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Savvy mum reveals how to save money on food even during the coronavirus lockdown

8 April 2020, 0:00 pm
  • Morgan Prangnell, 31, has managed to get yellow sticker hauls even during the lockdown
  • Morgan says switching to own-brand products and menu planning will save families money
  • Morgan has plenty of tips to help families who feel stretched

Families are struggling to afford life under the coronavirus lockdown, with cuts in salaries and rising supermarket prices adding extra stress.

But one mum has shared her tips and says it is possible to save money and even get yellow sticker deals under the lockdown.

Morgan Prangnell, 31, who is mum to Tayla, eight, managed to bag a huge M&S haul of yellow sticker goods for a tenth of their usual price - and she says there are myriad ways to save money, even during this time.

Morgan, from Surrey, told money-saving community LatestDeals.co.uk: "I found the yellow stickers when I moved into a flat near the high street and popped into Marks and Spencer one night for chocolate!

"I ended up leaving with enough sandwiches for a week of packed lunches, pizzas, fresh fruit, ready meals and a bag of chicken breasts. I paid about a tenth of the RRP for each item but forgot my chocolate.

"Although I still do a big shop every two weeks I would say about 70% of my fresh produce comes from yellow sticker shopping and it means we eat really well on a budget.

“The most important thing to remember is that sell by dates are not the same as use by dates. When you buy reduced items it's a good idea to either freeze where possible or plan to use fresh items quickly within a couple of days.

"I've also found I'm much more creative now and as I love cooking I've tried recipes that I never would have done before because I'm planning around what's available rather than just cooking the same repertoire of dinners each week.

"I think everyone's struggling with lockdown. I really miss my family but as soon as this is all over I'll be inviting them all over for a yellow sticker dinner!”

Morgan has plenty of tips to help families maximise on that one precious shop whenever they’re able to book an online delivery or get to the local supermarket.

“Look at what you've already got in your freezers and cupboards and make a list of meals that you make without having to buy anything,” she adds. "You'll be surprised what you've actually got stashed up behind the baked beans and fish fingers!

“Menu plan and stick to it! Keep an eye on the dates - fresh food needs to be eaten and coordinate it with your weekly menu. When you let things go off you might as well have thrown money in the bin!

“Befriend your freezer - if you can buy it frozen you can freeze it. Milk, cheese, sandwiches, rice… you’ll be surprised what you can freeze and also, investing in some Tupperware boxes to create your own ready meals saves waste and time.

“Supermarkets reduce gradually throughout the day so it's worth asking when these times generally are then heading there regularly to get used to the timings.

“Another tip is to embrace own brands. The savings are huge and quite often the quality is the same if not better.

"An example I've found was swapping a £1 well-known noodle brand for a 22p budget brand - there's absolutely no difference! The same goes for things like soup, chips, rice, pasta, biscuits… most things to be honest.

"This is probably where I save most money and by changing to a budget supermarket that doesn't overwhelm with hundreds of different brands, I save at least £40 per week which I could increase if I stopped buying chocolate and rum… but you've got to be sensible!

“You should also bulk food out with extra veg. Put grated carrot in mince dishes and sweetcorn in tuna mayo sandwiches, for example, and it can double how far you can stretch a meal.

"“I think everyone's finding money hard at the moment and there's a lot of uncertainty for everyone. Being able to still feed my family well is a huge weight off my shoulders and yellow stickering is a big part of that!"

Tom Church, co-founder of LatestDeals.co.uk, comments: “With shoppers limited in what they can buy and incomes reduced, food shopping and cooking is one of the major sources of stress during the coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s great to hear Morgan’s tips, which should help families cut down on unnecessary spending - and it’s great to see that even in these times, you can still bag a yellow sticker haul!"

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What do you think of this?
JustinBoocockover a year ago

There'll be no yellow stickers in Marks now you've told everybody

TriciaJosephover a year ago

There's certainly no reduced items in stores near me! We still can't buy loo roll let alone a whoopsie bargain. Plus at the moment I can't even afford a carrier bag from Mark's!

Azitizover a year ago


Azitizover a year ago

I'm sorry but why would you shop in M&S if you were on a tight budget???. Sandwiches you can make yourself, pizzas you can buy the base and add toppings etc etc not rocket science

Dennabover a year ago

You could come out with a sea of yellow stickers or leave with an injured bank account. It's the thrill of the gamble. Jokes aside, we did our shopping there recently because I had a gift card from a broadband deal and the cost of it wasn't as expensive as you'd expect for two weeks worth of food. M&S prepared food tastes better as well. I remember having a ready meal from there shortly after one from Iceland once. For the same meal (hotpot), the Iceland version had 200% more salt and tasted like it did.

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