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Sunday July 12, 2020

Savvy Living

Savvy Senior

Grocery and Meal Service Delivery Options for Sheltering in Place

Can you recommend some good grocery and/or meal service delivery options? My 78-year-old mother has always shopped for herself, but since the coronavirus pandemic hit, the grocery store shelves are always half empty, and she's getting more fearful of leaving the house.

There are numerous grocery and meal service delivery options available to help seniors stay safe at home during this pandemic. The services available to your mom will depend on her location and budget. You should be aware that demand for many grocery and meal delivery services are overwhelmed right now, so some services in your mom's area may be greatly delayed or temporarily unavailable. That said, here are some good options to consider.

Grocery Delivery Services


Today, there are a variety of websites and apps that allow you or your mom to shop for groceries and other household goods without having to go inside a store.

Most of these services offer memberships (usually around $100/year), which will get you or your mom free deliveries on orders over $30 or $35. Or, the service will charge a flat delivery fee, which typically costs around $8 to $10.

Depending on where your mom lives there are grocery delivery services like Instacart and Shipt. These companies work with a wide variety of grocery retailers, including national and local chains widely available throughout the U.S. They use shoppers to pick up orders in stores and deliver them to you.

You may want to check Walmart's online grocery delivery or pick-up service, which is available in hundreds of locations across the United States. Amazon Prime now offers services in many U.S. cities. Peapod is available in 24 metro markets. FreshDirect serves the New York, Philadelphia, Washington D.C. areas and a few other select cities in the northeast.

Meal Delivery Services


If your mom still enjoys cooking, another convenient option is a meal kit delivery service such as Home Chef, Sun Basket or HelloFresh.

Meal kits are subscription-based services that will send your mom a box containing fresh, pre-portioned ingredient items for that kit's recipe. She will need to combine the ingredients (some chopping, and slicing may be required) and cook it. Most meal kit services run between $8 and $12 per meal.

If your mom wants a break from cooking, a great alternative is to set her up with a ready-made meal delivery service like Mom's Meals or Silver Cuisine. These companies, which cater to older adults, offer a wide variety of healthy and fully prepared meal choices that you can just heat and eat. They offer a host of dietary options that can accommodate those managing conditions such as diabetes or for those needing heart-friendly or lower-sodium meal options.

Mom's Meals, which run $7 per meal plus delivery, arrives fresh and will last up to 14 days in the refrigerator. Silver Cuisine meals are delivered frozen and cost $12 or $13 per meal.

You should also find out if there is a senior home delivery meal program in your mom's area. Most home-delivered meal programs across the U.S. deliver hot meals daily or several times a week, usually around the lunch hour, to seniors over age 60. Weekend meals, usually frozen, may also be available, along with special dietary options (diabetic, low-sodium, kosher, etc.). Most of these programs typically charge a small fee (usually between $2 and $6) or request a donation, while some may be free to low-income seniors.

Savvy Living is written by Jim Miller, a regular contributor to the NBC Today Show and author of "The Savvy Living" book. Any links in this article are offered as a service and there is no endorsement of any product. These articles are offered as a helpful and informative service to our friends and may not always reflect this organization's official position on some topics. Jim invites you to send your senior questions to: Savvy Living, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070.

Published May 15, 2020
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