A SAVVY woman has revealed how she cut her food bills by a third by hunting down yellow sticker items in the supermarket.
Mel Denton, 19, a waitress from Stockport, Manchester, took the weekly food shop for her and her parents from around £100 to £70 by finding reduced items to cook and freeze.
Mel, who lives with her parents, told money-saving community LatestDeals.co.uk: “With lockdown coming and nobody knowing whether or not we were keeping our jobs and how long for, it was definitely better and more cost-effective to look at reduced foods to see what we could do with them.
“We just had to shop around; we understood we should have only shopped once a week or so but we had to shop in different places to make it affordable for us.
“I was on 80 per cent of my wage and my parents were self-employed so had to wait until July – it wasn’t the easiest of rides.
“We found that shopping later in the evening was the best: 7 to 9pm on weekdays and about 2 or 2.30pm on a Sunday.
“We did a shop the other day and we bought Sunday dinner veg for less than 50p.
“We also got other bits and pieces. Yesterday, we went at lunchtime, got trifles, fish, loads of meat including pork chops and diced beef all for £7.50, when the pork chops and a pack of fish alone were meant to be £9! This makes us save a fortune.
“The best way to find the yellow stickers is by looking up and down the aisles – that’s what we did in Sainsbury's with the £7.50 shop. It wasn’t in one section, it was just at the parts of the aisle you’d find the normal priced version, just with a yellow sticker on.
“The best way we have found to make the food last is either make it into a meal such as spag bol if it’s mince or stew if it's diced beef, and freeze it or just freeze the meat or bread.
“We don’t really look at use-by dates, we just know when something's ready to go, so we have an idea when we should use it by.
“Yellow sticker shopping saves money dramatically, especially in the current circumstances and times.
"It doesn’t save us much time as we have to go later but with work, we can finish and then pop to the supermarket, and it saves us spending tonnes of money on lunches from the chippy, Subway or McDonald’s.
“If you’re wasting food, then just look online or ask friends their ideas of recipes to make, whether you freeze items instantly or make meals and dishes and then freeze.
“We love to do fish pie then freeze it – then we add mash we have frozen. Once it’s all defrosted, bang it in the oven – voila!"
Melissa says that hunting for yellow sticker bargains has helped her family save up to a third of their usual food budget – essential during these tricky economic times.
“As we are currently in tier three, money is even harder to be spending as we don’t know if we’re going to be out of a job anytime soon!” she adds.
“Yellow sticker shopping has definitely saved us a fortune – we probably save about a third of our usual amount per month – especially with finding so much to freeze too.”
Tom Church, co-founder of LatestDeals.co.uk, comments: “Supermarket shopping can be a minefield when it comes to the variety of prices, and if you’re in a rush it can be tempting to throw whatever you fancy in the trolley.
“However, being organised and preparing a list in advance and making sure to always get what you can from the yellow sticker section will ensure you always get the best deal and never waste money on food!
“Keep lots of space in the freezer too for when you find bargains that you won’t eat immediately, but that will come in handy for a rainy day."
In other money-saving news, this mum cut her weekly food bill to just £16, here's how you can do the same.
Plus this thrifty mum shares easy meal planner which has saved her family-of-five £360 a month on food.
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