The other day, Tim was on the phone to his mum and dad, and they were talking about different ways to get essentials delivered at the moment – what with the supermarkets struggling to keep up.
After that, he and I sat down and bashed out ideas for all the different types of shop and delivery service we could think of – and then he wrote a nice long list for his mum and dad.
We thought other people might find it useful too, so without further ado, I’ll hand you over to my husband for his special guest appearance…
After talking to you yesterday, I thought I’d send a list of various places you can order food etc from online. I’m not sure if all of it will be useful, but worth a look through. Having done this I might give it to Julie to share on the newsletter, too, as I bet other people would find it helpful too.
- Ordering online from the supermarkets. As you know, the big issue is they don’t have enough delivery slots available for everyone who wants to use them. If you can, set up online accounts with each of them so you can check when new deliveries are added – it’s worth checking each day. Then if you get a slot, you can go through choosing what you want to order (best to get the slot first, rather than going through choosing what you want only to discover they have no slots available). By the way, I’ve heard that the government is passing lists of vulnerable people to the supermarkets so they can get priority treatment but I don’t know exactly how this’ll work in practice. Keep an eye out for an email or something similar.
- Morrisons and M&S (and maybe others) are also doing boxes of food you can order. This is separate from their normal online ordering and instead of being delivered by the supermarket themselves, it’s sent via a courier like DPD. You don’t get much choice – I think Morrisons have four boxes you can choose from, but the idea is it gives you most of the food you need for a week.
- Morrisons are also doing what they call “doorstep deliveries” for people who are vulnerable and can’t go to the shops. The choice is much more limited than the online shopping but you ring up, tell them what you want and they deliver it to you – here’s the list you can choose from if you want a look (You do need to pay by contactless card when they deliver, though, so you’ll need to go to the door when they arrive.)
- The supermarkets also offer “Click and collect”, which hasn’t tended to be quite as hard to get a slot for as home delivery. You choose what you want online and then pick it up from a place in the supermarket car park, but you do need to get out of the car to get it. Could be handy if a friend is picking it up though, rather than sending them with a list, as long as you make sure your friend has the receipt or whatever they need to collect.
- Online delivery services. There are loads of more specialist companies online that sell food. Online butchers, veg box companies, eggs, fancy cheese and so on. I’ve found a few but there are loads of others – it might be worth doing a web search for anything in particular you’re after. This food is often more expensive – it’s not that they’ve put prices up (the ones I’ve seen haven’t) but they sell posher food than typical supermarket fare so it’s more expensive. For example Campbell’s Meat and Muscle Food are both butchers, and The Food Market sells all sorts of high quality foods – but there lots of others, depending on what you’re after, so I’d have a look round rather than just using those.
- There are also some local food shops that are delivering – or I’ve heard of some where you drive to them and they put what you’ve ordered over the phone straight into the boot of your car so you never get out. You can do a web search to find any near you but also try searching on Facebook or see if there’s a local Facebook group – they might be mentioned on there.
- Milk deliveries have become more popular again in recent years, so most areas have one (or more). You can do a quick online search to find one in your area or again, have a look on a local Facebook group (more on that in a tick) or search on Facebook. Some do eggs and so on as well. Some are too busy now to take on new customers but many are accepting new ones – though you might not get the choice between glass or plastic bottles that you normally would (we did though!)
- There are also some local wholesale companies that are currently delivering to individuals. You’ll have to do a bit of looking online to find them and some of them you have to ring up, others you can order online – but it’s another way to get a decent amount of food delivered.
- A lot of takeaways are still open – but not for taking away, only for deliveries. Some of them you can order over the phone or on their own website or some of them you can find through the “Just Eat” or “Uber Eats” websites or apps. Maybe not for every day but nice to still be able to have a treat now and then even if you can’t go out to a restaurant.
- Local volunteers. In a lot of parts of the country, there are loads of people offering to help by picking up shopping (or prescriptions) for people who can’t get out. The best way to find out is probably to look and see if there’s a local Facebook group and join it if so. You might find people saying on there that they’ll help anyone who’s stuck and you might also find a list of local services that might be helpful. (Or you can ask on there for help if not). When you’re looking, try searching for your town or village name or a district if you’re in a big city. You could even try searching for your street name or if there’s a nickname for the area try that. Just make sure you get the right one – there might be an area with the same name at the other end of the country!
- There’s also an official phone number from the government. It varies by where you live as it’s run by the council, but there should be a phone number you can ring if you’re stuck and they can pick up shopping etc for you – either by putting you in touch with someone who’s volunteered with them or some council workers who are doing that instead of their normal jobs. If you’ve had a letter saying you should isolate, there should be a phone number given on that – or you can look on the local council website.
I hope you find that list useful, and if you have any other ideas, please feel free to share them! The more the merrier! If you’ve got any suggestions that you’d like to let other readers know about, just pop them in the comments at the bottom of this webpage version of the newsletter – I’ll look forward to reading them…
Look after yourselves