The coronavirus pandemic and accompanying stay-at-home orders have changed a lot about our daily routines and activities this year. Working out from home has become all the rage, video chat has replaced in-person meetings, and online grocery shopping has become the norm. Research shows that online grocery shopping has doubled, with COVID-19 having a significant impact on that increase. Even today, as many states are experiencing a decrease in COVID-19 cases and stores are open to the public, people are continuing to choose online shopping over in-person. This is partially due to the convenience of having groceries delivered and because it is a safer option for many, especially seniors who are at higher risk of contracting the virus. A recent survey found that, of first-time online grocery shoppers, 39% are seniors over the age of sixty.
Grocery delivery services are a no-brainer for those that want to stock their fridge without going to the store. Even beyond the coronavirus pandemic, grocery delivery services are great options for seniors who no longer drive or have limited mobility.
Instacart is currently available in forty states and can be easily accessed on a laptop or smartphone. Simply enter your zip code and choose from area grocery stores as well as liquor stores, pet stores, and pharmacies. Deliveries typically arrive within a couple of hours but beware of add-on fees for service, delivery, and tipping.
Fresh Direct has been around for many years and provides its inventory, so this isn’t the best option for those loyal to a specific grocery store. However, Fresh Direct delivers food directly from their fulfillment centers at the peak of freshness, and their products are said to be of the highest quality. There is a minimum order and delivery fee, which varies by location, as well as subscription options.
Shipt, which Target recently acquired, is currently in thirty states and is known to be one of the more cost-effective grocery delivery services. With a monthly or annual subscription fee, members can order as often as they like and receive free delivery with a minimum order. Like Instacart, Shipt members can order from their preferred stores and communicate directly with their shopper via the app.
Local Grocery Stores
Many local grocery stores are offer their own delivery services that don’t require using a third-party app or delivery service. Head to your preferred store’s website to see if they offer delivery or even a curbside pick-up option. In these instances, delivery times may take longer or may not be available until the next day, so be sure to plan ahead.
Meal Kit Delivery Services
Meal kit services are perfect for those who love to cook and try new things but don’t necessarily want to deal with the hassle of online shopping. Meal kits also limit waste and are ideal for those living alone and only cooking for themselves. There are a number of meal kits services available these days, and many cater to specific dietary needs. Popular choices include Blue Apron, Hello Fresh, Purple Carrot, and Sun Basket.
While it may seem a bit overwhelming at first, start by helping your loved one find the available services in your geographic location. From there, you can assess your loved one’s grocery budget to decide which service will best suit their needs and finances. If your loved one isn’t super tech-savvy, consider setting up a weekly phone call during which you can assist them in placing their order for delivery.