Thrifty tips, ideas, news & experiences on anything around the home to shopping to re-cycling etc.
I've got an ever growing list of places I food shop to get the most for my money. Yes I use the big TE, and AS, and MO, and SA. I shop late 8 - 9 pm to get the yellow stickers, and will ocassionally pop into ALD and LID. The rest of my shopping is cherry picked for the best prices. The discount stores in town have the best prices for cleaning stuff, of which I buy only the basics of washing up liquid, and sometimes bleach for the loo. They have some bargains in food, but I am a bit picky and steer clear of junk, also some pet food is ok. I am wary of Pound shops because they are not always the cheapest.
Next I go to the market for some of my cat food, if it is cheaper than supermarket offers. At the moment I am stocking up on out of date dry Whiskas, 50p for a 360g box which is well over £1 normally. (Get it while I can) I pop in Poundstre.....tcher, they have baskets at the checkout with out of date reduced.
There is a cash and carry which is open to the public, where I buy out of date food. Nothing wrong with 48 tins of John ?East tuna fish dated Aug last year, for 45p each. A few other bargains to be had, but some junk to skip past.
Now I have added the Asian shop just off the High Street, to my list. I bought 12 tins of chopped Italian tomatoes for £3.49 (29p a tin) Yesterday I was browsing round TES in Hull while waiting for the bus, and saw almost identical tomatoes in a big basket marked up at 59p a tin, good grief what a rip off.
I know I have time to do all this, and others may not be able to, but I believe my time is wisely invested, it's worth the effort. Is anyone else a savvy shopper?
I used to do this. But there is another thing to take into account, and that is petrol. Where we live the cheapest option is to shop when passing a big Ts or S.
But when children had swimming lessons I used to run between the 3 supermarkets in Winsford, comparing prices and getting the best of each. I don't have the energy now. In those days I knew the price of everything, but then there was a bout of inflation and prices changed so fast that I stopped trying to remember them. (I was young then, and would add up my greengocery as the girl served me. Couldn't do that now either, even if we had counter service any more)
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Now this is my kind of thread, Ilona
I believe we are savvy shoppers.
We have our master shopping list, which we can add to or subtract if need be, but we always use our master list.
We also have our routine and our route.
In the beginning of the month we walk to Sainsberry and pick up the very few things we need from there, then we walk across the street to @sd@ where we do our big shopping for the month, stocking up on all non-perishables for the whole month and any sale items. This is the one time during the month we take a taxi home.
We also pop into @sd@ a few nights thruout the month (walk there and back) to get the yellow tagged food~
We go into town once a month as well. This is where our route comes in handy...on one street is the first charity shop and almost across the street is another...we walk a couple miles, turning onto another street where there are 2 charity shops. Next we hit Wilk0ns0n's if we need to, as we pass through the mall...then onto the main road where we hit 2 pound shops and about 6 charity shops. We also check over the open vegetable market. Last time I got a GIGANTIC box of great mushrooms for a pound because they were closing shop.
We walk home 10 times out of 12, otherwise we take the bus.
On our weekends we walk along one of our main roads and hit the 3 or 4 ethnic shops, These are the places where we know we can buy certain things cheaper. I get my coconut oil at one and my black beans at another, and so on...
We have the time and we each have 2 legs and 2 arms. I will not foolishly spend the money my husband works hard for.
I, for the first time went to @ldi today and was impressed with the price differences. Yes on lookalikes and I've yet to try some stuff. But a blue thing for the bog............ is a blue thing for the bog..... only cheaper.
Sadly I drove, walk praps 3 miles with shopping with my back........ not a prayer.
Hi Meanqueen , good to see u visit
fantastic blog by the way
Have started shopping after 7.30 @ night in the hope of finding more of the yellow sticker items, I seem to get lucky on bread rolls , and the odd apple crumble
I find the trouble is that we live in a 24 hr society nowadays and the shops are always busy no matter what time you go, you either have to be lucky or quick to get those bargins , but when you do,,,,result
I wish we were able to shop like some of you. We have started shopping at A....di, which is over ten miles away. Recently a new T....co has sprouted in our nearby town, but there is little variety and choice in the town itself, and our main bank is not there either.
