Who knows, maybe we'll find a better solution that works for us in the long-term too!
In the past, before all of the coronavirus/COVID-19 mess, it was easy to plan a quick trip to the grocery store. Many households, perhaps yours included, have a set day for grocery shopping -- maybe a Saturday or Sunday. These days, with most states enacting a forced lockdown, stay-at-home quarantine or self-quarantining makes gathering and cooking meals difficult.
With so many in the same boat, now is the time to explore some alternatives. Who knows, maybe we'll find a better solution that works for us in the long-term too! In this article, we'll discuss grocery pickup, grocery delivery, meal kit delivery, and restaurant delivery services.
Grocery Pickup Services
Available grocery pickup services will vary depending on your area and supermarkets in town. For most, Walmart is a viable option - they have a store, or multiple stores, in most major cities.
Thankfully, grocery pickup is now easier than ever. Most stores have a mobile app - available via the Android App Store or the Apple App Store. Most require you to open an account using your email, phone number, and address. From there, you can choose your local store based on geolocation or physical address, and then you can start shopping.
The downside is, and this is not specific to grocery pickup services, most stores are having difficulty keeping their shelves stocked. With most of the country panic-buying food, you'll be hard-pressed to find your favorite brand of all-natural peanut butter or even the ideal loaf of bread. The solution, for most grocery pickup apps, is to offer substitutes. They will swap out an out-of-stock item for an in-stock item of the same or similar price and product type.
Grocery Delivery Services
Unlike with regular grocery shopping or a grocery pickup service, grocery delivery services come straight to you. Like with the option mentioned above, grocery delivery is simple. You download the respective app or head on over to your favorite supermarket's website, start building your cart and schedule a delivery time.
It's important to note that, unlike pickup services, most grocery delivery services charge a fee for bringing your groceries to your home. It's more than just a convenience fee. You're paying for the driver and their gas. Thankfully, most delivery fees are reasonable. You're charged more for a smaller order but a fair amount for an extensive grocery list.
More Benefits of Grocery Delivery and Pickup Services
One of the primary complaints about meal kits is that they are expensive compared to buying groceries. That may be very true, but when you factor in your time finding recipes, planing your list, driving to the store, shopping, and unloading groceries, is that still true?
Think about it this way, it takes the average person 1 hour for each grocery trip - that's just the trip! If you make $10/hour at your job, that time cost you $10. This concept is called "opportunity cost" because technically you could have worked an extra hour instead of going grocery shopping (even if you don't actually need to shell out a $10 bill to grocery shop). The more you make per hour, the more expensive it becomes for you to grocery shop.
Maybe we actually can't afford to grocery shop, after all!
Meal Kits can also provide much-needed relief for those having trouble finding exact items needed for recipes or are experiencing grocery shopping fatigue. Raise your hand if you've had to settle for substitutes that were less than ideal lately! Meal kits include everything you need for the recipe and are delivered right to your door to ensure minimal human-to-human interaction.
Restaurant Delivery Services
Now more than ever, it's important to support your local restaurants, especially the ones offering less mainstream cuisines!
Ordering delivery from your favorite restaurants is easier than ever with the availability of restaurant delivery apps like DoorDash, Postmates, GrubHub/Seamless, and UberEats. You'll need to download an app on your smartphone, but the process has become very straightforward. Some services are even waiving delivery fees right now.
Restaurant delivery may not be a practical solution for every day, but you can at least still support your local restaurants on the nights that you would usually go out to eat (and give yourself a break from cooking too!). Just make sure to sanitize any outer packaging and wash your hands thoroughly before eating to stay safe!
As you can see, you do have options when it comes to grocery shopping and meal delivery during the coronavirus lockdown. Take advantage of technology and convenience to fill your pantry, refrigerator, and tummies!
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