1. Quick Summary
  2. What Are The Best Side Hustles Like Instacart?
  3. Key Takeaways
  4. What Food Delivery Service Pays the Most?
  5. Frequently Asked Questions
  6. Instacart Has Competitors for Delivery Workers

If you want to make money and you have a car, deliver groceries or other products to people. Instacart is a delivery company for which you can work. It's been around for years, and you not only earn a salary but also receive tips. But what if there isn't one in your area? Who can you work for and do the same job?

What Are The Best Side Hustles Like Instacart?

Some of the best hustles like Instacart are Shipt, Gopuff, Postmates, FreshDirect, Favor, Uber Eats, Dumpling, and Walmart Spark are major competitors to Instacart, offering similar opportunities to work as a delivery contractor.

Key Takeaways

  • Instacart is the highest-paying food delivery service, with shoppers earning $12.50 - $21.88 and drivers earning $7.25 - $20.21 plus tips.

  • Major competitors to Instacart include Shipt, Gopuff, Postmates, FreshDirect, Favor, Uber Eats, Dumpling, and Walmart Spark.

  • These services offer flexible schedules and the ability to earn money as independent contractors by delivering groceries, food, and other items.

What Food Delivery Service Pays the Most?

The food delivery service that pays the most is Instacart. Generally, an Instacart shopper is paid between $12.50 and $21.88 across the U.S. An Instacart driver earns between $7.25 and $20.21. However, tips can drive the earnings even higher.

If Instacart is not in your area, you have other options. There are many food delivery companies throughout the U.S., some of which may be in your area. Here is a list of side hustles similar to Instacart.

1. Shipt

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Shipt is a membership-based marketplace that lets users shop at numerous local stores for:

  • Groceries.
  • Household items.
  • etc.

Shipt is available nationwide, so there's a good chance it's in your area. Founded in Birmingham, Alabama, Shipt prides itself on its southern charm and expects drivers to follow that philosophy. Target currently owns it.

Because Target owns it, they are partners. You can order Shipt through the Target app. Or you can contact Shipt on their app which is available on the App Store and Google Play.

A Shipt shopper shops for the customer’s desired product and delivers the items to the customer within the requested delivery time.

All shoppers are independent contractors. That means you can choose your own schedule and the number of orders you’ll take.

You can also choose what geographical areas you want to deliver to.

There are some requirements for being a Shipt shopper. 

They include:

  • Age 18 or older.
  • Valid mailing address.
  • Reliable vehicle (1997 or newer).
  • Produce selection knowledge.
  • Ability to lift 45 pounds.
  • Smartphone (iPhone 10 or newer, Android 5.1 or newer).

To improve your earnings, you can increase the number of orders you’ll take. Also, shopping at preferred times will earn you more.

Giving excellent service will increase the number of tips you get from customers.

You’ll need to go through an interview and be approved. Once approved, you just download the app.

This is an excellent option If you are looking for jobs like Instacart to earn some extra money whether you are an adult or a teenager.

2. Gopuff

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Gopuff was founded by two Drexel University students to deliver essentials to other students. They are now in over 500 cities, so you’ll need to check that there’s one in your area.

Gopuff prides itself on delivering products in 15 minutes. They deliver many products, including:

  • Food.
  • Drinks.
  • Alcohol to 21-year-olds.
  • Over-the-counter medications.
  • Household cleaning supplies.

Gopuff has over 200 facilities and thousands of driver partners who will supply goods to designated areas. Places they delivered in their areas have included:

  • Houses.
  • Apartments.
  • Offices.
  • Hotels.
  • Tree houses.

They will deliver basically anywhere.

Most of Gopuff’s drivers are independent contractors. They can pre-arrange their schedules. Gopuff driver partners keep 100 percent of their tips.

Requirements for being a Gopuff driver partner include:

  • Be 21 years old or older.
  • A valid U.S. driver's license.
  • A vehicle with insurance in your name.
  • Smartphone with the most up-to-date operating system.

You’ll be paid a “transparent” fee for every order, and you can deliver as much or as little as you want. You don’t have to drive around for the products like you do with other delivery services. 

