As a child in the 60s, I recall spending many days in that big house at 1215 W. 3rd street with my aunt and uncle and their many foster children I still call my cousins. Neither of them drove and we ate three home cooked meals every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Needless to say, we consumed a lot of food.
I also recall the Ford Country Squire station wagon with the fake woodgrain on the sides that delivered the groceries every week mainly because all of us kids were tasked with bringing the multiple brown paper bags in the house, emptying the bags, folding the bags, and putting them neatly away.
I hated going to the grocery store with my mother. I couldn’t understand why she wouldn’t have groceries delivered to our house like her sister did. So, one day I got up the nerve to ask my mother if she’d consider it. She probably wanted to bop me on the head for asking, but she kindly told me that she preferred to see the items she purchased for the home.
Of course, I couldn’t wait to run back to auntie to tell her what her sister said. She explained that the items she had delivered were regular everyday staples like canned and boxed goods, laundry detergent and soap, and bags of fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables she trusted her shopper would carefully select. She reminded me that my dad brought her the gallons of milk we drank and how every few months they’d get a ride to the butcher to stock up on meats.
Of course, I couldn’t wait to run back to my mom to tell her what her sister said. She probably wanted to bop me on the head but in a not so kind voice she told me to get in the car because we’re going to A&P. I kinda figured that would be the end of that discussion.
Fast forward to 2020 and grocery delivery is in vogue thanks to the Internet, the gig economy, UPS and people who think like my aunt and uncle.
Ellen Gray wrote an interesting piece in the Philadelphia Inquirer asking is it worth getting groceries delivered as she shared some of the very arguments made by my mother and aunt along with profiling the type of person who is having groceries delivered today.
She says that 6% of us buy our groceries online more than once a month but I’m sure that doesn’t factor in the millions who purchase at least a few items online in lieu of adding them to their shopping cart in the stores like toilet paper and paper towels, soaps, razors, spices, diapers, etc.
Read her article if you’d like to compare the costs and other details involved in shopping for groceries from Amazon, FreshDirect, Instacart, Peapod, Philly Foodworks, and ShipT (I had no idea there were so many). Each one fills a particular niche for the various type of needs you have as a shopper as well as different fees and membership options.
Two things are rather certain if you plan to get into the big time grocery delivery game, you’ll need a credit/debit card and the internet or smartphone. Those little details disqualify many people who probably could benefit most from a food delivery service. If you are poor, living in an area without a grocery store nearby, and don’t have a car, chances are grocery delivery by these services won’t work for you. I didn’t read in any of Ellen’s descriptions where any of companies will take EBT cards as a form of payment.
In Chester, there’s a Cousins Fresh Market that delivers within Chester for free. You have to have at least a $60 order and they take your payment at the door. They do take cash, credit/debit, and EBT. Call 484.483.2500 and put in your order if you’d like to shop like my aunt.