Between zero contract hours, sky high rent and other general rising cost of living stresses, it can be hard to treat yourself to decent grub at times. Outside the “onions on self service” trick, cupboards are slowly turning to a bland “basic brand” colour coded gallery as people take a downgrade in food quality to feed themselves.
Thankfully, the reduced to clear sections of supermarkets can offer a small ray of sunshine. Done properly and a good reduced to clear shop can off you a lot more than the double cream and Ginsters pies many walk off with. Here’s my top tips to making a good reduced to clear haul.
Know your supermarkets
Like any animal in the wild, finding the food you like means hunting in the right areas. If you’re on the look out for a reduced to clear bargain, you have to go shopping in the right supermarket in the right areas. Large Morrisons in the middle of town? Likely to provide a good haul. Small Tesco express that’s a lunchtime haunt for panicked professionals? Less so. Figuring out the type of supermarket you’re in and the type clientele it entertains will help you make out if a store is likely to pay big.
As a general note, any Waitrose store near closing time is normally a great source of cheap(er) grub.
Learn haul days
Haul days are when a supermarket receives a new shipment. Learning when it’s out with the old in with the new could lead you to walking away with £15’s worth of shopping for about £2. Most big supermarkets tend to work on cycles, so if your local Sainsburys gets its big shipment in on a Wednesday, then Sundays, Thursdays and Fridays are good spill over days to make a reduced to clear pick up.
Once you’ve got your supermarket and know what day the good stuff is in, now you got to find out the hour the stuff you think is worth picking up is easiest.
Sandwiches and sushi are dirt cheap after the lunchtime rush and anything freshly baked tends to get a yellow sticker after about 4pm. If your supermarket does reduce its meat and fish, then its normally moved onto shelves between 10-12 in the morning and gone by lunch.
So there you have it, my (albeit brief) advice on bossing the reduced to clear section. You’ll be eating Tesco Finest for pennies in no time…
Carl Anka's diet largely consists of reduced to clear kidney beans and turkey mince which he turns into a weird budget burrito. You can ask him for his recipe by following him on Twitter.