Many people are trying to have groceries delivered rather than risk virus exposure at crowded grocery stores. We recommend doing this, if you feel at risk of infection.
Hopes can seem squashed when trying to check-out online, only to find an impenetrable wall saying, "no delivery times available."
Grocery delivery services have expanded their schedules and staff, but are still busy because of the Covid-19 crisis.
Keep a bunch of groceries in your cart, and reload the checkout page every so often until delivery spots become available. This method worked for us, and we hope others with some patience and persistence can also have similar success with grocery delivery services.
Available delivery times vary by location and chosen grocery store, but our area seems to open delivery times in the morning hours. Load up your cart and re-try the checkout when you wake up the next day. If none are available by the afternoon, try again the next morning.
Instacart allows adding items after your order has been placed, so you can modify and grow your order as much as you like, after placing the order. They will adjust your shopping total on the fly, and you will only pay for items that end up being delivered.
Instacart has an excellent UX, providing easy shopping and choosing replacement items.
Delivery times seem to disappear fast, and new ones seem to open at random times throughout the day. We reloaded one checkout page at 10:30pm and found they just posted lots of delivery slots. Orders cannot change once placed, but can be cancelled if the shopper has not yet started filling your order.
Delivery times seem to open in the morning hours. Fill your cart and retry your checkout in the morning. Your shopper will do live instant messaging with you, so you can pick replacements of items sold-out. For example, if organic cucumbers are sold-out, you can message the shopper to pick an alternative item like maybe non-organic cucumbers.
Note that many items may be sold out, despite being in-stock at the time you placed your order. This means your delivered order may be a bit smaller than you had hoped, and you will only be charged for items delivered to your door.
Shipt and FreshDirect:
We have not had experience with them, but the same rules may apply. Keep re-trying the checkout at various times throughout the day until delivery slots open.
When considering how much to tip your delivery person, consider their effort and risk to get your groceries.
Some grocery stores also provide curbside pickup options. Google for your local grocery store to find shopping options.
When bringing groceries into the house, consider wiping down all items, as shown in this video. Knowing how to navigate this tough time can make the time go by quicker, and help protect the health of yourself and others.