Savvy mum on saving money at Morrisons, Tesco, Lidl and Co-op

A penny-pinching mum has revealed how she saves money on food shopping.

Abi Hallam, who has three children with her partner Colin, has become a whizz at saving cash when doing the weekly shop.

She has learnt how to shop around to get the best discounts and deals.

Amy has shared her secrets with money-saving community LatestDeals.co.uk, the Liverpool Echo reports.

Bargains for 10p

Abi, 29, recently got an impressive haul from Morrisons including topside beef for under a pound. She said: “I got curried thigh fillets reduced from £3 to 75p, topside beef reduced from £4.68 to 94p, roast pork leg reduced from £3.49 to 35p and roast turkey breast reduced from £2.79 to 70p. Then I went over to the deli and got two blocks of mature farmhouse cheddar, reduced from £2.20 to 44p and £2.14 to 43p.

“I also got four packs of four scones (16 total) with each pack reduced to 10p from £1 – that’s a saving of £3.60 in total and I paid 40p instead of £4.”

Abi also picked up some bargains from Co-op on a recent shop. She said: “At the Co-Op I managed to get Betty Crocker Vanilla cake mix reduced from £2.50 to 63p, then I hit the jackpot with four double pepperoni stuffed crust pizzas. They were initially £4.20 but had been reduced to 84p, so I should have paid £16.80 but spent just £3.36 instead, saving £13.44!

“I got a cheese and onion quiche reduced from £2.70 to 54p, and ham trimmings reduced from £3.50 to just 18p! In the bakery section, a pack of four all butter croissants was reduced from £1.70 to 34p – ideal for a treat breakfast.”

In recent weeks Abi has also found minced beef for 75p down from £2.59, sausages for 19p down from £2.50, cooked chicken pieces for 50p down from £1.99 and chicken escalopes for 25p down from £2.50. She said: “I also get reduced on-the-go food – including wraps reduced from £1.75 to 17p, scotch eggs reduced from 80p to 12p and sushi reduced from £2.20 to 33p.”

Secret to finding the best deals

Abi’s secret to uncovering the best savings is visiting stores at just the right time. She said: “We usually go at around 6pm on a weekday and check all the reduced sections before doing our weekly shop. We then check back at the reduced sections before we go to the checkout. I would say we have saved hundreds of pounds by buying reduced foods.

She added: “Find out when your local supermarket tends to reduce their stock, and where they tend to place them. In Lidl, for example, reduced items are placed back on the shelf as well as in a reduced section, whereas Morrisons have a specific place for all fresh reduced items.

“Don’t forget to check the bread/cake aisle for reduced cakes etc. We buy ready iced cakes which we either chop up into portions and freeze in food bags for lunchboxes, or we keep them whole and freeze them for a family member’s birthday (you can always take off the icing and apply your own).

“We recently used two packs of the discounted Betty Crocker cake mix to create a planets-themed cake for my son Jackson’s birthday and he loved it!”

How to get the most for your money

With plenty of mouths to feed, Abi has learnt how to make the food stretch as far as possible. She said: “Most things we buy we put in the freezer and then buy things to go with them to make a meal the week after – unless of course we find reduced veg or potatoes to make up dinners.

“Our freezer mostly has reduced foods. Hardly anything inside was purchased at full price so most meals we eat have something reduced.

“We use the sliced meat from the deli on a Sunday dinner. It saves buying an expensive joint of meat and then spending hours cooking it. We simply take the slices out of the freezer and add to hot gravy. It is then done within minutes and beautifully moist!”

And nothing goes to waste. Abi said: “Some of the food we donate to my brother-in-law and his family who spend their weekends preparing food to feed the homeless in town on a Sunday night. They make up lunch boxes so anything cooked can be donated.”

Tom Church, Co-Founder of LatestDeals.co.uk, said: “It’s always inspiring to meet another member of the yellow-sticker bargains community, and Abi clearly has plenty of tricks up her sleeve when it comes to saving money.

“The best time to get heavily discounted foods from a supermarket often depends on the shop and where you live – why not try going at a few different times each evening, on different days of the week, to see when the best bargains become available?”