As cases of the novel coronavirus continue to spread through Western Washington, more state and local officials are advising residents to stay home, work remotely and avoid large crowds. That means that many people are turning to e-commerce delivery to order groceries and other supplies.
While canned goods and frozen foods will last long enough, here are a few options for grocery delivery services for those who are craving fresh produce and want to avoid crowds. (Make sure to tip your driver, if tips are accepted: The outbreak has posed challenges for the gig-economy employees who generally make these deliveries, and who often don’t have sick time or health-insurance benefits.)
Instacart, a San Francisco-based startup, offers same-day grocery delivery and lets shoppers pick which stores they want to buy from. Options include several major and local grocery stores, including Safeway, PCC Community Markets, QFC, Costco, Fred Meyer, Metropolitan Market and Uwajimaya. Note: All stores require you to spend a minimum of $10.
Instacart allows you to order groceries day-of, or schedule your deliveries a few days in advance — just select which foods you want to add to your cart and schedule a delivery. Delivery costs $7.99 (not including service fee and tip), or $3.99 when you spend $35 or more.
An added bonus (keeping the virus in mind): The company recently rolled out a new feature called “Leave at My Door Delivery,” which eliminates in-person handoffs.
AmazonFresh operates mainly through Whole Foods Market and offers free two-hour delivery on orders over $35 to Amazon Prime members, although they say on their website that availability is now limited because of “increased demand.”
Washington customers with a valid SNAP EBT card also receive free access to the Fresh selection, even if they don’t have a Prime membership. Delivery fees, which apply to one-hour deliveries or hauls under $35, cost $4.99.
Safeway will also deliver bags of groceries to your door within an hour. One-hour delivery costs $9.95, two-hour delivery costs $6.95 and if you check a box that gives the store a four-hour window to get to your home, there’s no delivery charge.
Groceries can be carried into your home if needed, according to the store’s website.
There is an additional service fee of $3.95, and the supermarket requires you to spend at least $30 per order. On your first online order, delivery is free and you can get $20 off — but Safeway notes this only applies on purchases of $75 or more.
And Fred Meyer is another option in the Northwest. The supermarket can deliver fresh produce to your door for $5.95, plus a $6 service fee, in under an hour — or at whatever time you want, the website says. Because of high demand, the store is now limiting the number of sanitation, cold and flu-related products to five per order.