If there’s one thing health experts agree upon during the time of the pandemic, it’s that people should avoid unnecessary risks. Especially those with vulnerable immune systems. In order to lower the risk of contracting the Coronavirus, people in these groups have been advised to limit outings as much as possible. Even heading out to go grocery shopping is a risk. To help combat this issue, we’ve popped together a list of ways to shop for food without leaving your house.
Food Subscription Boxes
Food subscription boxes are a great way to have all the meals you need for a week or a month delivered straight to your door.
Freshly offers you the option to customize your order, choosing how many readily-cooked meals you want for a week. If you want 4 meals a week it will be around $11.50 per meal; if you order 12 meals per week the price goes down to around $8. All you have to do is heat the meal and enjoy.
Hello Fresh is one of the longest-standing online food subscription boxes and their food is delicious. They provide cook-for-yourself healthy recipes along with pre-measured ingredients delivered straight to your door every week, for around $7 per meal.
Urthbox offers healthy, full-size snacks and products delivered monthly. There are 4 boxes you can choose from – classic, low calorie, vegan, and gluten-free, and prices range from $9-$49 per month.
Honorable Mention – Grove Collaborative
Grove Collaborative is not actually about food, but cleaning supplies (ahem… toilet paper). The reason we’ve included it is that they offer natural eco-friendly household and personal care products that tend to last longer. You can order cleaning and household supplies, so you’ll (hopefully) never find yourself without hand sanitizer or tp. It’s a monthly subscription as well, but the timing and cadence of your orders are entirely in your control.
Restaurant Delivery Apps
There are plenty of apps that make it possible to have food delivered to your doorstep—which also allows you to support a local restaurant at the same time.
One important thing to note is that having daily deliveries statistically increases the risk of contracting the virus because the food is prepped and driven by all different people. Having said that, it can also be a way to take some of the strain of running a household off. Either way, practicing safe distancing and sanitation is always a good idea.
UberEats is one of the best known food-delivery apps, and all you have to do is download it from the app store on your phone.
Create an Uber account, set your delivery address, and scroll through the list of available restaurants in your area. Once you decide on a restaurant, check the menu selections, add what you want to the cart, and place your order. Keep in mind that all orders are charged a flat $4.99 booking fee.
UberEats is ranked best for fast delivery, but it only delivers food from partnered restaurants.
The Postmates app has a clean and easy-to-use interface. To use Postmates, you’ll need to set up an account via the Postmates phone app or on your computer.
Postmates charges a delivery fee between $1 to $10, plus a variable percentage-based service fee during busy times.
One of the major pros is that the driver can send you a text (without having access to your phone number), to keep you posted on their location and estimated time of arrival. Another plus is that you can also use the app to place orders for drugstores like CVS and Walgreens. As for cons, the prices are a bit more expensive than others.
DoorDash was recently ranked as the most popular food delivery app across the nation. Critics say the app’s interface can be a bit busy, but easier once you get to know the app.
If you’re a frequent user, you can sign up for DoorDash’s subscription service, DashPass. For $10 a month, you get free delivery and lower service fees from thousands of restaurants nationwide.
Food Shopping Delivery Apps
Currently, most food stores offer online shopping, pickup, and even delivery. In most cases, you can use a computer or the corresponding phone app to shop. There are also some internet-based grocery stores that come with perks such as organic food for less, farm-to-table, and more eco-friendly items than you’d find in your regular grocery store.
Thrive Market offers a large selection of food items, most of them organic, non-GMO, as well as personal care products. You can either use their website or download the phone app. Members are said to save an average of $30 on each order for organic foods and products.
Although many stores use Instacart as their delivery service, you can also go through them directly. One thing to watch out for here is that you may not get all store discounts if you go through Instacart directly. The benefits are that you can shop via Instacart Express so that you have free, unlimited delivery, no peak-time fees, and you can shop with a ton of stores on one order. Instacart Express membership does cost and you can pay either monthly or annually. An annual membership is $99 and will be billed each year on the same date. If you choose the monthly membership, you’ll be charged $9.99 per month on the same day.
Peapod has an app available for download on the app store. The company charges a delivery fee, which is calculated according to the amount of groceries you order. If you buy more than $100 in groceries, your delivery fee is $6.95. If your offer is between $75 and $100 there is a $7.95 delivery fee. Pea pod has a wide variety of good quality products on offer.
Amazon Fresh is a grocery delivery service available to Amazon Prime members. They have most things you’d find in the local grocery stores and they also have an Amazon Basics collection to help save on your monthly grocery bill.
Fresh Direct (Currently NY & NJ)
FreshDirect delivers fresh food in the NY and NJ area, and you can use their webpage to order or order through their dedicated app, which you can find a link to at the bottom of the website homepage.
Green Bean Delivery (Midwest)
Green Bean Delivery currently caters to people in the Midwest. Their food is as free as they can make it from artificial ingredients and unnatural preservatives. You can place a one-off order or you can have items automatically delivered on a monthly schedule.
Our Harvest (NYC)
Our Harvest is available to customers in New York City and the Long Island area. The company offers locally-sourced groceries. The fruits and vegetables are harvested at their peak, sometimes within just hours of delivery, to maximize freshness and flavor.
Hungry Harvest is an online grocery store covering several states offering food that farmers would normally have to throw away. The food will taste just the same as you’d expect, but they aren’t seen as good enough for the major stores because they’re not uniform in shape and size.
Food from Hungry Harvest is less expensive, and you’re doing the planet a favor by reducing a ton of waste. They offer customizable boxes, packed with a new selection of fruits and veggies every week, starting at $15.
Misfits Market does basically the same thing as Hungry Harvest, only they cover different areas. Make sure to check out the links provided to see which of the two is available in your area. Misfit Market prices are up to 40% less than you’d find in stores!
And Finally, Ask Neighbors for Help
Solidarity in times of need is what this app is now morphing into. Neighbors needing help can look at their local map, on NextDoor, to view and message nearby volunteers. You can also post a message on the neighborhood board to let people know that you need help.
People have been helping others with a ton of different chores including mowing the grass, weed pulling, taking out the trash, food shopping, making masks, and more. And, if you think for a second that it’s not helping them, do think again! Some people have apartments and just want to get out and do things like garden, and all people need a good reason to feel good at the moment. So, anyone in need of help is actually doing others a favor by letting them know and allowing them to help.
Groups can also be organized for volunteers to periodically virtually check-in with people in the area to see if they need any groceries, medications, or just someone to talk to.
You can also use the app to socialize! You can even share jokes via the NextDoor app or make your own group to help others with a little comic relief. The app is totally free and it is available to download for both iOS and Android phones.
There are so many ways technology can help. These brilliant apps can take care of your shopping and lighten the load while you stay safe at home and keep many others safe as well.
About Stephen’s Place
If you have a loved one with developmental or intellectual disabilities, who is looking for a community to live in, please contact us for more information.
Stephen’s Place is a private-pay apartment community due to our state-of-the-art amenities and programs. We are a nonprofit and do not profit from our community. We are private pay because we spend more than some housing communities to ensure that our residents are comfortable and can safely live their lives with independence and dignity.