We’re a little fanatical about our regional grocery store, Wegmans. And while it is not perfect, I’m a big fan of the Wegman’s app for my phone. Let me count the ways. Log in to the app, and choose your store. You can look up most items in the store, read the ingredients, see the nutritional data, find the price, the location in the store, and add it to a grocery list. You have a club card? Great! When you look up items you can click the my products link in the search results and it will show you what you have personally purchased in the past that met the search criteria. Oh, you only want to see things you’ve already purchased and add to your list directly from that? You can do that too. Your list populates the product image, name, price and location. The list subtotals. And you can email the list to anyone you like!
My friends do my shopping for me, and this makes a difficult task significantly easier. I also send my friends screenshots of my shopper’s club card (which is available to be scanned from the app). When they use it I can sale prices, my electronic coupons process, and my product list history continues to populate. The app also shows your receipts for recent purchases in case someone loses it.
*As of January 2020, Wegmans completely redid their app. It has a lot of challenges now, and is not nearly as useful. Product image and size no longer display on sent lists. Nutritional data and description have disappeared off individual product listings. Past purchases are much more difficult to find.
In addition to being a great grocery store, Wegmans has a great pharmacy. They have been abundantly helpful to me on many occasions. But the biggest ongoing help is that they deliver prescriptions from the store for free. My location is on the route for Monday, Wednesday and Friday. They keep my credit card information at the store, charge my card, and deliver to my mailbox on the next delivery day. If I have something that isn’t on automatic refill and I run out, I can also use the app to request a refill. Whatever time of day I remember! Without talking to a human!
Target carries some things I can’t get at our other major stores. Using their app, I can fill my online cart with most store products (non perishable), pay for it online, and they’ll gather everything for pickup. When placing the order, you can designate an alternate pickup person. They get the email confirmation as well, and can just show their own ID in the store. I’m sure this works in lots of other stores, too.
Amazon, despite all its problems, is an amazing resource for folks with disabilities. Some things you might not already be leveraging with Amazon:
- There are reduced price Amazon Prime memberships for folks who are poor.
- New Yorkers can use SNAP with Amazon.
- Lists! Lists are the best. I use them for saving all sorts of things that I’ve researched but am not yet ready to buy. I make my lists topically, and set them to private. I must have 20. Seriously.
- More lists! I keep a public wish list that has a curated selection of things I’d really like to have. When friends and family are feeling generous, they know how to find out what I need and want, and can know they’re getting me something I’ll enjoy.
- Even more lists! I recently discovered there is a second kind of list, that Amazon calls a “shopping list.” The items you put on that list stay on the list, even after you purchase them (you can delete them at any time). This is great for things you purchase frequently, but not on a schedule that you want on autofill. I put all my supplements on this kind of list.
- Amazon Smile. This program doesn’t seem to generate that much money for charities, but if you’re someone who doesn’t have cash to give, it’s a small way to contribute. Choose an organization you’d like to support, and a tiny percentage of most of your purchases will be sent to the charity. Catch: You must shop from https://smile.amazon.com.
- Need to keep track of your medical expenses or business expense? Amazon emails you receipts, so you have an easy electronic record. They also have a tool to download your purchase history. You can just do this at the end of the year if you need it for tax purposes or such.
List making apps
I use Lister, but there are tons out there. I set up lists for all the places I might need things – the food co-op, the farmer’s market, the craft store – then add items to them as I think of them. Then, whenever someone asks if I need anything from that store, I have it all ready to go and just just send the list as a text.
If friends do my shopping, I need an easy way to reimburse them. As long as you link a bank account, PayPal is free to use, with no transaction fees, when you choose “send money to a friend.” I don’t have to deal with the hassle of keeping track of checks. I haven’t been to a bank or ATM in a year, so I rarely have cash. I’m sure there are other apps out there that work well for folks too (like Venmo), but this is the most widely used among my middle-aged and older friends. It’s also an easy way for folks to send you money!