Having trouble getting food delivered to your home? Have no fear.

Social distancing in the Hudson Valley means not being out in public unless it's absolutely necessary. This "new normal" has inspired many local grocery shoppers to turn to home delivery.

As someone who visits a grocery store at least three times a week, the transition to delivery has been a tough one. But I've discovered a few helpful hints that will not only make sure you get the groceries you want but also make sure they get to your home on time.

Try multiple services
It's highly likely that your favorite grocery store may not have any delivery times available. In fact, some local grocery stores' websites are even limiting online visitors. On Monday, there was over an hour wait just to access the ShopRite website to even begin placing an order. If one store isn't working, try another. Also, services such as Instacart will allow you to shop multiple stores at once.

Plan way ahead
Don't expect to go online and get your groceries delivered that afternoon. It's just not going to happen. Instead of planning on what to buy, you should focus on planning when that delivery is coming. Most online delivery services allow you to keep adding to and changing your order until your items are being shopped. So just throw a few essentials in your cart and check out to find the next available delivery date. Most likely it will be a week away, but that will give you plenty of time to fine-tune your shopping list.

Did we mention plan ahead?
Once your order arrives that's the time to think about your next order, not when you're starting to run out of milk. When you're completely stocked is when you should follow the advice above and place that next order. Again, put some essentials that you know you'll need in your cart and schedule that delivery for next week. If a date isn't available, that's fine. You can keep checking back over the next few days.

Stagger orders with neighbors
Forgot to order flour? Realize you're out of olives? Get together with close neighbors to find out when their orders are arriving. Chances are one of them may have a delivery in the next day or so and can add your item to their cart. Doubling up will not only get you the items you need it will also save those delivery men and women from having to make an extra trip out just for one or two items.

Be realistic
Just because toilet paper is in your cart doesn't mean you're going to get it. Be prepared for lots of substitutions and sold-out items. Most services allow you to choose in advance what items you want to substitute. You can also include notes on each item instructing the shopper what acceptable items you'll take in the event something is not available. Also, make sure you're near your phone on the day your shopping is done. Most shoppers will text you from the store, updating you on what items are available and asking for specific substitutions.

Following these tips should hopefully make sure you remain stocked up while keeping a safe distance from others. Of course, it's important to remember the people who are actually out there doing the shopping for you. Even if you didn't get everything on your list, or an item or two were substituted for something you probably won't eat, remember that these shoppers are doing their best under difficult circumstances. Leave a generous tip and be polite while communicating with your shopper. They're keeping all of us safe.

Listen to the Boris & Robyn Show weekday mornings from 6AM to 10AM on 101.5 WPDH. Stream us live through the website, Alexa-enabled device, Google Home or the WPDH mobile app.

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