Best tips for grocery shopping remotely?

Hi Food52ers! I'm working on an article about grocery shopping remotely—whether that's a big-time service like Fresh Direct, a newly formed delivery system from your local bodega, or something I haven't heard of yet. Both grocery stores and shoppers are getting more innovative as more people are social-distancing and in isolation—and I would love to hear how you're making it work wherever you are (please share your location if you feel comfortable). Hope you're well, and thanks in advance for weighing in!

Emma Laperruque
  • 1402 views
  • 12 Comments

12 Comments

Alex S. March 29, 2020
I know this isn’t a ‘Shopping Remotely’ but just an update re: our (really small) local Costco, in Scottsdale, AZ. Still have lines, but now have a chalkboard w/ what’s in stock (Bounty, Charmin, Purell, etc.) Also, 3 days per week, 8-10AM, 60+ only shopping. Makes the Social Distancing much easier. :)
 
Jane March 29, 2020
In Wooster, Ohio we have a local grocery, owned by employees, who is doing a great job at helping us get the food we need. They have online ordering and a drive through pick-up lane. This has always been available, but since the corona problem it has been swamped. If you place an order it will be about a week out from being available. No problem if you aren’t really in a bind, but once you make an order you can add to it until the day of pickup. Being in the older senior group I am so grateful to have this opportunity. Also our local farm store will shop for you and do curbside pickups. No last minute inspirations for meals with a quick run into town. I ‘m glad my mom showed me how to cook during WWII, she always had a well stocked pantry for emergencies and I am finding her old recipe box a treasure of “make do”
 
Shelley March 29, 2020
Way out here near Yellowstone Ntl Park, we usually shopped in a larger town just once a month due to the 2 hour long drive one way to get to a big store. With this virus shut down, our all ready limited grocery items have become a shopping nightmare to find at all! we placed our order with the grocery store and set our time for curbside pickup. Ha Ha Ha! I ended up with the most bizarre substitutions EVER and a large list of items that we needed but had been cleared off the shelves by other shoppers! We took homewhat we did manage to get and all I can say is that I am grateful for the helpful articles and videos from Food52 to help give me inspiration. I also find myself remembering a LOT of advice and stories from my mother & grandmother on how they made do with limited resources during the Depression. I have made some delicious food but wow.... some real challenging times in trying to create things from some bizarre food I dont usually work with. I guess it has managed to keep my mind from worrying about things as much so that is a plus! Be safe and healthy everyone!
 
louisez March 27, 2020
An update on Whole Foods: for some unfathomable reason, I decided to check them out just before lunch. Lo and behold, they had King Arthur flour, and 2 delivery slots that afternoon (and only then -- no openings listed for later times, days). Amazed to have gotten the delivery and in time (though missing some things). I texted my daughter as soon as they accepted my order. She tried an hour or so later, and couldn't get a delivery slot. I guess it's worth checking periodically, just in case.
 
Karen M. March 29, 2020
I’ve found the trick to getting a WF time slot is to keep refreshing your browser about every 15 minutes. Just takes a second, and eventually I have always gotten a time slot pop up for the same day.
 
louisez March 25, 2020
Whole Foods deliveries have become impossible to schedule in northwest Florida, too. You can fill a cart up, but there are never any time slots for delivery available. My last order was about 1 1/2 weeks ago. The delivery came 4 hours late. The delivery guy told me that wasn't due to overwhelming demand but to some kind of glitch. In any case, Whole Foods seems to be out of commission for the moment. Publix, a local grocery chain, has really stepped up. You never know what will actually be available, but their shopping staff makes a big effort to check with you and get substitutes. It's easier many times to get fresh produce than other items. Frozen fruit and vegetables are tough to get. And flour is impossible to get at the moment. That's also true online at places like Bob's Red Mill and King Arthur. All of a sudden everyone and their Aunt Edna has become a scratch baker.
Good wishes to all of you. Be well, be safe.
 
creamtea March 25, 2020
Until recently I was using FreshDirect and Amazon Whole Foods, but the time slots in NY are booked so it's now impossible to get a delivery slot. Friends and my building residents have offered to do some shopping for perishables for me as we've been in mandatory quarantine (my pantry was stocked well in advance, fortunately). For Passover ingredients, I've shopped online at GrowandBehold.com for meat and OhNuts.com for almond flour, walnuts, hazelnuts and chocolate for my Passover cakes and charoset ingredients. For milk delivery in NY, I have used Mitchell's Beverage Direct for years. They also deliver newspapers, coffee from Oren's, and many other beverages.
 
creamtea March 25, 2020
Here's the link for Mitchell's: https://www.mitchellsny.com/

for Oh Nuts: https://www.ohnuts.com/

For Grow and Behold:

https://www.growandbehold.com/
 
Miss_Karen March 25, 2020
I know people who are sending commodities through the USPS to relatives.
 
Stephanie B. March 25, 2020
My parents sent me toilet paper, so they deserve some kind of award in my book.
 
Miss_Karen March 25, 2020
I work as an e commerce agent at King Soopers/Kroger. (Colorado Springs, CO)
That means people place an order online,then I go through the store & shop it. Our orders have more than doubled in the past 2 weeks. It's a good service. However, the misconception is that if the order is placed online that the product is automatically available... Some people are using Instacart. Whole foods is now doing an Amazon Prime service similar to Kroger's.
 
Shelley March 29, 2020
My daughter used her Denver King Soopers for her first ever online order. She wasnt able to get some of the fresh meat she ordered but she did say that she was very surprised at what a great job her store and their employees were doing to help people get their needed items. THANK YOU to all our grocery store workers! We dont often place them in the "hero" category but at this time we're in, each and every one of them truly is a hero for so many of us! Biggest thanks to you, stay safe and healthy @Miss_Karen
 
Recommended by Food52