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The Virtual Supermarket
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If your tastes lean more to the refined side, Dean & Deluca may have what you need. With easy drop-down navigation, you'll quickly find yourself perusing savory departments from "Charcuterie & Foie Gras" to "Truffles & Mushrooms." As with most gourmet shops, these folks are pricey, but definitely worth the occasional splurge.

Savvy supermarkets are discovering the need to provide an online resource for their real-world customers, and Safeway has done just that. Now serving Northern California, Oregon and Washington, they're on the right track. All products on this site are backed by a guarantee, and the shipping charges are fairly reasonable.

Other chains do have Web sites, but many are not yet up to speed with online shopping. They are, nonetheless, a good resource if you need to locate the nearest Trader Joe's, for instance, or if you're clipping coupons for your local Piggly Wiggly.

For convenience, you can't beat the virtual world, although perhaps we shouldn't always measure everything in terms of convenience. If you purchase your groceries online, you miss out on the scent of fresh baked goods wafting through the store or reading the labels before you buy. You also miss out on bumping into your neighbor at the check-out counter and organizing an impromptu barbecue! As with everything else in life, I suppose moderation here is also the key.

Best wishes & happy surfing!

The Webicurean™

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Quick Find:

Looking for a special place to take Mom this Mother's Day? Here are some resources!

Dean & Deluca
Piggly Wiggly
Trader Joe's
Value Page

• Prepare your list in advance and have a general sense of your shopping budget before you begin.

• Pay close attention to descriptions so you know exactly what you're ordering.

• Read return policies and guarantees before making your purchase.

• Help ensure that nothing spoils and request second day or overnight delivery.

• Despite the fact you have the opportunity to shop anywhere in the world, sticking with local merchants is good practice in the event you need to return something or if a dispute arises.

• Find out the exact delivery date and make sure someone is available to accept the package. Otherwise, provide alternate delivery instructions in the event no one is home when the package arrives.

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