I got my weekly shop down from £100 to £35 – here's how I did it

I got my weekly shop down from £100 to £35 and I’ve saved £1,500 to take my daughter abroad for the first time – here’s how I did it

  • Rachel from Hertfordshire plans to take her child abroad with the savings 
  • READ MORE: Which meal deal offers the best value for money? 

A savvy mother has revealed how she has saved £1,500 through yellow sticker shopping – and is now sharing her top tips to help others sniff out the best bargains too.

Rachel Steeden, 38, from Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, has managed to save hundreds of pounds on her shopping bill using a few simple methods.

The single mother-of-one explores a variety of stores searching for chicken, sushi, and doughnuts – all in a bid to get her hands on the best deals.

Through her frugal approach, Rachel has saved a whopping £1,500 on her food shops in total – and is using the money on a holiday abroad for the first time with her daughter, Tianii, 11.

‘Before I changed my shopping habits, I would spend around £100 a week on food shopping and now we spend £35,’ Rachel said.

Rachel Steeden (pictured) from Hemel Hampstead, Hertfordshire, has revealed how she has saved £1,500 on her food costs through savvy shopping 

‘With the money I’m saving, I am looking to take my daughter abroad on holiday for the very first time.

‘We usually opt for UK caravan holidays because they are great when on a budget.

‘However, it would be really great to go abroad and experience a different culture and give Tianii a new experience.’

The thrifty parent, who hunts for yellow sticker bargains, as well as using apps like Olio and Too Good To Go, has shared her top tips so others can locate their own budget buys.

For Rachel, planning is crucial in ensuring she gets the best deals.

She advised: ‘Set a budget, make sure you know how much you are able to spend on your shop.

‘Make a list, or else you will be shopping blindly and wasting money on food you may not use and throw away.

‘Make yourself familiar with the store’s reduced sections; there is usually one in the fruit and veg section, one in the meat section, one in the bakery, one in the home, and one miscellaneous one with random bits on it.

The single mother is using the extra money to take her daughter Tianii (right) on a holiday abroad for the first time

The single mother hunts for yellow sticker bargains and purchases most of her food items from the reduced aisle. Her finds include croissants for £1.23, chicken breast fillets for £1.65 and tuna a sweetcorn pasta for £1.07

Rachel has managed to find plenty of bargains in the reduced aisle, including a Chinese meal for two from Asda for £3.48

‘[Also] I make sure I put them in the freezer and meal plan around what’s in the freezer and use whatever else is in the house to cook dinner with.’

A big part of bargain hunting for the mother is spotting those bright yellow sticker labels, which indicate a food item has been reduced in price.

With them, Rachel has managed to score some brilliant savings.

She said: ‘A few of my best finds have been chocolate bars for 10p and 1kg of chicken for only £1.

‘I picked up some fresh chicken sushi rolls for only 10p a pack from Asda, and in Tesco, I have stocked up on meat dishes for only £1.

Rachel plans to take her daughter on holiday with the savings so she can experience a different culture 

The thrifty parent hunts for yellow sticker bargains and shares her findings on social media to help others.  Her buys include chocolate bars for 15p and fruit salad for £2.24

Rachel will purchase most of her food from the reduced section and freezes items such as baked goods so they don’t go off

‘These are items I wouldn’t be able to purchase unless they were reduced, so these are a real treat.

‘Another great haul I sourced in Asda cost me £7.08, which bought a pack of eight crumpets, eight mini cheese and ham pizzas, and a pack of 12 pigs in blankets.

‘There were also chicken tikka thin breasts, meatballs, crispy chicken breasts, finest sausages, and plant-based sausages.

‘I buy most of my fruit and vegetables in the reduced section – I will always check out that section before shopping the full-price items.’

‘Remember that you can freeze most items so don’t be put off by the best-before date, freeze and eat at a later date.

For Rachel, planning is crucial in ensuring she gets the best deals. The single mother warns others of the importance of planning a budget

Rachel highlighted the importance of becoming familiar with the reduced aisles. At Asda, she managed to pick up a pack of sliced turkey for 56p 

The single mother-of-one explores a variety of stores searching for chicken, sushi, and sweets, such as these Aldi 12p Ice Cream Sundaes, all in a bid to get her hands on the best deals

‘I would love to normalise yellow stickers and take away the stigma that seems to be attached to shopping in the reduced section – there’s no shame in being savvy.’

Rachel said: ‘I mainly shop at Tesco and Asda for yellow stickers, and I find shopping at either 2 pm or 7 pm great times to get the best deals.

‘Shopping later on in the day is a great time for further markdowns on products – be sure to familiarise yourself with what time your store reduces the items.

‘For the Olio app, I try to grab one of these earlier on in the week to get the most useful items.

‘However, Too Good To Go is normally good to grab all week long.

In addition to hunting for yellow sticker bargains, Rachel also uses apps like Too Good To Go and Olio 

The single mother has received crates of food from Aldi at a heavily discounted price by using Too Good To Go 

Instead of visiting just one supermarket, Rachel will explore several in order to find the best deals

‘I’ve noticed in Co-op there are really great reductions on their baked items, sometimes grabbing bags of sausage rolls and doughnuts for 20p!’

As well as hunting for yellow sticker deals, Rachel also uses apps including Too Good To Go to pinch the pounds.

This app connects customers to restaurants and stores that have surplus unsold food for an extremely low price.

She said: ‘We use the app on a regular basis.

‘One of our favourites is Greggs, who do a bag which is just £2.59.

Rachel uses Too Good To Go, which connects customers to restaurants and stores that have surplus unsold food for an extremely low price 

Rachel also shared another technique of using the Olio app- which stores such as Tesco use to help stop food waste

Rachel will often bring her daughter Tianii on yellow sticker reduction hunts and share the results online 

‘Inside these bags, we’ve had them filled with sausage rolls, doughnuts, sandwiches, and Belgian buns – it’s really great value for money.

‘Aldi do a bag for £3.09 and each time I’ve got one I’ve come away with a whole crate of food including a whole cooked chicken, fruit, vegetables, ready meals, and sweet treats!

‘It’s really helped cut the cost of my food shopping down.

‘Another technique is the Olio app which stores such as Tesco use to help stop food waste.

‘A local food volunteer collects the food from the store, posts it online, and then you can request the food and collect it from your ‘local food waste hero’.

‘It’s a great app you are saving money and helping stop food waste.’

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