Let’s get the bad news out of the way, first. Prices are rising, and it’s more difficult to find the best prices and compare them.
MySupermarket, a brilliant price comparison website, shut down in March 2020. It didn’t matter whether you were seeking a can of mushy peas or a bottle of Taittinger, this website revealed the supermarket special offers and the cheapest regular prices, at UK supermarkets. It was possible to get email alerts, so that you were notified when a specific product went on special, or, rarely, decreased in price. RIP #MySupermarket, you will be missed.
Another piece of bad news, is that some supermarkets have withdrawn special offers altogether. It has been rumoured that one supermarket withdrew items from their Basics range, to force customers to spend more. This seems unlikely, because shoppers often stockpile the cheap carbs rather than salmon and champagne and the pasta will disappear more quickly.
With supermarkets making existing regular customers, even those with health issues, wait hours in a virtual queue and not get a delivery slot, it just piles on the misery.
UK supermarkets are prioritising existing customers on the Government list of people classified as vulnerable. If you think you might be eligible, here’s the tool.
GOV.UK Coronavirus Extremely Vulnerable
Please note, that being elderly, blind or disabled, does not in itself, prioritise you. If you live in an area with several supermarkets and happen to be an existing customer, you may be lucky and get slots. It’s likely that those on the government list will be spread across supermarkets. If you live in an area without many supermarkets, whether it’s a rural or urban area, you may find it more difficult to get slots, because there will be a higher concentration of people on the vulnerable list, needing delivery slots.
If you are finding it difficult to get a supermarket slot and can’t get to the supermarket, you can find local groups which will pick up shopping. Mutual Aid
You can get ecards for volunteers or neighbours to use:
Marks and Spencer
Iceland is including existing customers who are self-isolating, in their home delivery criteria. Iceland.co.uk
Marks and Spencer has a small range of food boxes as well as food hampers to send to friends and relatives as lockdown or birthday presents.
M&S food boxes
M&S wine and food hampers
Morrisons has also produced a small range of food boxes, including one for Ramadan 2020.Morrisons food boxes
Home Bargains produced a food box for 23.99 including delivery, but these had sold out as at 29/04/20. Might be worth checking availability, periodically Home Bargains food boxes
Supermarkets are not the only source of food. They might like you to believe that, but it’s not true. There are fewer butchers, bakers, greengrocers and fishmongers out there than there used to be, but they still exist.
One option is to put your postcode into BigBarn and find out what’s available to you locally. Even in cities, there are farmers’ markets. Some of these have been suspended because of Covid-19 physical distancing measures. However, many of the producers, are delivering to customers in the farmers’ market area, instead.
Food service companies have ‘pivoted’ (new buzz word) away from serving hotels, restaurants and pubs to setting up home delivery services.
Across the UK, Wellocks is delivering within a 25 mile radius of all depots. It has also set up collection points, with the help of restaurants and pubs Wellocks at Home If you scroll down the page, there’s a growing list of collection points. You can also add your email to a mailing list, in case a collection point becomes available, in your area. UPDATE: Wellocks at Home closed September 2021.
Brakes has also set up a home delivery service, with delivery in Kent and other areas in the South East, London and the North. Brakes Home Delivery UPDATE Brakes Home Delivery suspended September 2021
In Kent and Oxford KFF (Kent Frozen Foods) has set up a home delivery service KFF Home Delivery UPDATE No mention of home delivery 29/09/21
Watts Farms is delivering within 35 miles of ME20 7NA Watts Farms Home Delivery UPDATE September 2021 now delivering nationwide and home delivery growing
Bearing in mind that prices are going up, buying locally direct from farms, farm shops, farmers’ markets and food service companies seems like it could be a cheaper option.
In some areas, Deliveroo has teamed up with M&S Simply Food at BP garages, for home delivery, as well as Co-op and Morrisons. Just input your postcode and you’ll find everything on offer locally, including takeaways. Minimum order for Deliveroo with offers is generally £25 which is cheaper than the £40 Morrisons minimum of £40
Co-op does deliver itself in some areas and you can find out if your nearest store is included. Co-op Delivery Service
Nisa stores will sometimes deliver locally. Here’s the store finder, then just call and ask. Nisa Store Finder The main website also lists the special offers.
Anyone can order grocery products from Amazon. Amazon Prime members get free shipping from Amazon and often, from other sellers as well. Amazon Prime membership entitles you to use Amazon Fresh if it’s available in your area. Amazon UK UPDATE September 2021 Amazon Fresh continues but Amazon Pantry shut down. Amazon Prime members can sign up with Deliveroo to get unlimited free delivery for a year.
Costco online membership is open to anyone, at £15.00 per year. It doesn’t entitle you to use the warehouse and both the range of products and deals, also differ. Costco
Morrisons is closing down deliveries from 50 stores, which will affect 1400 staff (24/09/21 Retail Week). However, this may not affect deliveries via Deliveroo, suggest checking with them.