Martin Lewis discusses supermarket Christmas 'veg wars'

Martin Lewis, 48, founder of shared the advice in his most recent newsletter, addressing the last order dates for Christmas delivery for a selection of stores. With the news that parts of England are heading into Tier 4, meaning non-essential retail shops will have to close, can shoppers still order presents in time for the big day?

Demand for online shopping this year has soared with more people than ever ordering online. 

With the recent news that parts of England including London and the South East will be heading into the toughest coronavirus tier, can shoppers still get gifts online in time for Christmas?

The newsletter said: “Royal Mail has warned that there could be delays this year, and even some retailers who use other couriers – including H&M, Screwfix and The Body Shop – say their deliveries could take longer than usual. 

“John Lewis told us its cut-off dates are subject to change, while many others have stressed that ‘last order’ dates aren’t a guarantee you’ll receive your items in time for Christmas.”

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For those looking to order items from popular retail shop Marks & Spencer, the last order date for express delivery is just around the corner.

The last order date for the cheapest delivery has passed but customers who need to get their gifts before Christmas can order up until December 23 at 6pm.

While this costs £4.99, it is guaranteed to arrive before Christmas.

Customers can also Click & Collect their order for free and the last order date for this is also December 23 at 6pm.

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Standard delivery for Next is still available and is priced at £3.99 according to the MoneySavingExpert newsletter. 

Orders can be placed up until December 22 for delivery before Christmas. 

Click & Collect is also free from Next and orders can be made up until December 23.

John Lewis has a variety of options available including express delivery and Click & Collect. 

Click & Collect orders can be made up until December 22 at 4pm and this will cost customers £2.

Prices for express delivery are to be confirmed but they can be made up until December 22.

For those whose Christmas plans have changed this year, Martin Lewis’ newsletter explains that sending a present to a recipient directly from the retailer could save you money.

The newsletter said: “If you’re buying a gift from an online store, it’s almost always cheaper to get it sent directly to the recipient, especially as over a certain amount (normally £20-£50 depending on the retailer) it’s free. Plus many stores let you write gift notes to the recipient so you can personalise it.

“This can really help with heavier gifts as Royal Mail and parcel firms charge by weight, while shops don’t tend to – it’s normally based on the underlying cost of the item. Even where there’s a charge it’s usually only a few quid.

“For example, when we looked at sending a ‘Baby Yoda’ toy worth £57 via standard delivery, Amazon was free (on orders over £20 if you don’t have Prime), ShopDisney was free (as our order was £50+, £3.95 otherwise), and Zavvi was £1.99.”

Those who may be looking to send off their gifts this week due to their Christmas plans changing may be wondering what the cheapest courier is.

Martin Lewis’ newsletter says that Royal Mail tends to be the best delivery service.

It explained: “A small item less than 1kg? Royal Mail usually wins. For an idea of items under 1kg, a reusable aluminium water bottle, a large page-a-day daily diary or a 1,000-piece jigsaw should all fall within this bracket.

“We’ve checked hundreds of examples over the years, and Royal Mail usually wins. It’s not a universal rule though, so it’s worth checking before you send. 

“To be on the safe side we tried again this year and when we tested 10 examples we found that Royal Mail was cheaper for parcels under 1kg on seven occasions. For example, in one of our checks, using standard delivery cost £8 via Royal Mail vs £10 for the cheapest discount courier site.”

To find out more and sign up to Martin Lewis’ weekly newsletter, visit

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