Eating and Thriving On-Line

The Internet SHOULD be "the place to shop" for low-carb dieters, diabetics, celiacs, and anyone else on a special diet. The posted prices are well below those in retail stores, the variety is greater, you are dealing with firms whose specialty is dealing with your need, and the products for sale are described fully in type that is designed to be read (isn't that a pleasant contrast to the packages you see in your local store.)

The bad news, of course, is the shipping charge that is attached to every order. Shortly after being diagnosed with celiac disease, I ordered a box of breakfast cereal ($4.00) on-line and paid a $7.00 shipping charge. I learned from the experience that $11.00 box of cereal.

My solution stems from the fact that the cost of shipping items drops dramatically with the size of the total order. For example, the Gluten-Free Pantry charges $6.85 to ship a single but will ship $499.00 worth of merchandise for less than twice that much. At Bob's Red Mill, the shipping charge depends on the weight of the total shipment and depends on where you live, but in my particular ZIP code, a single item ships for $7.39. A 34 pound shipment would cost $13.43. You can probably find similar examples by browsing through the web sites you would like to patronize.

The strategy is to order as much as you can in a single shipment. Don't throw money away, of course, but do everything that you can to increase the size of the order and thereby decrease the cost of shipping each individual items. Work with people who share your diet. The only requirement is that the entire order be sent to the same place and paid for with the same credit card.

Good luck. Eat well. Obviously, internet shopping is easier for persons who are ordering big-ticket items where the shipping cost is largely insignificant. But the system I have just described works.

Paul Colligan is the webmaster at sugar-and-gluten-free.com, a site that employs the shopping system described in this article. Contact him at [email protected] to share ideas.

I learned internet shopping out of necessity. I live in a small city and have a very restricted diet not to mention a retiree's budget. I established http://www.sugar-and-gluten-free.com to help others do the same.

In The News:

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