If you’re looking to avoid the grocery store aisles, whether for safety or simplicity, there are a variety of programs and platforms available to you. These options will bring delicious food options right to your door. For older adults, online grocery shopping can be the perfect opportunity to eat fresh and healthy. Plus, there is no need to leave the comfort of your home. Grocery shopping for seniors doesn’t have to be complicated; when you find the right service, meal-planning will become the easiest thing on your to-do list.

Understanding Your Options

Depending on your comfort level with technology, the availability of programs in your area and food preferences, you’ll want to pick a system that meets your individual needs. Luckily, there are three basic types of online grocery shopping options for you to explore. Below, you’ll find a quick overview of each type and what to expect in the ordering process:

Option 1: Curbside Pick-Up

If you or a family member have access to a vehicle, many grocery stores offer online ordering and curbside grocery pickup. While each process may differ slightly, most will prompt you to select your grocery order, pay online, schedule a pick-up time and confirm a pick-up address. At your designated time, drive to the store and proceed to the curbside pick-up parking area. A member of the store team will then deliver the groceries directly to your car.

To ensure this process goes smoothly, remember to double-check your store address and time; if there are multiple store locations in your area, it can be easy to confuse or misread the details. Contact your local grocer to understand their specific curbside pick-up policies.

Option 2: Grocery Delivery

Similar to the curbside pick-up, grocery providers allow you to select your groceries online and have them delivered right to your front door! Many of these services will offer same-day delivery, but depending on surge times, can also arrive the following day. The minimum purchase price and delivery cost can vary per platform. So, it’s important to do your research ahead of time to understand the associated fees for this service. For discounts and extra savings, many grocery delivery services will offer a membership account to its users.

When selecting a grocery delivery option, you’ll want to consider the following criteria:

  • Minimum order: how much money am I required to spend each time I use this service?
  • Membership requirements: am I required to join a membership program, or is it optional? Does the membership program provide additional savings?
  • Delivery fee: what is the standard delivery fee? Does the fee fluctuate based on my location?
  • Delivery time: how soon will the groceries arrive, and can I schedule a specific drop-off time?

To begin your search to find the perfect match, we recommend starting with this article of the “10 Best Grocery Delivery Services to Use in 2020” to narrow your option pool.

Option 3: Meal Delivery

For a quicker solution, consider investing in a meal delivery service to reduce the amount of planning time required for your meals. Meal delivery services come in two varieties: meal kits and ready-made. Each of them offers a different value for their price:

  • Meal kits: popular for their fresh meal options, meal kit delivery services send you pre-planned menus and the required groceries to make them each week. Many of these recipes are simple, healthy and quick, taking no more than 30 to 45 minutes to make with minimal dishes required. Box deliveries can be scheduled to arrive according to your individual needs.
  • Ready-made: popular apps like DoorDash, GrubHub, Postmates and Uber Eats make ordering from your favorite restaurants easy. Simply enter your address, select a restaurant and your order, then hit purchase and a delivery driver will bring it to your door.

Safety Do’s and Don’ts

As always, it’s important to remember when grocery shopping for seniors to only use reputable services. Also, maintain a safe distance from any delivery employees. Investing in a senior grocery shopping service will take out the stress of getting to the store and bring the food right to your kitchen. Now, all you have to do is eat!