Someone buying groceries on a phone

Get Groceries Without Going To The Grocery Store

At the beginning of the pandemic, I stopped going to the grocery store. I was anxious about dealing with panic buyers and trying to stock up on food when there were so many shortages going on. I decided that my best option was to try to order my food through a delivery service, an online marketplace, or pick it up at a local farm store or grocery store.

Since COVID-19 cases are currently rising in my area, I thought it would be prudent to share different ways to get groceries without actually shopping in-store. If you have type 2 diabetes and possible comorbidities, it might feel safer for you to avoid a trip to the grocery store and shop online. These options in the article minimize contact with other people or are completely contactless.

How to grocery shop without going inside a store

I love supporting local farmers as much as I can. I find that the produce I get from them is much fresher and flavorful than grocery store fruits and veggies. Here are a few ways you can shop local without actually going inside a store.


I did not use this option this year, but I wish I did! Typically you sign up for a season of weekly produce boxes. You can likely find a way to sign up for a CSA box by typing into your internet search engine "CSA box [the city or area you live in]". If you are familiar with any farms, you can also call and ask if they participate in CSA boxes.


There was a small farm stop just a few miles from my house that was offering local delivery. They had an online ordering site that was very user friendly and delivered a few times a week. I used this option to order 1 box of fresh local produce throughout the week. Farmstand or farm stops are also typically outside and less crowded than a grocery store.

Farmer's market 

Some farmer's markets are now open again. The one closest to my house is open, and only allows a certain number of people in at a time. Masks are required and it is outdoors, so I feel comfortable going early in the morning before a crowd comes. You might even be able to preorder a box of farmer's market produce and local goods to be picked up the morning of the market and avoid interacting with too many people.

Pickup at a grocery store

To replace my regular grocery shopping trips, ordering ahead and doing a pickup at my local grocery store was the easiest and best option. There are certain bulk and pantry goods I could not get from local farms or CSA boxes, so this option filled that void. Some grocery stores have an online ordering system, others might require you to place a phone call to fulfill an order. Once you have ordered, you drive to the grocery store and park in the designated "Curbside pickup" parking spot. An employee comes outside and puts your groceries into your trunk for you.

A few popular chains that appear to offer curbside pickup:

  • Kroger
  • Aldi
  • Sam's Club
  • Safeway
  • Target
  • Walmart

Delivery services

Depending on where you live, there are many third-party delivery services that can do your grocery shopping for you. I tried it a few times, and I have to say the service was a bit pricey with all of the add on fees. Additionally, each order I placed through the delivery service ended up being not exactly what I wanted. Here are a few that might be available in your area.

  • Instacart
  • Postmates
  • Mercato
  • Amazon Fresh

Online marketplaces

This was a great option to restock on specialty items, dried pantry goods, and snacks. These sites do not have refrigerated goods or fresh produce, but I ordered products like dried fruit, nuts, tea, snack foods, baking mixes, flour, and supplements.

Thrive market

This site requires you to have a paid membership to use it. I believe the membership cost $60 for a year, and I was very hesitant about this. However, you are able to try a free month-long trial of the membership, and if you do purchase a membership, Thrive Market gives a free membership to a family in need.

After placing a couple of orders through the website, I realized I was saving a good chunk of money on products I normally buy. Thrive Market has almond flour, coconut flour, healthy snacks, tea, and natural beauty products that I use for a discounted price. On top of this, Thrive Market frequently has deals where if you place an order on a certain day, they include free products with your purchase.


I like this site for ordering vitamins, supplements, and tea. It is very affordable, and often cheaper than grocery stores or health food stores for these particular things.

This website is excellent for ordering dried foods in bulk. It has an extensive selection of nuts, nut butters, dried fruit, trail mix, and other snack foods.


These are the options I found helpful when I decided I didn't want to go into a grocery store or minimize my contact with people outside of my household. If your local grocery store doesn't offer any sort of curbside pick-up or delivery service, it might be worth asking if they can do anything to help accommodate your needs. We would love to hear how you have obtained your groceries this year!

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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