FOR most people, bagging a bargain in the reduced yellow sticker supermarket aisle is a case of “right place, right time”.
But for 33-year-old Hannah Stone, it's a way of life.
The savvy shopper, from Northampton, has been doing entire food shops based around yellow sticker reductions since she was 10 years old.
And despite sticking to a VERY strict budget, Hannah says she "eats like a Queen" every night of the week.
Speaking exclusively to Fabulous Digital, Hannah explained how her mum got her into yellow sticking shopping as a way to put her maths lessons into practice.
Unsurprisingly, Hannah caught the bargain-hunting bug and refuses to pay full-price for any of her food if she can help it.
She said: "I thrive off yellow sticker shopping. I get such a thrill from it.
"I refuse to pay full price. The only time I’ll do it is when it’s normal stuff you need from Aldi – like your essential teabags and coffee – that you can’t get reduced."
Every week, Hannah bags £300 worth of food from Tesco for just £40 after befriending staff members who told her that they start reducing items after 7pm each day.
"In my Tesco, the fresh stuff (such as vegetables, sandwiches and yoghurts) is reduced between 7 and 7:30pm," Hannah said. "And then the meat is reduced from 7:30pm until 8pm."
Naturally, her food shops vary dramatically depending on what is leftover in store – but Hannah regularly snaps up £5 branded pizzas for £1.25, 45p sushi and sandwiches, 20p fruit and vegetables to see her through the week.
In her most recent shop, Hannah bagged five ready meals for just £3 – when ONE would have ordinarily set her back £2.50.
Once a month, Hannah will do one big meat shop in Tesco where she stocks up on steaks, beef joints, legs of lamb and duck breasts which she picks up for £1 each and sticks in the freezer.
She said: "Sometimes you get a massive lamb joint for £2 – but it’s usually a lot of mincemeat.
"But then one week it’ll be a lot of mincemeat, the next it’ll be sea bass. And they do fresh fish from the counter as well.
"My family really enjoy sushi and smoked salmon so I freeze that for snacks. I eat like a Queen really!"
Although Tesco Express stores are notoriously more expensive, Hannah says there are bargains to be had there after the lunchtime rush – as it's somewhere other yellow-sticker shoppers don't think to go.
Hannah’s top tips for yellow sticker shopping:
- Don't be afraid to ask staff when they start reducing items
- If they can't tell you, experiment by visiting the store at different times in the afternoon – some supermarkets start slashing prices after lunch while others wait until right before closing
- Remember that every store is different – so focus your efforts on one shop
- Don't feel like you have to eat yellow sticker fruit and vegetables straight away – they often keep longer than their 'best before' date
- Convenience stores do reductions too – try looking after the lunchtime rush for reduced sandwiches and snacks
- Always wait until the yellow sticker items are on the shelves – supermarket workers won't hesitate to put them out of your reach if you start helping yourself from the basket
- Always be willing to share with other shoppers as there's plenty to go round
Advising shoppers go after 3pm, Hannah said: "The doughnuts and the freshly baked bread can be reduced to 20p a packet. And no one is fighting over that section!"
Considering how Tesco are known to reduce items by 75 per cent with their yellow stickers, it's hardly surprising that Hannah says it can be a "total bloodbath".
She continued: "When the yellow sticker baskets do come out, there’s a bit of a fight for them. I’ve had my foot stamped on, my necklace ripped off and my face scratched. I’ve had people rip a pack of strawberries out of my hands.
"Some families come in groups and they guard the area and there’s no chance of you getting anything. It’s really selfish. I’ll try put my hand in and pass it to the people waiting behind."
But while Tesco is her go-to supermarket, Hannah heads to Waitrose at Christmas and Easter for reduced luxury puddings and serving platters.
She added: "The timings completely varies in Waitrose – especially at Christmas, so I always ask the staff what time they're reducing.
"I've had other shoppers tell me off but they do it themselves. It’s the worst. But if anyone says anything, I just say 'I’m shopping for my family'.
"Tesco puddings seem to sell quite well so they’re rarely reduced. But in Waitrose, you can get £1 profiteroles and £2 lemon cheesecakes.
"I only really go to Waitrose for special occasions as it's generally a 50 per cent reduction."
And while it's easy to get overly keen when you spot staff with baskets full of yellow sticker items, Hannah says you should always wait until they've been placed on the shelves to bag the bargains.
She added: "As long as you treat the staff with respect, you’re fine.
"A lot of people take things out the yellow sticker baskets before they’ve put them in the aisle.
"Well if you’re rude to the staff, they’ll put it at the back or block you from getting it."
Unsurprisingly, Hannah also takes a similar approach to her wardrobe and recommends scouring Facebook Marketplace for second-hand bargains.
"I’m on my phone 24/7 scrolling for bargains! I buy a lot of second-hand clothes on Facebook – they’re usually brand new as it’s stuff people don’t want and selling for 50.
"River Island has good sales too and they’ll knock off an extra 10% if there’s a mark on it – so I got an £80 coat for £32. Keep a look out for loose stitches!"
For more food tips, this budget chef revealed how to slash your weekly food shop to £1 per meal by making these simple swaps.
And this student shared exactly how she lived on just £5 for five days – here’s how you can too.
Plus this McDonald’s fan revealed how to make ‘secret menu’ burger & people are calling it the ‘ultimate hangover cure’.
Source: Read Full Article