Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Shopping at night for bargains.

Good morning. I finally went shopping last night. Arriving just before 7pm, and leaving two hours later with a trolley load of yellow stickers, plus a few other things which are never reduced. Look at this amazing haul, my best ever I think.
The shop wasn't busy, with about half a dozen people hanging around the back door waiting for the freshly yellow stickered fruit and veg to appear. Another small group of people were waiting around the chiller cabinet where the ready meals/convenience food, dairy and meat are usually stacked. I had a quick look there and picked up some dairy, but most of it has meat in it, so no good for me. I leave them to it and head back to the fruit and veg and wait for the next lot to be wheeled out.

A few close ups so you can see the savings to be made by shopping at the end of the day when things are about to go out of date and have to leave the store. Thankfully by the front door in customers bags, and not by the back door in skips. At least my Tesco does offer it to us patient shoppers who wait around for it to be priced up.

These pots are not out of date until the end of the month. The six pack has come apart and the wrapper is torn, so all they do is bag them up and reduced them.

Shopping this way gives me chance to try things I wouldn't otherwise pay full price for. It means I can vary my diet rather than keep eating the same basic cheaper foods. This will not be baked, my oven doesn't work, I will empty the contents into a pan and cook it on the hob. I have two of these, the label says not suitable for home freezing, I need to eat them in the next couple of days.

Rice and vegetables with a coconut curry dressing. Microwave in the bag. I will open it and split it into two portions and cook on the hob.

There were a lot of potatoes going cheap, I will give some away.

Once again I have avocados. I'm not surprised they don't sell very well at that price. Lucky for me to spot these. I have four packs of 2.

The total value of my yellow stickers is £76.31, I paid just £9.09 for them. Probably my best saving ever.  Even better than when I went shopping for Rip off Britain. I bought a few other things which brought the total up to £28.86. Two bags of dry cat food at £3.50 each, they were on offer £1 cheaper than normal price. I also got eggs, cheese, milk shake, soya and rice milk, and fruit juice.

We have a new dog walker starting this morning, Ken is going to take over walking Bailey for a while to give me and Brenda a breather. I am going to go with him on his first walk to explain Bailey's little quirky habits. Later on I need to cook some of that food up for the freezer. I'll sign off for now, need to get ready. The weather looks awful, dull, overcast, and drizzly.

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

33 comments:

  1. You did so well to get all those things. Those avocados are a bargain. I never see them reduced.

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  2. I envy all of you in the UK who get these yellow sticker bargains - we never see anything like that over here. The best bargain I might expect is meat at 50% off - they label it as "use today" but it's also fine to freeze. Usually the best time to go is first thing in the morning.

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  3. That's a fantastic haul and an amazing saving. You will certainly eat well over the next few weeks!
    J x

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  4. I also go to find bargains. Like you, I can try things without spending a fortune and try things that are out of my budget.

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  5. how satisfying is that haul! it's great when you arrive at just the right time!

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  6. Brilliant, lucky you, I hardly pay normal price for anything now, sometimes when I go yellow sticker shopping I can be out for a fair bit of time but it is worth it in the end.

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  7. YOU HAVE THIS YELLOW STICKER FOOD BUYING DOWN TO A FINE ART. WELL DONE.

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  8. What a wonderful shop Ilona my hyellow stickers in Marks was not reduced as much as yours but still worth it.
    Lovely bit of sunshine here, I have done a half hours walk and just trimmed a bay shrub back that was blocking a pathway in my new garden.
    Hazel c uk

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  9. Wow wow wow wow wow-I feel like doing a little dance.Well done Ilona-that is great & so are you.I had a good,muddy walk with the dogs today,we met the dog lady & my Lily played & rolled with hers.The suns out here & the sky is blue-it's wonderful again x

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  10. Wonderful shopping experience! I wish I could find marked down yellow sticker fruits and veggies in Florida.

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  11. Quite amazing haul. Your energy to go shopping at 7 pm after getting up at 4:30 am reminds me that there was a time when I could have done that but not any more! Happy for you.

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    1. I was a bit tired when I got home, It was straight to bed when I had put it all away.

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  12. Brilliant. Good for Tescos as well because a lot of the supermarkets don't both. Sharon

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  13. Do you adhere to the use by date or cook up and keep for a couple of days.

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    1. I ignore any dates. I use my own senses to decide if it is edible or not. Look at it, does it look mouldy, touch it, is is squishy, sniff it, is it whiffy. I will eat the food in the order it is going to go off. If I am going to run out of time I will cook the veg into stews, eat some of it, and portion the rest out into margarine tubs and freeze it.

