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BARGAIN HUNTING: which is the best supermarket and best time to go for the 'reduced' items??

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Hi all, We're needing to 'tighten our belts' as a family this year and I was just wondering if all you bargain hunters would share where you think the best supermarket reductions are and what's the… Read More
pink_elephant Avatar
4m, 1w agoPosted 4 months, 1 week ago
Hi all,

We're needing to 'tighten our belts' as a family this year and I was just wondering if all you bargain hunters would share where you think the best supermarket reductions are and what's the best time to go is to bag ourselves some yellow sticker bargains. Ideally meat products (as they're most expensive) so I can batch cook/freeze them. I know evening is the best time to go but what times best? I must admit, I do like a bargain but any other tips to help save money....please share!

Much appreciated :-)
pink_elephant Avatar
4m, 1w agoPosted 4 months, 1 week ago
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#1
I think it depends where you live. I've noticed places that are great at reducing aren't so great in other areas. When I was in Lewisham the local sainsburys were awesome. My local Sainsburys now is terrible and would rather bleach and landfill their produce than reduce it in price for their customers. Our local Asda is OK but their food looks inedible at reducing stage. Tesco is OK but is a drive away for us (although could cycle in 20 minutes but we are lazy) which defeats the point burning fuel to save money.

So yeah, I think you'll have to so investigating at different times in different shops.
#2
Our local Sainsburys at about 5.20/5.30 seem to put all the reduced fish out

Usually have a massive range of different fish aswell

Edited By: winifer on Jan 10, 2017 12:11
#3
I dont know about meat but morrisons fruit is reduced in the mornings after 10 am or evenings after 7pm for most other stuff like bread etc....Also most other supermarkets reduce items just few hours before closing. .but its hard to get something when people behave like animals. . ...if you want then do most of your weekly shop in lidl or aldi is better than finding reduce items and try to plan ahead of what you want to make and buy items which you can use in most recipes..i.e vegetables rice pasta sauce noodles cheese etc
#4
Agree with above and also it depends on staff level at the time as well, your best bet is to try your local shops from 4pm on late opening days. My small Tesco on Sunday had fruit pots and salad reduced to 30p didn't check meat as don't buy from there, meat market or similar better prices and quality
#5
I find it varies wildly from shop to shop but as a rule the best reductions are to be had in morrisons
#6
When I used to shop at Sainsbury's they were yellow stickering stuff around 8:00pm (store closes at 10:00pm), while my current Morrison's does it around 7:00pm (closes at 11:00pm), so it does definitely differ widely.

I keep an entire tray in my freezer empty for bargains and regularly buy large lots of cold cuts from the deli counter, reduced from ~ £1.60 per 100g down to ~ 50p per 100g. I have a large box of clip lock containers for that very purpose. Bread, butter and cheese bargains all freeze perfectly well too.

Back in the days of Sainsbury's I used to quite often get their expensive Taste the Difference pre-packed ham/chicken/beef colds cuts for 15p a pack and do the same.

Edited By: SUMMONER on Jan 10, 2017 12:20
#7
I used to shop at Waitrose, it was always a certain day, think it was a Tuesday at about 11am that items would be reduced. I would usually be able to do a weeks shopping for 2 which included a lot of expensive meat all for between £35-£50.
It really will depend on the specific shop you go to but you could always check the sell by dates and try gauge when they will be reduced, usually 1 maybe 2 days before expiry .
#8
Asked in sainsburys they said first reduction is 1.30pm. Noticed in marks the second reduction is 2.30pm
#9
Just shop in aldi , home bargains , b&m etc , rather than chancing your luck with anything decent being reduced.
#10
Agree with the comment above. I find Home bargains quite good at prices.
#11
My local M&S at about 5pm (shuts at 5.30-6) is sometimes decent, luck of the drawer
#12
plodging
Just shop in aldi , home bargains , b&m etc , rather than chancing your luck with anything decent being reduced.


aldi are very greedy they throw stuff away instead of reducing it. even if the guy try for a week and gets the reduced items once he will have saved more than the other shops but yes use them for full price stuff
#13
Thanks everyone for your input....

I do shop at Aldi/Asda usually (Aldi if I have the car and Asda if hubby has car and I walk) but I never see anything reduced at Aldi, there prices are good though. We have 2 Asdas in our town, one big one small, I walk over to the small and I've got the odd reduced item, but like someone else said, their food looks inedible most of the time.
I find Sainsburys incredibly expensive so I don't tend to shop there and I don't go into Morrisons either. I think I'll have to just scout around each shop on an evening to see where's best. :)

I didn't know you could freeze cold meats and cheese, will have to try!

