Increasing numbers of us now do our food shopping online, rather than taking a trip to the supermarket each week. Here’s how to keep the costs down.
In most cases, you do pay for the privilege of having your shopping delivered to your door, and this can be up to £7 a time. However, the charges involved can vary significantly between different supermarkets, with some offering special delivery passes that can save you money if you are a regular shopper.
There are several factors you need to consider when deciding whether or not to get your food shopping delivered and which supermarket might be the best choice for you.
Here we run through and compare the costs of delivery with and without a pass, and what you get for your money. This includes any restrictions on delivery dates, minimum spend and the best way to pay for your pass.
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If you want your groceries delivered by Tesco, you can pay a one-off delivery charge of between £3-£7, depending on your location and the time of your one-hour chosen delivery slot. This charge is added to your final bill at the online checkout.
Cheaper four-hour flexi-slots are also available with prices from £1.50 up to £4. This option means reserving a four-hour window for delivery. Tesco will then confirm a one-hour slot within this, on the day.
Deliveries at Tesco are generally available from 8am to 11pm on weekdays and from 8am to 10pm at weekends, excluding Christmas Day and Easter Sunday. Home delivery may be available from as early as 6am or 7am, depending on where you live.
You will need to spend a minimum of £50 on groceries, otherwise a £5 surcharge will be added on. This is regardless of whether you pay per shop or have a cheaper delivery pass.
How much are Tesco delivery passes and how do they work?
If you’re a regular Tesco shopper, you can save on delivery charges by paying for a season-ticket style delivery pass. These are available on both six and 12-month contracts.
There are two options:
- Off peak delivery pass. This is the cheapest option and covers deliveries after 3pm. It costs £4.99 a month over six months (or £29.94 upfront), or £3.99 over 12 months (£47.88 upfront).
- Anytime delivery pass. With this version, you can choose and book any available delivery slot. You can also book same-day deliveries, subject to availability, and get priority access for Christmas delivery slots. Costs £7.99 monthly (£47.94 upfront) for six months, or £6.99 a month (£83.88 upfront) for a 12-month contract.
Another cheaper option, although it won’t mean delivery to your door, is Tesco’s Click & Collect service. This costs £2.49 a month and enables you to shop online, (as you would with home delivery). But you will need to reserve a slot for collection at your chosen Tesco store.
Tesco also promises you’ll never be out of pocket with its delivery saver plans. It claims when your plan ends, it will calculate how much you would have paid for delivery. If this is less than you’ve spent on your delivery plan, you will get a refund for the difference in the form of an e-coupon. This should arrive within 21 days of your plan ending.
Is a Tesco delivery pass worth it?
Depending on your shopping habits, we worked out that you could save over £280 a year on delivery charges by opting for a delivery pass.
We based our savings on the cost of having one weekly Tesco delivery at £7 compared with an annual anytime delivery pass at £6.99 a month.
At Sainsbury’s, you can sign up for one-hour delivery slots which can cost up to £5.50 or opt for a flexible saver slot from just £1.
It offers home deliveries seven days a week from 6am through to 11pm, although this can vary between stores.
The flexible saver is a cheaper and covers a four-hour window. As with Tesco, you will be contacted on the day of delivery with a specific one-hour slot within this time frame.
Deliveries are available seven days a week. And standard delivery charges can vary based on your chosen timeslot, location and also the size of your shopping order.
The minimum spend is £25 and orders under £40 will incur a £7 standard delivery charge.
How much are Sainsbury’s delivery passes and how do they work?
You can save money with a Sainsbury’s delivery pass and there are two options:
- Midweek pass. This is the cheapest option. You can pre-book slots from Tuesday to Thursday and have access to one-hour delivery slots. It costs £4 per month or £40 for one year if you pay upfront.
- Anytime pass. You can book one delivery a day and have access to one-hour delivery slots. It costs £7.50 a month, or £43 upfront for six months, or £80 upfront for 1 year.
There is a minimum spend of £40, after any coupons or discounts. While you can order less, this means orders will incur an extra £7 charge.
Is a Sainsbury’s delivery pass worth it?
When it comes to working out how much you could save with a delivery pass, it’s slightly more complicated than with Tesco.
Based on booking its cheapest £1 slots and spending over £40 each time, you could still save £4 a year by signing up for its midweek delivery pass.
However, if you want anytime delivery and find you typically book its higher £5.50 delivery slots, you could save over £200 a year by opting to pay the upfront £80 cost for its annual anytime delivery pass.
