Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Not just supermarkets

Good morning. For those who are wanting to cut their spending on their every day living expenses, especially food, here's a little tip. Get into the habit of checking out the chiller cabinet in every food shop, discount store, supermarket, and corner shop, for stickers like these. At some point all food will go out of date. It will be sold off cheap or dumped, and with the publicity surrounding 'Love food, hate waste',  more and more shops are eager to get at least a few pennies for their products before writing them off at a loss. 
Think of your eyes as a scanning machine. Don't walk around the shops bleary eyed, with your mind elsewhere, concentrate on what you are doing. Make it a game, a challenge to pick up at least one item that has a reduced sticker on it. It might seem too time consuming, too much of a hassle to do this, but a few pennies saved here and there, and you will be quids in at the end of the year. 
Check out the chiller cabinets for dairy, salad, veg, and meat. A quick glance is enough, you don't need to spend time searching. Eventually these stickers will jump out at you because you are ignoring everything else around them. 
I go in Wilko to see if they have any offers on pet food, I walk past the chiller. This is what jumped out at me on Saturday. Now I wouldn't normally buy fresh milk, and definitely not semi skimmed, but at this price it would be daft to leave it on the shelf.  
I walk through the car park in search of cat food at Poundstretcher, and I know they have a couple of baskets of reduced near the tills. Most of it sugary sweets but worth a look. Weight Watchers choccy drink. I don't watch my weight, but I can still buy their products, 25p for five sachets, that's 5p a drink. Would be daft not to buy it.

I do this scanning in every shop. I get to know the layout of the shop and make a beeline for where I might spot a bargain. It doesn't take hours of trawling to do this, it's just a controlled way of shopping and can be done quickly. Now this is a contradiction of my usual advice of not impulse shopping, only buy what you set out to buy. Budgeting your finances is not only about controlling spending urges, but also taking advantage of big reductions in price, which would be beneficial in longer term planning.

The key to savvy spending is only buy what you can realistically use before it becomes inedible, or you become bored with it. Looking for reduced stickers can become an obsession, no need to take it to extremes. Yes, I get a buzz when I empty my bags out in the kitchen, and I feel like I am beating the system, but I would not be saving money if half of the food had to be thrown away. I buy what I need, what I can eat in the time scale, and no more. By the way, I am still eating strawberries, but I also gave some away.

Make savvy shopping your new hobby if you need to cut your food bill. Aim to beat the supermarkets by shopping around, by spotting these reduced stickers in all the shops. If you can't find any ask an assistant to direct you to the right section. Don't be embarrassed to ask for bargains, it's your money, you decide what you want to spend it on.

It's going to be a hot one today, so I am just off to do my walk now, before it gets too hot. I have started taking a bottle of watery juice with me to keep me hydrated.

Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip.

23 comments:

  1. I am the same now I am like a magnet I soon find those bargains, I have set up another blog now all about spending less http://eatwell67.blogspot.co.uk/ so I will be looking for even more bargains, I am seeing just how low I can go, I am starting off with £150 budget, this is for three of us, myself, hubby and 19 year old son. Its going to be hard but I am determined. x

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    1. Presume you Don't mean £150 a week!! Ha ha, could eat like Kings and Queens on that!

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  2. I absolutely adore bargains of any kind! My best one recently was a 2-pack of tuna steaks in my local M&S reduced from £7.55 to £1! Whilst I only eat tinned tuna, I gave it to daughter as I know she likes it. Also. I don't really shop in Waitrose but they have really good reductions if you fall lucky. We only have a small Coop locally in my area which I think is expensive but we have a Bargain Booze which is a mini-market and they're really cheap food wise for bits & bobs.

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  3. Surprising what you can find in non food shops especially the haberdashery which are my favoritess, off cuts if fabrics, ribbons etc.
    enjoy the sunshine everyone, I have done the chores so going to sit in the shade and crochet some little iowls for the hospice fair

    Hazel c uk

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  4. I'm a watery juice fan too when I'm walking three miles a day to school and work it's much needed.

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  5. Good luck in the heat and enjoy your walk. I take water bottles with me everywhere here. Currently it is 90 and climbing.

