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Ocado shopper? Christmas delivery slots are launching this week – here's what we know

If you're planning to order your Christmas food shop online from Ocado, get ready to bag your delivery slot as the first round of bookings will open this week.

The online-only grocery retailer, which also sells M&S food, has started to email customers telling them its Christmas delivery slots will be made available to book this week. Below is everything we know so far. 

For help on cutting the cost of your grocery bills in the meantime, see our Supermarket shopping tips guide.

Ocado's Christmas delivery slots will become available to book this week

Here's what we know: 

  • Christmas delivery slots will become available to book this week. Ocado told us it will stagger the release of its Christmas delivery slots with the first wave due to open by the end of September, though it wouldn't give us an exact date. It did tell us, however, that existing shoppers will receive an email or text message when slots become available to book, so keep an eye out as they're expected to go quickly.

  • It's unclear who'll get first dibs, but last year priority was given to 'Smart Pass' customers. Last year, Ocado opened up Christmas delivery slots to its Smart Pass customers first, before opening up the remaining slots to non-Smart Pass customers a few weeks later. Ocado's yet to confirm if it'll do the same again this year but we'll update this story as soon as we know more.

    Smart Pass customers can opt for a mid-week delivery pass costing £3.99 for one month, £22.49 for six months or £39.99 for a year, or you can get an anytime delivery pass costing £8.99 for one month, £49.99 for six months or £89.99 for a year. Paying one of these set fees means you don't have to pay the standard charges for each delivery. Smart Pass customers are also offered certain discounts and other perks.

    Ocado hasn't responded to our request asking if there's a cut-off date by which shoppers need to sign up for a Smart Pass by in order to get priority access to Christmas delivery slots.

  • We don't yet know when Ocado Christmas orders will be delivered. Last year, Ocado shoppers could pick between 20 to 24 December.

  • We're not expecting a click and collect service to be made available for Ocado's Christmas deliveries. While Ocado has run click and collect trials in the past, it didn't offer one last Christmas and it's an online-only service with no physical shops. If you'd prefer a click and collect option for your Christmas delivery, you might want to consider another supermarket. 

What to watch out for when booking Christmas supermarket delivery slots

  1. Get in quickly if you can. Slots have been taken fast in previous years. We've asked all the major supermarkets when they'll be launching their Christmas delivery slots and we'll update this story when we know more.

  2. Check if you can edit orders. Many shops, including Ocado, let you make an unlimited number of changes to your order by certain deadlines. So, even if you're not sure what your final shopping list will be, it could be worth getting your order in with just a few items and making edits later.

  3. Not all supermarkets release specific Christmas dates for orders. Some will just run their usual delivery services.

  4. Beware delivery fees. Most supermarkets will deliver up to and including Christmas Eve, though click and collect will invariably be cheaper than choosing a home delivery. 

  5. Remember to factor in food costs, as these will vary by supermarket. You could try using a comparison tool, such as Trolley, to benchmark the cost of items at the major supermarkets, including Ocado, Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury's, Tesco and more. You can also use Trolley to set alerts for when the price of your favourite items drop. For more ways to cut food bills, see our Supermarket shopping tips guide. 

For more ways to reduce financial stress over the festive season, including banning unnecessary presents and free (or very cheap) ways to create Christmas magic for kids, see our 48 Christmas MoneySaving Tips

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