Sainsbury’s has a delivery pass guarantee in place. This means that if you don’t save enough through having the pass to cover the cost of your deliveries, you will be sent a voucher for the difference.
New to Sainsbury’s online?
You can save £12 off a £60+ online grocery shop using the code SCPPC23N012 at Sainsbury’s. Valid for new orders delivered on or before 30 November 2023.
Delivery slots at Asda cost between £1.50 and £5, depending on the time of the slot. Cheaper £1.50 slots tend to be available later in the evening.
You do need to spend a minimum of £40. Otherwise you will incur a £3 charge, on top of any delivery charge.
How much are Asda delivery passes and how do they work?
Regular shoppers can save on the cost of their grocery delivery with a delivery pass. Like its competitors, Asda also has two options.
- Midweek pass. This is the cheapest option. You can pre-book up to one grocery delivery per day from Tuesday to Thursday. It costs £3.50 per month or £35 as a one-off annual payment.
- Anytime pass. You can book up to one grocery delivery per day any day of the week. It costs £6.50 per month or £65 as a one-off annual payment.
Both passes apply on next-day deliveries or beyond. And the £40 minimum basket order also applies.
You can’t use delivery passes if you order using Asda’s Express same day speedy delivery service. This service guarantees delivery within four hours of ordering (and can be as fast as one hour), with no minimum spend, but comes with a flat £8.50 charge.
Is an Asda delivery pass worth it?
Asda claims that you can save up to £199 a year when you pay annually for a delivery pass.
It bases this on the cost of one shop per week at a delivery cost of £4.50 (which is one of its most expensive midweek delivery slots), compared with the cost of buying a midweek 12 month pass, and paying the £35 upfront charge.
And even if you forked out the £65 annual charge for its anytime pass, you could still save £169 this way.
One big perk of Asda delivery passes are that both of them entitle you to priority booking for Easter and Christmas. With Tesco, you can only do this if you pay for its more expensive Anytime pass.
Asda also guarantees that if you do not save money with a delivery pass over the year, it will refund the difference with an eVoucher.
Iceland doesn’t offer delivery passes, as you can get free delivery with both online orders and shopping in store. The way this works is that if you shop online, you can get free next-day delivery, providing you spend a minimum of £40.
And if you shop in store, you can get free same day delivery on minimum orders of £25+.
If you spend under these minimum amounts, you can incur a delivery fee of £3 or £4 depending on your location.
Iceland delivers every day of the week, with two-hour delivery slots running from 8am to 9pm.
Free delivery is a winner, and a great bonus even if you prefer to shop in store but can’t carry your bags home. However, you may be hard pushed to get all your weekly shopping at Iceland. While you can stock up on frozen food, its choice of grocery items tends to be much more limited than larger supermarkets.
New to Iceland online?
If you’re new to Iceland you can get £5 off an online shop of £45 or more. Enter the code ICEFIVEOFF at the online checkout.
Delivery slots at Morrisons start at £1.50 and cost as much as £6, depending on the time slot you choose.
The minimum spend for Morrisons deliveries is £25.
Slots run from 5.30am to 11.30pm and are available all week. Each slot is one-hour long.
How much are Morrisons delivery passes and how do they work?
You can save money on delivery charges with a Morrisons delivery pass.
There are two options:
- Midweek pass. This is the cheapest pass. Like many of the other supermarkets, this midweek delivery pass covers deliveries from Tuesday to Thursday. It costs £5 a month £25 for a six-month version or £40 for a year.
- Anytime pass. This covers deliveries any day of the week. It costs £8 a month £45 for six months or £70 for the year.
Is a Morrisons delivery pass worth it?
Morrisons says you can save up to £176 a year with a delivery pass. It bases this on its midweek annual pass at £40, compared with the average weekly delivery cost of £4.15.
Ocado sell its own Ocado products, a range of big brands, some smaller ones and M&S food.
The cost of an Ocado delivery varies depending on the slot you go for and how much you buy. Booking a standard delivery slot can cost from 99p up to £6.99, depending on the slot you choose. You can see the prices and available delivery dates on the Ocado website.
There is a minimum spend of £40 for home delivery. If you spend under £75, you pay a delivery charge from £2.99 to £6.99 for the most popular slots.
However, if you spend over £75, you may get free delivery. And there are occasionally 99p delivery offers on a Wednesday and weekend promotions offering free delivery.
How much are Ocado delivery passes and how do they work?
