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YELLOW sticker bargains are the key to a successful shop for most doing the weekly supermarket sweep.
But you’ve been going about snagging the heavily discounted goods all wrong.
Yellow stickers are a great way to bag a bargain on your next supermarket shopCredit: Alamy
And that’s no good for the shoppers scrambling to keep the cost of their grocery bills down as prices rocket on the shelves.
Plenty have sussed that they can curb costs by stocking up on yellow stickers though.
Stores will often reduce the price of food nearing its use by date to shift stock and avoid food wastage.
The food is still good to eat, and in some cases you can freeze what you buy so it will last that bit longer too.
But most importantly, you can often score a hefty discount – with some items marked down by as much as 80%.
You’ll normally find the goodies confined to their own shelf, in the bargain corner, or “sin bin” as many shoppers have dubbed it.
But a common theme in any store means each product will have the yellow sticker slapped on it, telling you its new reduced price.
Here’s what you need to do to guarantee you’re snagging all the best discounts in-store on your next trolley dash.
Time it right
The only problem with yellow sticker bargains, is that they’re so popular that they can be quickly snapped up.
So quickly in fact, that one Morrisons worker even said fights can erupt over the best of the bunch, as shoppers are so desperate to grab the cheapest deal they can.
To make your yellow sticker bargain hunt worth it, time your visit right.
Many shoppers say you should head to Morrisons first thing, for example, to get the best buys.
Meanwhile, one ex M&S worker told us that you need to visit “later on in the day” to get the same results.
That’s because “the stuff that’s got today’s date, or that day’s date on it, will be cheap,” they explained to The Sun.
Yellow stickers aren’t the only way to get discounted food either.
If you make the most of loyalty cards that stores have to offer you can earn money-off.
Rack up enough points and you could hold the power to discount any product on the shelf on your next visit – meaning it doesn’t have to be just the stuff nearing its use by date.
Vix Leyton, shopping expert at the UK’s biggest deal sharing website hotukdeals said: “Supermarkets all offer their own loyalty cards but whether you focus your efforts on one, as they hope, or keep a variety, depends on what rewards you are looking for, and how soon.”
She explained that with a Sainsbury’s Nectar points card, for example, you can get £2.50 off your shopping for every 500 points.
Tesco has another popular reward scheme where you collect one point for every £1 spent in store and online, and you can also get one for every £2 spent on fuel too.
Then, one point is worth 1p off a future shop in Tesco, no matter what’s going in your basket.
Whilst you’re signed up to the supermarket loyalty schemes, it’s worth checking out their immediate benefits too.
With Tesco’s Clubcard, not only do you rack up points for vouchers down the line, but every week in-store and online, you get access to hundreds of discounts on everyday items.
They’re exclusive for members, meaning anyone not in the club will have to fork out full price every time.
But it’s free to sign up and means you can enjoy deals like the original £3 price for the store’s famous Meal Deal.
And while not foodie-related, Boots has a similar scheme where shoppers can make use of Advantage prices, which are discounted just for Boots’ loyalty customers.
Leave it to the pros
If you’re tired of doing all the leg work to look for bargains you can leave it to the pros too – it takes a lot of planning to time your visit correctly, and get your hands on the biggest reductions, after all.
So instead of spending your own time hunting for yellow stickers, you can use an app like Too Good To Go to find the bargains for you.
The app lists out “magic bags” of food that are near to its use by or best before dates.
Supermarket whiz Naomi Willis, of SkintDad blog fame, said: “I pick them up from all over – from local and national restaurants, cafes, convenience stores and supermarkets.
“You pay from £3-£4 for a bag and get around £10-£13 worth of food.”
While it means no effort from you, including traipsing down to the shops to pick out the bargains yourself, it means the bargains are a “lucky dip” of goods.
You might not like what you get, and end up wasting it anyway, meaning you waste your money at the same time.
Don’t just go for the food
It’s not always food that’s discounted with the hidden bargain stickers.
On Facebook page Extreme Couponing and Bargains UK one shopper shared their massive haul of reduced goodies, with their yellow stickers still proudly attached – but you can’t eat any of them.
They’d managed to snag Corsodyl toothpaste for example, for just 90p.
The yellow sticker slapped on the toiletry said it was originally £4.50 at their local Morrisons.
They’d also managed to score Surf detergent for just £2, which was originally £10, and Gillette razors at £2.60 a pop, down from £14.
There’s plenty more ways to cut costs on the weekly shop – sometimes size (of the shop) matters most.
And the art of picking which exact date to visit the shops can help you save some pennies on your next visit too.
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