How to Shop Without Standing Up

Art: Robin Mead

For people who are homebound or have difficulty leaving the house. Seventeen ways to get groceries and supplies without standing up.

Food Stamps

🌷 Most services on this page do not accept SNAP food stamps. If you have Food Stamps, please check out this page instead: How to Get Groceries Delivered with SNAP

Grocery Delivery

Delivery prices vary quite a lot. Check as many places as you can:

🌷 Peapod grocery delivery

🌷 Amazon Fresh grocery delivery

🌷 Clicklist grocery delivery

🌷 Thrive Market online groceries.

🌷 Imperfect – ugly produce for less money.

🌷 HyVee grocery delivery

🌷 Instacart grocery delivery

🌷 Shoprite offers pickup or home delivery

🌷 Prime Now grocery delivery. Membership discount for customers on Food Stamps or Medicaid.

🌷 Community Supported Agriculture programs provide healthy, high quality produce while supporting sustainable farmers and local farms. They may have drop off points at your house or in your area. If they don’t deliver to your door, contact them and let them know you are homebound and ask if it is possible.

🌷 US Wellness Meats pastured meats delivery. I found that eating fully pastured meats helped me feel better than eating stuff from the grocery store. I used  for several years. If I timed my order right I would get my meat on the weeks that they offered a 15% discount.”


🌷 Pill pack pharmacy delivery

🌷 Zenni glasses delivery. (super cheap!)


🌷 Meals on Wheels and other home meal services are available in many areas. In some areas it is only for seniors, but in many places they will accept someone who is disabled or homebound that is any age. Dial “211” on your phone to ask for programs in your area.

🌷 In some cases, you can apply for a state home aide program which may be able to provide free assistance with shopping plus, many, many other services. You may qualify if you need help with bathing, dressing, feeding and/or mobility. If a friend or family member is already helping you with these type of activities, you can still qualify. 

🌷 If you need just groceries and household help (no personal care): In California, you can apply for IHSS. In other states, this kind of program is not available in most areas. Contact your local Area Agency on Aging. Call them even if you are young. Ask them if they know of any assistance for: transportation to grocery stores, home aides who can shop for you, local volunteer programs that help people who are low-income or disabled, any other ideas for groceries.

🌷 If you make a personal request, some grocery stores, supermarkets, or health food stores may be willing to shop for you and deliver, or may be willing to shop and leave the food at the front, so a friend with your food stamps card just needs to pick up the bag. Try calling or writing every store in your area with a personal letter explaining if you are homebound. 

🌷 If you are currently in a state home aide program that sends an aide through an agency, they may not allow the aide to handle your money or food stamps card. If this happens, ask if you can switch to a program with self-directed care, so that you can select and hire anyone you want to be your aide (friend, neighbor, family, etc). The state will pay the salary.

🌷 If you problem is transportation, look into paratransit programs. In many areas these will provide door-to-door transportation to take you to the store.


🌷 “I moved to a rural area far away from any big stores. My mom called the small local grocery store and told them I was homebound. They agreed to let me order all my groceries over the phone and someone delivered them each week.”

🌷 “I contacted a company that provided bulk items to food co-ops. Every three months, they drive a truck up to my door and bring me a huge supply of food. I bought a small extra freezer to store it all. The food is all high quality and organic. Because I buy in bulk it is very cheap and delivery is free. I live in a remote rural area and they still drive right up to my house”

🌷 “I found one supermarket who will deliver and actually bring groceries into the house and unpack them. I’m not aware of another supermarket who will do that. Call or email your local stores and ask what is possible.”

🌷 “Even if you are young, you may be able to get into a meals-on-wheels programs that will deliver meals to your home. They are free or low-cost. These programs are not just for seniors. Trying calling your local Area Agency on Aging and tell them you are disabled.”

🌷 “In my area, all supermarkets and many other big stores have electric carts you can sit in and use while shopping. I could not shop without these. There is one supermarket that will bring an electric cart out to your car and have a bagger help you while shopping in the store. Call or email your local stores to ask.”

Sunflower Gets Help at Costco

I found out something amazingly cool today. If you tell the person at the door checking membership at Costco that you need assistance, they’ll get an employee to help you shop and then load your purchases into your car for you. Employees will actually load stuff into your cart for you while you shop.

An employee told me that they even like doing this because it’s a nice change of pace and they also like making sure members are happy and feeling well cared for. You can even call ahead and let them know that you need someone to help you shop and they’ll even have someone waiting at the door to help you.

Learn More

How To Be Homebound

Updated January 2018. Please comment below with stories, ideas, questions or suggestions. Please let us know if any links on this page stop working. If you found this page helpful, please share it with others by pressing one of these magic little buttons: 

2 thoughts on “How to Shop Without Standing Up”

  1. These articles have already been pretty helpful, and I appreciate that. Because of one of them I learned that I could have food stamps and my son could have his own case. Doing it that way really helped.


  2. I agree that many stores have electric scooter(s) near the front and you can also ask store staff to help you load the basket in the front. For example, Trader Joe’s, Costco, and some Safeways have this: call your local store ahead of time to check and ask for help.

    Don’t be embarrassed about asking for help. I have had a few times when staff look skeptical since I am young-looking even for my older age. I tell them I have a chronic illness (no need for details or your life story) and most actually feel bad and try to say something sympathetic. for the most part, I get no looks or questions. People just accept I need help.


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