Shopping only for yellow sticker discount products means having to take whatever you can get. It means being careful with what you have, and rationing things out as long as they’re still edible, especially if it’s a key ingredient, in case you run out and can’t get any more for months. It means stocking up when it’s there. Cashback apps mean I have been able to pick up some freebies which serve me well in emergencies, and treat foods I would never normally buy. And they definitely take the edge off the monotony of it all.
But honestly, I don’t think shopping like this is a bad thing. I have a lot of food respect and nothing is ever wasted.
My 14 litres of Milkology and emergency break glass snack bag (stocked entirely from cashback apps) have come in very handy, but I don’t take it for granted. In the last couple of months I have struggled to find milk, potatoes or eggs at a good price, and I’ve been very careful to make what I have, last. Eggs will last months in the fridge, so I overstock when I get them and take care with how I use them. I was down to my last four and only baking with egg free recipes (easy enough), but by the middle of April I had secured all three of these staples and my cupboards were full again.
As prices rise, I am still amazed that the shelves continue to overflow with unwanted products. My last shop, on the Saturday of the Easter weekend, saw the shelves heaving with unsold food. I hadn’t realised they were shut the next day, and I profited from it. I don’t complain in that respect, but there will no doubt be a family in the next street to me that don’t know about this or haven’t the time, resources or inclination to forage in the supermarkets the way I do.
To save myself the full explanation, here’s the post I put up on my Instagram. I could have bought a ton more than this, but I don’t have the space or the time to eat it all before it goes off. I know my limits, and I am not the only one trying to save money on my food shop:
We are supposed to be reducing food waste in this country. We are supposed to be helping those who can’t manage the price rises or feed themselves properly. I see foodbank bags all over the place in Morrisons where people have donated. And yet here we have a supermarket that can’t get the balance right and seems too afraid of running out of anything, to cut back and let customers make second choices instead of reaching for the first thing on the shelf. What isn’t sold, I presume, will end up in the skip, but the staff seemed to be eyeing it all as hungrily as the rest of us. So there’s that.
Honestly, I do go into panic buying mode when I see so many products I can’t normally afford at reduced prices (hint: I’ve never had a Wispa mousse and this was 20p for 4). I never buy too much. I refuse to throw anything away. I analyse what’s in the fridge, and rotate recipes to suit, so I know I can use everything before it becomes unusable.
I feel like I over shopped in April. I’ve spent £31.16 (£117.24 if I had paid RRP). I saved £83.48 buying yellow stickers and made £9.04 in savings using cashback apps Shopify, Checkoutsmart and Greenjinn. I could not imagine paying £117 for a month’s shopping. I couldn’t afford it. I would only be able to eat one meal a day on that. I don’t know how anyone affords these price rises right now, and yet I still many shoppers packing their trolleys with branded products.