If you’re a regular Ocado shopper, you could save money with Ocado’s Smart Pass. This means free delivery plus discounts of at least 10% on over 500 items, along with a gift from Ocado each year.
There are two options available:
- Midweek Smart Pass. Valid from Tuesday to Thursday, this is the cheapest option. It costs £3.99 on a monthly basis, £22.49 for a six- month pass and £39.99 for an annual pass.
- Anytime Smart Pass. This is valid any day of the week. It costs £8.99 on a monthly basis, £49.99 for a six-month pass and £89.99 for an annual version.
Is an Ocado delivery pass worth it?
If you tend to book Ocado’s popular slots, this can cost you £6.99 a week. This means you could save a huge £273 opting for its annual anytime pass and paying upfront.
However, if you’re not a big shopper and regularly spend under £75, you may not save much compared with its annual midweek pass, which comes in at £39.99.
New to Ocado online?
You can save 25% off your first online order when spending £60 or more at Ocado. Enter the code VOU3291357 at the checkout. First-time shoppers also get unlimited free delivery for the first three months.
The code cannot be redeemed on orders delivered between 19-26 December 2023.
With Waitrose, shoppers can book one-hour delivery slots. Slots are available seven days a week from 7am to 10pm.
Waitrose does not offer a delivery pass option. Instead, you will need to pay a flat delivery fee of £4, for a one-hour fixed delivery slot.
A cheaper option is to book a four-hour delivery window, where you will then get a one-hour slot within that time frame confirmed on the day. This costs £2.
There is a minimum spend of £40 for delivery.
How does Waitrose delivery costs compare?
If you’re a regular Waitrose shopper and want home delivery, this could work out at over £200 a year if you go for a one-hour fixed slot.
To take advantage of its cheapest four-hour window slot, you would still pay £104 a year for weekly deliveries. This is £39 a year more than the cheapest ‘Anytime’ pass we found, which is with Morrisons and means a one-hour delivery slot any day of the week, subject to availability.
Pros and cons of supermarket delivery passes
Every store is different and what’s best will depend on your shopping habits. But here a few pros and cons of supermarket delivery passes.
- If you regularly shop at the same supermarket, a delivery pass can work out much cheaper than paying per slot.
- With some supermarkets, you can pay less than £1 a week for unlimited deliveries (subject to one delivery per day).
- With some passes, such as the Tesco Anytime, you will get priority access when booking Christmas slots.
- You need to spend a minimum amount per shop of between £25 and £50, depending on the supermarket.
- If you spend less, you may still get a delivery but be hit with extra charges.
- If you don’t stick with the same supermarket every week, you may not get full benefit from a delivery pass.
Christmas delivery slots and how to book one
It’s that time of year when the major supermarkets have already opened their Christmas booking slots.
In some cases, as with Tesco, priority is given to its Anytime Delivery Pass customers. This opened on 7 November, with remaining delivery slots open to everyone two weeks later on 21 November.
If you don’t have a delivery pass, you can still book a supermarket Christmas delivery slot, depending on availability. However, you will pay the standard delivery price for the slot you choose.
We have checked out when you can book and the last date for Christmas grocery delivery, subject to availability.
|Supermarket||Who can book Christmas delivery & when||Last Christmas delivery date|
|Asda||Bookings opened for delivery pass holders on 3 October. All shoppers can now book Christmas slots.||Christmas delivery until 23 Dec. Limited number of delivery slots yet to be released for 24 Dec. Available to book from 20 Dec.|
|Co-op||No priority as Co-op doesn't offer delivery passes||Delivery slots can usually be booked up to 5 days in advance. Typically available up to and including Christmas Eve.|
|Morrisons||Bookings opened for delivery pass customers on 18 October. Since 25 October all shoppers can book slots.||Up to and including Christmas Eve|
|Ocado||Smart Pass holders who signed up on or before 1 September already have early access to book. Ocado says it will stagger the option to book remaining slots and customers should check the website or their app for the latest.||Up to and including Christmas Eve (minimum order between 20-24 Dec is £90)|
|Sainsbury’s||Bookings opened for delivery pass holders from 16 October. All shoppers can now book slots.||Up to and including Christmas Eve, subject to availability as these slots go fast.|
|Tesco||Bookings opened on 7 November for Anytime delivery pass customers. Booking opens to all from 21 November.||In most cases last day for delivery is 23 Dec. In a limited number of areas, around London, Christmas Eve delivery may be available until 3pm.|
|Waitrose||Booking available to all customers||Up to and including Christmas Eve, subject to availability as slots go fast.|