Savvy Shopper Reveals How She Got FREE Grocery Haul Worth £12.75
- Laura, 40, picked up £12.75 worth of Tesco yellow sticker bargains free of charge
- The supplies went towards a picnic with friends and meals for the rest of the week
- She shares her tips for finding heavily discounted groceries and free-of-charge shopping
Yellow sticker bargains are always the holy grail for those seeking discounted groceries, but one savvy shopper has revealed her trick to getting piles of food completely free of charge.
Laura Gaga, a 40-something civil servant from North West London who hosts the podcast Alright Raiders and shares bargains on Instagram as reduction_raider1 and her website, told money-saving community LatestDeals.co.uk: ‘I like to eat well for less and avoid food waste where possible, so I am always on the lookout for discounted and free groceries.
‘Recently I was able to save money with a decent haul from the food sharing app, Olio. The food waste hero was a volunteer who collected the surplus food from Tesco and distributed it on the app. They only live a few miles away from me so it was very convenient to pick everything up.
‘All of the food I got was marked down with a yellow sticker, but I got it all for free. I got plenty of vegetables - butternut squash, a root vegetable medley, a swede and two bags of parsnips. The butternut squash was £1.15 but Tesco had reduced it to 29p and it was free of charge for me. The medley was originally £1.15 but it had been reduced to 29p and I paid nothing.
‘If I had bought the swede originally it would have been 95p but it was reduced to 24p after yellow sticker discounts and I got it as a freebie. The parsnips had cost 80p per bag originally, then they had been reduced to 60p, followed by a final yellow sticker price of 20p and I got them for free.
‘I also got three tubs of salsa, caramelised onion houmous and two pots of Free From Soya Greek yogurt. Each salsa tub was £1.20 originally, reduced to 30p each and then free for me. As for the hummus, the same reduction was in place. The yogurts had been £1.55 each but yellow stickers made them 39p and I got them without paying thanks to Olio.
‘The whole process was easy. I’d been scrolling Olio as usual, and saw the Tesco items listed. I requested everything I wanted, then set off when the food waste hero confirmed it was ready to collect. It only took ten minutes to drive there so it was really easy.
‘I saved £12.75 overall and, more importantly, I saved good food from being binned. The vegetables will last me a good few days, if not the week. The yogurts will also keep now they’re in the fridge, and I will add it to cereal and use it in smoothies.
‘The collection was timely as I was meeting friends the next day for a picnic. I roasted a load of vegetables in rosemary from a friends’ garden then put it in a container and took it along with the salsa and hummus, plus some tortillas from the freezer so we could make our own wraps. My household food consists of surplus food. If I’m not collecting food using Olio, I’m in the reduced aisle buying yellow, red, orange and green stickers!
‘For those who want to start doing the same, I would recommend downloading food waste apps like Olio, Too Good To Go and Karma. Familiarise yourself with your local stores and the times that they reduce their items. Shop with an open mind - be prepared to experiment with new foods, try different recipes, and be creative with what you have.’
Laura is regularly sharing her bargain finds on Instagram. A recent haul posted with the caption ‘Orange Wednesday’ features reduced items such as 600g of strawberries for 75p, a Parisien baguette for 19p and a bag of baby tomatoes for 30p.
Her zero waste lifestyle leads to posts such as a recipe for Thai flavoured soy chunks in lettuce cups. ‘I wanted to use up the lettuce in the fridge, so I made these cups. The soy chunks were given to me by a friend and the thai curry paste and lettuce came from Olio. The coriander was an orange sticker bargain and the cauliflower and broccoli came from my mum as she cooked it then decided she didn’t want to eat it, so she froze it and gave it to me!
Tom Church, Co-Founder of LatestDeals.co.uk, said: ‘Laura’s zero-waste lifestyle will no doubt be an inspiration to many. It’s always a pleasure to meet a fellow yellow sticker bargain hunter, and to learn more about apps which help people save money on food essentials.
‘Olio is an easy app to use. Sign up for a new account using your email address and confirm your location. Browse food items (and the non food category!) for anything which appeals, and once you’ve found something you like, click on the listing to request it.
‘Just remember to stay respectful and communicative, telling the list holder what time you can collect and getting in touch if you’re running late.’
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