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Savvy Mum Reveals How She Cut Her Weekly Shop From £60 To £10

October 27, 2020, 12:00 PM
  • Kelly Costa, 40, was spending £60 a week on her food shop
  • After leaving her job, she had to pay more attention to her shopping basket
  • Kelly got yellow sticker shopping and budget buying down to a fine art and now spends just £10 a week

If your food shop is the most expensive part of your week and you just don’t know how to reduce it, get inspired by this money-saving mum.

Kelly Costa, 40, a mum of two from Essex, used to just chuck anything she wanted into her supermarket basket, but when she had to leave her job, she began to pay more attention to what she was spending.

After joining money-saving groups on Facebook, yellow sticker shopping and freezing whatever she didn’t eat, Kelly managed to get her weekly shop down from £60 to £10.

She now shares her amazing yellow sticker hauls on Instagram at @yellowstickerkelly.

Kelly, who is a full-time carer for her daughter, told money-saving community LatestDeals.co.uk: "Before becoming a mum to Isabella, now eight, I shopped haphazardly with no regard for what I chucked in my supermarket basket. If I fancied wine, it went in.

"I was a successful contract manager on a salary of £32k which was plenty for me and my boy Raphael, now 18 and a college student.

"But then Isabella arrived and at two months doctors realised there was something wrong with her.

"It emerged she had fluid on the brain and was subsequently diagnosed with macrocephaly, and developmental delays.

"I continued working for two years but it was too much. The childminder couldn’t deal with Isabella’s extensive needs so I had to leave my job.

"Overnight I went from having plenty of cash to virtually none, surviving on her disability benefit, carer’s allowance and universal credit. Her dad isn’t in the picture and money was really tight.

"But I was desperate to continue to feed my kids healthy meals. I’d grown up near Lisbon, Portugal, before moving to Greys, Essex, for work and I’d loved my traditional food growing up.

"‘I’m not going to let them suffer just because times are tight,’ I said to a pal.

"So I looked into how I could buy good food cheaply - and became a yellow sticker shopper.

"That’s when supermarkets stick yellow stickers on goods as they approach the end of their best before dates.

"You can knock 75 per cent off - there are amazing discounts. The best I’ve got off is £52.61!

"I know what time the supermarkets knock down the prices and head there then, going straight to the reduced aisle. In the past, I’ve got chicken for £1, lamb steaks for 60p, chicken chipolatas for 60p and a smoked steak salmon for £1.

"I’ve got a two for one Indian takeaway down from £8 to £2 too. Raphael and I enjoyed that.

"I’ll look for fruit and veg too and have picked up raspberries for 33p, down from around £2, choccie puddings for 13p down from £2.50 and slaw 5p down from £1.

"I don’t just stick to one supermarket, but visit all in the area. I know exactly where I’m going and have a really keen eye for bargains. I don’t buy anything which isn’t on offer now - I can’t afford to.

"Some of it I freeze, but most I eat the same day or over the next few days. In total I spend about £10 a week on food, whereas before I spent about £60.

"I don’t feel guilty. I eat everything I take and if there’s only one thing left on the shelf I still grab it. I love showing off my wins on Facebook and my Instagram page and most people have been lovely!

"I always advise to shop around, speak to supermarket workers to find out best times, always go to the last reduced section as it's the biggest and arrive early so you can have a look around before they are repriced down.

“I’d also advise people to cook from scratch. Instead of takeaways make your own fakeaways and get kids involved so they learn from an early age to be sensible."

In addition to yellow sticker shopping, Kelly also keeps costs down by hunting for freebies on apps such as Facebook and Olio.

"On top of this I hunt Facebook for free bargains - my two sofas were being chucked out in the local area,” Kelly adds.

"I’ve also downloaded an app called Olio where supermarkets inform you when food is going to be chucked out and let you take 10 per cent.

"It’s similar to a food bank and I’ve had really good finds that way including whole bunches of grapes - I want to make sure Raphael and Isabella eat fruit so that’s brilliant.

"It’s mad to think I wouldn’t even look before, I would chuck whatever I wanted in the trolley. Now I am so cautious - and in the process, I’ve saved a lot!”

Tom Church, co-founder of LatestDeals.co.uk, comments: “Kelly’s amazing savings speak for themselves - getting her weekly shop down from £60 to £10 is seriously impressive!

“I’d echo all her tips: chat to supermarket workers to find out what time your local stores reduce their prices and freeze anything you don’t immediately eat so nothing goes to waste. Good for your bank balance - and for the environment too!"

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