You Really Can Get Free Food From Supermarkets

I have never used cashback sites before. I don’t shop for brands unless they have a yellow sticker on them, so it’s always a no-no for me. But as food prices rise, so these deals are starting to look really attractive and as many of them have long shelf lives, this means I can put them away for a rainy day when yellow sticker offers aren’t available. I decided to give Shopmium a go and there are actual free foods on there. In early February I got a bag of Maltesers and a box of Carr’s Flatbreads for free, a 600g box of Cheerios for £1 and a packet of McVitie’s biscuits for 50p. I think that’s a pretty good saving on things I would never normally have access to.

Since then I have been recommended to try the CheckoutSmart and GreenJinn apps and I’ve done well with these too. In total I have saved more than £60 on the shelf price of a variety of products that, whilst not always the sorts of things I would buy, still add to the larder and give me more variety in my diet.

Because of the range of deals across these apps, I’ve started using several local supermarkets – Morrisons, Sainsburys and Tesco and it’s worth the effort to get to all three – two being in walking distance, one being a 10 minute drive away.

I am sticking to free or big discounts (ie something that doesn’t cost me more than 50p), because the cheap price product still has to be competitive with a yellow sticker item otherwise it isn’t a saving. These are easy numbers to crunch. Whilst many of these foods aren’t the sorts of things I would normally buy, they are good additions. Milkology is probably the best deal and I now have 12 1 litre bottles. They have a long shelf life – right up to the end of 2022 so I have a chance to save a lot of money on milk.

These apps are really easy to use. You just save the offers, snap the receipts and barcodes (where applicable) after you’ve made your purchase and I have each site linked to my Paypal for payouts. The only problem is that you need to have the cashflow to make the purchases and wait for the refunds, which can take up to a week depending on the app you are using. Shopmium is the best for getting your money back. There is no limit on when you can draw down your money and the refunds appear in 48 hours or thereabouts. CheckoutSmart has a £20 minimum or you lose 5% (pennies on most purchases) and it takes up to 7 days to get your refund. GreenJinn is also a bit slow with their refunds. But they all get there in the end and for me it doesn’t cause any problems.

If you can put aside some cash or you are getting cashback on items you would have bought anyway, this is a winner. My February and March grocery shops have both come in at about £20 and that’s thanks to cashback sites and my hardline on yellow sticker purchasing.

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