Supermarkets, how do you manage your shop and what would help it to be better

Sharon_K Administrator Posts: 268
edited 8. Jun 2021, 12:44 in Living with arthritis

We need your help. We all find going to the supermarket problematic and often daunting, so what hints and tips do you have to help you get it done with as little pain and discomfort as possible?

If you could have a perfect supermarket to support your weekly shop what would it look like, what changes would you make?

What would make it a better shopping experience, i.e. seats in store to take a break, a helping hand from staff, pain management support from the in store Pharmacy?

What would you ask supermarkets to avoid doing because it causes you extra problems?

Share your positive and negative experiences with us

Many thanks



  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,079

    One tip - do it online. I've had to for years. It's no quicker but much more comfortable, especially with a cuppa.

    “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.” H.L. Mencken
  • Mike1
    Mike1 Member Posts: 1,437

    I have only been shopping on-line since before the pandemic as I live alone and have no transport, plus to go shopping in my wheelchair would cost me £30 in taxi fares. At the start of the pandemic the major issue was getting delivery slots as everyone jumped on the bandwagon, although disabled I could not get a priority delivery slot as my medical problems were not on the Government list. Over the past 6 months delivery slots have become more available so that is not so much of a problem. My main issue is that both Asda and Morrisions down here have their deliveries of fresh foods early in the morning but my order is put together overnight, as a result I frequently do not have the fresh stuff I ordered. I do not accept "substitutions" as they have sent me stuff that I would not use in the past resulting in both wasted money and food. My main remaining complaints are that the supermarkets have reduced the availability of products on-line and have also increased the prices of the products available on-line vesus in-store prices. In addition on-line shopping does not compare to the in-store experience as one cannot browse the shelves and therefore miss the opportunity for impulse buys etc. Now that bags are no longer available the delivery of shopping became a problem moving it from the door into my kitchen and then putting it away, after months I have now managed to get the delivery driver to leave me the crate so now when they deliver they drop off the full crate by the back door and take away the empty one.

  • Shell_H
    Shell_H Moderator Posts: 287

    I too use online, almost exclusively. I second @Mike1 's comments about the availability having been reduced for online, and prices do seem to be different to in-store, which I don't like at all.

    Although, one thing I have found to aleiviate one of @Mike1 's issues - I've swapped to useing Morrisons as provided through Amazon. This gives me free delivery (as I have prime), but more importantly - they will delivier the same day you order if you order in the morning / early afternoon, and they don't seem to pack up your shopping until a couple of hours before your delivery, so I always do get what's available on the fresh aisles. Your delivery can be any 2-hour timeslot that day or the next, so you're not restricted to first thing ion the morning, either.

    No solution to the having to carry it through. Think you've done a good job with your local delivery driver there Mike! This isn't an uncommon issue, so there really should be some way to indicate that you need special help in some way at delivery, and delivery drivers should be aware that they may have to either come into the house to drop off on table or kitchen side, or have an arrangement like Mike's crate in instances of customer need.

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,079

    Sainsbury's have delivered ours long before the pandemic. We're fortunate to have the dining table just inside the door and they will all bring the crates into it and, when Mr SW isn't there, unpack for me. I don't think they're supposed to for their own sakes but our drivers are lovely and know we never go anywhere anyway now.

    I wonder if the price difference / non-offers are to do with time ie my offers all say until when they're available. An offer could end between my making the list and my delivery date. Or possibly place might come into it. i think most supermarkets have local offers and, since the pandemic began, our delivery is not always from our nearest store. In fact it amazes me how far they sometimes have to drive.

    I pay an annual delivery fee and then it's free (for £40 worth or over) with one hour delivery slots.

    “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.” H.L. Mencken
  • N1gel
    N1gel Member Posts: 83
    edited 9. Jun 2021, 16:01

    I've been shopping online for years too, with the same supermarket and same drivers which was an enormous help, as right at the start they asked their delivery drivers who ought to go on the priority list from a purely practical point of view.

    You need to plan ahead and can't make impulse buys or buy reduced stuff that's near it's sell by date. At the start of lockdown I bought a little worktop freezer that I'd recommend for anyone living on their own.

    The delivery slot situation seems to be easing (no more scrambling for a slot at midnight!)

    My solution to the carry through situation was to get a 'sack truck' which you could put on the doorstep - I guess one of those wheeled baskets would do as well? Although drivers are now allowed to use their discretion on whether to put stuff inside the house. I agree, they ought to make those crates available.

    In the days when I still used to go out shopping they had what they called a 'personal shopper' service (not as grand as it sounds!) just someone to push the trolley and get stuff off the shelves.

    One very important thing to tell the supermarkets are that those trolleys that clip to the front of your wheelchair are a joke, how are you supposed to look properly, lean up or down to get anything when you're clipped in to a trolley! Did they actually test them with a wheelchair user?🤣🤣🤣

    I don't miss the physical supermarket one little bit

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 994

    Looks like I’m in a minority, I still like going to the shop, I hate on line shopping. But I plan my route round the shop so I’m not going back and forth, and limit how many aisles I’m going to explore. No browsing, targeted shopping. I also park either close to the shop entrance or by a trolley park so I don't have to walk far. And always use a trolley, no “I’m only going n for a few bits”. We all know it never works out like that!

  • Licklelilly
    Licklelilly Member Posts: 11

    Just this minute I got a phone call from Morrison's delivery driver, this is my very first delivery as I'm now day 9 after my THR OP. The driver said she had a personal accident and my shopping is in the next town awaiting click n collect! I had to phone my partner at work to go and fetch it in his lunch hour! Not having much luck with online delivery! Hah!

  • Laura_88
    Laura_88 Member Posts: 4

    I need to reply to this because I’ve always shopped with Tesco online and recently they stopped using plastic bags which I totally understand for the environment but I really struggled last week to get all the shopping out the cart by myself and it was such a challenge. It has put me off online shopping now.

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,079

    Laura, we've never had to do that. (Sainsburys.) The delivery people have always unpacked the crates for us. At the height of the pandemic this was onto our garden table. Mr SW then sanitised stuff, packed it in our bags and brought it in. Now, bless 'em, they're back to bringing the crates onto our dining table and will help us unpack there.

    “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.” H.L. Mencken
  • Mike1
    Mike1 Member Posts: 1,437

    I do my on-line shopping with ASDA, when they stopped using plastic bags I asked the delivery driver to leave the crate which he did, now each week they swap the crates over on a chair by my back door which makes life easier to take the shopping bit by bit into the kitchen.

  • Kimmi
    Kimmi Member Posts: 2

    I like to go shopping, so to make life easier, I always use the lower trolley, and I scan the items myself, so that I can pack them straight into the shopping bags whilst they’re in the trolley.

    I can’t manage loading it into the conveyor belt as I’m so slow and in too much pain. I get embarrassed packing as I’m holding the queue up.

    Couple of things I’d love, are to press a bell to call for help when I can’t reach the top shelf, or lift a heavy item. The best thing would be for someone to lift my bags into my car, as I have no strength in my arms.

  • chrisb
    chrisb Moderator Posts: 230

    Hi @Kimmi  

    Welcome to the Versus Arthritis forum. 

    I see that you’ve already made your first post by contributing your experiences of supermarket shopping to this discussion.

    I hope there are other discussions that you'd like to get involved in and that you find joining the forum a rewarding experience.

    Best Wishes


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