Good morning, it's raining so I will get on with this post and maybe go out later if it stops. Someone asked for more information about finding reductions when food shopping, or as it's widely known, yellow sticker shopping. Not all reductions have yellow stickers on, different stores have their own way of doing things. Some go through their shelves of short dated stock and stick a blank label on and hand write the new price. Tesco have big yellow stickers, Sainsbury's have small yellow stickers, Spar shops use a large hand written sticker.
Where in the store do you look for reductions? For a start you need to get to know the layout of the store. Fruit and vegetables are often near the entrance, or close to the back door to the store room. These shelves need replenishing regularly so easy access for large trolleys is important. If there is an instore bakery the bread and cakes will be in the middle towards the back, so they can wheel out the freshly made loaves as they come out of the oven. The meat needs to be put out on the shelves pretty quickly as it is packaged up, so an aisle with access from the butchery department in the back is usually chosen.
Some stores will set aside a section in a chiller cabinet to gather all the reductions together in one place. Others will leave their yellow stickers with the rest of the same stock, so customers can take the cheaper item first. Some people will bypass the cheaper one and reach to the back of the pile to get a longer date. I think that's a bit daft. I have pointed out to people that the one at the front is cheaper, they answer, I don't want to use it straight away. We all know that the dates are a guide, but some folks are funny and will chuck out food on the actual last date.
When I walk in a shop/store, my eyes are programmed to search out bigger stickers than normal, be it yellow, plain with a red edge, hand written, or small yellow. I ignore everything else. I skim along the shelf edge looking for any labels which say REDUCED. Anything that catches my eye, or jumps out at me is worthy of a second glance. I go around the store like this when I first go in. When I have satisfied myself that I have found all the bargains, and picked out what I want, I then go around again, picking up a few must have items which I know are never going to be reduced. So, priority is, what is cheap, buy reduced first and base my meals around the bargains I can find.
Some of the discount stores, Poundstretcher, Home Bargains, B & M, Pound shops, have a trolley near the checkouts with half price of reduced dated stock. Have a look there first before you go round the rest of the store. There won't be any fresh produce there, but sometimes you will find tins and packets about to go out of date. Beware though, there is a lot of junk, cake, biscuits, fizzy drinks, sweets, which you don't really want if you are trying to follow a healthy diet. You have to be disciplined not to pick it up, even though it is cheap. I usually walk away from it, but I am not perfect and sometimes get a little treat for myself.
When picking up yellow stickers in a supermarket. put them in your trolley with the sticker face down. It has been known that other savvy shoppers will take things out of your trolley when you are not looking. If there is a bit of a scramble around the lady with the ticket machine, chat to her, be friendly, and make it like a game. No point in being nasty. Tempers can be lost and yellow sticker shopping becomes a misery. Make it fun, so what if you didn't get that small cauliflower with wilty leaves, go for the sprouts or the broccoli instead. If there are several of the same item available, don't grab the lot, say, I'd like two of those, and point out something else that the other person might like instead. I have had people hand me something from their own trolley, when I said, ooh dear I missed those. Of course, the level of niceness might vary depending on where the store is located. My Tesco is on the edge of the town, to shop at night you need a car to get to it, so not a lot of competition. If it is a store close to town or a housing estate, there will be more people looking for bargains, so there will be some grabbing going on. Not very pleasant, but there's ways of getting to the front without the pushing. I have been known to get down on my knees to get to the bottom of the chiller cabinet.
So, when is the best time to look? Anytime between 2pm up to 9pm. The meat usually comes out first, because it's got to be shifted quickly. The supermarkets start with a small markdown first, then later a second and a third markdown. The later it is the cheaper you will find it. Saying that, you may be unlucky and find nothing left if you go in at 7.30pm, because some people are satisfied with a 50% reduction. I like to take a gamble and go later to get 90% off. Of course I may be unlucky and find there is nothing left. It all depends on how much the management have over ordered the stock by, and how much people are prepared to pay for it. Supply and demand.
Do not waste time and petrol going from shop to shop, that is daft. Always combine journeys, if you are going out somewhere time it that you are passing a supermarket on your way back. It could be worth stopping for ten minutes to check out if there is anything to be had.
Don't be embarrassed about foraging in shops, the markdowns are there for everyone to buy. You are being savvy to search them out. Some people will say, oooh, I couldn't do that, and look down on those who do. Well bully for them if they can pay full price, let them. I have to make ends meet on my pension. I don't load my trolley with expensive crap. I look in their trolleys and think Jeez, what awful food you eat, then watch them hand over the plastic for a £100 bill. They are subsidizing my food bill, it makes me smile.
Are you going to become a savvy shopper? You don't need to go to the extremes I do. It would be more difficult to shop like this if you had some picky family members, it's easy if you only have yourself to please. Also, work can get in the way, and your time may be limited, but can you call in a supermarket on the way home. Worth a look if you are passing. I picked up a few items yesterday on the way back from my walk. Another £2.94 spent, listed on the page above.
Off out now, it's stopped raining. Toodle pip
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