Working Smart: Grocery Delivery and/or Pick Up

Living with a chronic illness requires one to work smart, to listen to one’s body, and to be flexible on a daily basis. Today, I am sharing my grocery shopping tips, tricks, and props.

I really must confess that my dislike, borderline hate, of the grocery store predates my heart transplant and while I’m no fan of the grocery store, I’m especially not a fan during cold and flu season. From grocery carts and baskets to the pin pad at the register, there is extraordinary potential for exposure to infection that quite honestly I, along with all of you, could live without. Most, thankfully, have the luxury of taking the risk for granted.

For me, however, actually walking into the grocery store, or any store, for that matter is a calculated risk. You see, much like a cancer patient with low counts, an infection is potentially a life-threatening situation for me because although my blood counts are normal, my immune system is suppressed to the point that I am more susceptible than others to catching an ‘everyday’ virus, so to speak.

Immune suppression is a ‘daily’ for me, a constant, a lifelong consideration as I will be taking anti-rejection medication for the rest of my life. That being said, I have a few supports to reduce the likelihood of my catching an infection.

Here we go!

My go-to when it comes to grocery shopping is THE best thing since pop rocks: grocery delivery and pick up services!

If you are immune compromised and/or short on energy because of a super LONG day at work, a chronic illness, have just given birth, are expecting houseguests, or anything other reason, then these services are for you: SERIOUSLY, people!


While I choose to use instacart, other options include:

Amazon PRIME, I am convinced PRIME is God’s gift to me. I mean, online ordering with 2-day delivery or Pick Up services at Amazon lockers with almost exclusively FREE returns.

I’ll save PRIME for another post so as not to overwhelm with all this awesomeness.

But, what does Instacart look like in real life?

  1. Meal Plan
  2. Make List
  3. Order Online: iPhone, iPad, Android, Laptop
  4. Specify Delivery or Pickup
  5. Send

It’s REALLY that simple!

I use the pickup service in case an item is missing it is easy enough to reconcile the error onsite versus if you are standing at the front door. I also get to specify what time I’d like to pick up so I can plan my route accordingly.

So, how does it work?

Personal shoppers have been specially trained to select excellent produce, handle fragile items accordingly, and pay attention to expiration dates. You also have the ability to communicate with them via the Instacart app. If a product is unavailable they will contact you about possible substitutions.

Pricing of Items:

I shop at Publix and the Instacart pricing is ever-so-slightly higher than If I shopped for myself; pricing is certainly not prohibitive or I wouldn’t use the service AND the benefit in terms of energy saved is priceless to me.

Some stores do not increase the price for the service, for more specifics, go to Instacart Pricing.

Delivery Fees: 

Depend on whether you spend less than or greater than $35 or purchase an annual membership. For more details, Click Here

Pickup Fees:

The cost of your gas and the time it takes you to pick them up. Essentially, you pull your vehicle into an Instacart parking space, call the number to let them know you are there to pick up, and an associate brings the groceries and loads them into the car for you. Loading the groceries for me is an attractive service given lifting restrictions post open heart surgery.

For me, grocery shopping sucks the life out of me; I avoid it at all cost even to the point of not cooking which is not conducive to healthy nutrition, so this is a WIN-WIN for me.

Working smart to conserve my energy and maintain my health and wellness!


PS Lest, you think I am a hermit; let me assure you I am not. I am simply selective. Trust me, you won’t find me passing on tickets to Maroon 5, Zac Brown Brown, or the Peach Bowl. I simply look for ways to minimize my risk, save my time, and conserve my energy for those things I REALLY want to do.

2 thoughts on “Working Smart: Grocery Delivery and/or Pick Up

    1. Thanks, Kathy! It is a game changer for those of us with chronic illnesses; one less thing to have on our plate on those really off days that we all have! ~Steph


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