SHOPPERS looking to avoid the crowds while getting their Christmas supplies will want to know when the quietest times to shop are.
The festive season is usually a busy time for supermarkets, with Brits looking to bag their turkeys and all the trimmings ahead of the big day.
It can mean that you'll have to weave around trolleys and wait in queues for longer than usual.
But there are ways to beat the rush – we explain when the quietest times to shop at supermarkets including Aldi, Morrisons and Tesco are this Christmas.
We've asked the major supermarkets for updates on when the best times to shop at stores are around the festive period, and we'll update this article as the Christmas season approaches.
Aldi has a handy guide on its website telling shoppers when is the best time to go shopping to avoid the rush.
The least busy times are between 8am-9am and 5pm-9pm, while the most popular times fall between these slots.
It means that you'll have to set your alarm to beat the rush – or wait until after work to pick up your Christmas essentials.
The discount supermarket has an app you can use to can check how busy your local store is – and avoid the crowds.
Download the Lidl Plus app by registering your details, including your email address and phone number, to set up an account.
Once set up, tell the app which is your nearest Lidl store – click the icon with the three dots on it at the bottom right hand corner of the app and scroll down until you hit “store finder”.
Then look on the map to see which store is listed closest to you – click on it to set it as your nearest shop.
It will show you when is the best time to shop by displaying off-peak times in green and busier times in blue.
Use your app when it hits the Christmas shopping season to see when the quietest times to shop in real time are.
How busy your local Tesco will be over the festive season depends on where the store is.
But there's a simple way of finding out when your store is busy – and when it's quieter.
Google has a tracker function where it gives you updates on how busy a shop is.
If you search for your local Tesco store on Google and click on the location, it will show a bar chart revealing when the busiest times to shop are.
For example, when The Sun checked local stores using a central London postcode, the quietest times to shop were from 7am-8am, and then from 9pm-11pm.
You can use the tracker over the festive period to see when is the best time to avoid the hustle and bustle.
Naomi Willis, who runs the money saving blog Skint Dad, said it's "always best to go as early in the morning as you can" to have a less stressful experience at stores over the holidays.
Your best bet is to shop at Morrisons earlier in the mornings and later in the evening in order to beat the queues.
But you should use Google's tracker to check ahead of your trip when it gets to the end of the year to find out when to shop.
When The Sun checked shops using a central London postcode, the best times to shop were between 7am-9am, and from 8pm-9pm.
However, this will vary from branch to branch.
Asda usually gets busier in the late morning to early afternoon during the lunchtime rush.
It means you'd be best off getting in before or after these points in order to shop for Christmas goodies more peacefully.
Specific peak shopping times will vary from store to store.
But when The Sun checked how busy Asda was using a central London postcode, it was best to go during 7am-10am, and from 8pm-11pm.
Check in with the tracker nearer the Christmas period to see when to shop at the quieter points.
Some of Asda's stores open 24 hours on some days – and savvy saver Joseph Seager, who runs cash saving blog Thrifty Chap, says its best to go to stores in the middle of the night for a quieter experience.
"Set an alarm, or stay up watching Christmas movies before you go and do your big shop," he said.
Taking a trip to Sainsbury's for your Christmas shopping? Make sure to use Google's tracker to check busy periods ahead of time.
When The Sun checked timings using a central London postcode, we found that the best times to shop were between 7am-9am and 8pm-11pm.
This could change in the run up to Christmas – and from branch to branch – so make sure to double check in the run up to the festive season for specific timings.
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