This is when Tesco, Waitrose and other major supermarkets start taking Christmas food delivery bookings
It’s always a scramble to buy food for Christmas time, and it will be even more so this year due to coronavirus.
With shops set to be busy during the festive period, many people will be keen to avoid large supermarkets to minimise the risk of catching the virus.
For that reason, booking a Christmas delivery slot may be the more desirable shopping option for most.
However, supermarkets release their slots early and they usually get taken fast, so you need to be quick.
Savvy shoppers who bag a slot will be able to stock up on all the Christmas essentials, from pigs and blankets to brussel sprouts and festive desserts to cheese boards.
All the supermarkets offer a variety of vegetarian and vegan options too.
Here’s when Asda, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Morrisons, M&S and Aldi release their delivery slots and the dates you are able to book.
Keen Asda shoppers will be pleased to know that the supermarket’s Christmas delivery slots are now open.
There’s timings available for a few days leading up to Christmas, but there will be no deliveries on Christmas Eve.
You are able to choose an online slot from 21 December to 23 December.
The last day you will be able to make a Christmas food order is December 16.
Sainsbury’s Christmas slots aren’t published as soon as Asda’s, but there are more delivery days available.
Slots will become available on 30 November for food deliveries on 20 December.
If you want your delivery on 21 December, slots will be available from 1 December.
Deliveries for 22 December will be available online from December 2.
The final delivery day is 23 December, and slots for that open on December 3.
There will be no slots available for Christmas Eve delivery.
The good news is, thanks to Sainsbury’s handy online system, you don’t have to order straight away once you have secured your online slot.
In fact, you have until 11pm the day before your actual delivery date to order your Christmas supplies.
That means if you book a slot on 30 November for 20 December, you won’t have to order until 19 December.
However, the later you leave your order the fewer food produce you’ll be able to choose from as a lot of online stock sells out in the days before Christmas.
Tesco had already released some early Christmas slots on Friday 13 November for Delivery Saver customers only.
Online shoppers scrambled to book on and the supermarket giant had to introduce a virtual waiting room to allow for demand.
Have no fear, though, as Tesco will be releasing more online slots for non-Delivery Saver customers.
These will go live on 20 November and 7am - so set your reminders now.
It’s a similar set up to Sainsbury’s, as once you’ve secured a slot you can change your order up until 11pm the day before your delivery day, although festive food can only be ordered until 14 December.
Morrisons have kept their delivery slot dates a secret so far, and they will also be prioritising their Delivery Pass customers.
However, it is expected that slots will become available for other customers later down the line so keep checking their website for updates.
Alternatively, the retailer is offering collection slots for their Christmas Food to Order range which are available to book now. You will have to pay a £20 deposit to secure a slot.
There are also Christmas Eve boxes available for home delivery, which contain a special letter from Santa and loads of snacks to be eaten alongside a classic festive film.
The boxes are priced at £22.
M&S doesn’t manage its own deliveries anymore thanks to its new partnership with Ocado.
For this reason, there are no Christmas deliveries available for customers this year.
You’ll have to buy your Christmas food through the retailer’s collection service, and you can browse what’s on offer beforehand on the M&S website.
This could be a good option to minimise the time spent shopping in-store.
Collection slots between 22 December and Christmas Eve are available to be booked online now.
What’s more is you don’t have to pay until the day you collect your festive food.
Aldi loves to do things differently to other supermarkets, and Christmas shopping is no exception.
This year, customers won’t have to book a delivery slot.
All you need to do is go to Aldi’s website and order before specific dates depending on which delivery type you select.
For standard delivery, order before Wednesday 16th December - and it’s the same date for ordering any large items.
Those paying for next day delivery get a little bit longer, and should order by Monday 21st December at 7pm.
Delivery slots have been available for a few weeks at Waitrose and the retailer said they are proving popular.
Deliveries between 20 and 24 December are from your local supermarket, so check online on the Waitrose website for what slots are available in your area.
You can also collect Christmas shops in-store with no minimum spend.
Slots for 19th December and earlier will be released in December.
You can already order your Christmas deliveries from Iceland for any date up to 24 December.
The supermarket is also offering free delivery for all orders over £35.
And there’s a collect in-store, same-day delivery service which is free when you spend £25 or more online, available until Christmas Eve.