48-year-old Sharon Adams has just about made shopping for reduced items an art form, and says that she managed to get her entire yearly shop – which would otherwise have cost £1,223 for just shy of 15 percent of that cost.
13 percent, if we’re being picky.
Speaking of picky, that’s exactly what Sharon is.
She’s managed to be incredibly selective on what she actually parts with money for, searching out the tell-tale yellow stickers that mean the food isn’t priced as it once was.
According to Sharon, she has perfected her craft over 10 years, also delving into the world of food app Olio to supplement her shop.
Olio is a mobile app that lets users share and give away food and other items away for free, in case you’re interested.
Over the course of the last year, Sharon has managed to get a shop that would otherwise have been £40 for just £2.40, just through taking advantage of the discounts at local supermarkets near her home in the Welsh town of Pontypridd.
As well as picking up all the essentials, she managed to get things like hair conditioner for just 10p.
She keeps two big freezers in order to keep her haul fresh, and right now it’s stocked with a huge amount of yellow sticker treats that she bagged before Christmas.
Sharon explained: “Yellow sticker shopping has really helped me to stretch the pennies and the pounds.
“If I can sniff a yellow sticker reduction out, I will.
“I budget £10 a week on food shopping, and often find that I can spread that amount further.
“I tend to go to Morrisons and Asda in the evening as they always have the best reductions."
She hasn’t really needed to do any food shopping this month, but still managed to get one in that cost her just £7.49 whereas it would otherwise have been £40.
Sharon continued: "Other supermarkets like Aldi, I don’t go to that often as its further away, but I actually went there once and managed to get £40 worth of meat for £11 as everything was 75% off in the reduced section.
"I go to my local McColls a lot too, and they have a lot of reductions that are usually around 10 pence each."
Over the last six months, she’s also had more than 429 items on Olio, which is sometimes used by a person from her local Tesco supermarket.
She explained: “My local Tesco will donate to the Olio representative every evening with stock that hasn’t been sold, including a lot of reduced, going out of date items.
"Yellow sticker shopping has really helped me to stretch the pennies and the pounds.
“Meals are always really cheap, because the items I put together have either been free from Olio, or just massively reduced with yellow stickers.”
We could all learn a lesson from this, not just about frugal shopping, but also about food waste.
Here's a breakdown of her last year or so:
•2020 -Christmas Eve Yellow Sticker reduction haul (Including mince, turkey, vegetables, party foods) - £2.40 (Freezing everything for future use)
•January - £14.90 (Soups, orange juice, yoghurts, ready meals, garlic bread and pizza)
•February – £13 (Lidl Vegetable box, pate, tea bags, salads, potatoes, and yoghurts)
•March - £15 (Restocking on meats, cheese, garlic bread)
•April – £15 (Yoghurts, vegetables, pate, pastries and sausages)
•May - £11.30 (potatoes, tomatoes, bread, mushrooms, pate, butter, cakes)
•June - £12.30 (Lidl Vegetable box, pies, mash, mince, hair conditioner, sausage rolls)
•July - £14.75 (Free Olio items including bread rolls, vegetables, cooked chicken, and fresh noodles, paid for fresh fruits from M&S and splurged on steaks and meats)
•August – £13.30 (Pastries, cooked meat, bread, fruit and pizzas from Olio)
•September - £12 (Bought reduced mince, yoghurts, naan breads, butter, and pasta – but got lots of free food from Olio such as milk, sausage rolls and sandwiches.
•October - £15 (Lots of free food from Olio again, paid for chocolate, butter, onions, and tomatoes, as well as a big meat haul from Aldi for £11)
•November - £12.10 (Lots of freebies from Olio – also got some reduced mince, pork pies, grapes)
•December - £11.95 (Another Christmas eve reduction haul to fill my freezer with meats, vegetables, and bread, with a few fridge bits like Scotch eggs and salad as well as Olio collections of yoghurts, bread and a Jamie Oliver pasta dish)