How to Keep Your Grocery Deliveries Fresh While You're Away
Are you like many Americans who are buying groceries online more than ever? It’s a fast-growing trend in the US with 53% of consumers buying groceries remotely during the pandemic and a whopping 93% of those plan to continue even after things go back to normal. Interestingly, ...
74% of online grocery buyers have their orders delivered rather than picking them up.
But things get a little iffy when the goods get to the door--especially if you are away at work or running errands. As groceries will likely be loaded in plastic or paper bags, this means they won't be insulated. So, if the weather’s hot, food could melt, wilt, or spoil. And, if it’s cold, it could freeze--a death knell for fruits and veggies.
Question is, what can you do to keep your delivered groceries fresh while you’re at work or fighting traffic to get home to put your food away? Most grocery delivery services don’t have an answer to this, but here are some ways people are dealing with it.
Delivery alerts are helpful in letting you know when your groceries are going to be delivered or if they have been delivered. This certainly provides some peace of mind. And, if you get home and the goods aren't there, you know something happened to them.
Problem is, most alerts aren’t that precise -- like the message you get at 9 AM that says, “Your package is out for delivery by 9 PM tonight.” So, it’s not like you can go into work a little late or come home a little early to grab the goods because you just don’t know when the delivery will get there. When can you leave work? How long will it take to get home? Is it too hot? Will it get porch-pirated? There’s a solid chance it will be there and fine when you get home, but the worrying can drive you nuts.
And, what if it isn’t there? Well, that means you are going to be wasting time on the phone (or more likely on hold) with the delivery company and the retailer. The same goes for if the food has reached what the USDA calls a “Danger Zone” temperature to the point you’re not comfortable eating it or if it has already spoiled altogether.
Use a Cooler, but ....
Leaving a cooler on the front porch is not a bad idea because the insulation and additional ice packs (if you go that route) should help keep food chilled. It also provides a stronger receptacle than the packaging from the store so you don’t have to worry about a dog tearing into your stuff or the weather ruining it.
But, what you do have to worry about, while you’re sitting at your desk, is that your food is sitting on your front porch in a big box that basically advertises “free food” to anyone who walks by. If you have one of those really nice “ice chests” that cost hundreds of dollars, that might attract the wrong kind of attention, as well.
Limit Your Order
If you're concerned about damage to perishable items, you could simply only order goods that won't go bad until you arrive home -- use online shopping primarily to replenish staples that you put in your cupboard. This certainly takes some of the anguish out of the equation. However, this also means you have to make special trips to the store to get fresh items, so it may defeat the end goal of making your life more convenient. Likely, as you try to streamline your lifestyle even more in the future, this option will come up short.
Get An Insulated, Secure Delivery Box
There is one way you can ensure your groceries are protected from spoilage and theft - an insulated, lockable delivery box like DeliverySafe, which sits by your front door (or wherever you get your deliveries). The container, which is opened and closed through a secure digital keypad, is tall enough to fit larger containers of food, and it is insulated to reduce the risk of food spoiling before it can be refrigerated. It also features compartments that allow two ice packs to be inserted into the insulation interior to turn the lockbox into an icebox.
So you just instruct the delivery person to easily open the delivery box and place your groceries inside, then close it to lock it back up. Now you're truly free to arrive home at your convenience.
Any way you look at it, we can all agree that the COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenging time in history. But there has to be some good that comes out of it, right? The shift toward buying groceries online appears to be a permanent change for the future for many. Now, we just need to keep them safe and fresh!
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