CHRISTMAS is the busiest time of year to reserve a supermarket delivery slot.
And shoppers need to move quickly this year to bag one as the coronavirus pandemic has seen a surge in households relying on online shopping this year.
All ofthe leading grocers have dramatically increased the number of slots available to keep up with demand and ensure that vulnerable and isolating customers are still be able to get the essentials.
Thousands of seasonal workers have been hired to help fulfil orders too.
Even so, Christmas delivery slots are usually snapped up fast so you won't want to hang around.
Last year, Tesco shoppers were left fuming after they sold out within ours of going on sale – and at one point even the website crashed.
Most supermarkets release delivery slots for the key dates just before Christmas between December 20 and December 24 in November.
We've spoken to Tesco, Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury's, Waitrose, Iceland and Ocado to find out when the retailers will be releasing the slots, so you can mark the date in your calendar to make sure you get one.
But shoppers are being told to order as early as possible where they can, so it could be worth planning ahead and getting items that won't go off beforehand instead of getting everything together close to the big day.
Tesco Christmas delivery slots
Tesco has more than doubled the number of delivery slots available since the coronavirus lockdown – it now has 1.5million delivery slots a week compared to 600,000.
Shoppers who've signed up to the supermarket's Delivery Saver scheme will be able to book their festive slot from 7am on November 13.
Customers can get unlimited free home delivery and click and collect when they sign up to the premium service.
Here’s how to cut the cost of your grocery shop
SAVING on your shop can make a big difference to your wallet. Here are some tips from Money.co.uk about how you can cut the cost of your shopping bills:
- Write yourself a list – Only buy items that you need. If it isn’t on your list, don’t put it in the trolley
- Create a budget – Work out a weekly budget for your food shopping
- Never shop hungry – you are far more likely to buy more food if your tummy is rumbling
- Don’t buy pre-chopped veggies or fruit – The extra they’ll charge for chopping can be eye watering
- Use social media – follow your favourite retailers to find out about the latest deals
- Be disloyal – You may want to go to different stores to find the best bargains
- Check the small print – It’s always worth checking the price per kg/lb/litre when comparing offers so you’re making a like for like decision as a bigger box won’t necessarily mean you get more
- Use your loyalty cards – Don’t be afraid to sign up to them all. They all work slightly differently – work out what bonus suits you better and remember to trade in your points for additional rewards
It costs £7.99 a month and you'll get priority access to the Christmas delivery slots.
For everyone else, delivery slots for the festive season opens from November 20 from 7am.
Delivery fees cost between £4.50 and £5.50 depending on where your order is full-filled by either a supermarket or warehouse, while click and collect costs £1.50.
There's a £4 surcharge for deliveries worth under £40 and click and collect orders worth less than £25.
Asda Christmas delivery slots
Asda has already launched its Christmas delivery slots.
Last year, they were released on November 19 and November 13 for Delivery Pass customers.
This year they have been released earlier and there are already some areas where slots are fully booked for December 20-24.
If you can't get a delivery slot for the dates you want, you can still order online and click and collect in store for these dates.
You'll have to go the store to pick up your order but you'll avoid having to do the shop itself and queue at the checkout.
Asda has temporarily stopped issuing new delivery passes while demand is high during the pandemic, but usually it costs £5 a month or £55 for the year. A six month pass would cost £35.
For customers without this pass, delivery costs between £3 and £5.50 depending on the day and time of your slot.
There's a £3 surcharge for delivery orders for less than £40 and £25 for click and collect orders.
Morrisons Christmas delivery slots
Morrisons said that the Chrsitmas delivery slot launch date is still yet to be confirmed. We'll let you know when we find out more.
Last year, slots opened up for customers on November 27 for deliveries between December 20 and 24.
Delivery pass customers were given early access from November 6.
The Anytime Pass offers free delivery on orders from Monday to Sunday and costs £65 a year, £40 for six months to £8 a month depending on how you pay.
Shoppers get free delivery on Tuesday to Thursday and costs £35 a year, £20 for six months of £5 a month.
With a delivery pass , two slots as the maximum you could book for those key December 20- 24 dates last year.
Otherwise, delivery costs between £2 and £7 depending on the slot.
Amazon Prime customers can benefit from free delivery when they order from Morrisons through the online giant.
