Tesco shoppers have been left furious after the supermarket announced it will add a £4 charge to all grocery deliveries under £40 later this month. See below for how to beat it.

The retail giant says that from Thursday 23 July, a £4 surcharge will be applied to all online grocery orders under £40. Previously this £4 charge was only applied to grocery orders under £25.

This includes "click and collect" where you buy online and collect in store, and on "Delivery Saver" where you pay for an annual delivery pass to reduce the cost of delivery slots.

The surcharge will be applied on top of the current £1 – £6 delivery cost depending on which time slot you choose for your shopping. If you order goods over £40 (or £25 currently), you only have to pay for delivery, there's no surcharge.

Tesco says any orders placed before 23 July but delivered after this date will not be charged the £4 surcharge if their order value's between £25 and £40. See our Cheap Supermarket Shopping Tips for tools and tricks to slash your food bills.

Separately the supermarket's also announced it will be axing its Clubcard Fuel Save on 31 August, and customers will need to use vouchers by 30 September. The scheme allows Tesco shoppers to get up to 20p/litre off fuel. See our Cheaper Fuel guide for more on how this works.

'We're hearing from lots of disappointed loyal Tesco customers'

Jenny Keefe, MoneySavingExpert.com's senior writer says: "We're hearing from lots of disappointed loyal Tesco customers – those who purchased an annual Delivery Saver pass under the impression the minimum was £25 feel especially let down.

"If you're shopping online at Tesco, consider spacing out your shops so you only buy when you're getting enough to meet the minimum spend. If your order costs under £40 and the £4 surcharge takes it over £40, instead buy something small that you need anyway to take the order up to the qualifying amount."

'£40 minimum spend is crazy'

Here are some of the posts and tweets we've seen from angry Tesco shoppers:

  • @tjlx tweeted: "@Tesco £40 minimum delivery shop? Student daughter will have to shop elsewhere next term."
  • @hogroasting tweeted: "@Tesco I will be cancelling my delivery saver. £40 min. spend is crazy and I may as well shop elsewhere. You will alienate all loyal customers."
  • @AndrewP500 tweeted: "@Tesco Not pleased about the increase to £40 min charge for delivery saver, maybe if Tesco charges less we will shop more frequently?"
  • bundly via our forum writes: "I spend about £2,000 a year at Tesco. Not any more! I wonder how many millions it will lose by alienating its small customers."
Tesco hikes minimum spend to avoid delivery surcharge: how to beat it
Tesco hikes minimum online grocery shopping threshold

How to beat the Tesco minimum order value

1. If you're a few pennies or a few pounds below the minimum order value, consider bumping up the value of your basket with items that won't go off quickly and something that you'd buy anyway, such as toothpaste, toilet paper or batteries, for instance.

2. Check if you can get your shopping cheaper elsewhere using MySupermarket, and then compare the minimum threshold at other supermarkets:

  • Asda: Minimum £25 grocery spend. If your basket is under £25, you can't get home delivery. Delivery costs £1-£6. Asda is also trialling a £40 minimum grocery spend for all stores within the M25, and a further 54 stores around the country (see the forum thread below for a full list), although no end date has been given for the trial. Customers with a six month or 12 month delivery pass also have a £40 minimum order value.

  • Sainsbury's: Minimum £25 grocery spend. If your basket is under £25, you can't get home delivery. Delivery on spends of under £40 cost £6.95. For orders over £40, it's £1-£6.

  • Morrisons: Minimum £40 grocery spend. If your basket is under £40, you can't get home delivery. Delivery costs between £1-£5.

3. If Tesco is cheapest for you, try and choose a cheaper off-peak delivery slot – these start from £1.

As outlined above, shoppers won't be able to beat the move using click and collect as while this is currently free on all orders of £25 or more, from 23 July you'll have to spend £40 or more to get it free. On orders under £40 (or £25 currently), click and collect costs £4.

However, Tesco says customers with its Delivery Saver pass can cancel penalty free if they're unhappy with the change, and Tesco will give them a pro-rata refund of what's left on the plan against what customers have already paid.

What does Tesco say?

In emails being sent to customers, Tesco writes: "We understand that there may be an impact to how you shop with us, and we wanted to assure you that this decision has been given careful consideration. As ever, there's no need to worry if your order falls below £40 due to substitutions or unavailable items, you will not be charged the minimum basket surcharge."

A spokesperson adds: "We're changing the minimum basket spend when you shop online for your groceries to £40. Customers will still be able to benefit from a range of offers, including our Delivery Saver scheme, £1 one hour delivery slots and our free Click & Collect grocery service."