Imperfect Foods: an imperfect answer to Covid-19 grocery delivery

Two months after we began staying home, you would think home grocery delivery options would have improved. They had major problems when I first wrote about home delivery. But I just tried Imperfect Foods hoping it would be more reliable. Sadly, it was not and I ended my subscription after only one delivery.

The concept behind Imperfect is a worthy one — to use produce that might not look the best but is perfectly edible, preventing it from going to waste. Demand for it was so high in April, when my daughter told me she uses it, that I could not open an account until May. When I did, though, I found it’s having the same problems larger food retailers are.

My Imperfect Foods box really was imperfect — arriving a day late

It also had a problem I hadn’t encountered before — it simply couldn’t deliver anywhere near when it promised. It originally gave me an eight-hour delivery window — from noon to 8 p.m. In normal times, that would have been unacceptably long to me, but these days I have nowhere to go so I accepted it.

But when 8 p.m. and then 9 p.m. came and went on delivery day without any food, I emailed to find out how late I would need to stay up for my delivery. The answer — it wasn’t coming until the next day, with another eight-hour delivery window. Lucky I wasn’t counting on that delivery to make my dinner the night it didn’t come.

The next day, as time passed I wondered what was happening — until I received an email saying it would be yet another day before my delivery arrived. A delivery two days late is unacceptable to me, especially because I had ordered a meat and seafood add-on to my veggies and wondered where those all were sitting for two days. Continue reading “Imperfect Foods: an imperfect answer to Covid-19 grocery delivery”

Grocery delivery in a pandemic — Forget deals or disinfectants

I wrote yesterday about how difficult it’s been to get groceries delivered during the Covid-19 pandemic. Getting a time slot is next to impossible on all the major food store apps like Tagret, Walmart and major supermarket chains.

If you do finally get a time slot, it will likely be a week away from when you order. And the second thing to know is you’ll spend a lot more than you normally would. I’m usually a deal shopper — each week I’ll go to three or four stores to get the best prices on everything I need.

This was what awaited me at a recent senior shopping hour at a local supermarket — packed aisles and endless checkout lines.

That’s impossible now. Some apps do list “Deals” but you’ll find when you click on those, the items are often gone, listed as out of stock.

And forget finding any type of disinfectant for your hands or dishes. Those are universally sold out. Search for disinfectant wipes or anti-bacterial soap and the only things that pop up are toilet bowl cleaners.

Apparently Americans are hording toilet paper but not cleaning their toilets, which is a scary picture.

All the food apps also have minimum spend amounts for delivery, or some for free delivery (some charge even when you get the minimum dollar amount of products). That means you can’t use online shopping to grab one or two things you may have run out of or have a taste for.

So approach online shopping like you would shopping during time of war — expect scarcity, expect to spend up to twice what you normally would, take what you can get to prepare decent meals, and be prepared to wait days or weeks to get your groceries.

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