Getting ready for Christmas can cost a small fortune, but one savvy shopper has proven it’s actually quite simple to keep costs down if you know where to look.
Adam Attew is a retail sales assistant and posts his savings on Facebook as @savvyshoppingwithadam and Instagram as @adampastryguy.
He told money-saving community LatestDeals.co.uk: “I love Christmas but it can be an expensive time of the year for many with food, decorations and presents.
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“I have been able to save on the cost by picking up yellow stickers for party food for Christmas, Boxing Day and New Years. After Christmas is when I make the most savings with discount decorations, trees and clothing.
“I love to bake and cook so anything I get on sale I try to make a meal or bake with. With the savings I have made, I have been able to put money towards full price items and gifts and enjoy a bit more luxury for much less.
“I mainly shop in Tesco, Sainsburys, Waitrose and Marks and Spencer. Luckily, most of these shops are close to my workplace so I can often pop in on the way home. I also go to Argos, Primark and The Range for non-food bargains.
“In terms of food, some examples of what I have picked up include brussels sprouts for 24p reduced from £1, Christmas vegetable crisps for 31p instead of £1.25 a pack, dried fruit and mincemeat for 50p each instead of £2 a pop and a chocolate celebration cake for £4.68 instead of £13.75.
“It’s easiest to find bread, fruit, cakes, pastries, party food, sandwiches and meats. I have also picked up mini burgers for £1.86 instead of £7.25, mince pies for 10p instead of £2 a box, Christmas puddings from M&S for £2.50 instead of £10 each and chicken for 49p.
“Food isn’t all I find at bargain prices though. I have also picked up a 50-pack tube of Christmas decorations from Sports Direct for £1 instead of £7.50, Christmas jumpers for £2 each instead of £12 or £14 each, an 8 foot Christmas tree from Argos for £15 instead of £60 and a musical Christmas biscuit tin for £3.60 instead of £12.”
Adam, from Stratford, East London, continued: “On average, the bargains I find are between 50% and 75% off the original price. I get these discounts by shopping after work, which is usually between 5pm and 8pm. By visiting a few shops on the way home whenever I can, I maximise my chances of picking up bargains. I have found that M&S, Waitrose and Sainsburys usually reduce their items by more than 50% after 7pm, and sometimes it can be earlier in M&S.
“Most supermarkets, such as Sainsbury’s, have a dedicated chilled cabinet with a yellow label indicating those items are reduced. Others, like M&S, just reduce products and leave them in the aisles they come from so this requires more of a search for items. Some supermarkets also have a dry goods shelf for damaged, seasonal and discontinued products.
“With yellow stickered items and sales at Christmas, I have saved thousands over the years. I love that I can buy more luxury items I would not usually buy for less. I also like that I am saving them from being wasted.
“I won’t use all the food straight away. I will freeze as much as I can. I have brought meat and frozen it for meals later on, and I keep bread and cakes for a treat in the future. I keep them ready for Christmas and over the New Year period. I love to bake and cook and try to use all I get to make a meal or treat. For example, I made a trifle with part of a chocolate cake I got on sale and the rest for making cake truffles for work. I try not to waste anything if possible.
“I regularly use the Too Good To Go app and pick up bags from my local Greggs, Starbucks, Yo Sushi and Morrisons after work between 7pm and 9pm. I try to get one or two a week. I also try to regularly get a box from Morrisons full of fruit and vegetables as it only costs £3. It always makes several meals as I can combine the supplies with what I already have at home.
“It is exciting to see what you have and what you can create with the box. I have made pineapple cake, banana cake, soup, stir fry and much more. I also get a bag from Costa for £3 which usually has toasted sandwiches I can have for my lunch before work. These are also great to freeze.
“Another good resource is Olio, the app where you can share and request food from others. I have shared many items and received bread, vegetables, milk and pastries which has been great.
“For those wanting to find more bargains I would recommend looking through supermarket aisles for red labels and reduced to clear labels. When items are discontinued or seasonal they are reduced to clear. The freezer section also has some great bargains. You just need to keep an eye out when you are doing your weekly shopping, as this is how I have found most of my bargains.”
Tom Church, Co-Founder of the money-saving Black Friday app, said: “Adam has made a lifestyle out of finding bargains and he is clearly reaping the rewards. It’s incredible how many reductions you can find in stores that you wouldn’t expect, especially if you are shopping after big seasonal events have ended.”
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