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A guide to ordering online shopping

28th April 2020

Online food shopping is in high demand at the moment and for some older people who have never ordered online before, it can be a stressful experience.

It is a necessity, however, for people who find it difficult carrying heavy grocery bags, those living in remote places and for people who have mobility problems and need to use aids such as stairlifts around the home or mobility scooters outdoors it can also be very exhausting.

Online shopping is the perfect solution as you can order your food from the comfort of your home and this article takes you through some top tips to follow and some of the best places to order your food shop online.

Top tips for online food shopping

Older people can register to get priority

To combat the spread of coronavirus, the government have advised you to stay at home and if you, or someone you know, is vulnerable you can register to get priority for your online food shopping.

All you have to do is to register yourself or someone you know on the Government’s website. By registering you can be prioritised for supermarket delivery slots and access other support as well.

Find a system that is easy to use

If you have ordered food online before from a certain supermarket and you found the system really easy to use, then keep using it.

Sharon Palmer, a plant-powered dietitian who has her own dedicated blog, said: “Find a system that is easy to use. For example, if you are already using Amazon for some items, you may find their system easy to use. You can also check your market that you are already frequenting. Many markets are offering online ordering now. Check the website of your favourite shop or call if you can’t find the information.”

Write out a list of items you need

Like many people do when they are visiting a supermarket, you should make a list of the items you need so you don’t forget something.

Sharon Palmer adds: “Once you choose your vendor, get organised and write out a list. Start with pantry supplies, such as shelf-stable foods, like grains, canned vegetables, spices, oils, nuts, seeds, pasta, dried beans and flour. Then work your way to fresh goods, such as proteins, fruits and vegetables.”

Order what you need for the week

Rather than doing an online food shop every few days, you should try to order the foods you need for the entire week and one way to do this is to create a meal plan that you can follow.

Dietitian Sharon Palmer highly recommends older people try to do this, she said: “It’s great if you can create a meal plan so that you don’t over order. Then order the foods you would want for that week only. For example, what are your typical breakfast foods—cereals, toast? What are your favourite healthy snacks (i.e., peanut butter, hummus, carrots, apples)? What are some of your favourite meals that are easy to make, such as chilli, tacos, or stew. Keep it easy! Then, when you get your delivery, make sure to use the most perishable items first, such as leafy greens, berries, soft fruits, herbs, summer squash. Then use your more long-lasting produce, such as carrots, potatoes, celery, winter squash, later on during the week.”

By ordering your food for the week you can avoid food waste and if you don’t want to cook a meal for yourself every day, then you can buy some easy to use foods, which can range from canned soups or chilli and canned beans to grain mixes, nutrition bars, nut butters and bread.

Go online and order your food

Each supermarket’s website can vary slightly from one another, but if you are ready to order your food online, then these steps are ones you can look to follow.

  1. Go to your favourite supermarket’s website
  2. Using your email address, register for a new account
  3. Find the ‘Groceries’ menu on the home page or something similar (this is often a drop-down menu)
  4. Depending on what you need there should be categories for food items (e.g. Groceries > Fruit & Vegetables > Fresh Vegetables)
  5. When you’ve decided what you want to buy, you just need to select the item and click ‘Add’ and this will add the item to your basket
  6. Once you’ve finished shopping for your groceries, just click ‘Proceed to Check-Out’
  7. Select a delivery time slot that suits you (older people can get priority for the delivery)
  8. Make your payment to purchase your groceries and the delivery driver will bring your shopping to your front door at the time you have requested.

What are the best online grocery shops?

There are lots of sites that you can use to order your online groceries and here are some of the best ones you can use.


Minimum spend: £25

Click here for website

Iceland is offering customers who are 65 and over prioritised delivery and they have been releasing new delivery slots during the day if their existing times have been booked-up.


Minimum spend: £40

Click here for website

Morrisons says delivery slots are limited, but they do offer food boxes which consist of essential food and household items and these start from £30.


Minimum spend: £40

Click here for website

For orders that are over £100 you get free delivery, but for all other orders, it costs £1 to deliver. On top of offering you the chance to book a delivery time that suits you, the supermarkets offer an eco-time slot to help cut down your carbon footprint.


Minimum spend: £60

Click here for website

The supermarket is prioritising the vulnerable and older customers with 25% of online orders and click and collect slots being committed to customers in these groups.


Minimum spend: £25

Click here for website

Tesco has revealed it has expanded its home delivery and click and collect services and during the COVID-19 pandemic they have been prioritising access for people deemed as vulnerable by the government. It also runs a Delivery Saver Plan, a scheme where customers pay a base rate once a month and they can get free home delivery on orders over £40.


Minimum spend: £40

Click here for website

Asda recently increased the number of weekly delivery slots it has available by more than 300,000 and it has asked customers to shop in-store to allow older people and other vulnerable customers to use the available online delivery slots.

Marks & Spencer

Minimum spend: £10

Click here for website

Marks & Spencer has food boxes that it is delivering and these start from £15 and are filled with fresh produce and meat, vegetarian options and other kitchen essentials such as pasta, sauces and tinned foods.


Minimum spend: £15

Click here for website

There are delivery slots available and customers using the online service can only order up to 20 items with some products limited to two per order.

If you are over the age of 65 and suffer from a mobility problem and need to use a stairlift, then online shopping is a great way to make your food shop easier and hassle-free.

Tips for online shopping for over 65s:

  • Older people can register to get priority
  • Find a system that is easy to use
  • Write out a list of items you need
  • Order what you need for the week

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.