      The prepared fruit will go off quickly so I either eat it in a couple of days or blitz it with the stick blender and freeze it in ice cube trays and add it to drinks later.

      Salad leaves and tomatoes have to be eaten in a few days, or they can go into soups and stews.

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  14. The Tesco closest to me doesn’t have very good yellow stickers - the reduced price is often more expensive than the regular price in other shops. I believe it is up to the individual managers who set the reduced prices. Good for you, though. Natalie

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  15. Happy New Year to you.

    Wow...What a fantastic "yellow sticker" shopping trip you had, Ilona! We shop in "M's" and whilst they have some yellow sticker items, it's nothing like yours. Having said that, we don't go shopping at 7.pm, so perhaps that's why. How kind and generous of you to give away some of your purchases. I'm sure your friends are grateful for your thoughtfulness. I'm not sure about the pulses etc., to make veggie meals - I would hate to waste the money on food/gas/electric plus the other ingredients. I know lots of bloggers are vegetarians, maybe something for me to think about for 2018. Warmest wishes.

    CMW

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    1. Just a thought with those extra potatoes...you could pop a few into the garden or even do the bucket trick...put one in a bucket and then cover. As the shoots appear cover again until filled; you could gather grasses (hay) as you walk whenever you know you need a little...even free spuds. i look for veg I can get to grow again, gradually that has cut my bills. Tomatoes are $8.00 a small pot at present and we have a heap growing from just slicing up a tomato and growing plants that way. Celery, onions and spring onions regrow if you cut the base and get the roots going again. Garlic pop a few cloves into a pot etc. I harvest the leaves of brocolli, kale etc and leave the plants to winter over. This gets the roots to go deeper (useful when the weather is hot and dry) and each season the garden re-establishes itself. just be prepared for second and third year growth to look a little different to the younger growth. This has worked for me when we had a really hot summer...all the new plants died but the older established ones kept us fed through summer. Fun and saves the bills.

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  16. Hi Ilona, What a great haul! I've asked in our three local supermarkets and there does not appear to be a pattern to how they put things out...luck of the draw and just regular visits at all sorts of times.
    This post is opportune as I woke this morning and thought I want to check something with you and your followers. I'm trying to swop to purchasing only once a month (apart from specials and unexpected needs that arise). This week I had let my fruit and vege run out, the tins were getting low. I do have some stocks of things i got on special so they weren't needed. The day before shopping I cleaned and reorganised fridge and cupboards so I knew exactly what I needed. That was revealing. Thought I needed yeast and yet I had 3 jars that had migrated to the back of the fridge. A few other items got crossed off my initial list. When I went to the store I had had a day thinking about what was really needed and I knew my budget; which is a lot lower than it used to be for impulse buying. I was amazed. My shop for the month came in lower than for each previous week. So effectively I have saved (if i had it) 3 weeks worth of spending. The point is that instead of going into debt I have stayed within my budget AND I know there is enough food for the month. Thanks to you. I had figured out how many apples/oranges etc we eat in a week and I counted out the number needed for a month. The fridge will keep the fresh and if they are going soft at the end they will be cooked.
    MY MUSING IS:
    Do you budget for your special buys or do you just buy on price when you see what you need them? I figure if buying monthly, unless I allocate say a third for specials - which will cut the next months bill - I run into the impulse buying problem again.
    When I think about it that is what happened with this month shop; the list diminished because of what i had previously found....that must have a snowball effect and if I know I have an amount to use for specials it keeps limits on it. Having said that when my neighbour who is moving away offered to sell me her dry firewood at a third of the normal price....I just said thankyou and dug into my household account! Happy days. Marigold

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    1. Hi. I don't budget for food at all. I buy the cheapest I can find whatever it is. I know I will spend more one month and maybe less another month, there is no pattern. There are a few items which I buy regularly, like bananas, soya milk, cheese, nuts and seeds, bread and potatoes, I might pick them up in any shops if the price is right.

      I don't consider that my yellow sticker shopping is impulse shopping. I buy it because it's cheap and I am flexible with my eating. There isn't any item of food that I NEED to buy, except the few I buy regularly, and even then I could manage a few days without them.

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    2. Thanks for your reply; I can see I need to keep searching for those bargins. At present i'm trying to keep track of prices because i suspect that on occassion the stores are marking things as specials when they are the same or more expensive than normal...I hope I'm wrong.

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  17. once again I am Gobsmacked at your savings. Well done. Also, it makes me even more determined to keep a sharp eye. I don't often get your discounts, but now and then I DO. Golly. It makes me feel VERY happy when I do.

