Friday, June 2, 2023


Are you doing your major grocery shopping online to be delivered to you?

By Chuck Woodbury

Gail and I are self-isolating in our motorhome in Kingman, Arizona. We’re doing our best to avoid going out in public, at least where we’d be in close proximity to others. We had never done our grocery shopping online until three weeks ago, when we decided to give it a try.

We’re hooked. The Smith’s Food and Drug in town, about five miles away, delivers. You pay an additional $10. We’ve ordered three times now. Last evening, for example, Gail placed an order for about 40 items including some fruit and vegetables. They were delivered to us at 11 a.m. this morning.

When you order, you can leave notes about each item, whether you will accept a generic or similar product, for example, or if you like your bananas ripe or slightly green. But Smith’s takes it one step further. The person who selects your products, who is the same person who delivers it, will text you with questions. This morning, our food picker, Teresa, texted Gail about the green beans. She didn’t think the regular ones looked very good, so she sent a photo of the organic ones, which looked great. So Gail ordered those. We paid a little more, but we got quality veggies, not crummy ones.

We’ll continue to use Smith’s for our groceries here in Kingman. And even when we return to our home in Seattle, we’ll probably find another store we like. It’s nice to not have to hop in the car and battle traffic (in Seattle that would be an issue), when you can just order online and then have your food within a few hours.

What about you? Have you ever done your MAJOR grocery shopping online to have it delivered?

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Chuck Woodbury
Chuck Woodbury
I'm the founder and publisher of I've been a writer and publisher for most of my adult life, and spent a total of at least a half-dozen years of that time traveling the USA and Canada in a motorhome.


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David Allen
3 years ago

I sleep in my bed in my RV. I use my toilet in my RV. And I select/handle my own food. I have watched some of the pickers at major stores and no way do I want them selecting what I buy.

Joel Hansma
3 years ago

We have used the on-line and delivery twice now. Once with Sprouts then we found out that at our address we could get free delivery from Costco. That was great because those two are where we shop most when home. My wife noticed the shoppers weren’t as picky about produce as she is. Even with that it was better than going out. Because we are compromised seniors our delivery was free but we tip the delivery person who was also our shopper.

Bob Weinfurt
3 years ago

Where I live isn’t densely populated so I do my own shopping once a week or so, wearing a mask when I do. If the stores parking lot has a lot of cars in it, I’ll try again some other time.

Danny Wells
3 years ago

My wife orders from Wal-Mart and I go pick up. They substitute some items but always text her to approve the sub items.
Only 1 time did we get something that was not useable.
We’ve been doing our shopping this way for about a year now, if we are at home.
So far, if we’re on the road we just go to the store. We usually have a good stock when we head out and pick stuff up as it’s needed.

David Howard
3 years ago

I tried it once. I ordered in the morning and the food was delivered just a few hours later. But the online selection was far smaller than what is on the shelves, the person assembling my order seemed to try to pick out the worst (and sometimes totally unacceptable condition) produce, and the items that were substituted for the specific ones I ordered were sometimes far less than satisfactory. So now I am back to physically visiting the store, albeit with the precautions of my wearing a mask and gloves, and only going about once every 10 days or so, far less than in “normal” times.

Dr. Willie Live
3 years ago

Logged into Jewel and ordered groceries, then found out I had to drive 20 miles to pick the stuff up. Tried a closer place couldn’t get a pick up time. Went to the store.

Jennifer Lauter
3 years ago

My teenaged son was quarantined for two weeks in his room (ER would not test him but said to assume he was positive). So none of us left the house for a month. I used InstaCart several times and am happy I had the option. I made sure to tip (in cash) very generously and gave our most recent shopper a cloth mask in addition to the tip. Working as shoppers is the only way many people can keep a roof over their kids’ heads. Keep in mind that it is not the fault of the shopper if items are not available.

I read an article recently where people were posting large tips when they ordered and then changing the tip to $0 after the fact. Disgusting!

Also, our area has Good Fairies organized on Nextdoor. These are people who volunteer to shop, run errands, donate TP, etc for their neighbors.

Now that we are all well I will be doing my own shopping and am spending hours every day keeping busy by sewing masks that I hope to distribute to our considerable homeless population. Getting supplies for that is a challenge though.
3 years ago

We’re 25 miles south of Monterrey, Mexico. All our HEB stores provide online shopping with either delivery or store pickup. No need to get out of the car. We went to the nearest HEB the other day and the majority of shoppers were employees pulling the online orders.

