A man who has saved over £3,000 on his food shop has revealed his top tips for grabbing the best bargains.
George Cawdron has been a dedicated yellow sticker buyer for years, using savvy tricks to snap up deals on everything from meat, such as peri peri chicken and pork belly, to vegetables, buffet items, and pricey plant-based products.
Using these hacks, the 30-year-old from Oldham, Greater Manchester, can reduce his weekly food costs by up to £35.
Here, he shares how to get a bargain, which shops to visit, what to look for, and what times are best to go to the stores.
“I believe I have easily saved over £3,000 in the last few years shopping this way,” he told NeedToKnow.co.uk.
“My shops would be around £50 a week when not buying mainly-reduced items, now I’m spending no more than £15 to £20.
“My favourite purchase of all time is an entire ready-to-eat corned beef hash pie.
“If I recall, the price was under £1.50 and this pie was easily 16 inches.
“I was laughing in the car with my girlfriend and even made her sit in the back so I could put the seatbelt around the pie in the front seat to look after it while driving home.”
Other deals that George has nabbed include party food from Asda, discounted to 10p per item, including pizza, mini Kievs, Southern fried chicken bites, cocktail sausages, and more.
He said: “It made for a very cheap and easy way to set up a buffet for my party.
“I’ve had a few cheap wins at Asda with some pork belly strips and roast chickens as well.”
WHAT TO BUY FOR THE BEST BARGAINS
If you’re after a good deal, George says to go for things like perishables and meat.
He said: “Current cost of meat is ridiculous, so any savings there are huge.
“I will pick up certain ready-meals but these again are generally meat-based like Hunter’s chicken or peri-marinated breasts.
“The deals are too good to turn down and vegetables are great for innovative cooking.
“I love to cook so I do stand there for a few minutes, prepping in my head and thinking what I can make with what is currently reduced.
“A surprising benefit of this has been my willingness to try other food that I never would have otherwise including many vegan and plant-based items.
“I have purchased if they are fully-reduced for a chance to try, beyond meat burgers are fantastic, although they do smell weird when cooking!”
WHERE AND WHEN TO SHOP FOR THE BEST DEALS
According to George, not all supermarkets are equal when it comes to pricing.
He said: “I find for reliability Tesco is the best to shop for deals, but Asda on occasion has produced some massive hauls.
“Tesco is best after 7 pm but the actual time I think is affected by the staff working.
“Sometimes I’ve hung around walking the aisles for 40 minutes waiting for the final reductions to be finished.
“Asda is best for deals at around 6 pm.”
GET FRIENDLY WITH THE STAFF
George will also get to know the team members’ routines, helping him land better deals.
He said: “Find the routine for your local supermarket.
“I’ve noticed staff work the same sort of shifts and you can then learn when they do their rounds of reductions.
“The friendly staff will happily let you pick and choose what you want before they would normally get to that item.
“Remember, they are still people so try to still be polite and friendly, those reduced aisles can be chaos.
“Aldi and Lidl have percentage stickers so the bigger number the better though their timings are hard to track for when to get the best deals.”
ONE FINAL TIP – DON’T BE TOO PICKY
Being a super-savvy saver means working with what you’ve got.
George said: “Be happy to cook anything and everything, plan your meals in advance, and see what things you can use to make these meals.
“Freeze everything and anything, if a deal is too good then you can’t say no.
“I’ve given out whole chickens to family members because I couldn’t fit them in my freezer.”
Thanks to his savvy ways, George has managed to stash away a lot of cash and spends the money on treats for himself such as his archery hobby, a more expensive gym membership, and restaurant outings.
He added: “It has given more comfort for everyday life as opposed to saving the difference and making a large purchase.