Back in America, online grocery delivery services were soaring when I left. Once Amazon incorporated Wholefoods into their company and created the Amazon Fresh with scheduled delivery services, many started utilising this to balance their busy life. But moving to London, I had no idea what services to use or if they even existed. Thankfully, there are options for online grocery deliveries to your home in London.
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As an on-the-go urban hospital shift worker back in the States, it was difficult for me to find time to regularly grocery shop on some days that I needed it the most. I used to come home from work way past business hours of any store.
America has also embraced the use of grocery delivery, allowing it to truly flourish, and that helped me a ton in the past. Especially with Amazon now owning Whole Foods, it was so easy to get Prime Fresh Delivery of groceries. When I moved to London, I had no idea if these services even existed. Does this sound like you at all?
The popularity of grocery delivery is quite different in London. It may be because of the availability of so many more outdoor local markets or that there seems to be as many Tesco markets available as there are Starbucks cafes. But you don't see as many grocery delivery trucks in the neighbourhoods or driving on the roads.
Whether you have a busy lifestyle that you can barely keep up with or you'd rather focus on other things and save time on grocery shopping, here are some reputable online grocery delivery services in London that can help you make the most of your shopping experience.
Ocado is the grocery delivery company that I've seen the most of in London. Literally, I've seen these trucks frequenting Primrose Hill. They offer quality groceries including meat, poultry, fresh produce, eggs, and more along with great delivery services.
At the moment, you'll have difficulty going on to their website and mobile application. The company is limiting the number of customers on the site at a time. There is a virtual queue you can wait in on your desktop, but it's for an indefinite duration of time. But if you're trying to sign up as a new member, they are currently not taking new customers. They are prioritising existing customers at the moment due to the heavy amount of requests for delivery services during this social distancing period.
I was fortunate enough to sign up for Ocado as soon as I moved to London and before the demand became great. If you're able to sign up, it's a great experience where everything is delivered right to your door and the quality is very fresh while the prices are still comparable. I can't wait to use them again.
They provide fruits and vegetables locally sourced within England. All deliveries are within London and are free and can be dispatched the next day as long as the order is placed before 10:30am the previous day. They also provide delivery six days a week (every day except Sunday) between 6am and 1pm. They are currently providing eggs, which is very difficult to find in London at the moment.
I heard of this company in the States and always wanted to use them. So I was delighted to hear that they also exist in London. The company basically takes all of the odd, misshapen, surplus fruits and vegetables and sells them in various sized boxes based on you and your family's portion needs. There is nothing wrong with the produce. But there is so much produce that gets thrown out during the packaging to the markets because they grow in unusual, but natural shapes or there are just too many of them. If it doesn't bother you that a carrot may look like a "V" or a tomato has two bulbs, then go for it.
I recently tried it out. I subscribed to the "family of two" weekly box and the mix of three fruits and seven vegetables. Nothing was oddly shaped in my box, but I did receive several tiny-sized produce including pears, plums, and potatoes that were about half the size of my fist. They also gave me celeriac from Spain due to a surplus. I've never cooked with it before, but it forces you to be creative with your cooking can be a lot of fun.
The box also comes with suggestions on how to cook/eat each produce. I think I'll stick with the Oddbox for now because it's like Forrest Gump's box of chocolates: "You never know what you're gonna get." It's a way for you to be creative and the prices are very reasonable. I'm going to stay subscribed to this for the time being.
Monty's Deli has been a lifesaver for my family. Coming from the states, we're so used to eating lunch meat, which isn't popular in the UK at all. Monty's Deli is a giant step up from lunch meat with their fresh pastrami and salt beef (known as roast beef in the States).
I came across their establishment on social media and was so surprised that they will deliver your pastrami or salt beef overnight vacuum-sealed in a very eco-friendly package that stays cold.
I was thoroughly impressed and it's a large amount of meat without breaking your wallet. We ate one medium order of pastrami between the two of us for about two weeks and it tasted superb. It's perfect for a large family if you're thinking about packing or making lunch. I'll definitely be placing regular orders with them.