With Gopuff, you pick up from one location and return to it after every delivery job.

If you are under 14, I have shared some excellent ways to make money for this age limit.

3. Postmates

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Now owned by Uber, Postmates is a food delivery service that operates in all 50 states and Mexico City. To find a city near you, check their website.

Although it depends on your city’s rules, you can choose to deliver in several ways, including:

  • Car.
  • Bike.
  • Scooter.

Sign up to drive by downloading the Postmates app and completing the onboarding steps. 

There are several requirements, including:

  • Have a high school diploma.
  • Clean driving record for the last seven years.
  • Be 18 years old or older.
  • Valid insurance on the car you’re making deliveries in.
  • A working personal vehicle.
  • Pass a background check.
  • Smartphone with the Postmates Fleet app downloaded.

If you meet the qualifications, Postmates will contact you to complete a background check. Your Social Security number will be required to complete the check.

Once approved, you can start receiving offers and choose when and how much you work.

You are responsible for gas and your car’s operation, including insurance.

Overall, this is one of the best part-time jobs you can have without any investment from you.

4. Freshdirect

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Freshdirect is owned by the Turkey-based Getir a grocery delivery service company.

Freshdirect is an online grocer. They specialize in prepared and fresh foods. But they do offer other items like:

  • Meat
  • Seafood
  • Fruit
  • Vegetables
  • Snacks
  • Beverages
  • Household items

It delivers to parts of the East Coast. It only delivers in the summer in some areas, like the Jersey Shore and Hamptons.

Freshdirect delivers to parts of the East Coast, but its biggest delivery area is New York City and its boroughs. In some areas, like Jersey Shore and Hamptons, it only delivers in the summer.

Freshdirect delivery drivers must have a valid driver’s license and pass a background check. 

The hiring process includes:

  • Online application.
  • Phone screening.
  • In-person interview.

They have a Jr. Driver program as well as a picker-packer position. Available positions are listed on the company’s website.

5. Favor

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This one is for all of you Texans. Favor only operates in the Lone Star State, delivering to over 200 cities.

H-E-B, a multi-format retailer, owns favor. Favor prides itself on offering a wide range of products. 

They include:

  • Restaurant food
  • Groceries
  • Clothing
  • Prescriptions
  • Dry cleaning
  • Packages

Favor’s goal is to deliver orders within an hour. They refer to their drivers as runners.

There are certain requirements to be a runner for Favor. Some of them are:

  • Have reliable transportation
  • Have a bank account for direct deposit
  • Be 18 or older
  • Have a smartphone (iOS or Android)
  • Have a personal vehicle and insurance
  • Pass a background check
  • Have a clean record
  • Valid U.S. driver’s license

After you sign up, you must take an online orientation class. After the orientation and you pass the background check you will be activated. You can start earning money immediately.

Favor pays 35 percent of the delivery process fee and 100 percent of the tips. However, you are an independent contractor and, therefore, responsible for your costs.

Favor provides commercial auto insurance when on active duty. It is only available to you when you are driving for Favor and does not cover personal use of the vehicle. All runners are automatically signed up for this when they become active.

6. Uber Eats

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Uber Eats is an offshoot of Uber's ride-sharing service, launched in 2014. It is available in 6,000 cities in 45 countries.

Uber Eats doesn’t deliver food from a local grocery store; it delivers from restaurants.

You will work as an independent contractor with Uber Eats. But that means you can work according to your schedule. You can use these ways to deliver depending on your city's rules.

  • Car
  • Bike
  • Scooter

You won’t be transporting people; you will only be delivering food.

To deliver for Uber Eats, you must meet specific requirements, including:

  • Provide a Social Security number for a background check.
  • If delivered by car, own a  2-door or 4-door car with a valid driver’s license and must be at least 19 years old.
  • If delivered by a motorized scooter, the scooter must be under 50cc, and the delivery person must have a valid driver's license and be at least 19 years old.
  • If delivered by bicycle, the delivery person must have a government-issued ID and be at least 18 years old.

Your earnings are automatically transferred to your bank weekly. Or you can cash out with Instant Pay. You’re eligible to cash out up to five times a day.