Thanks again for all your suggestions...keep them coming as I will be on and off here during the day! ;)
#14
tescos extra near kingston upon thames is amazing poor assistants marking stuff down get circled by the yellow label mob fighting over anything getting reduced seen ppl trying to get them to reduce goods that are not short date

Edited By: mattmerch on Jan 10, 2017 13:35
#15
plodging
Just shop in aldi , home bargains , b&m etc , rather than chancing your luck with anything decent being reduced.

Yep. I work next to a Tesco and live by an Aldi and a Lidl, and the difference in price is huge. Special offers help narrow the gap and end-of-date reductions generally push prices toward Tesco's favour, but generally, they're a good 40% more expensive than the budget supermarkets for comparable quality goods. Lidl also tend to do their 30% reductions a day before expiry date, making for extra bargains that needn't be eaten right away, as with Tesco.
#16
pink_elephant
Thanks everyone for your input....

I do shop at Aldi/Asda usually (Aldi if I have the car and Asda if hubby has car and I walk) but I never see anything reduced at Aldi, there prices are good though. We have 2 Asdas in our town, one big one small, I walk over to the small and I've got the odd reduced item, but like someone else said, their food looks inedible most of the time.
I find Sainsburys incredibly expensive so I don't tend to shop there and I don't go into Morrisons either. I think I'll have to just scout around each shop on an evening to see where's best. :)

I didn't know you could freeze cold meats and cheese, will have to try!

Thanks again for all your suggestions...keep them coming as I will be on and off here during the day! ;)


it probably looks enidble because everyone's took all the stuff that was normal and left all the mush there don't buy anything that looks like that or any items that a sealed that have given off water even slightly they are no good for eating. try going a bit earlier but that's the problem if u go too early u won't get them at a proper reduced price. but maybe still worth it if u wanted that item anyway. most fruit and vegetables last longer than the sell by date and so does bread. white lasts longer than brown before it gets mouldy. Hovis had some bread last year which was free from presvatives which use to go moldy even before best before date but that soon disappeared. my point being stuff doesn't majickaly go off on the use by date so just store it properly and u can get some good bargains from asda mainly on fruit and vegetables, breads and fish,meats and diary products.
#17
MoneySavingexpert.com's Supermarket Shopping Tips might also help.

http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/shopping/cheap-supermarket-shopping

And scroll down to tip number 23 for the Time trips right to bag huge yellow sticker discounts section. This might be more a rough rule of thumb though, worth trying all the same.

http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/shopping/cheap-supermarket-shopping#match

From reading some of the comments here the following might also be an interesting read as well.

Supermarkets in the UK should be made to donate leftover food

http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/team-blog/2015/05/29/supermarkets-in-the-uk-should-be-made-to-donate-leftover-food/

mySupermarket.com also has a quick shopping list button right hand side of their search box where you can enter your shopping list which helps you calculate which stores cheapest for you to shop in. They don't always match like for like though should give you a good idea with regards to deciding where's cheapest for you to shop. Pity they don't include the likes of B&M Bargains and Home Bargains on their website though. Of course this site is almost as good if not better in some cases for checking back for bargains.

mySupermarket's Price alerts are also very handy too. If you sign in to their website and set a price alert they'll send these via email once the price drops.

http://help.mysupermarket.co.uk/index.php/section/shopping-with-mysupermarket/price-alert-shopping-with-mysupermarket/

I’ve also noticed that sometimes the store assistants in some stores don’t always realise there’s a price reduction on some of their products, so don’t mark items when they are supposed to be reduced. When this occurs (from experience) they might also tell you that web prices can be different than those in store, if so then maybe consider asking if they can check at the till just in case.

Also, if you're really tight for money you also have the option of clicking on any image on mySupermarket and checking to see if there's a cheaper alternative to what you would normally purchase. Once you have clicked on that image scroll down to where it says Compare to similar choices. Of course there are some things you might never consider swapping for cheaper brands just because they are cheaper.

For meat and fish, the deli counter appears to be cheaper though is always worth double checking just in case.

In most supermarkets there’s usually a reduction shelf located in their stores as well though there might be some things you might not consider purchasing, items that might be near their best before dates for example unless you can freeze them that is or consume them before they go off. There's also a very good Don't be a waster tip mentioned in the Supermarket Shopping Tips article I've posted above with regards to 'best before' and 'display until' dates.

Sainsbury’s also used to drop the prices of their bread to about 10p in the evenings, I remember there was quite a few times when I managed to get some for this price some time ago though not sure if they still do as I tend not to shop their anymore unless there’s a bargain to be had.

