Mum bags over £40 worth of food for just £1.40 by buying reduced items
One mum who regularly hunts for yellow stickers to help her financially at home and with the cost of living crisis managed to recently stock up on more than £40 of food for just £1.40.
Lucy Robinson, 31, from Bradford, has been on the lookout for food bargains for a while, so much so that she now also treats it like a game to keep her three kids entertained.
But her hunt is also worthwhile, as just a few days ago she took home a haul including three whole chickens, a pack of pork chops, two chicken jalfrezis and a cut of roast beef for less than £1.50.
This has been her best bet yet, which she bagged in a local McColl's on Sunday.
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"Before I found this latest haul my fridge had been virtually empty all week except for a jar of ham, so this was such a lucky find," she says.
She's currently not in work while she studies health and social care to pursue her dream of supporting people with mental health difficulties, with her living off monthly Universal Credit payments worth just £334.91.
"I have three kids, and while they normally live [with] their father it means I have to find budget deals in the shops to feed them while they are staying over," she adds.
"It's especially important too with the cost of living crisis – I'm always struggling with money while I'm out of work, so finding cheap deals keeps me going."
Robinson separated from her husband in January 2020 but still looks after her children, aged 14, 10 and four, every weekend and on school holidays.
Thankfully, she says, she has an all-electric flat, so she's not being affected by rising fuel costs. "But budget shopping does help," she emphasises.
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Other than yellow-sticker shopping, Robinson's top tip for when you do stumble upon a good deal is to freeze your finds to beat the use-by dates and make the most out of them.
She also recommends shopping late in the day when there are the best bargains and not hesitating to ask staff if there is anything being kept back.
And this isn't the first time her eagle-eyed shopping efforts have paid off.
"I've been yellow label shopping for a while. Just the other week I got an entire shoulder of beef for £4 – it was 70% off," she says.
"I've actually made it into a sort of game with my kids too, they all go off and try and find the cheapest items in the shop."
While she is aware that local shops can be hit and miss for cheap products, she is proof that knowing where to look or just trying your luck can make it worth it.
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"I normally don't need to spend more than £20 on my weekly shop," she explains, sharing more details on exactly how she keeps her costs so low.
"Asking in local stores if they have any food on sale is also good. They don't often have much on sale - but sometimes you get lucky.
"Usually smaller stores have higher prices, but sometimes you get lucky and they have too much stock – so they put normally expensive items on sale for low prices.
"Another trick is I never buy veg in packets – it's always cheaper to buy it as loose items, like three onions in a packet can be 20p more expensive, or more."
Sticking to her own golden rule, she always puts her cheap and treasured meals in her box freezer when she gets home, which helps her cheat expiration dates and provides enough food for her and her family "for weeks".
Additional reporting SWNS.