Mum says buying reduced food items in the supermarket has slashed her bills in half

·Contributor, Yahoo Life UK
·4-min read
Mum Emily Harris has managed to dramatically slash her bills without changing her lifestyle. (MERCURY PRESS)
Mum Emily Harris has managed to dramatically slash her bills without changing her lifestyle. (MERCURY PRESS)

A savvy mum has slashed her monthly bills by £750 largely by snapping up discounted food items in the supermarket – known as 'yellow sticker shopping'.

Emily Harris, 35, has reduced her monthly bills – excluding rent – from £1,090 to £340.

The care assistant changed her life by also ditching phone contracts and switching electric providers.

Initially, Harris began cutting costs when she found herself in £8,000 debt in 2017.

She started with yellow sticker shopping to reduce her food bill from £560 per month to £240.

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Savvy shopper Emily Harris has reduced her monthly bills by £750. (MERCURY PRESS)
Savvy shopper Emily Harris has reduced her monthly bills by £750. (MERCURY PRESS)

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“I used to put my nose up at the reduced section but now I am completely hooked," she says.

“I plan my meals around yellow sticker meats which are stored in the freezer until used.

“On a Sunday morning, I can get meat for as little as 80p for the Co-Op.

“The earlier you go to Tesco the better and Aldi’s reduced isn’t the best but I do my tin shopping there as they are cheap.

“I used to spend £140 per week on food but now I spend £60 to feed my family of five.

“It’s not east feeding a big family on a small budget but it is doable.

“I’ve found pasta dishes are most cost-effective and can make a tortellini dish with minced meat for as little as £3.90.

“Once a month, I use anything left on the shelves and in the freezer to make meals for a week to make sure we have zero waste.”

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The mum-of-three from Pembrokeshire, Wales, also switched energy providers making huge savings.

“My electric and gas bill used to be £220 per month because I was care-free and would keep the TV and lights on at night," she says.

"My bills were sky-high because I was completely oblivious to how much energy and gas I was using until I needed to make some changes to my outgoings.

“I switched energy providers and asked for a metre so I could monitor how much we are spending.

“We now spend £3 per day on electric and £5 on laundry days so no more than £90 to £100 per month.”

Emily Harris, with partner Fran, prides herself on finding the best supermarket bargains. (MERCURY PRESS)
Emily Harris, with partner Fran, prides herself on finding the best supermarket bargains. (MERCURY PRESS)

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Within two years, Harris was debt-free and she is now sharing her top tips to help others.

Harris used to pay £160 per month for Sky TV and a landline but now she pays £34 for an Amazon Fire Stick.

She also ditched the house phone and swapped to a sim only card deal for £7.50 per month.

“I didn’t want the kids to miss out on their favourite shows or for our lifestyles to change finding more ways to save money such as cash-back apps," she says.

“I used to spend £40 per month on my phone bill but now I pay less than £10 as I purchased an Honour 10 phone for £130.

She has also stopped buying from high street stores and started buying second hand clobber using the app Vinted.

“I would much rather give an individual £10 rather than a big brand," she says. “I also sell my clothes on the app which is handy. I’ve also stopped going to salons for beauty treatments such as nails and waxes.

“Instead, I paint my own nails and I purchased a wax machine for £30.”

Harris’s money-saving ways meant she was able to clear £8000 worth of debt in two years.

She now happily lives debt-free and hopes her tips can help others.

She adds: “Everything I do now revolves around cutting the cost. All of my ways have definitely helped during these difficult times.

“Keeping my freezer well stocked with reduced meat has been a saver with the lack of food in stores recently.

"I have learnt how to fill our stomachs on a budget and I’m even savvy when it comes to activities with the kids. I always go to small local businesses like farms or sign up to attractions newsletters to get a percentage off the first trip.”

Additional reporting by Caters

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