Grocery shopping: making the chore easier

Grocery shopping: making the chore easier – includes grocery shopping tips

Shelley Peterman Schwarz

Frigid temperatures, blustery winds, snow, and ice can make getting out to the grocery store a difficult chore even for the heartiest of souls. For those of us with MS, grocery shopping can seem an impossible task altogether. Don’t lose heart. There are a number of ways you can get the job done, including some that don’t even require that you leave home.

Home delivery

Many neighborhood grocery stores and co-ops will provide home-delivery service within a day or two of a customer call-in. Some stores charge a flat fee, while others require a minimum order. Chain stores and large warehouse-type grocery stores rarely deliver, but they often have the names and phone numbers of services that do. Some grocery stores will collect a few groceries for you if you send a taxi to pick them up. Customers work out payment for the groceries with the store and the taxi service.

Catalog shopping

The Harvest America[TM] Grocery Catalog (P.O. Box 551, Cornwall, NY 12518 914-562-1171, FAX 914-562-1296) is a national grocery-delivery service that provides discount prices on brand-name groceries, and free shipping anywhere in the continental United States. For an annual subscription fee, you receive a catalog listing nearly 5,000 nonperishable items, including vitamins and health foods.

Harvest America sells items at cost. You don’t have to buy in bulk. You can use coupons and can charge all your purchases to MasterCard or VISA. They offer a full refund if you cancel your subscription within thirty days.

Visiting a store

Store managers are often willing to assist customers with special needs.

If you drive to the grocery store, but don’t feel up to the task of shopping, ask the store manager if an employee could collect a few essential items and bring them to your car at a designated pickup time.

If you’re afraid to walk unassisted from your car to the store through a slippery parking lot, some stores will let an employee help you. Others will allow you to pull up to the front door and have an employee park your car.

Contacting the service desk

A growing number of grocery stores provide three-wheeled battery-operated scooters. They are usually available on a first-come, first-served basis by contacting the service desk. Some stores also offer special grocery carts for people who use wheelchairs.

If you have a request for any special services, be sure to call ahead to make arrangements, and try to avoid weekends, pre-holiday times, and double-coupon days when stores are more likely to be crowded.

Additional suggestions

Your local chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society can connect you with community resources, such as accessible transportation services and volunteer programs. In some communities, volunteers will take you shopping; in others, they will do your shopping for you. If someone else shops for you, specify exactly what products you want, including the brand name, size, quantity, and type.

You might also ask your local chapter about free or reduced-fee snow shoveling for people who could get out to do their shopping if the snow were shoveled.

COPYRIGHT 1994 National Multiple Sclerosis Society

COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group