groceries in baskets and displays in store

Grocery Shopping 

Grocery shopping is a problem for a lot of people, whether they have limited mobility, a visual impairment, or just lack transportation. If you can get to the grocery store and don't have your own wheels, shop at a grocery store that loans out motorized carts with a seat and large shopping basket. You may also request a store employee to walk around with you to reach items, and persons who are blind or visually impaired may get assistance locating their groceries.

If going grocery shopping for yourself is not an option, check into services at your local grocery store. Some Mom & Pop stores still shop and deliver to folks who are elderly or disabled. Find out what your store offers. Another great option is recruiting someone from your neighborhood. Call a high school or college employment office to place an ad. This is easy money for a responsible kid and the two of you will get better acquainted so he or she will learn your preferences thoroughly. Shopping services in your local phone directory are another option, but professional services can be expensive and groceries are expensive enough.

However, it's nice to have on-line shopping when you need it. Peapod delivers for a service fee depending on your zipcode. Peapod will deliver groceries to your door If you live in or around Chicago, Milwaukee, SE Wisconsin, Indianapolis, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Southern New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, Washington DC, Philadelphia, SE and Central Pennsylvania. Find out their fees and get answers to your questions on their website. They even accept coupons and double them up to $.99.

Here's another: Netgrocer. Netgrocer uses Fed Ex to deliver your groceries and so they deliver to all states. Their rates are based on the region in which you live. For example a $100 order may cost $10-$36 shipping fee. Their products include natural, organic and kosher foods, as well as packaged staples, produce, dairy, deli and frozen items.

Safeway offers grocery delivery with free delivery for the first order and same-day delivery if you order before 8:30. In most areas, home delivery rates are $9.95 on purchases of $150 or more and $12.95 under $150. There may also be a fuel surcharge and bag fees.

Target and Walmart deliver with limits on the products they will ship.  Schwan's categrizes its items by special diets: no sugar added, no gluten, vegetarian, heart healthy, low sodium and low calorie. Schwan's charges $15 for orders under $50 and $20 for orders over $100. 


Resource for Blind or Visually-Impaired Shoppers

A talking bar code scanner makes shopping easier or even possible for persons with vision loss.  En-Vision America, Inc. carries products that use text-to-speech, a camera and wireless internet to aid in the identification of items with bar codes or UPCs. You can even label your items at home for easy identification. Vis-Ability carries the ScanTalker 2.0 for the PAC Mate  Whoever imagined bar codes would facilitate assistive technology? Apps for mobile devices can be a bit tricky since the user needs to capture the barcode within a small window and have wireless access to the Internet. One such app is IDEAL Item Identifier for Android devices.

Note Teller II by Brytech, Incis a small, pocket-sized, talking scanner that announces denominations of paper currency, so you can be sure you're giving and receiving the correct amounts. Older Note Tellers are upgradeable to recognize newer notes.  Note Teller II includes a standard headphone jack for privacy. Available through their distributors like Enablemart.  Brytech also offers a Canadian Note Reader availble through the Bank of Canada, 1-800.563.2642, X7005. 

Two apps, IDEAL Currency Identifier for Android and LookTel MoneyReader for iOS are reported to work well at currency identification without the need for internet.