Monty's also provides fresh bagels, but they sell out in the blink of an eye. So, I haven't had the privilege of trying it out yet. But I'm assuming they're pretty good with how quickly they sell out. If you want to make New York Style bagels at home like I do, check out my blog post for an Authentic New York Style Bagel Recipe.
Sainbury's online has everything you're looking for from meats, fish, fresh produce, frozen food, toiletries, and so forth. The option I find the most interesting is the smoothie builder. You can build your own smoothie mixes with four easy steps: choosing your base (milk or milk alternative, adding some fruit and vegetables, adding yogurt, then adding toppings (mainly more fruit). There's a similar option for building your own salad, too!
As far as delivery, you can sign up for available one hour time slots 7 days a week. If your order is below £40 per order, you'll be charged a £7 fee for standard delivery and £9 for same day delivery. If your order is above £40 per order, it's about the same cost. Each order is required to be a minimum of £25 in cost. Your order is free if the total cost is over £100 and delivery is booked for Monday - Thursday after 2pm.
Morrisons provides you with the typical groceries which include meats, seafood, poultry, and fresh produce. One thing I appreciate is they have a selection of "Wonky Vegetables", which are abnormally shaped produce that often are tossed out purely due to its irregular shape but has the same quality as any other good produce. This Wonky Vegetables Box mainly has root vegetables such as potatoes, leeks, carrots, onions, and more at a low price of £3.50. You can feel good making this purchase because you are reducing waste.
Morrisons also provides you with recipes for 30 minute meals, drinks, breakfast, and so forth. For delivery, you can sign up for the Morrisons Delivery Pass which varies in cost from £5 monthly to £35 annually. It allows you to choose scheduled times and days for delivery. Each delivery order must meet a minimum of £40 to place the order. The groceries are comparable to other places, but the delivery cost seems a bit steep when other sites offer free delivery after you hit the minimum order cost.
Waitrose is a high quality grocery store in London. I unfortunately do not have the privilege of living near one, but I wish I did. My friends shop at the Waitrose near them and they absolutely love it. Waitrose provides you with quality groceries from baked goods to wines, and delivery is free. The website also provides you with an extensive list of recipes and guides to making international dishes and how to cook eggs.
If you happen to get onto the Ocado website and submit an order, you'll see that many of your grocery items will come from Waitrose. Ocado and Waitrose have teamed up to provide the public with the best, affordable food. The quality is definitely very good.
Tesco is a massive company in London with various lines of quality from the mini mart type of Tesco which is much like a 7-11 to the largest Tesco which is like an Acme in the States. Tesco.com will provide you with fresh meat, frozen food, produce and whatever else you may be looking for in a grocery store. The Delivery Saver program starts at £3.49 per month or as long as you meet the £40 minimum per order, you can have your groceries delivered for free.
ASDA provides you with all of the necessary items for grocery shopping from perishables to nonperishable food to toiletries to cleaning supplies. A cool feature on their website is that you can create a favourites list of all of your favourite items you may frequently purchase. You can also save the recipes they provide as a saved recipe item. It's convenient to have your own account and be able to customise things you want to look back on regularly.
The site also has a "RollBack" tab for sale items, which can be very helpful for budget shoppers. For order charges under £40, there's a £3 basket charge, so you want to reach a minimum of £40 per order.
For all of these convenient delivery websites, please check that they deliver to your zip code before you begin compiling a full cart. If you're reading this while grocery stores are open to walk into, I highly recommend you register for online accounts on at least one of these sites before they limit online grocery shopping to existing customers alone due to high traffic, such as what is happening with Ocado.com.
Stay safe. Stay hydrated. Take your vitamins daily. And be kind to your neighbours in these difficult times. When you're in need of help or feeling vulnerable like you may now, you're going to want a helping hand or a kind gesture from your neighbour. If you have any suggestions or recommendations for me talk about feel free to leave a comment below. I'm willing to do the research and legwork so you don't have to.
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