Best online supermarket shopping for elderly living alone

I am trying to help a family member, who is a recent widow. Her husband drove the car and they both went shopping together. 

I have given her a tablet, so she can get familiar with it. She is nervous, but she can use an android phone. 

I want her to learn online shopping , so she can buy thing as needed. Her main shopping requirements are thing such as milk and fresh / frozen produce. She does not like going out when cold. 

I made an online delivery once from Sainsbury, but they brought things in crates and it took me forever to empty them out. I don't think this will be appropriate for her. Both security and ability. I was told Morrisons provide things in bags, but hopefully they are not too heavy to carry. 

I do visit and bring in a bigger shop such as non-perishable foods e.g. toothpaste, laundry, biscuits, flour etc.....   However, it is hard for fresh produce. 

I am looking for suggestions which is the best company to sign up to?.

 - Best app? easy to use
 - Best range of fresh food and frozen
 - Lowest delivery price for smaller shop



  • longhill
    longhill Posts: 178 Forumite
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    edited 14 May 2022 at 3:49PM
    Hi have you looked at Iceland my mum uses them for a weekly shop milk bread and a bit of fresh veg and fruit they deliver in bags

    1/8/22 weight 15st 3lb
  • elsien
    elsien Posts: 32,956 Forumite
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    edited 14 May 2022 at 4:03PM
    Some supermarkets have a minimum spend which isn’t great for single people regardless of age. Morrisons minimum order is £40. Asda and Tesco (I think) stick an extra few pounds on if your basket is under £40. 
    Might do for larder and heavy items if she can get the fresh more regular items elsewhere? 
    If price is less of an issue she may find it easier to track down a milk delivery round as they usually do bread and other basics as well. 
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
  • Skintoap
    Skintoap Posts: 53 Forumite
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    Iceland have a lower minimum spend than other supermarkets, and they deliver in bags. Around here they also always seem to have plenty of delivery slots. They stock most basics, fresh and frozen foodstuffs. Non-food items tend to be branded goods, so not as cheap as buying supermarket own brands. 
  • Farway
    Farway Posts: 13,334 Forumite
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    edited 15 May 2022 at 10:34AM
    Check out Waitrose, there is space on the order form for notes, such as unable to bend or lift heavy items, help will be required to put into bags etc [you need to provide bags]. I do this and have found all drivers very helpful with putting it into bags for me, which I then can carry through

    Maybe get her if not already a little basket on wheels type of thing, to trundle any heavier items?

    Even better the list allows shopping notes, so she could ask for greener bananas please or if you sub only with non diet option for instance

    Delivery is £3 anytime, £40 minum spend, and if she gets a free loyalty card there are some good weekly offers
    I'd put things like loo rolls on there, just to bump price up to minimum spend

    Eight out of ten owners who expressed a preference said their cats preferred other peoples gardens
  • Cyclamen
    Cyclamen Posts: 647 Forumite
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    I use tesco .. the clubcard points add up and are used to sign me up for a delivery saver subscription. 

    My parents also have tesco set up now since covid.. i log in and book their delivery slots for them, help manage things and can do a shop from here for them if i need to. 

    The downside is they email on the day of delivery to say if anything missing or substitutions.. this catches me out as i dont usually have time to check my email before driver comes.. it used to be a paper.  Settings allow 'no substitutions' or you can select individually and leave notes for any swaps. 

    Yes it all comes in trays.. tesco drivers will bring the trays into the kitchen if asked and even help unpack. 

    I am disabled and have a wheeled trolley  that i put by the door and my kitchen table is on wheels so if i am home alone for delivery the drivers help me and even offer to put freezer stuff in drawer.  There is a  box as you check out where you can type in if extra help needed.   

    Other friends have folding crates on wheels that they have my door and driver unpacks into. 

    I personally struggle with asda site.. shame as its great for freefrom foods but find it different to find items, browse and choose. 

    Iceland do one off deliveries but dont do a good enough range of fresh veggies, fruit and 'non breaded' ingredients for me.. but i do the occasional shop. 

    There are also LINK and volunteer drivers in most towns.. worth asking local ageuk or council.. as there may be an option for someone to pick her up and take her to shop.. there is a bus in my town from the guild and it seems quite sociable as same people go on each week. 
  • GaleSF63
    GaleSF63 Posts: 1,536 Forumite
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    I use Waitrose and Tesco and the drivers are invariably helpful and always unload the tray contents onto a trolley and bags I have at the door. They have started to offer to come in again, but I've got to like the trolley at the door system. I don't have to swamp the small kitchen all at once (and I don't have to tidy it!). On both I am able to put a note that I may be slow to answer the door. Both are £40 minimum and both have a delivery charge. 

    The Waitrose email confirming what is being delivered has this on it. I expect it will update sometime soon as things are relaxing but it confirms that drivers will unload, and will come into your house if you wish it. 

    Help with unpacking your shopping

    Following the latest Covid-19 guidance, please note the following:

    · Where possible we will deliver to your doorstep for our safety and yours. Please have your bags at the ready and our drivers will help you transfer your shopping

    · If you do need help bringing groceries into your home, our drivers will first ask you to confirm that nobody in the household is ill or self-isolating

    · If you are self-isolating, we will deliver to your doorstep and can help transfer your shopping to your own bags while maintaining a safe distance

    All drivers will continue to sanitise their hands after each delivery

  • Hippycamper
    Hippycamper Posts: 35 Forumite
    First Post Name Dropper
    A lot of my single friends regardless of age, but without a car,  seem very happy with Iceland. 

    The minimum spend is a lot lower, and the drivers seem to be the same drivers as they come from the nearest shop apparently.

    By the time you have bought milk, they do fresh meat, or mince, beef cubes, chicken, etc, and a few other bits you have hit your minimum spend.

  • Northern_Tribe
    It may not be appropriate in these circumstances and I accept it was not what you asked but, would the lady concerned be more comfortable getting a taxi both ways. Of course, this would cost more but if finance wasn't the overriding concern and she is nervous about shopping online it might be the best option.
  • MrsStepford
    MrsStepford Posts: 1,646 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    edited 4 March 2023 at 3:08PM
    I'm not an OAP but I do use Iceland quite a bit and can see why people like it (me included)

    Free next day delivery on orders over £35
    Sometimes they do cheap slots for same day delivery
    Stuff comes in bags and chilled & frozen should be separate
    Loads of offers
    You can set up to pay by PayPal so retailer never sees your actual card number
    Introductory offer
    Bonus card
    Friendly drivers from local store
    Email or text message telling you what's coming so you can hand back unwanted subs

    The other company I would suggest is Milk & More

    Deliveries before 07:00 up to three times a week
    Free delivery 
    No minimum order so if you want a box of eggs on one day and a head of celery on another, that's fine
    Veg boxes
    Regular order facility
    Gluten-free, vegan and organic food
    Online ordering includes doing late night order for next day delivery

  • Poquito
    Poquito Posts: 52 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post
    Tesco Whoosh option may be better for less items and the instant delivery means she’ll receive her items in no time. The app is pretty easy to use. Alternatively (which we do for my MIL around Xmas) is add her address to our online shopping app and get them delivered to her. They have an option to see the shopping list in picture/ icon version which is helpful. As another poster has said Iceland is pretty good and very reliable also. They definitely deliver in bags. Last time I ordered Ocado delivered on bags but they also have the option to take them back and give you credit to your account.
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