Best online supermarket shopping for elderly living alone

in Over 50s MoneySaving
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HyperSpace88HyperSpace88 Forumite
23 Posts
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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


  • edited 14 May at 3:49PM
    longhilllonghill Forumite
    170 Posts
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    edited 14 May 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
  • edited 14 May at 4:03PM
    elsienelsien Forumite
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    edited 14 May 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.
  • SkintoapSkintoap 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. 
  • edited 15 May at 10:34AM
    FarwayFarway Forumite
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    edited 15 May 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

  • CyclamenCyclamen Forumite
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    Eighth Anniversary 500 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker


    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. 
  • GaleSF63GaleSF63 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

  • HippycamperHippycamper Forumite
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    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_TribeNorthern_Tribe Forumite
    22 Posts
    Seventh Anniversary 10 Posts Name Dropper
    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.
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