You are hurting your online store

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SOMETIMES there’s nothing worse than having to wander around the supermarket – so it’s often easier to order your weekly store online.

The problem is that you have to pay extra for delivery costs – and many have increased in recent weeks.

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There are some things to look out for when ordering your grocery store onlineCredit: Getty

Sainsbury’s charges have risen by 25%, sparking outrage from customers.

The initial annual fee – popular with families and vulnerable shoppers, including the elderly – has risen from £30 in 2021 to £40 for customers wishing to renew this year.

Meanwhile, Sainsbury’s annual ‘anytime delivery pass’ is being cut from £60 to £80.

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

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The price of the food itself on supermarket shelves has also skyrocketed, so even if you got a bargain on your delivery, you might have to pay more than usual.

The average family is thought to shell out around £271 more a year on their food bill – and those are just the ones doing the shopping cart in person.

Here’s how to save costs the next time you connect:

Filter by lowest price

If you’re looking for something specific, you can type it into the store’s search bar and switch your view to only see the cheapest first.

Filter from bottom to top when you find a section that interests you.

If it’s cheese, for example, you can immediately find the cheapest cheddar the store has to offer.

After all, the supermarket controls what you see on its website. Therefore, if you display products on its standard layout, you may find all the most expensive high-end products in the first place.

Get a delivery offer

The biggest thing you have to worry about when ordering online is how much you have to shell out to get your goods delivered to your doorstep.

Shipping costs, which you may not even find out until checkout, can sometimes force you to go over budget.

And if you do a lot of shopping throughout the month, it can all add up.

Consider joining a delivery saver option that allows you to prepay for a certain number of time slots.

Usually you have to pay a higher monthly fee, but it’s cheaper if you do a lot of shopping during this time.

It is the right time

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

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

You’ll get cheaper delivery at less busy times of the day, like late evening.

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

Or rather collect

All major UK supermarkets offer you the option of collecting your order online rather than having it delivered.

This way you can avoid expensive delivery costs and save a few extra euros on your order.

Asda slots cost 50p and Tesco slots £1.

It’s 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 economy supermarket for £4.99.

Modify your basket

Once you’ve placed your order, you may think back to this week’s budget.

But supermarkets will allow you to change your order once you have placed it, within a certain period of time.

The cut-off point is usually the day before your delivery.

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

If you place your order just before the cut-off point, you may be able to remove things that you have decided you don’t need.

You will also be able to check if there are new offers, discounts or promotions on the items you want, then you can redeem them and reduce your bill by a few cents in the process.

At Tesco you can change your order until 11.45pm the day before your slot, and at Sainsbury’s it is 11pm.

For Morrisons and Asda customers, the lead time depends on when your order was booked.

Check replacements

If the supermarket does not have the item you have requested, they may replace it with another product.

But if you don’t want the exchange, be sure to hand it over to the driver.

You will get the amount deducted from your order.

If you 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 the price of the item when it has been packed.

You should be refunded the difference 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 can link the card to your online account to accumulate points and benefit from any discounts or offers to which you are entitled.

Morrisons has its My Morrisons app with personalized offers and Sainsbury’s customers can collect Nectar Points online.

Tesco lets you use your Clubcard when shopping online, so you’ll get lower prices and earn points.

Asda is currently testing a loyalty program in 48 stores, so if you live near one of these branches, you can give it a try.

But save your points for later

Of course, you’ll save money if you apply the points you’ve accumulated to your cart each time you checkout.

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

Tesco is a good example.

Its Clubcard program lets you redeem points for cash at places like Hungry Horse pubs or Cineworld.

£8 vouchers also get you three months of Disney+ right now, which would otherwise have cost binge-watchers around £24.

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Even improperly unpacking your delivery once it’s dropped off at the door could cost you hundreds of dollars.

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