Living On A Budget – Shopping for Yellow Labels

Hello and welcome back to my blog!


In this post I will be talking about one of my favourite things to buy and that is yellow label reductions!

So if you want to know ways in which you can bring down the price of you monthly shopping bill by shopping around more for these amazing reductions, then keep reading. As I explain all.

What are yellow label reductions?

A yellow label reduction is simply food that has been reduced down in price, this food can be near its use by or sell by date, and also stock that is being delisted. There is nothing wrong with this food as such; it just means that the supermarkets are not allowed to sale out of date products.

Before I started my frugal lifestyle I very rarely bought food that was reduced in price or on that date because I always worried that the food would magically go off and would be inedible. But that is not the case! Keep reading as I give you tips and where to get these reductions

Best shops for yellow label reductions:

All supermarkets will reduce their on the date food, sometimes the reductions are not worth buying as it is less than 20%. But other times the stores reduce their items down by 25%, 50% or even 75% off the original price. I once saw 25 chickens being reduced by 75% because that store over ordered and they needed to get rid of them, I bought 4 chickens and put them in my freezer. This cost me less than £5!

However, I do have my top 3 supermarkets that I often visit because of their reductions. In all 3 of these shops I have seen a variety of food reduced down by a maximum of 75%. Their reductions are even better if they have stock that is being delisted (not being sold any more), as they need to get rid of this to make room for the new stock. So shop around, go to the end of aisle and reduction bays as you can find some great finds.

And here are my top 3 favourite stores for yellow label reductions!

  • Co-op
  • ASDA
  • Sainsbury’s

Remember to take the time to look for your amazing bargains!

 ‘DISCLAIMER’ you may not find anything whilst looking for reductions. It depends on what the store has going out of stock or date. So don’t be disheartened, keep looking!

What is the best time to shop for reductions?

Many supermarkets have different times of the day that they reduce their food down by.

For example if someone is reducing a chicken that is dated the next day, they may reduce it by 25%. But if someone is reducing a chicken down that runs out of date on that day, they may reduce it down by 50%-75%. It depends entirely on that store.

But I recommend shopping from Midday onwards; there are also some amazing late night reductions before 9pm. This is the time that most stores start to remove the out of date stock, so they reduce it down to as low as possible. I was once in ASDA at around 9pm and they were reducing their bread down to 15p per loaf! That’s nothing!

Check out this article by the Sun as they give a very detailed explanation about each stores reduction times etc.

What are the best things to buy with a yellow label on?

It may be tempting to buy everything with a yellow label on, but you need to think logically. There is no point buying 5 tubs of nearly out of date cream if you’re not going to use it.

So I recommend buying anything that you can cook a few meals with, also anything that you can use over the next few days.

My family’s rule of thumb is if you see any meat reduced buy it! It has helped us save so much money by shopping this way. You can buy mince meat, chicken, steak and much more that can be put into the freezer for up to a month after the use by date. Bulk buying reduced meat is a great way to save money as meat can be expensive. But only buy what you need, plan your week / month to see what you actually need.

You can also buy fresh fruit and vegetables but they need to eaten within at least 3 days maximum of 4! I often buy bags of potatoes and other vegetables so that I can still prepare nutritious meals even on a budget.

I bought this fruit on sale! It only cost me £2.50!

Should I be worried about eating the food after the best before or use by dates?

There is no right way to answer this; there are many reports online that talk about how it is okay to eat food that is after its use by date. Have a quick read of this article by the Telegraph, as they explain why it is okay to eat food after the use by dates.

And there are reports that say it isn’t best to eat food after its use by date. Such as this NHS article, this article explains perhaps why you shouldn’t eat food after its use by or sale by date.

I have been buying yellow label reductions and eating food up to 5 days after it has passed its shelf life and I can honestly say it has never affected me. You just need to use your senses. If it doesn’t look nice, smells bad and doesn’t fell right then don’t eat it. If you bought a cheap pint of milk that is curdling do not drink it! Use your judgment, especially when it comes to fresh fruit and vegetables. Be sensible, a cucumber that you bought 4 days ago isn’t going to be that fresh.

I hope that this post has made you more willing to buy food that isn’t at its best. We waste so much food in the UK because of the scary use by date, but buy living more frugally we can change this. Not only does it help the environment it is also going to help you save money.

What is the best item you bought that had a yellow label?

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