6 secrets to bagging ‘yellow sticker’ food from supermarkets including Tesco, Asda and Aldi revealed
HUNTING for reduced “yellow sticker” food in supermarkets is a fine art.
Bargain hunters can be spotted pounding the aisles of supermarkets and hovering around clearance aisles racing to bag items at rock bottom prices.
Supermarkets will often reduce the price of food nearing its use by date to shift stock and avoid food wastage.
These items are usually tagged with yellow stickers, showing how much the item has been reduced by.
You can often save up to 75% off products, so it's worth incorporating yellow sticker food hunts into your shopping trips if you’re on a budget.
But it can sometimes be hard to get your timings right, bag these elusive deals and beat seasoned shoppers to the best bits.
That's why The Sun has spoken to experts – who have honed their yellow sticker hunting skills for years – to reveal a complete guide to bagging these bargains.
Our experts estimate you can slash your food bill by up to 50% if you bag a good haul.
Each supermarket puts their yellow stickered food items out at different times, but we’ve rounded up exactly what time to go shopping at each store to get these deals.
From asking staff to give you the heads up on yellow sticker offers to downloading apps, we reveal six tips to help you save cash:
1. Shop at specific times
Not every supermarket puts its yellow sticker food items out at the same time.
But mum-of-two Naomi Willis, 37, who runs the money-saving blog Skint Dad with her husband Ricky, has revealed when you should go shopping and where to bag the deals.
“It’s down to the supermarket’s policy and how store managers manage what to do with food near their use by date,” she said.
This means that timings for when best to get reduced grub could vary between stores and different supermarkets.
But in general she reckons you’re in with a better chance of grabbing some good stuff if you go at these times:
- Aldi: In the morning when stores open (usually around 8am)
- Lidl: In the morning when stores open (usually around 8am)
- Asda: In the morning when stores open (opening times can vary from 7am onwards, but some stores are open 24 hours some days)
- Morrisons: Around 6pm
- Tesco: After 8pm, or 30 minutes before closing time
- Sainsbury’s: After 7pm
- M&S: 30 minutes before stores close
2. Ask staff for tips
If you can’t find any yellow sticker deals at your local supermarket, then Naomi said you shouldn’t be shy asking staff for help.
They might be able to share tips on when reduced food normally hits the shelves, and give you a heads up on which aisles to head to.
Which shops are best for yellow sticker bargains?
THERE’S nothing better than popping a bargain into your shopping trolley.
But some supermarkets are better than others for offering up yellow sticker food to savvy shoppers.
Naomi said Aldi and M&S are the best shops to get bargains from.
At M&S, you can often get more expensive items like packets of chicken for £1 or under, she said.
Head to M&S 30 minutes before the store closes to be in with the best chance of grabbing a yellow sticker bargain.
Meanwhile, it's best to head to Aldi in the mornings to pick up these deals, Naomi said.
But Jordon thinks shops offering the best yellow sticker deals depends on your local area.
His nearest Tesco and Asda are "safe bets" for reduced food deals, but it could be different elsewhere.
It's worth asking Lidl staff working on the till whether they have any knock-off fruit and veg, she says.
The supermarket usually puts boxes full of reduced food and veg near the tills that you can buy for as little as £1.50.
But if you can't spot one, Naomi said to ask staff whether there are any boxes left.
They might be able to rustle something up for you or let you know when the next boxes will be put out.
“It never hurts having a word with the store manager or the customer service desk, asking them if there are any specific store policies on what they do,” Naomi added.
3. Check the chilled and bakery aisles
According to savvy saver Jordon Cox, dubbed Britain’s Coupon Kid, the chilled aisle is the first place you should head to while hunting for yellow sticker offers.
The 24-year old’s biggest haul to date was paying for £20 worth of food for just £4.50 at M&S.
He said he finds the best bargains are in the chilled section.
“You can find meat, fish, ready meals, deserts and more – and there’s usually a reduced section at the end of one of the aisles,” he said.
“Food like this is the most likely to expire, which means you should have a lot of options.”
Make sure to check out the bakeries, delis and patisseries aisles too, he added.
You might be able to pick up reduced pizzas, sushi and bread here.
“Quite often you can get whole loaves of bread for dirt cheap that can be frozen,” he said.
4. Visit stores after the lunchtime rush hour
From 12pm to 2pm, hungry workers will flock to the shops to buy some lunch to munch on.
But if you wait until after 3pm, Jordon told The Sun that you can get discounted sandwiches, wraps and rolls along the meal deal aisles if you’re lucky.
“You can use these for your dinner, or a quick snack,” he said.
5. Download apps
There are a number of handy apps you can download and use to help you search for yellow-sticker bargains.
Money saving guru and mum-of-four Holly Smith, 35, who runs a coupon blog, says apps are a nifty way to “avoid the stampede of people” around the clearance aisles at busy times.
She recommends using the TooGoodToGo app to get boxes filled with grub about to go off from Morrisons for super low prices.
“Morrisons bundle up all their yellow sticker items for the day and put them in bags or boxes, which customers can purchase on the TooGoodToGo app for £3.09,” she said.
How to cut the cost of your grocery shop
MONEY.CO.UK has shared some top tips with us to help you keep your supermarket spend down to a minimum.
- Write yourself a list – Only buy items that you need. If it isn't on your list, don't put it in the trolley
- Create a budget – Work out a weekly budget for your food shopping
- Never shop hungry – You are far more likely to buy more food if your tummy is rumbling
- Don't buy pre-chopped veggies or fruit – The extra they'll charge for chopping can be eye watering
- Use social media – Follow your favourite retailers to find out about the latest deals
- Be disloyal – You may want to go to different stores to find the best bargains
- Check the small print – It’s always worth checking the price per kg/lb/litre when comparing offers so you’re making a like for like decision as a bigger box won’t necessarily mean you get more
- Use your loyalty cards – Don’t be afraid to sign up to them all. They all work slightly differently – work out what bonus suits you better and remember to trade in your points for additional rewards
You don’t know what food you’ll be getting in the “mystery” boxes, Holly said, but sometimes you can get up to £35 worth of items for just over £3 – saving you £32.
She also recommends using the Olio app, which aims to cut food waste, to get free food from big shops including Tesco.
Biscuits, bread and fresh produce that is approaching its expiry date will be picked up from stores by one of the app's 8,000 volunteers who will then distribute it in their local communities.
The volunteers get to keep 10% of what they pick up from the store, but the rest is uploaded onto the app for the local community to bag.
6. Be adventurous
Yellow sticker food varies massively from day to day.
One day, you might find egg noodles are on offer for 5p, but the next there might only be reduced yogurt.
Naomi said shoppers might overlook yellow sticker items because they assume there won’t be anything they like on offer.
But she has urged people give food that you wouldn’t usually pick up a go if it’s been reduced.
“A couple of years ago, I had never tried fresh tuna,” she said.
“There was fresh tuna reduced and I thought that while I’d never buy it full price, I would give it a go. It gives you an opportunity to try stuff you would never usually try.”
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