Sainsbury's Christmas delivery slots
Sainsbury's has released the following Christmas delivery slot schedule:
- For delivery on 20 December, slots can be booked from 29 November
- For delivery on 21 December, slots can be booked from 30 November
- For delivery on 22 December, slots can be booked from 1 December
- For delivery on 23 December, slots can be booked from 2 December
This is the same way slots worked last year.
Sainsbury's delivery pass holders are promised early access to Christmas slots and we've asked the retailer to confirm the dates for this.
Shoppers can find out the dates and what you need to do to grab your slot on its Christmas delivery page.
The supermarket does not offer any deliveries on December 24, 25 or 26.
Sainsbury's charges £7 for delivery on orders under £40 and between 50p and £7 for orders worth more, depending on the day and time slot.
There's a minimum order value of £25 but delivery is free for orders over £100 booked for between Monday and Thursday after 2pm.
Click and collect is an option if you miss out on a delivery slot.
Supermarket home deliveries
HERE’S what other supermarkets charge for their home delivery services.
- Asda delivery charges range between £3 and £5.50. There's a £40 minimum spend on home delivery orders and a £25 minimum spend for click and collect.
- Iceland offers free home delivery, but you have to spend a minimum of £35 to place an order.
- Morrisons delivery slots cost between £1.70 and £6.90. There's a £40 minimum spend on home deliveries.
- Waitrose doesn't charge for delivery, but you need to spend a minimum of £60.
- Sainsbury's charges between 50p and £7 for delivery. There's a £25 minimum spend.
- Tesco charges £4.50 for all delivery slots. There's a £25 minimum spend.
- Ocado orders less than £75 cost between £2.99 and £6.99. More expensive orders are free.
Sainsbury's offers two subscription delivery passes which are still available to buy now. This will give you priority access to Christmas delivery slots.
The Anytime Delivery Pass gives you one free delivery a day, seven days a week when you spend £40 or more.
This pass costs £60 for 12 months, £35 for six months or £20 for three months.
The midweek delivery pass is cheaper and gives you one free delivery a day on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays when you spend £40 or more.
This pass costs £30 for a 12 months, £18 for a six months or £10 for three months. Any deliveries outside this time slots are charged the normal rates.
Sainsbury's has doubled it's delivery capacity from 340,000 a week in March to 660,000 now.
Iceland delivery slots
Iceland told The Sun that is doesn't offer customers the chance to book Christmas delivery slots early.
Instead, it will be business as usual with the supermarket releasing delivery slots six days in advance.
That means you'll need to keep an eye out from December 14 to bag a slot for December 20.
Iceland offers free next day delivery, Monday through to Sunday between 8am and 9pm.
There's a minimum spend of £35 though before you qualify.
The frozen food specialists now offer up to 750,000 delivery slots a week.
Waitrose Christmas delivery slots
Waitrose shoppers can already book Christmas delivery slots for between December 20 and 24.
Slots for December 19 and earlier are released as usual. There's no set time for how far in advance Waitrose launches its delivery slots and it varies by store.
The supermarket says it's best to keep an eye out on its website for when new slots are made available.
Waitrose offers free delivery seven days a week between 6am and 10pm, depending on the store. There's a £40 minimum spend though.
It also offers a free click and collect with a £40 minimum spend.
Ocado delivery slots
Ocado struggled to keep up with demand in the first month of lockdown but it has since reassured customers that it's businesses as normal.
On its website, the delivery service says it always staggers the release of slots for Christmas week.
Shoppers can bag a slot from October 24, while Smart Pass members get early access, likely to be launched from next week.
The premium services costs £10.99 and offers unlimited free deliveries.
While you can still sign up to the scheme, you won't be able to get priority access to the Christmas delivery slots as you needed to be a member by October 1.
It also suspends free deliveries between December 20 and 24 so you'll have to pay the normal charges.
Orders less than £75 costs between £2.99 and £6.99. More expensive orders are free.
With the country now in lockdown again, these are the rules supermarkets have in place to protect shoppers from coronavirus.
Many shops across England have now closed their doors temporarily and they will remain shut until the second lockdown is lifted on 2 December – these are the essential shops which can remain open.
IF you're looking for inspiration on what to give the little ones this Christmas, we round up 11 toys under £30.
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