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  6. Even Waitrose (we shop in Waitrose and in Lidl's, the Alpha and Omega of shopping!) has a reduced price area for its fruit and veg, would you believe! Found lovely pears there and reduced strawberries which, to all intents and purposes, look just like the ones on the full price shelves!
    Margaret P

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    1. To Anonymous who may be looking for the comment he/she sent. The content is not relevant to this discussion, or my blog, and publication is refused.

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  7. There's bargains to be had everywhere, and I find even more so during the very hot weather. It's as though folk can't be bothered to shop or look for them. They go into the supermarkets with a one track mind on these few and far between scorching hot days. Icecream, lollies and barbeque stuff, lots of the 'normal' everyday stuff gets left on the shelves. Marks and Spencers was full of yellow stickered offers this morning, I could have filled a freezer. Happy hunting.

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  8. I only ever see reduced food that has about 20p taken off the price, is out of date and practically walking out the shop by itself as it is so ripe, bruised and generally inedible. I care what I put into my stomach so I only eat meals that I make myself from either fresh, dried or frozen goods as well as tinned food such as tinned tomatoes and tinned kidney beans. I manage on a budget of £8 a week to feed myself and I never eat old food, nor do I ever want to in the condition I see it in. Perhaps your supermarkets are better than mine.

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    1. Well done. Good to read you can eat well on such a small budget.

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  9. good advice. I try to do much the same.

    sometimes stores will have pop up managers' specials, often on end of row or stacked in middle of floor.
    If I find one, I try to stock up.

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  10. Excellent advice. I love a yellow sticker and could not have the life I have with out them. More bang for your buck as I say. Great blog I love it x

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  11. Iona

    thought you might get a kick out of looking at this, (please go ahead and not post, just wanted to show you)

    http://tinyhousetalk.com/720-sq-ft-garden-cabin/

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    1. I've had a look thanks, very colourful sheds. I'll leave it here in case anyone else wants to see it.

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  12. Smart advice! I follow the same principle here. We don't have many really reduced deals. But, we have shelves set up where discontinued and out-of-date packaged foods are marked down, usually about 40%. Nothing fresh. I did find a bag of oranges once where a couple of them were very soft. (The last bag.) I asked if i could get a discount and the woman gave them to me. I felt like i won the lottery!

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    1. Hi. That happened to me once. I was visiting a friend who had chickens, I stopped at a small shop to get some grapes for them. There was one pack left but it had a few rotten ones in the bottom. I asked the man on the till if I could have a reduction. He said I could have them for nothing. Yes, it is a bonus when that happens.

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    2. Had the same too :) A little Italian deli round the corner from our old house would reduce out of date pasta etc and once left some punnets of strawberries out of the fridge for too long. I wanted some for a dessert I was making and when I pointed out that a few had started growing little beards (literally about 3 individual strawberries) she hoiked them all out and asked if I wanted them for free!

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  13. I buy most of my stuff from markets but did get some reduced strawberries from Tesco (my strawberries have finished for this year) - looked exactly the same as the full price ones. However, I will only buy if the reduced price is a good reduction. Natalie

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  14. You have said it all. To paraphrase Margaret's expression, this post is the alpha to omega of supermarket shopping !

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  15. It makes my day to find a bargain and yes my eyes are trained to spot them. I picked up a veritable sack of pasta shapes in Sainsb's for £1.50 last week - it doesn't take much to make a meal with pasta so for 2 of us I have an awful lot of cheap meals there. Today I got a huge bunch of big banana's for 70p and will slice them up for on hubbys granola, with ice cream for my grandson and possible bake a couple. I especially like getting really good bread cheaply rather than have cheap bread.

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  16. Sorry, screens were my first thought also, all Americans have them I think. When city people were let to have chickens in their backyard here a few years ago the flies were Terrible (& the rats). I bought one of the farmyard fly attractants - ghastly smelling stuff in a bag with a one-way opening. I caught a huge amount of flies but it did not kill them for quite sometime unfortunately - I think they were supposed to drown. Anyway it lasted a week and I just could not take it anymore. It was truly to me a vision of medieval Hell. I couldn't do that even to flies. Disgusting. Anyway after a few years, most people gave up on the chickens-in-the-backyard thing and the flies are at normal. Sorry, this wasn't much help for your problem. I would hang fine net curtains to help keep most of them out and still let some air in.

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  17. chapatti flour 5kg £1.75 Tesco spotted today, and got some

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