Good luck.

Edited By: LemonHead on Jan 10, 2017 14:45
#18
My sainsburys local does it when it pleases them bit hit & miss, but if you catch it at the right time after the second reduction it has the best bargains around.
TIP. Second reduction is what you are looking for in sainsburys

Edited By: waterloo on Jan 10, 2017 14:48
#19
plodging
Just shop in aldi , home bargains , b&m etc , rather than chancing your luck with anything decent being reduced.
Don't think much can be saved in b&m stores at least not in my local it's mostly homeware apart from the usual tins, packets of stuff & sauces.
#20
Varies too much to give specific guidance. It varies both from store to store (same chain and different ones) but also within the same store. Try visiting the store at different times of the day to get a feel for it - and even then expect to miss out on occasion as they do reduce far earlier or later than normal. I am also fairly sure that some supermarkets deliberately move their times around on occasion to reduce the numbers of regulars pushing and shoving.

Lastly, to the OP I'll also potentially expect fierce competition. Some have had to tighten their belts earlier than you, and a lot of people are cash strapped at this time of year. I've had some of my best bargains around August Bank Holiday...

Edited By: greencat on Jan 10, 2017 14:59
#21
Generally the last hour or so is when they start the real reductions.
Most supermarkets have a few reduction periods, for example £1 item is reduced to 80p 2 hours before closing, 1 hour before it's down to 50p then 30 minutes before closing it's down to 10p.
It's a case of how much do you really need it and can you afford to go without it for the sake of a few pence.

Some places have "professionals" which will know the reduction time for the specific store and be waiting for the sticker to go on.
Beware they are the ones which will give you a sharp elbow to the chest to stop you getting the item they want and will take reduced items out of your trolley if your not looking.
#22
You need to get to know your local stores and you'll pick up the best times if you're there most days. The reduction % varies as I'm guessing it depends on the assistant, doesn't seem to be a set rate.

I find in the "big store" supermarkets there's often a gaggle of people waiting around when they spot the reductions happening (I hate the "vultures" hanging over the poor assistant's shoulder, I think that's really rude and putting pressure on them to hurry up). Smaller stores tend to be quieter and less of a scrum.

I've seem some people strategically park their trolleys (in big stores) next to the reduced section and ignore everyone else.

I live near small Tesco Metros so I don't see much drama often. My local store knows my face and I buy "full price" things as well as I live just down the road - in fact, sometimes the guy with the sticker gun asks if he can take my things and reduce them more :)

I always say please, thank you and never hang over them (genuinely being polite), and of course sometimes I miss out on a few things if there's more aggressive people around - but at least I can leave the store with my dignity intact!
#23
7pm tesco or late night at a tesco express. In Tesco look for the person gathering the meat and fresh stuff ready to go in clearance fridge. It's a lottery though but always bread about and damaged tins. It's the fresh stuff for freezers you want so hang around and look for the staff gathering the stuff and labeling with cheap prices
#24
M&S To Go (at petrol stations) seem to reduce around 8pm
#25
joedastudd
Generally the last hour or so is when they start the real reductions.
Most supermarkets have a few reduction periods, for example £1 item is reduced to 80p 2 hours before closing, 1 hour before it's down to 50p then 30 minutes before closing it's down to 10p.
It's a case of how much do you really need it and can you afford to go without it for the sake of a few pence.
Some places have "professionals" which will know the reduction time for the specific store and be waiting for the sticker to go on.
Beware they are the ones which will give you a sharp elbow to the chest to stop you getting the item they want and will take reduced items out of your trolley if your not looking.
Yes that's what i have found if i get stuff its got 2 or 3 stickers on top of original price.
In my local tesco the people are very strange when you try to get near the reduced cabinet they just hog the whole bit and if you dare try to look for stuff you get the elbow :D
#26
Tesco is best by me. Sat around 6-7pm or sunday around 3ish are good. Last week they had large pieces of cooked beef from £8.80 per kg to £2.20 per kg. Still with 2 days date on. Also fillet steak, sea bream, sausages, bacon and other stuff hugely reduced. Plus veg, dairy produce too.
#27
wayners
7pm tesco or late night at a tesco express. In Tesco look for the person gathering the meat and fresh stuff ready to go in clearance fridge. It's a lottery though but always bread about and damaged tins. It's the fresh stuff for freezers you want so hang around and look for the staff gathering the stuff and labeling with cheap prices

Was you in on this one while hanging around the clearance fridge http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/shopper-injured-in-deli-counter-scrum-at-south-london-tesco-a3154271.html
#28
joedastudd
Generally the last hour or so is when they start the real reductions.
Most supermarkets have a few reduction periods, for example £1 item is reduced to 80p 2 hours before closing, 1 hour before it's down to 50p then 30 minutes before closing it's down to 10p.
It's a case of how much do you really need it and can you afford to go without it for the sake of a few pence.
Some places have "professionals" which will know the reduction time for the specific store and be waiting for the sticker to go on.
Beware they are the ones which will give you a sharp elbow to the chest to stop you getting the item they want and will take reduced items out of your trolley if your not looking.

