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Groceries to Go

Adele Zagofsky is enjoying retirement by developing a garden of many colors for many palettes.

I likely knew that our weekly groceries could be ordered online, but I never considered it. After all, would I want someone else to pick out my veggies? Would they check that the can was not dented? Would they check that all the eggs were intact?

Our daughter now shops weekly for us, but we miss shopping. So, we've tried ordering online and the answer to all those questions above is yes. We've ordered online from Sprouts, and picked up the order in the parking lot. As we pulled into a specially marked spot, Al asked if I should call and let them know we had arrived. I said, 'No, they are waiting for you to open the trunk'. He was shocked. I had clicked in the app 'on your way'. I suspect with location services enabled they saw when we arrived.

We've ordered similarly with Target and Raley's. We've also used the Costco "same day" delivery, where we order online and it is delivered to our home that day. Overall, it has been an excellent experience. Although, on one order, Al found the Chinese eggplant too large and the Italian eggplant too small. There is an area for comments, so I guess I can request a relatively small Chinese eggplant and a relatively large Italian eggplant next time!

The costs of these services vary. With Target, the prices were the same as in the store. The pickup service is available on many items, but does not include any perishable items. And while many items were available for pickup, some were not stocked at my local store and some were stocked, but not available for pickup. There was a $1.00 bag charge.

As a Costco member, "Costco same day delivery," has no extra charges, except for an optional tip. The minimum order is $35. However, the prices per item on the web site are higher than the prices in the store. You need to know your prices well to know the cost. For a couple of my items, the price was one dollar more.


With Sprouts, I believe the prices were the same, but there was a $1.99 charge for the pickup. Raley's doesn't charge for the first three orders. After that, there is a $5.95 charge for any order under $100.

Another option is same day delivery to your house from many local supermarkets. Many use 'Instacart'. Typically, there is a 9.99 charge with optional tipping. Becoming a yearly member, at about $100, changes the pricing system. I did not study the details. While Costco same day delivery also uses Instacart, their pricing model for members differs, as explained above.

Other than any extra costs, the only negative, is if the item you have chosen is not in stock. Some web sites accurately indicate an item is out of stock at the time of the order. But the situation can change.

Typically, when ordering, a substitute for each item can be designated if wanted. This worked well for me except, once I ordered 2 units of ¼ lb. green beans. My shopper texted me the green beans were out of stock and asked if I wanted a 8 oz. package of fresh green beans. I said yes. I got 2 packages of green beans. Mmm, one for each of the two quarter pound units I had ordered! Another time I thought I ordered 2 beets. I got 2 bunches of beets. So, we ate more beans and beets.

Of course, shopping online isn't quite the same fun. No examining new items. No chatting with fellow shoppers. However, I doubt people are extending their shopping experience to browse these days, nor chat with fellow shoppers. And you can learn to browse online, and look at new products. All and all, we are eating well—with little impulse buying!

When this pandemic is behind us, I do hope to shop again. But for now, groceries to go may be a reasonable option for now or for when the situation arises.

~ Adele Zagofsky






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