Shelter-in-Place: Part 2 – Grocery Pickup & Delivery Services

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It’s week 6 of my family’s shelter-in-place and the fridge is starting to look empty, again. Sure, my daughter can appreciate ice cream for breakfast as much as the next 3 year old (so can I…), but even that can’t last forever. It’s time for more groceries. Do I tempt breaking my strict social distancing to brave the grocery store, or are there alternatives? In our last post, we looked at bringing social connection into your home through popular video-calling apps. Today we’ll be looking at another essential: how to keep yourself safe by leveraging the latest in grocery delivery services.

Personally, I’ve always been a little uncomfortable about using grocery delivery – I’m very particular about my fruits and vegetables, so the thought of someone else picking my pristine produce just never felt right. Then COVID19 became synonymous with life and I decided to take a more diligent look at my options. Surprise! “Freshness guarantees” are everywhere! And another benefit? You can schedule your orders so that, as items like toilet paper are restocked, your order will be picked and put aside before the hoards of panic buyers swarm the store. If you’re considering these benefits along with others of groceries to your door, here are some services worth exploring:

 

Walmart Grocery Delivery & Pickup

We’ll start with the biggest: Walmart Grocery Delivery & Pickup. Yes, Walmart – one of the largest retailers in the world – is not always your first thought when it comes to fresh groceries, but it’s time for that to change. Walmart’s immense buying power and convenient locations allows it to source produce that is delivered faster and less expensive than any other provider. When you consider the wealth of other goods you can add to your cart as well as their Freshness Gaurantee it’s time to start shopping from the safety of your living room. To collect your groceries just drive to one of Walmart’s designated parking spots, open the trunk and let the retail associate load your bags. Depending on your location the retail behemoth even goes as far as offering free delivery on all orders of $50 or more. Can’t beat that price!

 

Loblaws/Superstore/Zher’s

Another option is Canada’s largest food retailer: Loblaws. Depending on where you’re located, Loblaws may go by a different name – Loblaws, Superstore, Zher’s, T&T Supermarkets, Provigo, Maxi & Cie – the Company operates 2,000 locations across Canada with many different banners, so you may be a Loblaws shopper and not even realize it. A few years ago, the Company launched a service called Click & Collect, where you could purchase your groceries online, drive to the store and have your order loaded into your trunk by a store employee. Fresh groceries without ever leaving your car! While some of their brands (Joe Fresh, Shoppers Drug Mart) have converted to home delivery through the Company’s new paid subscription service, PC Insier, Click & Collect is still their default model for crowd-free grocery purchases. It may not have all of the convenience of a home delivery, but it does mean one less person handling your order and an excuse to get out of the house for a quick drive. The only warning here is that the interface does not let you schedule your pickup until you’ve already picked everything for your cart. My mother-in-law went through the full process then found she couldn’t schedule a pick-up for 10 days. Demand is high right now, so pick-up times will be at a premium. Think about placing your order today for the supplies you’ll need in 7-10 days!

 

Independent Delivery Services

By no means are Walmart and Loblaws the only options – there are also many smaller, local services that may or may not be affiliated with the food retailers. If you’re in the GTA or Hamilton, for example, you may not realize that Longos delivers groceries through Grocery Gateway – a tech company that built its brand around grocery deliveries and was purchased by Longo’s back in 2004. Longo’s even goes as far as listing a guide for guaranteed freshness across different types of products. Then there’s also a service called Instacart, which, if your local retailer(s) does not deliver, will pick up anything you order and deliver it to your door in as little as 1 hour. They operate in most major Canadian cities, so take a quick look at their site to see if they operate near you! Others may also be available in your area, so take a quick google search if none of these options work for you.

 

Summary

If you’ve heard of any of these services and have thought about trying them, now is the time! Stay home and keep safe. We’ll all be back in stores, elbow-to-elbow in line-ups soon enough.

If you’re looking for more technologies to keep you or your loved ones safe and independent at home, make sure to check out evika.io for the latest reviews on all types of assistive technologies.

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