How to Shop Without Standing Up

Artwork: Elizabeth D’Angelo

Seventeen ways to get groceries and supplies without standing up.

“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”

Amazon Fresh delivers to your door.”

“In some areas Prime Now will deliver groceries and other items in two hours. I used it a fair amount. If you have Amazon Prime yearly membership it is a good option. Update: Amazon Prime now gives a small discount on the price of membership for customers on Food Stamps.”

“My friend used the online pharmacy pill pack for ordering meds. He liked them so much, he went to work for them.”

“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.”

“I use Thrive Market for online groceries. As far as I know, they do not accept food stamps, but membership is free if you are low income.”

Instacart is an online grocery delivery service that can get your groceries to you within a few hours. Please see Tulip’s story below on how she uses Instacart.

Some Costco stores will provide you with someone to load your cart and shop for you! See Sunflower’s story below.

Peapod is a good service for grocery delivery, but you have to be up to answering the door or dealing with big crates if you have unattended delivery. But still a good option.”

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

“Kroger and related supermarkets have Clicklist, which you used to have to pick up (they bring your stuff out to you!), but now they are delivering, at least in my city. The fee is $12″

“HyVee grocery stores do online ordering, delivery, and will even bring the stuff inside.”

All states have caregiver programs, which are usually free. In some states, this service includes shopping. The criteria for qualifying is different in every state. Learn more: How To Be Homebound

Food Stamps

The following stores accept EBT food stamps or SNAP for home delivery:

Safeway – If you are a person with a disability who uses EBT benefits and needs to use Safeway’s home grocery delivery service because of disability, please call 1-877-505-4040 or email us at:

USDA – Is starting a pilot program to accept food stamps for delivered items. It will likely expand nationwide. In 2018, the starting states will be: Alabama, Iowa, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Washington

Schwann’s – Accepts SNAP food stamps for home deliveries.

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.

Tulip Shops with Instacart

Instacart has been a game changer for me for grocery delivery. Same day delivery – even within 2 hours most of the time. You can request that the groceries be left on your porch.

I can stay independent when it comes to shopping. I hate having to ask my husband. I really feel like it’s a burden to him (and also not feel like a child asking for things). Plus I’m more likely to get what I want with Instacart!  Instacart does make mistakes sometimes, but the mistakes are few and they are really good about making it right with re-deliveries or refunds.

I’ve learned two more helpful things about it, which I wanted to share:

One: you can elect to “waive” the service fee you’re charged as you check out. This is 10% of the order and you can waive it by clicking on “service change/edit” on the screen just before you place the order. The service fee does not go to the person who shops for you – it goes to the company. You can uncheck the service fee, and instead check the box to give a tip.

Two: I learned the hard way: if you ever have to call them, use the number they have on file for you. I had to call and used my landline instead of my cell – I was on hold for an hour! The customer service rep told me that their system recognizes and expedites calls when they’re from the phone numbers registered on accounts – if I’d used my cell, it would’ve gone to the top of the queue.

More notes on instacart: Be aware that Instacart charges above store prices in some cases (for example: regular store prices at Whole Foods, 15% increase in store prices at Costco).


Updated June 2017. Please comment below with stories, questions, input or ideas. Please let us know if any links on this page stop working.

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