A while back I read something online (or maybe it was in a magazine…) about holding off until Christmas Eve to get your turkey or other joints of meat for your Christmas day lunch. It went on to say that you could get everything you needed from meat to veg at a super discounted price just before closing time at the shops.
Given how hit and miss it normally is at my local supermarkets I wasn’t sure if I would bother this year. I mean, I haven’t any other year so why start a new tradition that will only set me up for possible disappointment. Plus it’s extra effort on a day you’d normally want to kick back and relax.
I wasn’t up to too much this evening so I did some research on which supermarkets close at what times and I worked out that I could stop by Waitrose, Asda and Tesco before the final doors shut at 7pm.
I still haven’t quite got the timings down on when stuff gets reduced. I swear they always do it at different times each day just to keep us thrifty shoppers on our toes. I suppose the staff member discounting items would be swamped (even more than usual) if people cottoned on to the exact time each evening.
Anyway, I went to Waitrose for 5pm as they shut at 6pm. It’s not a shop I’m that familiar with as I see it as somewhere that the posher people in my town go. I had a scoot around the aisles – it was so busy – and there wasn’t a single yellow sticker in sight. It was a disappointing start but I jumped in my car and went on to Asda.
Asda’s reduced section sadly was distinctly average. I got there for 5.30pm and they shut at 7pm. I did think that they had reduced their stuff earlier in the day but most of it was already discounted twice and there was a lot there. Unfortunately it was mostly things that I didn’t need like yogurt and more yogurt.
I did however pick up a pack of rump steak which was reduced to £1.15 from £4. I also managed to nab a packet of ready cooked ‘Jamaican’ chicken reduced to 70p from £3.
There were quite a number of bags of their pizza toppings too. Their ‘reduced from’ prices are perhaps a bit out there but I got the sliced red onions for 52p reduced from £1.93 and the diced peppers 25p reduced from £3.30.
After my small win in Asda I was feeling more confident and made my way over to my final stop – Tesco.
As I drove by to get into the car park I could see so many people through the windows and it was just as manic when I got inside. It was about 6pm by this point – I wondered if many other people were there just to see what was reduced. I also had a bit of a dilemma about whether to get a trolley or a basket. A trolley is great because you can load it up, but it does get in your way for nipping in and out of the crowds that form around the clearance sections. On the other hand however, a basket will not hold very much if you strike it lucky but it gives you the freedom to whizz around everyone quickly! I decided to go for a basket but I instantly regretted that decision once I stepped into the shop.
As soon as I got out of the lift I passed a chiller to my right hand side. I wouldn’t normally look in that direction but I heard a woman exclaim with absolute glee at all of the turkeys that had been reduced. I obviously had to go back and investigate and boy am I glad I did!
I picked up these two turkey crowns for £6.57 reduced from £26.30 and £6.07 reduced from £24.26. Another shopper beside me wasn’t quite so taken with the reductions and told me that she was convinced they were only brought down in price because they had gone off. I don’t think so…
I also found some more turkeys hanging out at the other side of the store. I picked up this even fancier turkey crown for £7.39 reduced from £29.54.
Next I pootled over to the main clearance chiller. There were so many people all trying to get in to see what was on offer, with two staff members stuck in the middle making up the yellow labels. It was fairly civilized but a small argument broke out over someones trolley which is unintentionally stopping others from getting a glimpse of the action. I laughed. I somehow managed to get swept in near one of the chillers. Sadly it didn’t have a look in of what was being reduced at the time but I picked up some great bits anyway.
I got the BBQ Pulled Pork Mini Sliders for 25p reduced from £5, the Potato Skins 15p reduced from £3 and the Cheesey Stars for 15p reduced from £3.
This pack of two chicken breasts was £2 reduced from £4.
I picked up a second packet of Cheesey Stars for 25p reduced from £3 and two packs of Wedges for 25p each reduced from £3 each.
I picked up 7 amazing pork loins for £1.27 reduced from £12.06!
I managed to get some amazing festive ham for 72p reduced from £3.61 and two packets of pre-cooked chicken – one for 10p reduced from £3 and the other 15p reduced from £3.
Like a true Brit, I stood patiently and waited for my turn to get to the goods everyone had their eyes on. Unfortunately that didn’t happen because those nearest the front were taking everything that got a sticker. I was then told by another customer that the people in front of us were waiting for all of the expensive meat to be reduced. After some time, I gave up and went off to grab some bread. I did head back past the chiller on my way to the checkout and I saw a number of people with some very nice looking beef joints (probably about £10-£15 each!) with reduced stickers for 89p. Fair play to them, they had been waiting there a long time for that but some of them had multiple packs. It’s the luck of the draw I know, but it’s still a bit disappointing.
To be really honest, I did get quite a lot as you have seen, but I did only get what I knew I could store in my freezer and gave other people a chance to get a pick of what was left.
After dropping my stuff off at the car I went back and got my mum two turkey crowns. They were about £6/£7 pound each reduced from just under £30. My Mum was so delighted with them that I didn’t get a chance to take a picture. They were massive though, trust me!! I’m not sure if my Christmas presents for my Mum tomorrow will get the same reaction as those turkeys…
To sum it up, you really can get your Christmas meat at the very last minute – there is no guarantee however. I got some really great bits to pop in the freezer for another day and I am genuinely thrilled with what I got. It might seem a tad excessive in terms of the quantities I bought, but I now know that I don’t need to worry about buying food for some time. It should be fairly easy to top up my freezer with other yellow-sticker bargains now that I have a healthy stock-pile to cook from.
My Asda yellow-sticker shop came to £2.70 and full price it would have been £12.23 – a saving of 77%!
My Tesco yellow-sticker shop came to £25.07 – full price it would have cost me £125.77! That means I got a 80% saving! I can’t believe it!!