Grocery Shopping Tips for Seniors

The joy of food is something shared by people across cultures, generations and nationalities. Not only does it bring pleasant aromas and tasty flavor combinations to our lives—it also provides the nutrients needed to keep us alive! For many, the path to a great meal starts with grocery shopping.

Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, grocery stores are becoming a lot busier, with an abundance of customers that need to stock up for the long haul. Because of this, the large crowds, dwindling supply of goods and fear of contracting the virus can cause a lot of anxiety around shopping. For seniors, traditional shopping may pose an even greater risk due to pre-existing conditions or weakened immune systems. Thankfully, there are many new grocery shopping innovations to take advantage of.

These are they top ways for seniors to acquire food and groceries during the COVID-19 crisis:

Seniors-Only Grocery Store Hours During Coronavirus

If you are looking to continue shopping in-store during these difficult times, many businesses are offering special hours for seniors, pregnant women and at-risk individuals. The goal of having special hours is to provide a time when stores are less crowded, which lowers the risk of disease transmission and cuts back on the chance that high-demand items get snatched up. The days and times of special store hours vary, and we recommend calling individual businesses near you to get specific details.

For a high-level overview of stores offering senior shopping hours during coronavirus, Snopes has the most comprehensive list.

Grocery Delivery Apps

Grocery delivery apps are incredibly useful tools that can be installed on your smartphone. Using these apps, you can search for and select the items you need, add them to a virtual cart, and then place your order—all from your fingertips. You can access most of these services through their websites as well.

These are the top grocery delivery apps for seniors:


Amazon offers a few different grocery delivery options within its app and on its website, each of which are available to members of Amazon Prime:

  • AmazonFresh offers a full range of grocery items that can be ordered through an easy-to-use interface. Deliveries are free for orders over $35, and orders are delivered within a one or two-hour window that you select.
  • Amazon Pantry works similarly to AmazonFresh, but it is limited specifically to non-perishable items. Its wide selection of pastas, soups, snacks, household items and more make it another convenient choice. Like AmazonFresh, deliveries over $35 are free.
  • Whole Foods Delivery is another shopping feature on Amazon, which is available exclusively to Prime members. It works similarly to the above two options, with the difference being that it includes items specifically found in Whole Foods stores. This is a great feature for shoppers who love the organic and healthy food options that Whole Foods has to offer.
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Amazon Delivery


Instacart is a convenient app that pairs you with a personal shopper to fulfill your order. It allows you to order from a variety of local stores, including liquor stores and pharmacies, depending on your location. Deliveries are brought to your door in under two hours, and if you sign up for Instacart Express, there is no delivery fee for orders over $35.

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Peapod is another great grocery delivery app for seniors. It has an incredibly easy-to-use interface, and it has a wide selection of fresh and organic foods. Delivery fees depend on the size of your order, so the more you purchase, the lower your fee. The one downside to Peapod is that it’s not available in a number of areas. You can check if they deliver to your location by entering your ZIP code at the top of their website.

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Walmart Grocery

Walmart Grocery is incredibly convenient because it offers both delivery and pickup options for grocery orders. Using the Walmart Grocery app, you can fill your virtual cart with a variety of grocery items and place your order for same-day pickup or delivery. The delivery fee is $9.99 per order, but you can also buy a monthly or yearly subscription that gives you access to unlimited free deliveries.

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Meal Delivery Services

Meal delivery services are a great option for seniors because they reduce the stress of having to plan recipes and acquire all of the necessary ingredients. This is a great way to save time while still getting to enjoy a delicious meal.

There are two main types of meal delivery services—meal kits and prepared meals. We describe each in more detail below.

Meal Delivery Services

Meal Kit Delivery

Meal kit delivery services are great for seniors who love to cook but want to cut down on the time it takes to do so. These services allow you to select meals you’d like to cook each week, and then you receive a box in the mail with the ingredients pre-measured. All you have to do is follow the recipe.

These are our top meal kit delivery choices for seniors:

Blue Apron

Cost: $7.49 to $9.99 per serving, depending on order size. Free shipping or $7.99 shipping fee, depending on order size.

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Hello Fresh

Cost: $7.49 to $8.99 per serving, depending on the size of the order. $7.99 shipping fee.

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Home Chef

Cost: $7.99 or $9.95 per serving, depending on the size of the order. Free shipping for orders over $40, and $10 fee otherwise.

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Cost: $4.99 per serving. $8.99 shipping fee.

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Cost: $11.99 to $13.99 per meal, depending on the size of the order. $6.99 shipping fee.

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Sun Basket (focus on vegetarian meals)

Cost: $10.99 or $12.99 per serving, depending on the size of the order. $6.99 shipping fee.

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Purple Carrot (plant-based meals)

Cost: $9.99 to $11.99 per serving, depending on the size of the order. Free shipping.

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Green Chef (focus on healthy meals)

Cost: $9.99 to $12.99 per serving, depending on the plan type. $6 to $9 shipping fee, depending on location.

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Prepared Meals

Prepared Meal Delivery

If you want delicious meals delivered to your door without the effort that goes into cooking, prepared meal delivery services are a fantastic choice. Most of them only require heat for a few minutes, in the microwave or on the stovetop, and then they’re ready to go!

These are the top prepared meal delivery services that we recommend for seniors:


Cost: $7.99 to $11.50 per meal, depending on the size of the order. Shipping fees depend on order size.

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Home Bistro

Cost: $14 to $25 per meal, depending on the meal selected. Shipping fees depend on order size.

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Factor 75

Cost: $11 to $15 per meal, depending on the size of the order. Free shipping.

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Magic Kitchen

Cost: Cost per meal/item varies widely depending on the item ordered. Shipping fees depend on location.

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Top Chef Meals

Cost: Cost per meal/item varies widely depending on the item ordered. Shipping fees depend on order size.

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Cost: $9.90 to $11.70 per meal, depending on the size of the order. Shipping fees depend on order size.

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Restaurant Delivery Apps

Restaurant delivery apps allow you to get food from your favorite establishments without having to leave your home. Within these apps, you can browse a restaurant’s entire menu and place your order through an easy-to-use interface. Most of these apps employ their own delivery drivers, whose job it is to pick up your order at the restaurant and bring it to your door.

Restaurant Delivery

These are the top restaurant delivery apps for seniors:


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Uber Eats

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Meals on Wheels

The Meals on Wheels Association of America is the largest and most well-known US organization delivering food to in-need seniors. Their delivery service is powered by volunteers who bring hot meals and food items to seniors in their community. Eligibility is typically limited to those who have difficulty getting out of the house on their own. The fee for the service is either free or very low-cost, depending on the location and the individual recipient.

To find your local Meals on Wheels organization, enter your ZIP code here.

Options Abound

As you can see, there are many options out there for seniors to get food to their doorstop, even in these tough times. If you’re not sure which option is best for you, it may be worth asking friends or loved ones if they have recommendations. Many of these services are very popular, so there’s a good chance someone you know has used one of them before. It never hurts to give something a try, too. If it doesn’t work out, you can always look into another service!