Generally it's between 7pm and 9pm when they appear to have the biggest reductions on products they are trying to clear, depending which store you shop in of course. See the link in the my post above though I guess the later you go the more likely they'll reduce things. Timing does appear essential however as these reduced items will most likely get snapped up very quickly.

joedastudd
Some places have "professionals" which will know the reduction time for the specific store and be waiting for the sticker to go on.
Beware they are the ones which will give you a sharp elbow to the chest to stop you getting the item they want and will take reduced items out of your trolley if your not looking.

There's no excuse for bad-manners though maybe they may have good reason, maybe because they are hard-up. You might also experience this more in some areas more than others too.


Edited By: LemonHead on Jan 10, 2017 16:53
#29
waterloo
plodging
Just shop in aldi , home bargains , b&m etc , rather than chancing your luck with anything decent being reduced.
Don't think much can be saved in b&m stores at least not in my local it's mostly homeware apart from the usual tins, packets of stuff & sauces.
Agreed but savings on detergent can be significant , I mentioned it because often aldi , home bargains and b&m tend to be in the same retail parks etc .. Always worth a look .. If you have the luxury of time to cherry pick.
#30
Another one of the professionals tricks is to hide all the good stuff right to the back under some old crap and come back later when its getting its final sticker i have seen this many times in the afternoon some people have no dignity and shame.
#31
waterloo
wayners
7pm tesco or late night at a tesco express. In Tesco look for the person gathering the meat and fresh stuff ready to go in clearance fridge. It's a lottery though but always bread about and damaged tins. It's the fresh stuff for freezers you want so hang around and look for the staff gathering the stuff and labeling with cheap prices
Was you in on this one while hanging around the clearance fridge http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/shopper-injured-in-deli-counter-scrum-at-south-london-tesco-a3154271.html
That's just ridiculous. I hate these "sad face, I'm not accountable", victim blaming stories.

His comment "It happened so quickly I probably had about three or four items in my hands but I wasn’t going for anything in particular." implies he was just grabbing at things, so is probably partly to blame for his injury.

Me, if I saw a group of apes elbowing and pushing each other for reduced items - I'd leave them to it. I'm not humiliating myself to save a few pence. I hope the store banned the culprits.

I've noticed that sometimes one girl who does reductions in my Metro comes out with the trolley already stickered - maybe she had a bad experience before and preferred to do it out in the back. Not sure but it must be really upsetting and intimidating for the staff.
#32
louiselouise
waterloo
wayners
7pm tesco or late night at a tesco express. In Tesco look for the person gathering the meat and fresh stuff ready to go in clearance fridge. It's a lottery though but always bread about and damaged tins. It's the fresh stuff for freezers you want so hang around and look for the staff gathering the stuff and labeling with cheap prices
Was you in on this one while hanging around the clearance fridge http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/shopper-injured-in-deli-counter-scrum-at-south-london-tesco-a3154271.html
That's just ridiculous. I hate these "sad face, I'm not accountable", victim blaming stories.
His comment "It happened so quickly I probably had about three or four items in my hands but I wasn’t going for anything in particular." implies he was just grabbing at things, so is probably partly to blame for his injury.
Me, if I saw a group of apes elbowing and pushing each other for reduced items - I'd leave them to it. I'm not humiliating myself to save a few pence. I hope the store banned the culprits.
I've noticed that sometimes one girl who does reductions in my Metro comes out with the trolley already stickered - maybe she had a bad experience before and preferred to do it out in the back. Not sure but it must be really upsetting and intimidating for the staff.
After some compo nothing else just goes to show what sort of person hangs around supermarkets for the reductions .
#33
When stuff is reduced from the deli counter , how do you know what the sell by / use by is or was? .. It could be well past its best , then dumped into a bag and half priced , never seen a use by on this stuff .
#34
plodging
When stuff is reduced from the deli counter , how do you know what the sell by / use by is or was? .. It could be well past its best , then dumped into a bag and half priced , never seen a use by on this stuff .
Can't speak for all supermarkets, but Tesco always has an electronically printed sticker on Deli items which has a clear sell by date.

