Hands up if you’ve successfully locked in an online supermarket delivery slot?
If your hand is currently raised, you’re doing better than me. After sitting in the Ocado queue for 2+hrs, only for the website to crash when I finally got to number 1…(and trying other websites too whilst Tom and I were in our 7/14 day quarantine), I gave up and looked more small scale.
With all but essential shops shut here in the UK, many of us are looking for deliveries to fulfil our shopping needs (both essential, and less essential!) Personally I’ve done big book orders (have you checked out my 100 books to read during lockdown?), looked at a lot of garden furniture and started/restarted a couple of regular subscriptions…
Subscription Services I’m Loving During Lockdown
Milk & More
I had been thinking about having milk delivered by a milkman in reusable glass bottles for a while. They are slightly pricier than getting it from the supermarket but I think the benefits outweighs the slight cost increase. They also sell non-dairy milks however these aren’t in glass bottles…yet! We’ve also added juice to our list (which also comes in glass bottles) and although I had a little mishap and accidentally over ordered juice our first few weeks, I’ve now got the hang of it. This is ideal right now for those self-isolating. They also usually do fruit and veg boxes, breakfast sets, fresh bread, eggs, choccies etc although stock of those items is very limited currently. However, once supplies increase, I am hoping to put in regular orders to reduce our plastic consumption and limit extra trips out to the shops.
Originally I paused our subscription to Freddie’s Flowers to save money during this time of financial uncertainty (although I’m still getting my full salary as I continue to work full time at the hospital, much of my blog/instagram income has gone, and my husband is on a month of unpaid leave). However, we’re spending so much time in the house, that the extra brightness we get from the flowers is well worth it in my opinion, we just dropped to twice monthly deliveries rather than every week. To be honest, they last so well that the flowers are good for at least 2 weeks.
I love the big, bold bouquets and it definitely has taught me more about flowers, it’s fun to experiment with different styles and colours than I would usually pick myself. Although I’m also filling our house with the £1 bunches of daffodils from the supermarket too.
The code CharloF83 gets you a free bunch of flowers if you sign up.
You can always cancel after that freebie box, think of it as a chance to add some colour to your home this week! (*full disclosure, if you use the code it gives me a 50% discount on a bunch)
Whilst I haven’t been overly successful with my ‘fixes’ – I spent some time this weekend creating a Pinterest moodboard and have high hopes for future boxes. During this time when we can’t go out shopping, its fun to have someone pick some pieces for you, style some outfits and have a trying on session at home.
This link gets you £15 off your first ‘fix’ if you want to give it a try! (*full disclosure, it also gives me a £15 credit for my next fix)
I’ve asked for more fun work/casual pieces for my upcoming stitch, with some coloured trousers, cute tops and fun skirts in my next fix. Read my full review of my Stitch Fix experience here.
Fruit & Veg Boxes
Our local catering supplier has started doing Fruit & Veg boxes for individual households at very affordable prices, with free delivery for those self-isolating. Unfortunately they each include 2kg of potatoes which we just would not finish each week, however they do also allow you to ‘pick your own’ and make up a box with their fresh fruit, veg, eggs, milk and bread too.
New Covent Garden also have a long list of supplies and traders that previously have stocked restaurants, hotels and catering companies, but that are now open for delivery to individuals. Have a look at this extensive list…
Wine and Gin Clubs
I know I’m not the only one whose at hone alcohol consumption has increased massively (there were shortages of wine in supermarkets in London and the selection at our local shop definitely dwindled).
I love the idea of these one-off or regular cocktails box deliveries…although how can I get them to put in a Marg every week!? They also have a whole list of recipes on the website if you want to just create a Zoom cocktail night!
Craft Gin Club
There are actually a couple of Gin subscriptions, (I haven’t tried any of them but they sound great!) This box gets a full bottle of gin, mixers and snacks for £28, whilst ILoveGin provides two mini bottles and two mixers for just £14 per month.
There are a plethora of services in the UK, US and across the globe. Here in the UK some of the Naked Wines, Laithwaite’s Wine (personally I’ve ordered one of their Rose boxes!) and Berry Bros.
Share your favorite delivery and subscription services.
Any subscriptions you use and love? What services have you found yourself using more in lockdown than before?
