A supermarket worker has revealed how you can cheat the system and score groceries for up to 90% off – and it’s easier than you’d think.
Al Baker, 48, from Aldershot, Hampshire, made headlines after sharing how he lived on yellow sticker bargains after his £300,000 debt forced him into bankruptcy – and saved £10,000 over two years as a result.
Now, the dad-of-two – who worked in his local supermarket up until May 2022 – has shared how other shopper can get the best bargains too.
“Having previously been in a position where I wasn’t sure how I would pay for our next grocery shop, I can relate to anyone having sleepless nights, wondering how they will feed their family,” Al, who shares money saving tips on his blog The Penny Pincher, said.
One of the easiest cost-cutting methods for Al was identifying what time he could score reduced items – particularly the coveted yellow sticker buys.
Al, who works at his local supermarket as part of his “side hustles”, says the demand for such items has increased “dramatically”.
But for many, it’s hit and miss – unless you know what time to get there.
He said: “You may have to contend with more significant numbers of rival bargain hunters, but it’s still very much worth the trip to grab a yellow sticker deal.
“Every supermarket will have different times for reducing their clearance food, so it’s always worth asking a staff member in your local supermarket what time they bring out the reductions.
“You will see the first reductions in the supermarket I work at – around 30% off regular prices – from about 9 am. The final reductions start at around 5.30 pm, hitting the shelves around 6.30 pm.
“Every store department will have a different maximum reduction rate, typically varying from 70% – 90% off of the regular price.”
To achieve optimal success in beating the competition and landing the top bargains, Al has a few stellar pieces of advice.
TIMING IS EVERYTHING
Al says it is imperative to avoid the rush by arriving early – advising to get near the front of the shop for when the bargains are brought out.
Interestingly, there is a specific time of the week that can garner the best deals for savvy shoppers – but there’s a reason it isn’t popular.
Al said: “Saturday night tends to be the best night for the sheer number of reductions, and Monday night is usually the quietest night, in regards to the number of people in the store, so it’s an excellent night to pop in and try your luck.
“Friday tends to be the busiest night, as lots of people in the store grabbing bits and bobs to get the weekend started.”
So if you’re happy to ditch your weekend tipple, Saturday night could prove very fruitful.
PARTNER IN CRIME
Having a partner can help hugely when scoring bargains.
Al said: “Take someone with you if you can, then you can split up to try and be in two places at once, as often you may find reductions being put out in separate areas of the store at the same time, and this way, you have more chance of grabbing something from more than one section on your visit.”
WATCH THE COMPETITION
You might not think the supermarket is the place to be on your guard, but with the competition for best bargains heating up, Al recommends keeping an eye on your goods.
He said: “Keep your basket/trolley with you at all times. Unfortunately, I’ve seen many a person grab a yellow sticker item out of someone’s trolley when they weren’t looking!”
DON’T BE GREEDY
Equally, the supermarket worker advises not overdoing it – tempting though the offers can be.
He said: “Take only what you need! I know it can be tempting to grab loads of a product, especially if there is an excess stock of one particular item, but if you aren’t going to be able to use it all, then leave some for others to make use of.
“This also keeps your bill low and means you aren’t stuck with loads of something that may spoil before using it.”
Being mindful of which produce you need – and which will help cut costs – as well as what room you have at home for storing it is key, according to Al.
He added: “Most vegetables, meat, ready meals, bread and even dairy such as butter and cheese can be frozen, so that’s worth remembering when looking at the reductions.
“Remember, larger items such as joints of meat or large packs of food can always be cut up/split into a smaller quantity, therefore potentially taking up less room, but also allowing you to use that purchase for several meals, rather than just one. Invest in a supply of freezer bags.
“But also, know how much spare room you have in your fridge/freezer before you head out shopping, the number of times I’ve come home with items, opened the freezer to find it already full, causing a significant re-organisation necessary, and that’s not fun!”
And finally, Al encourages everyone to be courteous to staff members and fellow shoppers alike.