Supermarkets are places of entrapment if you’re unemployed/at uni and unable to contemplate 3 for 2 on chocolate mousse. There’s a reason you spend more than you should (on aforementioned mousse) in those aisles, which is why it can only be a good thing that everything’s heading online. Morrison’s are on the bandwagon, so follow suit and start saving…
Wondered why the flowers and brightly coloured magazines are always at the front of the supermarket? They make you happy, and more likely buy things. And the bakery stretching along the back wall, meaning you smell bread every time you walk down the aisle? That makes you salivate, and more likely to buy things. What about the fact you always have to search for the dairy aisle, having to pass through shelves and shelves of food and promotions? That makes you stop and buy more things.
We could go on (all the stuff the supermarket wants to push are placed at eye level! All the promotions are on the end of aisles so, when you pause to consider where to head next in order to not get caught up and buy more stuff, you’ll buy more stuff!) but suffice to say they’re sophisticated psychological minefields.
While online shopping puts off those in poverty, the delivery charge is not only optional (see below) but, if you choose to pay it, worth the money. Tesco value, Sainsbury’s basics and the entire Asda range are cheap enough to justify the £3-£6 extra you would have spent on bulk-buying Doritos in a trolleyed panic. Or nipping into those more expensive, smaller stores (Tesco Express, Sainsbury’s Local) at odd intervals, where you end up grabbing a sandwich for £3. Which is your delivery charge right there. For one, disappointing, meal.
But how? How can you navigate this mysterious world where you click on a picture of some onions and they appear at your door a few days later?
All hail the GTB guide to food-shopping online when you’ve got very little cash…
1. Make a list
There’ll be no fresh bread to get you drooling but if you’re skint you might be hungry, so make a list and stick to it. Avoid promotions – it’s easier to ignore the words “BOGOF MELONS” than being face-to-face with them- and refuse to deviate from the search box.
2. Go value, basic or essential.
Don’t type “apples” into the search box, because you’ll get crispy Pink Lady varieties costing £30 for a bag of 4. if you’re shopping with Tesco, add the world “basic”. If Sainsbury’s, go “basic” again. If Asda, opt for “smartprice”. That way you get the cheapest options (28P FOR KETCHUP KLAXON) without having to search through all the luxe. Crying.
3. Avoid the delivery charge…
Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Asda have a ‘Click To Collect’ option, where you can go pick up your shopping at the nearest branch. For Sainsbury’s and Asda this is free! Hooray. Tesco charge £2 which is still less than the delivery. So you avoid the mind control, as well as the extra money. Bonus.
4. …Or get the cheapest one
You may have to wait a few days for the shopping, as next day delivery always cost more, but pick your time depending on the price. They’re all different. Tesco is the only supermarket that doesn’t penalise you based on the size of your order, whereas Sainsbury’s does occasionally raise the price if you spend less than £25 so keep that in mind.
And there you have it. From now on, you can apply for jobs while casually shopping online (but with direction; see bullet point 1) safe in the knowledge that you won’t come out with multipacks of cherry coke despite the fact you don’t like it. And, if you don’t mind the walk, you won’t even have to pay a charge.