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It’s no secret that us Brits love a bargain, and some of us can spot a yellow reduced sticker in the supermarket from miles away. If you don’t know what the famous ‘yellow sticker’ is, this is when supermarkets reduce the price of food that has a sell by date coming up.
To make the most of these offers, it’s good to be aware of the times that each supermarket slashes their prices, as major stores like Morrisons, Tesco, Asda and Sainsburys all have specific times when the staff bring out their sticker guns.
To help you grab some great deals, I have put together a rough guide of when Asda, Tesco, Morrisons, Aldi, Lidl, Sainsburys, M&S & Co-op reduce their items – although these times can vary between stores and depending on opening times. This means that on Sundays shops will see earlier reductions.
Asda starts reducing their items at around 7pm, however if you don’t get there before 9pm you may miss all the bargains.
The reduction times vary at Tesco, with some people suggesting their reductions start as early as 8am. Lunch time can offer between 10 – 20% off items, although you are likely to find the best offers at Tesco in the early evening, at around 7pm.
Morrisons have argued that there is no set policy on reduction times, and it’s up to the individual store managers to decide when to reduce items. The night before the item’s sell by date you can usually find items reduced by around 20%. At around 3pm on the sell by date, the item will be reduced by 50%, and after 5pm you can expect up to a 75% reduction on the item.
I usually find the best deals at my local Morrisons store at around 7pm.
Aldi & Lidl
Budget supermarkets like Aldi and Lidl also reduce their stock, however with both these stores having special offer aisles already this is less common. When Lidl does reduce their items, it tends to be early to mid morning. Aldi usually knock their items down 50% from around 7pm.
According to Sainsburys, the times that their items are discounted are “completely store dependent”. It’s worth keeping an eye out in Sainsburys at any time of the day, although it has been reported that most stores tend to put their yellow sticker items out at lunchtime.
Marks & Spencers
M&S is another store where the reduction times vary, depending on what time the store closes. In stores that close at 7pm, you can usually expect final reductions at 6:30pm.
If your store closes at 9pm, then you can expect reductions to begin at 8pm. However, many people report that Marks & Spencers stores have heavy discounts just after lunchtime.
Co-Op generally starts reducing their items by around 2pm, and by 8pm they will usually reduce them to 75% off.
Supermarket Reduction Top Tips
- Don’t forget you can freeze things – You can freeze lots of items, from meat to loaves of bread. By freezing food, you can keep it for months beyond its sell by date.
- Don’t buy it if you won’t eat it – Just because an item is cheap, doesn’t mean you should buy it for buying’s sake. It’s still a waste of money and if you won’t use it, someone else could make use of it.
- Size Matters – A bigger store will most likely have better offers than a smaller store, although it’s mainly down to the store’s location. Shops are situated in city centres and areas with high rates will be more expensive than stores on the outskirts of a city or town.
- Wait around for the bargains to begin – You could check the best before dates of items such as cakes and bread, and then linger around the aisle for a staff member to come and reduce it – but that depends how brave you are!
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