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What Time Does Each UK Supermarket Start Reducing Food?

yellow stickers

What Time Does Each UK Supermarket Start Reducing Food?

While food shopping in the UK, have you ever noticed yellow stickers on certain products? These stickers are the holy grail for savvy shoppers. They indicate that an item has been marked down, offering a great opportunity to save money on your grocery bills. Welcome to the world of yellow sticker shopping.

Yellow Sticker Shopping – The Basics

The trick to saving money through yellow sticker shopping is to understand when supermarkets reduce prices. Prices vary and the timing is usually completely store dependent, often at the discretion of individual store managers. However, there is a rough pattern in most supermarkets, which serves as a rough guide to grab the best bargains.

Typically, major supermarkets start marking down prices early in the morning, usually for fresh fruit, bakery items, and perishables that have a sell by date for the same day. As the day progresses, prices drop further. The final reductions often happen in the late evening before the stores close. The specific timings for each supermarket can vary significantly. Here’s a rough guide to the most popular ones.


ASDA is known to start reducing items in the morning, around 7am. By noon, you can usually find an array of yellow sticker items. Final reductions usually occur around 9pm or two hours before the store closes.


Tesco also begins to reduce prices in the early morning. As the day continues, Tesco applies further reductions. The best time for yellow sticker shopping in Tesco is around 7pm when the final reductions are often applied.


The Co-op starts its first markdowns early in the morning, with reduced price items appearing from as early as 8 am. The best time for bargain hunting is generally around 5 pm when the most significant reductions are made.


At Sainsbury’s, the reductions start mid-morning, with final reductions occurring around 7 pm. Some stores may begin even earlier, so it’s best to ask your local store for specific times.


Morrisons begins the first markdowns from 8am, with final reductions typically around 7pm. However, this timing can vary based on the store’s closing time.


In Waitrose, the initial markdowns start in the morning, but the most significant reductions tend to occur in the late afternoon and evening. The best bargains can usually be found after 6pm.


Lidl is a bit different from the other supermarkets. Instead of gradual markdowns throughout the day, Lidl tends to do all the reductions in one go, early in the morning. Hence, yellow sticker shopping should ideally be done first thing when the stores open.


Much like Lidl, Aldi also reduces its prices early in the morning. As a result, it’s beneficial to get to Aldi stores early to have the first pick at the discounted items.


Marks & Spencer (M&S) has its unique way of handling reductions. While the initial markdowns start in the morning, the most attractive reductions occur later in the day, typically around 5pm. Do note that timing might slightly differ depending on the store location and its closing time.

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Making the Most of Yellow Sticker Shopping

Remember that it’s always worth asking staff members at your local store when reductions are made, as there can be variations.

To get the best bargains, you might need to be flexible with your meal plan. Consider using freezer bags for items that can be frozen and used at a later date. This is particularly useful for meat, bread, and vegetables, where veg prices and meat prices can often be significantly reduced.

Remember, even if an item is in the yellow sticker section, it does not mean it is the cheapest supermarket option. Compare prices with similar non-discounted items and ensure you’re actually saving money.

To avoid food waste, be sure to consume reduced items before their use by date or best before date. Plan your meals ahead to make sure you’re using everything you buy.

So, next time you go grocery shopping, try yellow sticker shopping and see how much you can save on your grocery bills.

yellow stickers

Frequently Asked Questions about Yellow Sticker Shopping

Frequently Asked Questions about Yellow Sticker Shopping.

What are yellow sticker discounts?

Yellow sticker discounts are reductions applied by supermarkets to a range of items, especially perishable goods like fresh fruits, meat, and bakery items, that are close to their sell by dates. These discounts help you save money on your food shopping while preventing food waste.

When does each supermarket start reducing food prices?

The timing of reductions is completely store dependent and can vary from one supermarket to another. Generally, reductions start in the morning and continue throughout the day, with the most significant markdowns happening in the late afternoon or evening. For detailed timings of specific supermarkets, refer to the main article above.

How can I find the best bargains when yellow sticker shopping?

To find the best bargains, it’s crucial to understand when each supermarket starts reducing prices. Early mornings and late evenings before the stores close often present the best opportunities. Also, be flexible with your meal plan and willing to freeze items for later use.

How can yellow sticker shopping help to reduce food waste?

Yellow sticker shopping encourages consumers to purchase food that is close to its sell by or use by date. By consuming these discounted products, we can help reduce the amount of food waste generated by supermarkets.

Does every supermarket offer yellow sticker discounts?

Most major supermarkets in the UK, including ASDA, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Waitrose, Lidl, and Aldi, offer yellow sticker discounts. However, the timing and range of products may vary.

Are yellow sticker items always the cheapest option?

Not always. While yellow sticker items are reduced in price, they may not always be the cheapest supermarket option. It’s always a good idea to compare the reduced price with similar non-discounted items to ensure you’re getting the best value.

Can I freeze yellow sticker items?

Yes, many yellow sticker items can be frozen to extend their life beyond the sell by date. Items such as bread, meat, and even some fruits and vegetables can be frozen. Always check the packaging for any freezing guidance.

By being a savvy shopper and making the most of these yellow sticker discounts, you can make a big difference to your grocery bills. Happy yellow sticker shopping!

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