    I love hearing about your yellow stickers bargains. For some reason, it totally makes my day and makes me smile.

    re your oven. you mention it doesn't work? I expect you've checked all this out, but some things I have found in past, which might be an easy/cheap fix...

    -a fuse?
    -often even if the bottom (baking) element is kaput, the top one, Broiling, will still work. Very hot, and only good to brown things, but...
    -if it is the bottom element, quite often those are easy to unclip, and who knows where a good scavenger (like you) may find a replacement

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    1. Hi. Thanks for your suggestions. My gas oven needs to be plugged into the electrics because it has a clock and to turn the oven on you have to press a button. I used it for a short time when I first bought the stove and thought this is daft, I don't need an oven, so I pulled the plug out and never used it again. I doubt it would work now and I can't be bothered to find out. It's cheaper to just use the hob and the grill, I never have enough food to fill an oven.

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    2. oh..I see...

      Just a thought, though, have you had the gas valve properly shut off by a technician? I have seen in the news in past year, a number of folks dead from leaking valves.

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    3. I still need gas coming into the appliance so I can use the hob and grill. There is a safety device on it which cuts it off when the lid is closed. I haven't used the oven for nigh on 15 years and I am not dead yet. Thank you for your concern.

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    4. You're welcome. Hope I did not "natter offensively". I am new to gas stoves myself (top is gas/bottom is electric), so am still nervous about it all. Our gas supply company offers a free service, once a yr (or more often if you had any concern), they will send one of their professionals in and check your heating furnace and any gas appliance you may have. A very nice (free) service. I know most charge for this service, so we are lucky.

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  18. Yesterday,i had to go to my big Tesco....which i dont like..cause the cat dry food was the same price as a shop next door,but i got the points at Tesco....With my last points,i got £1 50p.So i bought 6 packs of no frills t bags..for the price of the coupon.I use these all the time,and this last week ive used just one tea bag for my Hubby and then reused it for myself...I just let it soak n then a great cup of tea for myself.I am getting more Frugal by the second....and i have noticed,that the rest of my Family are recycling more and being more frugal.Even the Grandkids!!,ask ..Can this be recycled nana??..Love this way of living!,Debi,xxx

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    1. Hi Debi-I thought you'd gone off on a wild spending spree never to return.I reuse teabags too x

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    2. Debi how long do you do the second soak of the tea bag? I can never get the 2nd cup to taste any good.

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    3. Regarding tea, loose tea is generally cheaper than bags. Use a small teapot with just enough water for two cups and a strainer when pouring. Both items are often found in charity shops. Alternatively use one teabag in a pot,again with just enough water (measure it into your kettle with a cup/mug) and give it a good stir before pouring. Never boil more water than you will use; that helps save fuel too.

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  19. Hello Ilona,
    Great score at the store! Congratulations! It really is fun to save money by putting in a bit of effort and concentration. I truly get pleased with myself when a bit of effort really pays off. Hope your weather is good. Here in Arizona we had the first rain in weeks, everyone was so excited, the news crews were out in the rain broadcasting film of puddles :). We got 0.3 inches....

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  20. My grocery store has a small amount of reduced price items from their in-store bakery and offers 'close-out' prices on items they choose not to continue to carry but almost never any yellow sticker items. They have a corporate policy to donate safe and wholesome but no longer salable food to local soup kitchens and food pantries. I have seen the Gleaners truck pulling through the parking lot heading to the shipping docks in the back of the store so I do believe them.
    Joan, Michigan

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  21. I'm having a giggle...this must qualify for something... a friend who i taught how to make teabag firelighters a year ago, has very seriously just handed me a small bag with about 30 dried tea bags in it. She no longer needs them as they have moved and do not have a fire. I was laughing about it at work and four other people have now learned how to make these fantastic firelighters....and that's how these changes happen!

    To make greaat firelighters; after using your tea bags (at least twice if frugal), dry the tea bags. When totally dry place them in a lidded jar and cover with metholated spirits..just enough to soak into the tea bags, move them around and tip the jar to spread the liquid. Seal the the jar and when you want to light your fire just place a few next to the logs. They burn for about 6 minutes and usually i don't need to worry about kindling. Remember they are flammable so keep the jar and yourself safe. If you use firelighters this can save heaps each week.
    I prefer to use the teabags this way as their covering takes lasts too long in the compost. Sometimes I also use them as mulch around plants but as i become more frugal (and try to change my eccological behaviours) I find I am drinking herb, pineneedle or plantain teas from the garden. Marigold

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