By Bill Symsick, georgica.net, [email protected]

Aldi announced today that it is partnering with Instacart for delivery of groceries to customers in three U.S. cities: Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Dallas. The catch, of course, is that you’ll pay Instacart’s delivery fee to get those groceries. Are you willing to pay to have your groceries delivered?

The first step toward that answer, obviously, is price. Instacart charges $5.99 for deliveries if your purchases are over $35 or $7.99 if your purchases are under $35. If you want your groceries in one hour or less, add $4 to those prices. You also can do an annual Instacart Express subscription for $99 that gives you “free” delivery on Aldi or any other retailer affiliated with Instacart in your area.

Instacart uses freelance personal shoppers who physically go to these stores and do your shopping for you.

It’s unclear what the long-term market is for grocery delivery services. The experience depends partly on the person doing the shopping for you. It also depends on how regular you are about buying specific items. If you have a standard grocery list, the process of ordering may be very smooth, but if you buy different things each week or month, it might be clunky. (If you have to spend an hour selecting items for Instacart to purchase on your behalf, are you really saving much time, if any?) And, of course, the ultimate question is whether the delivery price you pay feels worth it, or whether the process feels like just as much of a hassle as going to the store.

Have you tried Instacart or other grocery delivery services? I would love to hear your views. Email and let me know your experiences.