Yellow Sticker Shopping: The Best Way to Save Money on Food Shopping
When it comes to food shopping in the UK, it’s always a good idea to understand how and when to find the best deals.
One little-known hack is yellow sticker shopping, a method that allows you to save money on your grocery bills and lessen food waste simultaneously.
The Yellow Sticker Phenomenon:
Yellow stickers are essentially the supermarkets’ method of flagging items that are nearing their sell by dates. Items bearing these stickers are marked down to reduced prices, making it possible for many shoppers to snag good bargains.
Timing is Key:
Understanding the best times to shop can make a big difference in securing the best bargains. However, this is completely store dependent, with the individual store managers playing a major role in when prices are reduced.
Generally, major supermarkets start to reduce prices in the late afternoon, around 5pm. The final reductions tend to happen closer to the time when stores close. However, it’s a rough guide and varies across different supermarkets and even within the local stores of the same brand.
Finding Yellow Sticker Items:
The yellow sticker section is usually in a specific area of the store, but the placement can vary between stores. It’s usually found in the fresh produce or bakery areas, although the reduced items can be scattered throughout the store. It’s best to familiarise yourself with your local store layout to find these sections faster.
The Major Supermarkets:
The major supermarkets each have their own unique ways of handling reductions. For instance, the Co Op tends to begin reductions earlier in the day compared to others. Most stores will reduce prices throughout the day, with the largest discounts typically appearing an hour or so before the store closes.
It’s also worth noting that the cheapest supermarket for yellow sticker items can vary greatly, and this can be completely store dependent. The prices vary based on the type of product, the time of day, and the individual store’s policy.
Making the Most Out of Yellow Sticker Shopping:
While yellow sticker shopping is a fantastic way to save money, it’s also important to plan properly. Making a shopping list and a meal plan can help you ensure that you’re buying what you actually need. Remember, it’s not saving money if you’re buying food you won’t eat.
Fresh fruit and veg are often found in the yellow sticker section. These items, due to their relatively short sell by dates, are frequently discounted. But these veg prices can make a big difference to your grocery shopping bill.
Don’t forget to bring freezer bags with you. Freezing yellow sticker items can extend their life beyond their best before date, ensuring you get the most out of your bargains. It’s possible to prepare and freeze one meal portions of meals, or even freeze fresh fruit or veg to use in smoothies or stews later.
Other Ways to Save Money:
Besides the yellow stickers, supermarkets reduce prices on other items as well, including big brands. Sometimes, these big brands produce the same items for own-brand products in the same factories. So, you might end up getting virtually the same product for a fraction of the full price.
Additionally, loyalty schemes offered by supermarkets can help you save even more money. Convenience stores might not have as many yellow sticker deals, but they might offer better value through these schemes.
Lastly, consider shopping at different times of the day and week. Some shoppers have observed that they find the best deals early in the morning, just as the stores open or late in the evening, just before they close.
Yellow Sticker Shopping and Food Waste:
Yellow sticker shopping is not just about saving money. It’s also a way to combat food waste. Instead of supermarkets throwing away food that’s close to its sell by or use by date, they reduce the price, offering it at a reduced price to customers. This benefits not just shoppers on a tight budget but also helps the environment by reducing waste.
Yellow sticker shopping can make a noticeable difference to your grocery bills, but it’s important to remember that it’s only part of the equation. You should also consider less meat and more plant-based meals, and try to take advantage of food banks if necessary.
Remember, the goal is to save money but also to have a balanced, nutritious diet. Whether it’s bread, meat, or fresh fruit, the yellow sticker can help you eat well for less.
Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions about Yellow Sticker Shopping.
What is yellow sticker shopping?
Yellow sticker shopping is a popular method used by savvy shoppers in the UK to save money on their grocery bills. It involves buying items that are nearing their sell by dates and have been marked down by supermarkets with yellow stickers to reduced prices. This method not only helps in saving money but also contributes to reducing food waste.
When is the best time for yellow sticker shopping?
The best time for yellow sticker shopping is typically late afternoon and evening, around the time when the stores close. However, this is a rough guide as it can be completely store dependent, with individual store managers influencing the timing of when prices are reduced.
Where can I find yellow sticker items in a supermarket?
The location of the yellow sticker section can vary depending on the store layout, but it’s typically found in the fresh produce or bakery areas. It’s best to familiarise yourself with your local store’s layout to find these sections faster.
Which supermarkets offer the best yellow sticker deals?
Most major supermarkets in the UK offer yellow sticker deals, including Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, and Co Op. The timing and the amount of reduction can vary, making it completely store dependent. The cheapest supermarket for yellow sticker items can also change based on the type of product, time of day, and individual store’s policy.
How can I make the most out of yellow sticker shopping?
To make the most out of yellow sticker shopping, make a meal plan and a shopping list before you go food shopping. This helps you buy what you actually need and will consume. Additionally, remember to bring freezer bags as many yellow sticker items can be frozen to extend their use past their best before date.
Can yellow sticker shopping help reduce food waste?
Yes, yellow sticker shopping is a great way to help reduce food waste. Supermarkets use the yellow sticker system to sell food that is nearing its sell by or use by date at reduced prices rather than throwing it away. This benefits shoppers looking to save money and contributes to environmental sustainability.
Can yellow sticker shopping provide me with a balanced, nutritious diet?
Yellow sticker shopping can definitely contribute to a balanced, nutritious diet. You can often find a range of foods from fresh fruit and vegetables to bakery items and meats in the yellow sticker section. The key is to plan your meals and ensure you’re buying a variety of foods to meet your nutritional needs.