I'd imagine selling items without a date is against some sort of law (not that I'm an expert). There will be one on there, somewhere, I'm guessing.
#35
louiselouise
waterloo
wayners
7pm tesco or late night at a tesco express. In Tesco look for the person gathering the meat and fresh stuff ready to go in clearance fridge. It's a lottery though but always bread about and damaged tins. It's the fresh stuff for freezers you want so hang around and look for the staff gathering the stuff and labeling with cheap prices
Was you in on this one while hanging around the clearance fridge http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/shopper-injured-in-deli-counter-scrum-at-south-london-tesco-a3154271.html
That's just ridiculous. I hate these "sad face, I'm not accountable", victim blaming stories.
His comment "It happened so quickly I probably had about three or four items in my hands but I wasn’t going for anything in particular." implies he was just grabbing at things, so is probably partly to blame for his injury.
Me, if I saw a group of apes elbowing and pushing each other for reduced items - I'd leave them to it. I'm not humiliating myself to save a few pence. I hope the store banned the culprits.
I've noticed that sometimes one girl who does reductions in my Metro comes out with the trolley already stickered - maybe she had a bad experience before and preferred to do it out in the back. Not sure but it must be really upsetting and intimidating for the staff.

Sadly peoples circumstances can make them very selfish, whether they are hard-up or not in some cases though generally I agree with what you saying – are we that hard-up that we need to save pennies and is it worth the hassle behaving like this. I’d have done the same as well, walked away and leave them to it that is
.
I’ve also experience the opposite too. I remember recently some woman complaining about everyone getting to the shelves before her, turned out it wasn’t actually anyone’s fault but hers. It wasn’t because she wasn’t assertive or anything though it did emerge that her reactions were very slow. “Yeah, they’re very rude”, I replied humouring her and carried on doing my shopping without saying another word. Silly moo.

waterloo
louiselouise
waterloo
wayners
7pm tesco or late night at a tesco express. In Tesco look for the person gathering the meat and fresh stuff ready to go in clearance fridge. It's a lottery though but always bread about and damaged tins. It's the fresh stuff for freezers you want so hang around and look for the staff gathering the stuff and labeling with cheap prices
Was you in on this one while hanging around the clearance fridge http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/shopper-injured-in-deli-counter-scrum-at-south-london-tesco-a3154271.html
That's just ridiculous. I hate these "sad face, I'm not accountable", victim blaming stories.
His comment "It happened so quickly I probably had about three or four items in my hands but I wasn’t going for anything in particular." implies he was just grabbing at things, so is probably partly to blame for his injury.
Me, if I saw a group of apes elbowing and pushing each other for reduced items - I'd leave them to it. I'm not humiliating myself to save a few pence. I hope the store banned the culprits.
I've noticed that sometimes one girl who does reductions in my Metro comes out with the trolley already stickered - maybe she had a bad experience before and preferred to do it out in the back. Not sure but it must be really upsetting and intimidating for the staff.
After some compo nothing else just goes to show what sort of person hangs around supermarkets for the reductions .

You’re labelling everyone who hangs round for bargains as if they are all the same waterloo. A little bit too judgemental I think.

plodging
When stuff is reduced from the deli counter , how do you know what the sell by / use by is or was? .. It could be well past its best , then dumped into a bag and half priced , never seen a use by on this stuff .

It depends what you're intending to purchase. Sometimes non generic brands of cheese are cheaper at the deli counter, so will have best before dates on labels. I couldn't comment on meat and fish though. At a guess though I doubt they'd be passed there due by date somehow though if you think this might be the following day for example then maybe either leave it or stick it in the freezer when you get home, if you have a big enough freezer that is.
#36
i agree LemonHead. I stopped going to my local Tesco after the "professionals" moved in. A couple of peristent offenders would turn up with their family, block the reduced area, load everything reduced into their trolley and then chuck back anything they didn't want.

I went back a couple of months later, and it seemed that somehow Tesco were doing far fewer reductions and no "professionals". Perhaps they simply got their stock control working better.
#37
Morrisons tend to discount thier remaining bread and cakes within the last 2 hours to 9p. Some days are good some are bad on what you get.

They also reduce the remaining pies and chicken from thier hot food counter from about 7.30pm ish. Usually start at half price and they gradually reduce to 9p by end.

Picked up 3 Breakfast pasties for 34p instead of about £5 recently. As like bread bit hit and miss on what you get.

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