Hi Charlie, love this post. I have too really struggled to get a groceries delivery. I’ve discovered that Tesco release their slots at 11:59pm so last Thursday I waited up and got a slot for 21st April! In the meantime I’m using Riverford veg and fruit boxes with milk, bread and hot cross buns added. Also using Hello Fresh for 3 meals per week plus bread and a bottle of wine. Tried Milk and More but none available in my area. Favourite new subscription I have is Beards & Daisies houseplants. So pleased with the beautiful plant I received in a lovely ceramic pot and a care card. Can’t wait for the next one. Will try some of your suggestions for wine ? x
Oh that sounds soo lovely! I’ve loved Hello Fresh in the past, maybe a good time to restart some boxes again!
I’ve seen those flower ones pop up and it seems like a lovely idea- I think I might look at sending something like that to my mum as she’s been isolating for weeks now.
I get a monthly tea subscription and as I’ve been at home I’ve been drinking a lot more than usual (usually I’d take a cup to work with me, but then don’t make another cup until I get home).
Not a subscription service, but I’ve been ordering lots of books on Hive – they donate a % of the sale price to local bookshops, and you can specify which bookshop you’d like to support. Although unfortunately (but unsurprisingly) now there are some delays to shipping. I haven’t used, but I’ve heard great things about Reposed, which sends books + some treats to you each month.
Bloombox also do a monthly plant subscription, I’ve ordered some from Patch Plants however.
Finally, rocketandsquash.com has a very good blog post on all the different food suppliers.
Thanks so much for sharing! Hive sound brilliant, will have to check them out!!
This post is totally tone deaf. It is not ethical to order non essentials (garden furniture?!?) during this time and there are lots of news articles about it. Each time you order clothes or flowers you’re adding another car to the roads and you’re adding one more interaction that could endanger someone (even if you don’t come into contact with a driver, they are still out and about handling packages, filling up with petrol etc) it’s also a bit gauche to be advertising your discount codes for clothes right now – read the room!
Finally now that you’re out of self isolation you shouldn’t be using any delivery services whether local businesses or not. Leave that to people who truly need them.
Out of self isolation yes, but still trying to limit trips out. And unable to go out during the week when I’m still working full time at the hospital. I am not doing any supermarket deliveries and instead, go early on Saturday mornings with a list to get shopping to last the week. I’m sorry you think it’s in poor form to be giving out the discount codes but I do know that many are still shopping. Again, I apologise if you think this is poor form, thanks for the feedback.
Thanks for replying. Its not clear if you are or aren’t doing online shopping – your post and your response is a little contradictory.
It’s fair enough if you’re busy but you’ve said your partner isn’t working. Those slots really are for vulnerable people who don’t have access to shops, can’t drive or walk or whose usual support network is unavailable to help due to illness or isolation. I don’t believe it’s at all ethical for two healthy and able bodied adults to take up online delivery slots right now. If you are lucky enough to have one booked I recommend you see if any neighbors or elderly people you know could use that slot instead. Or maybe someone with children home from school who is really struggling – or a single parent whose child is vulnerable and can’t be in the shops with them.
Lots of people need these slots, it’s not really about busy professionals working long hours.
Thanks for responding, sorry no I’m not doing any supermarket online shopping, nor have I bought any furniture. Yes I did look for online delivery slots while we were in self-isolation but ended up not being able to get one and eating out of the depths of our cupboards and freezers. Vegetables and fruit were def lacking torwards the end of the 7 days. My husband isn’t working and so can go out to do one weekly food shop (we’re all being told to limit our interactions outside of the home so why go out more than necessary). Our milk & more slot comes on the same day as a number of other people on our street which works very well . I would love to know what type of posts you would like to see on here…
Totally agree! Completely unaware of privilege talking about ocado and pricey flowers etc when hundreds of families have lost jobs, with kids on the breadline etc. Husband at home, no kids to homeschool, therefore plenty of time and opportunity to walk to shop and also to offer to help others, rather then ordering deliveries.
In terms of wanting to see blog “content”, I guess the answer is that maybe people don’t want to see any at the moment- people are really tiring of influencers and seeing how non-essential they are, maybe take a break!
I’m working full time at the hospital, and I’m guessing my hours will get longer soon as our caseload increases. I like writing my blog as a stress release I enjoy the writing side, and yes, the money I make from being an ‘influencer’ tops up my NHS salary. We have been going to the supermarket once per week as per gov guidelines and both of us have also signed up for the NHS volunteering service although have yet to be called. We’re also in a local group to volunteer. The supermarket delivery comments were made from when we were in isolation and so couldn’t go out. Yes I agree we’re in a very fortunate position right now and I am super grateful for that. I’m doing what I can in our local community and in the hospital.
