We’re all waiting to see what permanent changes the COVID-19 pandemic will bring about in our daily lives (handshakes, hugs, etc.). At least in the Albrecht house, after the worst of it subsides, regular, in-person trips to the grocery store may be a thing of the past.
Even before our home state of Washington was given a shelter-in-place order, we were pretty hardcore about our social distancing. I tried various online grocery shopping methods (to varying degrees of success), and have only been to the supermarket once because we ran out of milk (and even that trip out was filled with gloves and hand sanitizer).
Given that we don’t know how long this social distancing will last, this past week I explored all the online ways I could find to replace old habits. With the goal of maximizing social distancing and minimizing human contact, here’s what I signed up for.
- CrowdCow for proteins. I also looked at ButcherBox, but it wouldn’t ship until the end of April. CrowdCow will deliver this weekend. (Sidenote: I can’t wait till someone creates an alternative protein box subscription so I can subscribe to Beyond and Impossible plant-based meat.)
- Full Circle for fruit and veggies. I haven’t received a box yet, so I’m concerned about what will actually be in there (i.e., month after month of eggplant), but it has the bonus of also supporting farmers.
- Smith Brothers for milk, egg, yogurt and other staples.
- Amazon Subscribe and Save for my morning tea, and I’m considering one of the coffee subscriptions Catherine wrote about to keep whole beans coming to the house (and maybe some sort of booze club, depending on how long we’re all cooped up).
- And I’ll still use Walmart online for curbside pickup of last minute items or cleaning supplies.
What’s missing from this list is meal kits, which are also seeing a bit of COVID-induced resurgence. I dabbled in meal kits a bunch of years back when Blue Apron was first coming on the scene. I didn’t like all the work it took then and I’m not thrilled about the prospect now, so I’m skipping those altogether.
All these mail order boxes aren’t just about replacing trips to the grocery store. They also help maintain a pipeline of food in the house. Knowing that each week/month a box will arrive with what we need gives me one less thing to worry about in a world filled with plenty of other things to worry about. (Granted, society could break down altogether, but I can cross that bridge when I get to it.)
Ordering food online by subscription isn’t new or rocket science, and perhaps I’m overreacting to any potential dangers lurking at the supermarket. But some of these services are ones I’ve been eyeing for awhile; the coronavirus just nudged me into action. For instance, we still eat meat, and it will feel better to patronize smaller farms via CrowdCow. Same for the fruits and veggies.
Will my subscriptions to these boxes stick around once the outbreak abates? Who knows! At that point I’ll just be thankful there’s a world to emerge out into.