You're doing your online shop wrong – how to save as stores like Sainsbury’s hike delivery fees and food prices rocket

SOMETIMES there's nothing worse than having to traipse around the supermarket – so it's often easier to order your weekly shop online.

The trouble is, you have to fork out extra for delivery costs – and plenty have gone up in recent weeks.

Sainsbury's fees went up by 25%, sparking outrage among customers.

The upfront annual fee – popular with families and vulnerable shoppers including the elderly – has soared from £30 in 2021 to £40 for customers looking to renew this year.

Meanwhile, Sainsbury's annual “anytime delivery pass“ is rising from £60 to £80.

But families are looking for ways to reduce their spending as the cost of living soars.

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The food itself on the supermarket shelves has also rocketed in price, so even if you did get a good deal on your delivery, you might face paying more than you're used to.

The average family is thought to be forking out around £271 more a year on their food bill – and that's just those doing the trolley dash in person.

Here's how to cut down costs when you next log on:

Filter by lowest price

If there's something specific that you're on the hunt for you can type it into the store's search bar and toggle your viewing to see just the cheapest first.

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Filter low to high when you've found a section you want.

If it's cheese say, then you'll straight away be able to find the cheapest cheddar the store has to offer.

The supermarket has control over what you see on its website after all, so if you view products on its standard layout you might find all the pricier, premium products pushed upon you first.

Get a delivery deal

The biggest thing you have to worry about when you're ordering online is all the extra forking out you have to do just to get your goods delivered to your door.

The delivery fee, that you might not even find out about until it comes time to check out, can sometimes force you over budget.

And if you're doing a lot of shopping through the month it can all add up.

Consider joining a delivery saver option which lets you pay upfront for a certain amount of slots.

Usually you have to pay a pricier monthly fee, but it works out cheaper i you do a lot of shopping in that period.

Time it right

If you can be flexible with your booking, you can get a cheaper slot.

Some supermarkets offer a lower fee if you choose a four-hour time slot rather than a one-hour period.

You will get a cheaper delivery at less popular times of the day, such as late evening.

And if you're organised and book ahead, you'll have a wider variety of time slots to choose from.

Or collect instead

All of the major UK supermarkets offer you the option to collect your online shopping order, rather than have it delivered.

That way you can swerve the pricey delivery costs and save a few extra pounds off your order.

Asda collection slots cost 50p and Tesco's start at £1.

It is free to click and collect at Morrisons and at Sainsbury's it costs 50p.

Aldi doesn't offer home delivery but you can click and collect from the budget supermarket for £4.99.

Amend your basket

Once you've made your order you might be rethinking that week's budget.

But supermarkets will let you change your order once you've placed it, within a certain timeframe.

The cut off point is usually the night before your delivery is due.

So if you book on Monday and it's scheduled for Friday, you should be able to change it until Thursday evening.

If you go through your order just before the cut off point, you might be able to axe things you have decided you don't need.

You'll also be able to check if there are any new deals, discounts or promotions on items you want, then you can swap them out and shave a few pennies off your bill in the process.

At Tesco, you can amend your order until 11.:45pm the night before your slot, and at Sainsbury's it's 11pm.

For Morrisons and Asda customers, the deadline depends on when your order is booked for.

Check for substitutions

If the supermarket doesn't have the item you asked for, they might substitute it for a different product.

But if you don't want the swap, make sure you hand it back to the driver.

You'll get the amount knocked off your order.

If you do decide to keep the substitution, the amount you will be charged depends on the supermarket.

Tesco and Asda won't charge you more, even if the substitution is more expensive.

Sainsbury's will send you a voucher for the difference.

But Morrisons says it will charge for how much the item cost when it was packed.

You should get the difference repaid if the substitution is cheaper than your original choice.

Don't forget your loyalty card

Just because you're not in the store doesn't mean you can't use your loyalty card, if you have one.

You will be able to attach the card to your online account to collect points and benefit from any discounts or offers you're entitled to.

Morrisons has it's My Morrisons app with personalised offers and Sainsbury's customers can collect Nectar points online.

Tesco allows you to use your Clubcard while online shopping, so you'll get lower prices and collect points.

Asda is currently trialling a loyalty scheme across 48 stores, so if you live near one of those branches you can try it out.

But save your points for later

Of course you'll make a saving if you apply any points you've racked up to your basket everytime you go to checkout.

But you could bag yourself a better deal letting them add up to use at places where you can double or triple their value.

Tesco is a good example of this.

It's Clubcard scheme lets you trade in points for money off places like Hungry Horse pubs or Cineworld.

£8 worth of vouchers gets you three months of Disney+ right now too, which would have otherwise cost binge watchers around £24.

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Even unpacking your delivery all wrong once it's dropped off at the door could be costing you hundreds.

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