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4 ways to get discounts on your shopping & saved 80%, including free food app

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FAMILIES can slash the cost of the weekly shop by saving products from being thrown away.

British supermarkets bin more than 230,000 tonnes of food every year, according to the waste-reduction charity Wrap.

Rosie Taylor tries out four ways of picking up groceries on the cheap

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Rosie Taylor tries out four ways of picking up groceries on the cheapCredit: Louis Wood – Commissioned by The Sun

But you could get discounts of 80 per cent or more by rescuing items that would otherwise be chucked.

This week Rosie Taylor tries four ways of picking up ­groceries cheaply . . .  

TOO GOOD TO GO APP

HEAD to the Too Good To Go app to buy a “surprise” bag of leftovers from restaurants and shops for around 70 per cent off — but it is pot luck what you get.

An Aldi haul, supposedly worth £10, cost me £3.30 — but turned out to contain produce worth £18.14 when new.

An Aldi haul that cost £3.30 via the app but contained produce worth £18.14 when new

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An Aldi haul that cost £3.30 via the app but contained produce worth £18.14 when new
This Morrisons haul also cost less than a third of the price

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This Morrisons haul also cost less than a third of the price

It included two boxes of eggs (normally £1.35 each) which didn’t reach their best before date for another week.

It also had a chicken ready meal and turkey breasts (both normally £3.49) that I froze for later.

But I had to bin deli items and a sandwich filling with use-by date of that day as I couldn’t eat them in time.

I also tried a Morrisons Too Good To Go bag but when I arrived to collect it at the designated time of 5.30pm, there was no discounted produce available so a cashier made up a bag.

I paid £3.09 for £10.65 worth of in-date produce, including a salad (normally £1.50), some Jacob’s crackers (£1.30) and Chantenay carrots (£1.25),

Maddy Alexander-Grout, who runs the Mad About Money consumer app, says she normally has a positive experience with Morrisons on the discount app.

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She recently got £45-worth of veg in her £3 bag.

“It’s a great way to get lots of things in one go for a low price,” she adds.

BEST BEFORE WHOLESALERS

SEVERAL UK websites sell cut-price packaged food that is near or past its best-before date.

Some have a minimum spend, including approvedfood.co.uk where it is £22.50.

Some UK websites sell cut-price packaged food near or past its best-before date

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Some UK websites sell cut-price packaged food near or past its best-before dateCredit: Louis Wood – Commissioned by The Sun

Others such as ­lowpricefoods.com and clearancexl.co.uk have no minimum spend but you pay a set postage fee for a box — so it is only worth shopping if you have lots to buy.

I paid £10.15 for a selection of branded food, plus £4.95 ­postage, on lowprice foods.com.

There were some bargains, including a three-pack of tinned John West tuna steaks for £2.25 (normally £5 via Ocado).

But most of the other produce was only slightly cheaper than buying them elsewhere.

Three packets of McVitie’s chocolate digestives cost £2.50 through lowpricefoods but are £1 each in Poundland.

So you’d save less than 17p per packet.

In total, the goods I received would have cost £15.35 bought new from other retailers.

Once I factored in postage costs, I only saved 25p — not great considering some of the products were past their best before date.

If you are buying a large amount of goods you can use quickly, it might be worth using a short-date wholesaler, but for everyday grocery shopping you are unlikely to see big savings.

YELLOW STICKER DEALS

WHEN products are reaching their use-by or best before date, stores want to get rid of them quickly so they put reduced ­prices on using yellow stickers.

Fresh foods, such as meat or dairy, with a use-by date must be eaten by that date or you risk getting ill.

A whole load of yellow sticker items from Morrisons

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A whole load of yellow sticker items from Morrisons
Rosie's yellow stickers Aldi haul

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Rosie’s yellow stickers Aldi haul

But a best before date tells you when an item will be at its optimum quality — you can use your judgement whether it is safe to eat.

Al Baker, of money-saving blog thepennypincher.co.uk, used to apply yellow sticker discounts when he worked in Morrisons.

He advises: “Ask a member of staff about reduction times as these can vary wildly from store to store.”

At my local Morrisons, I picked up bags of carrots for 10p each (down from 50p), a vegetable casserole mix for 38p (was £1.49) and a salad for just 10p, reduced from 99p.

I also snapped up a six-pack of sausage rolls which were “use by” that day for 60p. They are usually £2.

At my nearest Asda, most prices hadn’t dropped when I arrived at 8pm but I still managed to bag some goodies.

I found some yellow stickers in the bakery section where I picked up some chocolate doughnuts (normally £1.15), crumpets (normally £1.25) and six white rolls (normally £1.35) for 10p each.

FREE FOOD APP

THE Olio app allows users to give away unwanted food and other items.

Since 2020, it has partnered with Tesco so that unsold fresh produce is collected by Olio volunteers and passed on to the community through the app — all free of charge.

The Olio app lets users give away unwanted food and other items for free

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The Olio app lets users give away unwanted food and other items for free

Alison* is one of a group of volunteers who collect leftover stock from nearby Tesco Express stores to distribute.

I messaged her through an Olio app listing for Tesco ­pastries.

When I arrived outside her home, I was surprised to find she had a carrier bag full of 16 pastries, worth £17.60 new, as well as a bunch of slightly bruised bananas, worth 80p.

I then headed over to another Olio helper’s house a couple of miles away.

They had left a box for me by their door containing a mix of leftover Tesco items.

The haul included some bakes that I can freeze, such as scones and bread, as well as in-date fruit and veg which couldn’t be sold because the packaging had split.

This would all be worth £8.94 when fresh.

I couldn’t believe how much you can get for free — although it would be difficult to rely on Olio for groceries as you never know what will be available each day.

*Name has been changed

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