcohol: $4 fee
- $75.01-$110 of alcohol: $8 fee
- $110.01 or more of alcohol: $10 fee
Publix delivery orders with alcohol that qualify for free delivery will still be charged a $0.01 alcohol service fee.
11. Pay an Instacart “heavy service fee” if your order is over 50 pounds.
Wait, here’s another fee! If you order a couple of bags of dog food, or your order items collectively weighs over 50 pounds, look to get hit with another service fee. I placed several 31-pound bags of dog food in my cart and found that Instacart would charge an extra $2.06 each!
12. Avoid Instacart’s “busy pricing fees” when selecting your delivery times.
Even after speaking with Francesca, Herman, and Michael at Instacart, I didn’t get the answer I wanted on this service fee, but here’s the scoop.
If you select a delivery day and time that is “high demand” for your area, you may see a “busy pricing service fee” when you check out. None of the reps could give me a definitive amount or specific day or time(s) that would cause this fee. So, if you see it in your cart during checkout, avoid the extra fee and reschedule your order before you submit it.
13. Save up to 60% on Instacart service fees with Instacart Express membership.
The cost? $99 annually or $9.99 monthly. (You save $1.74 each month by paying the annual fee up front.) Sign up for Instacart Express and you’ll reduce your general service fee to 1.9%, which is 38% less than non-express members pay. Plus, decrease alcohol service fees by 60%:
- $0-$35 of alcohol: $0.80 fee
- $35.01-$75 of alcohol: $1.60 fee
- $75.01-$110 of alcohol: $3.20 fee
- $110.01 or more of alcohol: $4 fee
PRO TIP: Other service fees will still apply, even for Express members.
14. But, don’t join Instacart Express unless you order at least twice a month.
You could save more when you join Instacart Express, but only if you order over $35 worth of groceries at least twice a month from Instacart.
Stay with me here, because I’ll show you how it works.
If you buy less than $35 worth of groceries (including alcohol) every month, the Instacart Express Membership will cost you $36.60 more a year! In this case, the membership isn’t worth it:
$7.99 delivery fee
$2.00 alcohol fee
$9.98 Total per month in fees, or $119.88 per year.
$3.99 delivery fee
$0.80 alcohol fee
$8.25 membership fee (if you paid $99 up front for the year)
$13.04 Total per month in fees, or $156.48 per year.
But, if you buy more than $35 worth of groceries (including alcohol) at least two times a month, the Express Membership saves you money, specifically $25.56 per year for ordering 2x; $97.44 per year for ordering 3x; and $170.88 per year for ordering 4x. Here’s a breakdown:
Non-member ordering 2x a month:
$ 7.98 delivery fees
$ 4 alcohol fees
$11.98 Total per month in fees, or $143.76 a year.
Express Member ordering 2x a month:
$0 delivery fees
$1.60 alcohol fees
$8.25 monthly membership fee (if you pay annual fee up front)
$9.85 Total per month in fees, or $118.20 a year.
Although these numbers give you an idea of what your total would be, other fees like “heavy fees” or “busy fees” aren’t as cut and dry to calculate. Don’t forget, if you buy more than $35 worth of alcohol, your “alcohol fees” also increase. Sigh.
15. Try Instacart Express free for two weeks.
Sign up for Instacart Express and try it out for two weeks. You can cancel anytime at no cost during that period. After that, you’ll be charged the full amount of your membership.
How does the Publix Delivery app work?
Step 1: Download the Publix Delivery app and create or link your Publix account.
Although you can shop for Publix delivery online at Publix.com, the easiest way to order your Publix groceries is with the Publix Delivery app for your iPhone or Android smartphone. This app is not the same as the regular Publix app. Be sure to link your Publix account!
Step 2: Add coupons, and promos in the Savings tab.
When you open the Publix Delivery app, you can select the “Savings” tab at the bottom of your screen to view what’s on sale and add coupons and promos before you shop. To add a coupon or promotion tap the plus sign to the right of the item.
