Woman who cooks every meal with yellow sticker bargains saves £300 each year

Ellen started looking for ways to cut back a decade ago in 2011 when she found herself caring for her husband due to his disability – she now saves more than £300 a year through yellow stickers

A money-savvy woman who cooks every meal with yellow sticker food says she saves more than £300 each year by hunting out discounts.

Ellen, 35, from the East Midlands, started looking for ways to cut back a decade ago in 2011 when she found herself caring for her husband due to his disability.

But she now enjoys bargain hunting so much that she refuses to pay full-price for certain food items – even down to basics like bread.

Some of Ellen’s biggest supermarket bargains to date include a whole chicken for 89p and a container of milk for 15p.

Speaking to Jam Press, she said: “I feel a bit resentful when we have to go buy a loaf of bread during the daytime and pay full price for it, when I could pay a fraction in the evening.

“It gives me a thrill to find a good deal or bargain for us, [but] it is very much done out of necessity.

“I got into saving and saving tips because we only have one income and my husband has been under-or unemployed for years.

“We have student debt, a mortgage plus a 15-month fight for my husband to be awarded PIP. This has meant that every penny and pound counts for us and I want to spend our money as wisely as possible.

“The most cost-effective are meals that fill you up, and that you can get something out of over several days.”

Ellen says she saved over £320 on her food shop last year thanks to yellow stickers and plans to save even more this year.

In previous years, including during the pandemic (May 2019 to May 2020), the shopper saved £372.45.

Her top tips include shopping in supermarkets at particular times and freezing bargain buys.

Shops do vary in the times they start discounting foods, so it pays to get familiar with their routine so you can time your visit carefully.

Most supermarkets will reduce items later in the day but some have been known to start knocking down prices first thing.

Ellen says another key to keeping costs low is to buy items that can be used in multiple meals – and not buying goods on a whim just because they are reduced.

She said: “I’d say the most cost effective meal for us is to roast a chicken. We then have dinner one night, leftover chicken we can eat in sandwiches, a salad or use in a pie with gravy, or make coronation chicken filler with.

“I then pick, clean and freeze the bones and when I have enough, I make chicken stock and then soup.

“Potatoes is also a great filler as they’re cheap, versatile and nutritious.”

To save even more money, Ellen sometimes buys seasonal goods – such as for Halloween, Christmas etc – once the holiday is over, as the items are often much cheaper.

She said: “I saved money this way by finding a beautiful themed birthday cake greatly reduced for my husband two months before his birthday.

“There is no way we could have afforded the birthday cake if it was full price.

“When I see bread and other baked goods reduced, I buy two or more so I can freeze it. I won’t buy something I am unsure of or I am not confident we will be able to use up.

“Some of my biggest savings have been 3 packs of butter, full price £5.85, instead I paid £1.47.

“I bought two packs of £8 chicken skewers for £2. I’ve managed to get a pork joint for £1.50 and a packet of spinach for 24p.”