Coronavirus Covid-19 Online Supermarket Shopping Hints and Tips

I have been getting online grocery deliveries for over twenty years, and I take it all in my stride. If it is unfamiliar to you, however, it can seem overwhelming, especially under the stresses of this time. If you take your time, however, and work through, you may find it easier than you expect.

When You Get a Delivery Slot

When you get your slot, don’t worry about getting it perfect straight away. All supermarkets allow you to change the order as many times as you like up to the cut off. You have to check the time of the cutoff depending on the supermarket. Tesco currently allow you to change the order up until 11.45pm the night before, but Morrisons are requesting that your order is finalised 48 hours before the delivery slot.

I recommend that you book the slot as soon as you can, bung something expensive in to hold it temporarily and meet the minimum spend and then check out. As long as you remember to get it finalised before the cutoff, you will be fine. Just don’t miss the cutoff. I seriously recommend setting an alarm.

Now all you have to do is pick what you want to be delivered.

Making Choices

This can seem impossible if you are unaccustomed to online shopping. Where are you supposed to find the dratted potatoes? How do you guess what you want with the loose carrots? What sort of dates are there on the diced chicken? What if they don’t have what I want?

UNKs original diced tomatoes can

I’ve made a separate post about finding different items which you can find here, but in this post I’m going to concentrate on substitutions. Substitutions are the dark side of online shopping, along with short dates. Under normal circumstances, you usually get reasonable substitutions (with a few wonderful exceptions!). However the people pulling out your shopping today may be new, flustered, exhausted, bewildered or just overworked. Sometimes weird stuff happens.

During checkout you will find an opportunity to make a note about substitutions. Usually you get a list of what you have on your order and you will be able to say whether you are willing to have a substitution or not. In normal times, I will be picky. I will say that the baked beans have to be Heinz and that the bread has to be sliced. Now I will click that I’m happy to accept all substitutions. If there is something that is important, then I use the option to add a note.

You may have to hunt around to find the ‘add a note’ function, but it is worth finding. In my case I may put a note under ketchup that while they can substitute, I can’t have gluten. This gives them a little more scope than a blanket refusal of anything except Heinz.

Human error can happen, especially with inexperienced and overworked staff, but my experience is that on the whole, they do their best.

What if They Run Out?

A lot of things were missed off my last Tesco delivery. I checked my order every day on the run up to the delivery and there was a regular list of ‘item unavailable’. Nothing is guaranteed at this moment. However, if you keep checking then you can make informed decisions. If your favourite yoghurt is unavailable, at least you can make a decision about whether you get a different yoghurt or whether you try fromage frais. Some sites are limiting how many of a particular item you can buy, so keep an eye on that. Tesco also cap the delivery at 80 items in total.

yellow and white labeled box

Always Go Through Checkout

If you change your order, whatever you do, don’t forget to checkout properly and fully. You won’t be charged more than once, but if you fail to go through the checkout process you will lose your changes, and possibly your slot.

If you are quarantined, please make a note on the delivery notes section. The driver won’t be able to bring stuff into the house, and at this time they are limited in how much they can help the customer.

I’ve had literally hundreds of grocery deliveries from Tesco, Sainsburys, Asda, Morrisons, Ocado and Iceland. And, with a few memorable exceptions, the drivers have been wonderful people and the deliveries have been more than satisfactory. I hope that your driver is of the usual, excellent standard and you get all you need.

Wishing good health to all.

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