Of all the Sisyphean household tasks parents face (doing the laundry, loading the dishwasher, going grocery shopping, finding our children’s socks, etc.), grocery shopping is probably the most time-consuming. (Sock-searching, in my house at least, runs a close second). This holds true whether you do one weekly marathon excursion or several short forays. Luckily, there are several services in the area that will do your shopping for you, or will at least provide you with staples to help lighten the load in your natty recyclable bag as well as cut back on your need for trolling the aisles.
Peapod: When my twins were infants, I quickly realized that grocery shopping would not be an activity that involved them — getting the two car seats into the cart left little room for anything else, let alone the requisite ginormous package of diapers we went through every week. I discovered Giant’s Peapod, which is probably the most well-known local grocery-delivery service, and stayed with them throughout our double-trouble toddler years. The produce was always fresh, the specials clearly marked, your personal shopping list was always available, and what’s not to like about someone else schlepping your groceries from your curb to your counter?
Washington’s Green Grocer: This 16-year-old local company, run by husband-and-wife team Lisa and John (“Zeke”) Zechiel, brings a selection of 12 to 14 different fruits and vegetables to your door. WGG emails you a tentative list on Fridays, and if there’s anything you don’t want, you just log on and make any changes you like. Among its many green tenets, the company sources locally grown food, supports sustainable agriculture, uses recycled boxes, and keeps packaging to a minimum. And this all means you can pick out your strawberries and string beans while sitting at your desk!
Soupergirl: Each Monday you’ll receive an e-mail with the weekly offering — one “chunky” and one “smooth” soup for the following week. The menu also includes salads, whole wheat, baked pita chips (made by the Perfect Pita), cornbread, vegan brownies, and monthly rotating desserts (all made by the local online bakery, Treet). Soups include black bean, asparagus, chick pea, ribollita, and carrot, among many, many others — and they are all vegan. Delivery is available for all orders over $14.50, and there are convenient pickup locations throughout D.C. (and in Bethesda, Silver Spring and Rockville.)
South Mountain Creamery: We always seem to be running to the grocery store for milk. Why not turn to that staple of a big-gone era, the milk man, and cut down on unnecessary return grocery runs? South Mountain Creamery delivers milk and other, locally grown products — some from their own farm and some from others — in a 70-mile radius from their home base in Middletown, Maryland.