Given these unknowns, you may well be looking to get your Christmas supermarket delivery slot booked in as soon as possible for your own peace of mind.
According to Martin Lewis’s Money Saving Expert site, demand for 2021 slots is already high, so it’s going to be vital to be well-prepared in order to secure one.
Here is when the UK’s top supermarket chains will open up their Christmas delivery slots - and how you can book them.
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The UK’s biggest supermarket is set to open up its Christmas 2021 delivery slots in November.
From 6am on Tuesday 16 November, members of Tesco’s Delivery Saver scheme will be able to book themselves either a delivery or Click and Collect slot.
Shoppers not signed up to the scheme will be able to book their slots from 6am on Tuesday 23 November.
Delivery and collection dates will run up to and include Christmas Eve.
Tesco’s Delivery Saver scheme offers shoppers priority booking, the ability to book slots up to four weeks in advance and no delivery charges on shops or Click and Collect slots.
The supermarket offers six-month Any Day passes for either £7.99 a month or £47.94 as a one-off payment.
The retailer has not yet released its Christmas delivery slots, although it has revealed Christmas orders will be delivered between 22 and 24 December.
Sainsbury’s encouraged customers to check its online groceries site for further details and told NationalWorld that more details would be coming soon.
As with Tesco and the other major supermarkets, it operates a Delivery Pass scheme that allows shoppers to see delivery slots in advance and get priority during busy periods.
Anytime passes cost between £20 and £60 (depending on how long they run for), while Midweek passes (for deliveries from Tuesday to Thursday) are available for between £10 and £30.
If you prefer Click and Collect, Sainsbury’s has already opened bookings for Christmas.
These slots will also be scheduled for between 22 December and Christmas Eve.
Asda is yet to announce when its Christmas delivery slots will become available.
NationalWorld has been told by the retailer that shoppers can expect to hear more in the next couple of weeks.
It offers three passes: a £6 per month Anytime pass, a £72 Anytime 12-month pass or a £35 Midweek annual pass.
Passholders can expect recurring weekly slots, next day delivery and priority access to Christmas slots as perks of their membership.
The retailer’s own Delivery Pass scheme starts from £8 a month (or a one-off £65 payment annually) for an Anytime pass, and £5 a month (or £35 annually) for a Midweek one.
Buying one means customers won’t be charged extra for deliveries during busy periods.
Morrisons announced on Thursday 14 October that its Christmas Food to Order service (its own version of a Click and Collect scheme, albeit for the festive season) had launched.
Customers using the service can choose from a range of starters, mains, sides, desserts, party food and drinks, including vegan and gluten free options.
A £20 deposit and £20 minimum spend will be required to secure a slot.
Collection slots will fall between 21 and 24 December, with 463 stores across the UK offering the service.
Waitrose is the first bricks and mortar supermarket to have already opened its Christmas delivery slots.
Deliveries will be scheduled between 20 and 24 December.
But expect to face competition.
The upmarket retailer told NationalWorld that demand is high.
Waitrose revealed searches for the term ‘Christmas delivery’ were already up 124% between 1 to 20 September, compared to the same period in 2020.
Those hoping to get a slot will need to be in the vicinity of a Waitrose store and can expect a “small charge” on their deliveries.
Waitrose does not currently offer a delivery pass scheme but operates deliveries seven-days a week, typically between 6am and 10pm.
It is also offering Christmas Click and Collect slots specifically for its Entertaining Range.
Collection dates will be available between 20 and 24 December inclusive.
They will be delivered between 20 and 24 December.
But if you were hoping to get one, you are likely to be in for disappointment as the retailer’s slots are essentially sold out.
Ocado wrote on Twitter that “demand is up on last year and slots are selling quickly”, while apologising for “any inconvenience”.
However, it added that availability would depend on the location of its customers and the demand in their area.
Ocado also said more slots could become available.
If you do manage to grab a delivery slot, it will set you back at least £9.99 with Christmas prices likely to be higher as the retailer says it needs to be able to recruit more staff.
This fee does not apply if you are a member of Ocado’s Smart Pass benefits scheme.
The loyalty scheme costs between £8.99 per month or £89.99 annually for an Anytime pass, and between £3.99 per month or £39.99 annually for a Midweek one.
But be wary if you are a last-minute Christmas shopper - Smart Pass’s benefits are suspended during Christmas week, meaning full delivery charges will apply.
What about the UK’s other supermarkets?
Discounter Aldi is yet to announce when its delivery slots will become available or when they will be fulfilled by.
It has urged consumers to check its website soon for more information.
Lidl does not offer a home delivery service.
Meanwhile, both the Co-op and Iceland will offer slots closer to the big day.
Co-op customers can book Christmas delivery slots five days in advance, with these being fulfilled up to and including Christmas Eve.
Iceland shoppers can book their delivery slots six days in advance, with deliveries also set to be carried out up to 24 December.
And if you are leaving things to the absolute last minute, delivery app Deliveroo has partnerships with Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Waitrose, Aldi and the Co-op, which allow it to offer a small selection of goods from each retailer.
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