With the outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus, social distancing has made getting necessities from grocery stores and pharmacies more difficult. Thankfully, there are services and technologies available to bring them to you.

For most of us these innovations simply made life a little bit more convenient before, but now they are a key part of self-isolation which is believed to be integral in containing and mitigating the spread of COVID-19.

Because of the work of entrepreneurs across the country, if you need to stock up on essentials and medication, all you need is a computer or smartphone, and a credit card.

For example, while the big box stores like Target andWal-Mart have their own platforms, even regional chains like Publix, Meijer, and HEB partner with delivery services like Shipt, Instacart, Amazon Prime Now and several others to fulfill orders. Call or email your favorite local grocery store to learn what options are available in your area.

Most services do come with a membership fee ranging from $50-$100 a year, and encourage (or even require) tips for your shoppers. But many users find they save money because of the lack of impulse buying. It’s simply easier to stick to your list!

After you’ve found out if your favorite store provides delivery, either download their app or visit their website and sign up.

To download an app, visit:

  • For iPhones: The App Store
  • For Android and Google Phones: Google Play Store

Once you’ve downloaded your app or visited your selected service’s website of choice and signed up using a credit card you’re ready to shop.

On the app or website use the search function or browse their categories to build your virtual shopping cart using your grocery list as a guide.

After you’re done shopping, pick a window of time for when you’d like to get everything delivered, submit your order, and sit back and let your shopper do all the hard work for you.

If the store is out of something you wanted, your shopper may contact you to ask about a substitution. Remember that the availability in the app often doesn’t guarantee something will be available in the store, so patience and flexibility are just as important when shopping from home.

If you’ve elected to be contacted about a substitution, be prepared to answer your shopper’s questions via text or phone call to ensure you get everything you need in a timely way.

Thousands of prescriptions are also available to be delivered, but in this case the first step is to talk to your pharmacist about what options they offer. Many of the same companies that deliver groceries are also equipped to deliver non-controlled prescriptions and over-the-counter medications.

Bonus tip: if you work in an industry that has seen lay-offs due to COVID-19, many of these companies are actively hiring shoppers and customer service representatives to meet the new demand for grocery delivery.

For more information on how innovation drives human progress and wellbeing, follow Americans for Prosperity Foundation on Social Media…