Saturday, May 12, 2007

It's Amazing How Easy it is to Get Shopping Done Without Needing to Go to the Store

When either your car or health breaks down and nobody is there to help, getting to the store becomes hard for anyone who lives alone. What is a single person to do when faced with disability or car trouble? Don't despair, as long as you have a phone and a computer, help can be on the way, pronto! When stricken with severe sciatica and spinal pain from a herniated disk, I found out first-hand how difficult the problem of immobility can be. With research and a few phone calls, my problems were taken care of. Here are some helping hints to get help when you need it.

Getting groceries

Look to see if there is a concierge service in your area. If so, see if they deliver groceries. If they don't, see if they recommend anyone else. Then, try a site online called They deliver groceries to different parts of the country. See if they deliver in your area. If your area isn't listed, then go to and browse their online grocery store. There, you cannot buy frozen or refrigerated items, but they are good for getting what you need otherwise, from toiletries to food. They carry major brands and also obscure ones, look through and find what you need. Buying from the grocery section is cheaper than buying from the gourmet food section because shipping is cheaper or free. Bookmark the site and save items you want to your Amazon "wish list" if you want to buy them and want to find them later. Another site, called has groceries, too. They even carry limited refrigerated products. Try them all and compare prices and shipping. Whoever has the best deal, order from them.

Getting medicine

Call your local pharmacy and ask if they deliver medicine. If they don't, ask them if they know anyone who does. My local CVS Pharmacy delivers, but not all of them do. Check around and find one who is reliable. Ask if they deliver other items as well. Some may deliver non-perishables also, like shampoo or over-the-counter medicines. It never hurts to ask. The squeaky wheel gets the grease.

Need new furniture or housewares?

Try reputable online sites like HSN or QVC. I bought a recliner and a large ottoman from one site and just love both of them. Products change all the time so compare their sites and see what looks best for your needs. They are quick to ship, usually, and items I've bought have been of fine quality. Wal-Mart and other big names frequently have online order forms to buy basic furniture such as desks, tables and chairs. They also have a large selection of cookware, bakeware and more.

I have bought new furniture such as a large handcarved desk and dresser on Ebay but be careful; negotiate shipping with the seller before bidding. Choose only sellers with high customer satisfaction ratings. Don't assume an item is easy to ship. If they have to hire a shipper instead of using UPS or FedEx, it can cost a lot of money. Stand your ground and don't let them inflate shipping prices later. I have bought fine furniture and negotiated well for shipping. Compare sellers, quality of furniture and service in general, also. Nearly anything can be found on Ebay, and there are many other furniture selling sites otherwise to please you. Shop around.

Want ready to cook food?

The tv shopping channels like Home Shopping Network or QVC have selections of steaks, chicken pork and more. Also, search gourmet services online such as Omaha Steaks, and see other, more local options. If you need to entertain but cannot cook, buy a case of hors d'oerves, main courses and dessert all from one place. It has become easy to buy good food online.

Need help with your car?

If you don't have a reliable mechanic to turn to, then try the American Auto Association (AAA.) Just call them and order a basic membership, then they will come out and give you a tow, jump or even help you if your keys are locked into your car. A membership will give you a few free tows, to a local garage. You will pay extra if you want it towed to a location other than where they want to tow it. The garages they tow to have to be approved by AAA, so they must be pretty good. I usually have my car towed to a well-known chain I trust for a few bucks more, though. It's a personal choice.

As for getting around, use a taxi if you need to go somewhere nearby. Some take credit cards, so if you plan to use one, ask them first before hiring them. In my area, taxis are cheap and plentiful. I always keep a few phone numbers of different services in my purse, for safe keeping. If you like a certain driver, get his card and request him in the future. I use the same driver most of the time, but have the other phone numbers in case he is off duty. It saves wear and tear on the car, and gas, too.

When you're unable to get out of the house, these sites may help you. Look around and see which meet your needs the best. Now that my spine is healed, I still use my concierge service, because they are so helpful, even when I don't need to. When you find a system that works, it is good to know it is there when times are hard. Good luck and don't let momentary troubles get you down.

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