If you want to get paid daily, check out this article.

7. Dumpling

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Dumpling's goal is to improve the gig economy. Joel Shapiro and Nate D'Anna originally started Dumpling as a place for workers to share their opinions about their employers.

But it showed that workers were unhappy with who they were delivering for. This was especially true for those working with Instacart. They were unhappy with how the app treated them.

Dumpling is a platform where people work for themselves. It lets individual shoppers start and own their grocery shopping business.

Dumpling connects customers directly with independent shoppers. The shoppers can build their own brand and have a direct relationship with their customers.

The one difference with Instacart is the pricing model.

Instacart charges a delivery fee. They also mark up items’ prices.

But with Dumpling, shoppers set their own pricing. The customer wins because they have competitive pricing and can negotiate with shoppers.

Customers choose a shopper based on factors like:

  • Ratings
  • Reviews
  • Specific expertise

When a customer orders, Dumpling charges the customer’s credit cards. It then advances the money to the contractor’s Dumpling credit card as a microloan so the delivery contractor can buy groceries.

Dumpling charges contractors a $29 monthly fee for:

  • Business tools
  • Coaching
  • Financial support
  • Website marketing

Contractors earn money one to three days after completing a delivery.

8. Vons

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Albertsons Companies own Vons Delivery. Albertsons is one of the largest grocery companies in the U.S.

Vons is a grocery store chain in Southern California and Nevada that offers many services, including home delivery.

Vons was a strong competitor against Instacart in specified areas. Their extensive network of local grocery stores gave them an edge regarding product availability.

At one point, Vons hired delivery drivers as employees. But in February 2021, they began replacing their delivery drivers with independent contractors. They now use third-party delivery services like DoorDash and Instacart.

9. Walmart

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The story of Walmart is well known. But they also have a delivery service named Spark. Instacart is not a factor with Walmart, since Walmart does everything in-house.

Spark drivers are independent contractors, so you can be your own boss. Each time you finish a delivery, you choose the offers you want to accept. You use the Spark Driver App to choose the delivery jobs.

To be a Spark Driver, you must:

  • Be 18 or older and eligible to perform services as an independent contractor in the U.S.
  • Provide proof of valid auto insurance.
  • Have an unexpired valid license in your name issued by a U.S. state.
  • Complete a background screening, including motor vehicle records and criminal background checks.

Besides payment from Walmart, you can earn tips.

The other way to earn from Walmart is through referral. Once you have completed five or more trips, you can refer a friend or family member to Walmart as a driver.

The driver you refer must complete five or more trips in their zone to unlock the incentive for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

There are many up-and-comers in the grocery and food delivery business. Contract workers are now given a lot of options to work. But you might still have some questions. Here are the most frequently asked questions.

1. Do delivery services pay for their driver’s gas?

Delivery services don’t pay for contract workers’ gas. The worker is responsible for it. But, since it’s for business purposes, the contractor can write the mileage off on their income tax return. The current rate for federal reimbursement is $0.67 per mile. You must keep track of your mileage to receive this deduction.

2. Should I tell my insurance company I deliver food?

You should tell your insurance company you deliver food in your car. Most insurance companies don’t cover delivery drivers without add-ons to their policy. Failure to do this could result in a claim being denied.

3. Does a food delivery company pay benefits?

A food delivery company doesn’t pay benefits. You are a contract worker. So, the company doesn’t pay for any insurance or retirement plan. You are also required to pay your own taxes.

Instacart Has Competitors for Delivery Workers

Although Instacart is the big dog in town, it now has many competitors. With that competition comes finding enough workers to deliver food. Delivery contractors have more options and will choose the one that pays the most.

Workers may work with a platform that allows them to do so for themselves, like Dumpling.

Bob Haegele

About the Author

Bob Haegele Bob Haegele

Bob Haegele, your personal finance guru, draws on years of experience to simplify complex financial concepts and offer actionable advice.

Dedicated to helping you achieve financial success, Bob is here to guide you through every step of your journey to financial freedom with expertise in areas such as investing, student loans, and credit cards. His work has appeared on Business Insider,, and other nationally recognized outlets.

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