Minimal Contact Shopping & Dining is Getting So Easy
There are so many reasons to tap into the alternative ways to get food, household items, pharmacy, pet items…just about anything delivered right to your home.
I have used some of their services, and some of them I have only read about. IF you choose to take my opinions and use any of these services, please read all the details, double-check the fees and available stores since things change all the time. The bottom line is to do what is right for you and what works for you.
Access and Payment: Most of these services are accessed with an app or through a website. So a little bit of computer confidence is needed to do this. I add this info because, for me, this is easy, but for… let's say my friend who I have been helping out during COVID-19…this would be more of a problem since he is not into that sort of thing. You also need a debit or credit card, and some store apps/websites even will take your EBT card. For example, your EBT can be used for Walmart delivery and your Instacart account. So…ya handy.
Mail: This is a no brainer. We have been able to get LOTS of stuff delivered to our homes by USPS, FedEx, or UPS. Most of the time, you use the website, app, or call them if they are set up for that sort of customer service. Nonperishables, prescriptions, clothes, gifts, just about anything. There are even some places that will do mail delivery of fruits and veggies.
Curbside pick-up: Most stores are doing a version of cube side pick up. Most big stores you shop on the website/app, and when the order is ready, you pull up to the pick-up to pick up area and let them know you are there for the pick-up. I have done this a Walmart and Sam's Club. Two big things make this a good choice; one…there are no additional fees since you are coming to them, and two…you get out of the house and take a little drive. Walgreens and CVS have long had drive-the pick-up for your prescriptions. For local businesses…most have been accommodating to pick-up orders. For that, I say call the local company you wish to shop from and ask how is the best way to do that. Local restaurants have been doing a killer job of making their foods ready to go for takeout. Let me just say 'YUMMY" on that.
Delivery: This is the delivery where someone brings the item from the store to your home. There is a lot for delivery available in central Maine…and it is growing, so check this out as an option. This is good for perishable foods as well as nonperishable items and other store items. Delivery comes typically with some sort of fee, but if you are using this regularly, most have a yearly flat fee; for example, for Walmart delivery, it is just under $100 a year as long as your order is at least $35. I have been using this for my friend who needs to stay out of stores for several reasons, which has been AMAZING. I have used Instacart a few times, and it was good. It works in much the same way as ordering through the app or website and paying a delivery fee. It is nice that you can add info when ordering on Instacart, like special instruction and pre-picking your replacement items. With Instacart Express, you can pay a flat yearly or monthly fee. Instacart is a little different since they use a bunch of different stores…Hannaford, Shaws, Target, CVS, Best Buy, Petco, Big Lots, Staples, and Bed Bath & Beyond. So ya..that covers a lot. DoorDash and Uber Eats are delivery services from restaurants and some stores. Again, there is a fee, and some areas even have a Dashpass flat fee on your delivery.
The bottom line is there are options. You can also reach out to your local senior center or 211Maine.com to find out what community-based assistance may be available to fit your needs.