We get up early once a week, tomorrow, actually, and are in town by 8am. Do our first batch of shopping at either T....co or M......s..ns, then go into town. By 8.30 am it is getting increasingly difficult to find a free parking spot, but we are normally lucky. We hang around (cup of coffee, our weekly outing and treat) in a small cafe, until the banks open. This means more queueing. We are involved in two charities, which involves business with three separate banks, sometimes rather time consuming. Then back to A....di for the rest of our bargains.
We are home by 10.30 am, and thus miss out on the reductions at the end of the day. Neither of us can cope with till queues, or busy shops, and we avoid this by early shopping.
We don't generally visit charity shops, nothing we really need, but do unload stuff onto them from time to time.
Looks like you have it sorted, Lillia. You're right about a route and a routine, I am like the tom cat who goes out at night marking his territory
I appreciate that planning your shopping like a military operation isn't for everyone, there are issues like distance to shops, public transport, and personal mobility to consider. But if you have the time, and can reach the shops without incurring great costs, there are big benefits to be gained .
It also depends on whether saving money on your day to day living costs is important to you. For me it is important because it frees up money which I can use to enjoy my hobbies, like going out and visiting places. I am not a home bird, never have been, travel is my thing, and cheap travel at that.
Hi FRUGAL MASTER. I'm glad you have seen the light and now shop late. Yes, it is a bit of a hit and miss affair, if you are there at the right time to get the cheap bargains. That's the fun of it. You can go home on a high because you have bought your whole weeks shop at a fraction of what it might cost you if you went the next morning, or you might only find a couple of items worth having. You can't win em all.
Shopping by cherry picking is a bit like foraging. You go with an open mind, without a shopping list, and collect what is a bargain at that particular moment in time. You need to be flexible in your eating habits, and be willing to try something new.
I have recently changed where I get my cat litter from, found a cheaper version. I use the clay based clumping litter, usually get it from son of morris, but it has been creeping up and up in price. Used to be £1.19 for a 10kg bag, now £1.54. I tried similar product from tes&co, also gone up, but it doesn't clump so well. Sainsbugs is £1.20something but the bag is only 8kg. Now I have found Best Value Cat Litter Mix 10kg at hoam bargins for £1.29. It is from a factory which makes all kinds of litter products, and this is the sweepings up if you like after they have finished working on a batch and moved on to the next.
I read somewhere that you can use layers pellets for litter, but not sure how the price compares, or whether you could get away with using less in the tray as it's a lighter bulkier material. Has anyone tried it and what is the cheapest you can buy it?
As has already been mentioned I think that it is very important these days to factor in fuel costs; it is not really a saving if the 20 fuel costs more than the few bob saved on a slightly cheaper product. I use my local Chinese supermarket a lot and I cycle there, it saves on fuel and parking charges and the ingredients are cheaper and often better quality. I do however prefer to shop ethically rather than be a skinflint and opt for the cheapest regardless of the cost to the environment and/or animal welfare. Tonight I cycled home via son-of-morris and picked up some free range chicken which we had in oyster sauce (Ken Hom recipe) with rice. Fuel cost zero, cost of more ethical chicken product… quite a bit more than the cheapest but that was my choice.
Hi alysonshaw, The yellow stickers start appearing in the supermarkets anytime during the day, usually about lunch time. If you are too early though there wont be much of a reduction. As the day goes on the staff come round and re sticker, with a bigger reduction. Some supermarkets move these goods to a special section so you don't have to go searching over the whole shop for them. Knowing the layout of the store helps as well, because sometimes you have to make a dash for it to get there first It's all good fun and adds to the excitement when you come across a real bargain.
When it gets to about 7pm they go cheaper, but the real bargains come between 8.30 to 9pm. Tes&co's final price is 90% off the original. I can pick up loaves of bread for 10 or 20p. Same with the veg, 90% off. There are massive savings to be had. I picked up five loaves for 25p not so long ago Yes 5p each, couldn't believe my luck. That was at 3.50pm on a Sunday. I had been out somewhere and called in as I was passing.
Happy hunting for the yellow stickers, they're called 'Whoopsies' if you are in sadsa.
Haha...There are 2 fridge sections and then the bread shelves for the yellow stickers, where we shop. You should see me zipping around! I even keep my eye on the person marking down the food so I can be there when she delivers the goods on her cart~ I have waited for half an hour just to get the best bargains. I have to laugh at myself sometimes but I love the thrill, so to speak!
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