Ken Sinatra
3 years ago

In a larger city like Vegas , the wait time for a delivery can be 2 weeks or better. If you use Instacart there is a significant fee for their service. Gloves and mask on with sanitizer in hand, it’s off to the store!

Rea Morrison
3 years ago

I understand that for some people, having someone else do the shopping is a blessing. Maybe it’s a single parent with children or elderly. Whatever your reason, you have to do what’s best for your family. I am personally not comfortable with having someone else risk themselves shopping for me, while I’m still perfectly able to shop for myself. If the store was completely empty and it was just one or two shoppers filling all the orders, maybe that would be fine, but they are shopping with the public around them and risking getting sick for my groceries. Many of the personal shoppers are young, with minimal training in decontamination and cross-contamination. I’ll keep doing my own shopping, so I can reduce the number of people who have had contact with my supplies/food.

3 years ago

I have been ordering groceries online but we live 25 miles out of town; too far for delivery. So I drive to the store where they bring my groceries to the car. I put on my mask and latex gloves before getting out of the car. I would prefer to pick out fruits and veggies myself but I am grateful for this service. Such an uncertain time. I no longer think about all the travel plans that won’t be realized this year… now I think about friends and relatives that didn’t survive.

3 years ago

I guess a month or so ago, my wife still did the shopping as per usual, but our daughter decided that we needed to stay home all the time and she is doing the shopping. As to ordering and having it delivered, like many of you appear to do … I didn’t realize how far behind the times my wife and I are. I’m not sure either of us could figure it out. Our only computer knowledge is to do emails like I am doing here. Until now we’ve never seen the need for a smart phone. I hope some of the old fashioned ways hang around until I die. I still haven’t figured out everything on my computer. By the way, our daughter went to the store today and she said it was like the day before Thanksgiving and still nothing on the paper aisle and no frozen food. Fortunately a couple of weeks ago she found commercial TP on a commercial janitorial site (big 9″ rolls) – not soft and cushy but it does the job.

Captn John
3 years ago

As the tourons are not permitted at our beaches now the stores are not as crowded. Summer check in Saturdays can be a b!tch. So, yes we order online every 5 – 7 days. The picker will text with any problems or suggestions. He/she is also the delivery person. We get 99% of what we order for a $4 charge plus a tip. We have had no problems with time~~ ordered Thursday afternoon, added 2 items at 11PM and was delivered 10:30 Friday. Picker texted when checking out and again when on his way.

3 years ago

I have leukemia, with an impaired immune system, so delivery has been great for me.

3 years ago

I still shop at the store because I am also responsible for getting an elderly man all his needs, including prescriptions. He recently had a stroke, & very much appreciated my husband & I

3 years ago

We go to Publix on “old folks days” (Tues-Wed from 7am-8am) since we live where there’s no delivery and no pick up options. We do some shopping online but it’s taking awhile to get orders delivered. There is no more 2 day Amazon delivery. Some items can’t be found (at least when we’re shopping in person) but we’ve been fortunate in having a young neighbor who delivers what we can’t find (eggs) and a friend who mails us products we can’t find (bread flour and all-purpose flour). We had other friends who generously give us 6 rolls of toilet paper…haven’t seen any anywhere since early March. We buy whatever meat is available…sometimes there’s no beef, other times no poultry. Evidently fresh produce is not something people will hoard since that’s available all the time although not as good as it was before. It’s been difficult at times but at least we have a roof over our heads and food on the table for every meal. We’ve got it good compared to so many others.

Gene Bjerke
3 years ago

There are four of us living together. The youngest one (50) does the shopping and most of the cooking. She is very careful, and wears a mask and gloves anywhere beyond the farm.

3 years ago

My husband and daughter do the shopping (she has particular tastes and has to keep him in line from buying the store) while I stay home. I would consider pick up as an option personally. At least that would get me out once in a while.

3 years ago

We ordered our groceries online for the first time about 4 weeks ago. Very pleased with it. We drive to curbside pickup just to stretch our legs. Don’t even have to get out of your vehicle!

3 years ago

I still prefer going to the store. I just wish that the shopper in the family went alone instead of dragging husband/wife/ child’s along. Gets too crowded in the aisles. Never liked it when there was no virus. Now it’s worse. They gotta handle everything and then put it back and try again. Hey get in get out and get home. I guess I’m too cheap to pay someone to shop for me and I get to seize bargains that I hadn’t thought of. My daughter got laid off and she’s doing shopping for intacart. Making decent money. Glad for her and she loves shopping anyway.

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