That’s not the guidance that the government is giving. People are being told to use online deliveries rather than go to supermarkets as it limits exposure for everyone.
If you’re going to the shops unnecessarily then you’re the one being ‘unethical’.
Is your position really that NHS staff shouldn’t be using deliveries right now?
Charlie was much politer to you than you deserved. It’s always an option to say nothing you know.
I work for the NHS too (and have done in a hands on role for 14 years, unlike the blog writer who has worked there 5 minutes yet is consistently playing the “NHS card”). All supermarkets now have a dedicated key worker hour to encourage workers to go to the supermarket during that protected time, they all also say on their website not to take a delivery slot if you don’t need it as the vulnerable are prioritised.
In terms of your comment about saying nothing- that applies to the blog writer too! Just stop writing nonsense! The reason I said something was to make her aware that her writing is steeped in privilege and not relatable at all.
Thank you for all that you’ve done and continue to do for the NHS. Sadly our local supermarket doesn’t have a key worker hour, only a vulnerable people and their carers and actually, I try to avoid this time.
Also I think it’s really important to be supporting small and local businesses through this who I want to still see standing at the end of this. And yes I’m looking at Garden furniture online. Garden centres are all massively struggling through this and some are still doing deliveries so would rather buy from them when they reopen.
These are really difficult times for everyone. I am a nurse. It doesn’t matter how long you have worked in a caring profession. The fact is we are all working hard to get us us through this crisis. I think it’s so important that we all use this time to remind ourselves of what is important and be kind to one another. If you don’t think people should be writing blogs why are you reading them? These are lonely times and I for one love reading Charlie’s posts. They are just a genuine, kind, hard working person being lovely enough to share parts of her life with us. Keep it up Charlie. It’s helping me to get through this. Also, ordering stuff online is helping so many small businesses keep going.
I’m very happy to read blogs for information and entertainment, not so keen on those with questionable ethical content that also are trying to monetise everything with discount codes/affiliate links etc. It’s possible to have some interest in a blogger or a topic, but to dislike all the sponsored content, selling & monetisation that goes with it.
I’m sorry you think my content ethics are questionable. I am not trying to monetise at all, in fact I turned off blog ads (different from sponsored content) a while ago. I can understand if you don’t love the sponsored content, but I’m not trying to sell anything in this post – I’m sharing discounts if people want them and have been very clear about the kickback. And in providing entertainment and information, most writers need to make an income some way or another!
Thank you! I really appreciate your kind words Lucy, and thank you for all that you’re doing as a nurse! x
Thank you for all your posts. I really appreciate you taking the time to keep writing while you are working full time. It is just nice to support each other with all the craziness going on.
Thank you Jenn! x
I’ve been getting a hotel chocolat subscription for the last 2 years, they arrive on my doorstep every month , my little box of happy ?
that sounds AMAZING!!!
We have just started a coffee subscription with CLO (clocoffee.com). They are a social enterprise with four coffee shops in Yorkshire (which are now closed) and they source fairly traded, ethical produced coffee from Uganda available by subscription – delivered by the postman. It also tastes AMAZING…and we have been drinking more coffee at home and it has been a treat each morning!
I agree with your comment about supporting local businesses to try and help them survive. We have been try to buy from smaller local businesses where possible (we have milk delivered from a local farmer and just got plants and compost from the local garden centre).
Ooh that coffee subscription sounds amazing. I’ve definitely been drinking more coffee overall throughout all of this both at work and at home!
I think it’s wonderful that you are supporting businesses where you can. Keep working hard and making days brighter and finding new ways to support your local economy while social distancing.
I haven’t thought to try the produce delivery places in my area, maybe that would ease some of the difficulty in finding certain products. At least I would know if it’s possible to get what I want instead of going out only to find bread and dairy is not available.
Grocery delivery/pick up time slots barely exist where I live, but I am loving supporting as many of the locally owned dining establishments in my town. My favorite sushi place closed for the interim, but as soon as government allows and they reopen doors I will be supporting them as often as possible. I miss my favorite rolls!
I’m a bit late to this post but we’re all trying to get by the best we can. Charlie – I’m sorry there are so many negative responses on here (people clearly have too much time on their hands). In this unprecedented situation I really appreciate that you are still sharing content and connecting with your readers. Those with complaints are often the loudest but I hope you know you have lots of loyal readers who appreciate you and your blog. Cheers!