Dinner with Friends
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As you search for world-class ingredients on the World Wide Web, here are a few tips for the best timing, selection, and value.
- Browse several sites and do a cost comparison. Finding sites that offer gourmet items is as easy as typing in the product you're looking for (e.g. "taleggio") at a search engine.
- In general, the more items you order, the less shipping costs per item. To keep shipping costs in line, order several items from the same source.
- Order as far in advance as you can to avoid higher shipping costs for rush or Saturday deliveries.
- For perishable items, make sure you have an idea when your item will be delivered. You don't want it to sit on your doorstep while you're away for a few days.
- Many specialty items are made by small producers, which means vendors sometimes run out of much- sought-after items. Try to order nonperishable specialty items as soon as you have planned your menu.
- If you can't find an ingredient on a Web site, use the search option. Or click on a "Customer Service" icon to e-mail your questions directly to the site's staff.