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

Sharon_K Member Posts: 460
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: 27,707

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

    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • Mike1
    Mike1 Member Posts: 1,992

    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 Member Posts: 548

    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: 27,707

    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.

    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • N1gel
    N1gel Member Posts: 160
    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: 1,740

    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: 29

    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: 5

    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: 27,707

    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.

    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • Mike1
    Mike1 Member Posts: 1,992

    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: 677

    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


    Need more help - call our Helpline on 0800 5200 520 Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm

  • jamieA
    jamieA Member Posts: 698

    Since being diagnosed with PsA last October I started online shopping firstly with Morrisons for about 6 months and now with Sainsburys. I found that I was really disappointed with Morrisons - I'd signed up for 6 months saver deliveries and during that time had to complain 5-6 times regarding poor quality fruit and vegetables and even out of date bread. Since moving to Sainsburys I've found the fresh produce good and the staff friendly and helpful. I ensure I've got 4 or 5 strong, empty, open bags behind the door when the delivery arrives and the driver usually helps out filling them and taking away each empty crate. I then just drag any of the bags that are heavy across the floor and into my kitchen.

  • Rosiepup
    Rosiepup Member Posts: 21
    edited 22. Jun 2021, 21:52

    I've been doing most of my shopping online since last March, I alternate between Sainsbury's and Morrisons. I try and book early morning slots because I seem to get longer use by dates/fresher fruit and veg. Morrisons in particular sometimes pop free things in with the order, I've had free fruit/veg/bread and once got free teabags and biscuits! Bringing the things in from the doorstep seems to vary from driver to driver - some have helped pack the shopping into my big bags for life on the doorstep, some just leave me to do it myself, occasionally they have brought the crates into the kitchen. This morning I think the driver could see me struggling a bit to get everything out of the crate on the doorstep and put the next crate on top of the empty one so it was a bit higher up, and ended up holding the crates up for me to unload! I also liked doing click and collect from Sainsbury's but they have stopped doing the early morning slots at my local store so I have gone back to deliveries. I miss going round the supermarket in person, the impulse buys and spotting new things, but when I've tried shopping in store now it seems like a much more stressful experience than pre-covid. I am wary of people who seem incapable of keeping a distance, and the checkout queues seem worse now. My local Sainsbury's has the handheld scanners which I use when I do go in, this is quicker and easier as it saves queueing/packing at the checkout. I always use the smaller trolleys so the bags are higher up, it would be impossible to haul full bags out of the big deep trolleys. My biggest problem shopping in store is when the thing you want is right at the back of the shelf, particularly the top shelf or even worse right at the back of the bottom shelf, I have to go hunting for an assistant to get the thing I want. I've got restricted shoulder movement so can't reach up very well and I can't get down on the floor. Online shopping at least solves that problem!

  • bosh
    bosh Member Posts: 4,022

    Hi @Sharon_K , nice to meet you, I’m lucky in the fact I’m not responsible for the main shopping, but I do bits and pieces of non- virtual shopping when I walk, I do worry about kids accidentally bumping into me etc, I try to go when it’s quieter, but really it depends on my morning energy levels.

  • Anne16
    Anne16 Member Posts: 14

    I have to admit I have been shopping on line with Tesco off and on for many years, but for the past 3 years have taken out a delivery saver package. I am so glad to have done this before the pandemic. I order a shop ever 6 days or so, and immediately book another slot. At the moment I have slots booked until the end of the month. I know it is an extra £6.99 a month but so worth while. If there is anything amiss or something I don't particularly like with the substitutions, it is taken away by the delivery driver and refunded and appears back in bank account within 2/3 days. I can thoroughly recommend them.🌸