Step 3: Shop items from the Publix Delivery app homepage or Explore tab.
From the Publix app’s homepage, you can shop the weekly savings, feature items, new arrivals, and more. You can also search for items using the search bar or barcode scanner. Another option is to select the “Explore” tab to shop by departments.
Step 4: Select “Go to Checkout” when done and choose your delivery time.
Once you have all your items in your cart, tap “Go to Checkout.” Here’s where you will choose your delivery day and time, enter any delivery instructions, add a payment method, and review your items.
Step 5: Change or waive Instacart delivery tip and waive those service fees.
Yep, Instacart displays the total of all the fees I talked about during checkout. At this point, like I said above, you may have the opportunity to change their amounts or waive them completely.
- For the delivery tip, tap the “Change” button and select a preset amount or put in a custom amount. Click “Save Tip” or the amount will revert back to the previous amount.
- Although you can’t adjust the service fees you might be able to waive them entirely. Just tap the “Change” button, tap “Waive,” and tap “Save Changes.”
Step 6: Enter any Instacart promo code.
If you have any special Instacart promo codes, now’s the time to enter them by tapping “Add Promo Code.”
Publix/Instacart Delivery FAQs:
Does Publix or Instacart accept paper coupons for delivery?
No. The only coupons you can use are those available in the Publix Delivery app or Instacart app.
What if I want to cancel or reschedule after I submit my order?
Okay, this one can be touchy. Once you place your order you can manage it in your account. Tap on the order and either reschedule your delivery or cancel the order.
Here’s the thing: If you need to cancel the order, you can only do this up until your shopper starts shopping for your order, which could be as much as one to two hours ahead of your delivery window. Your shopper might not start shopping until sometime during your delivery window. If you don’t cancel in plenty of time, Instacart will charge you a $15 penalty fee!
Can I make changes to my order after I submit it?
Yes! You can add or edit items even after your shopper starts shopping, but if you can, do it before your shopper begins.
If that doesn’t work out, you can also request your shopper to adjust items once they contact you via chat or email saying they are shopping your order.
How do I contact Instacart?
You can call Instacart 24/7 at (888) 246-7822. Instacart also has a dedicated support line for seniors (844) 981-3433 8 a.m. -11 p.m. EST.
What type of payment methods can I use to pay for my delivery order?
You can use a credit/debit card, Google Pay, or Apple Pay.
Can I get my Publix prescriptions delivered with my grocery order?
Unfortunately, right now the only two companies Instacart is permitted to deliver prescriptions from are Costco and CVS. If you have prescriptions at Publix you can get them delivered either online at RxPublix.com or with the Publix Pharmacy app for Apple or Android devices.
Anything else Instacart won’t deliver with my Publix order?
Yep, gift cards, tobacco, over the counter items containing nicotine, and items containing ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, and phenylpropanolamine.
Does Publix delivery allow for substitutions?
Yes! If items are listed as out of stock in your “My Cart,” tap “Instructions” under each item to select what substitutions, if any, that you want. This gives you three options:
Find Best Match
Pick Specific Replacement
What if I have a problem with my order or item I purchased?
Publix is unable to help you resolve after order issues, so you must contact Instacart via email, firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (888) 246-7822.
How does the group cart thing work?
You can place an order with family, friends, and coworkers easily in the Publix delivery app. Tap on “My Carts” and tap “Create a Group Cart.” Invite anyone you want to shop and name the cart. Everyone can then add to the cart in their own Publix delivery apps with your invite. Check out as usual. Groceries will be delivered to a single address.
How To Coupon at PublixLearn Publix Couponing 101 and how to save the most money at this regional grocery chain using Publix digital coupons and manufacturer coupons.
Publix Curbside PickupSay bye to expensive grocery delivery fees and in-store shopping trips and hello to Publix grocery pickup. It's free, you can use coupons and ordering is super easy thanks to the Publix app. Ordering Publix pickup will cost you about 10 - 20% more than in store, but using these tips will help you maximize your time and money savings to make it worth it.