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Raiding the Reduced Aisles

There’s no feeling more satisfying, or thrill more exhilarating, than hitting the jackpot in the reduced aisle.

You may only have popped to the shop for a pint of milk, but when those doughnuts are reduced to just 12p and simply have to be eaten before tomorrow, who can resist? 

My housemates and I have managed pick up some pretty sweet deals in the past, including chicken thighs for just 10p and raspberries reduced to 20p – but where is the best spot in Bristol to raid the reduced aisle?

My daily commute from the Triangle to the top of Whiteladies Road passes no fewer than four different grocery stores and so in the interest of research, I decided to quit the library early and check out which had the best bargains on offer. 

WAITROSE

Ciabatta rolls – £0.39 (was £1.35)

Ginger, chilli and lime marinated chicken breasts – £3.69 (was £4.38)

Pulled smoked chicken sandwiches with honey & mustard slaw –  £1.40 (was £3.14)

Diced butternut squash £0.49 – (was £1.67)

Cauliflower couscous £0.39 – (was £1.35)

TOTAL SPEND –  £6.36

TOTAL SAVING – £5.53

My Verdict: Waitrose’s best deals were definitely to be found amongst their pre-prepared fruit and vegetables. Other bargains included beansprouts and sugarsnap peas for just 10 and 20p respectively, making healthy choices more manageable for those on a less healthy income.

 

MY LOCAL (Whiteladies Road)

Hula Hoops x7 – £0.49 (was £1.75)

“Gourmet Butcher’s Choice” sausages – £1.89 (was £3.39)

Battenberg Cake £0.90 – (was £1.79)

Garlic ciabatta bread £0.99 – (was £1.85)

Courgettes, x3 £0.99 – (was £1.79)

TOTAL SPEND – £5.26

TOTAL SAVING – £5.31

My verdict: All of the reduced items are handily located right at the front of this store, making life easier for dedicated reduced-aisle raiders like myself.

MyLocal definitely had the largest quantity and widest range of discounted items, making it the perfect place to stock up on some branded favourites for less.

 

SAINSBURY’S (Clifton Down)

Melon and pineapple fingers  – £1 (was £2)

Lemon cupcakes – £0.60 (was £1.30)

Raspberry doughnuts  – £0.50 (was £1)

Duck breast portions with spiced plum sauce  £3.44 (was £5)

Chicken breast fillets with leek & cheddar cheese crumble – £2.44 (was £3.50)

TOTAL SPEND – £7.98

TOTAL SAVING – £4.82

My verdict: Although I’m normally the supermarket’s biggest fan, I have to admit that Sainsbury’s yellow-stickered offerings were sadly lacking on this occasion. That said, there were still some bargains to be found, particularly in their ready-to-cook meat options.

Spiced plum duck for £3? It’d be rude not to!

 

TESCO (Whiteladies Road)

“Tesco Finest” ham, mushroom and mascarpone pizza – £2.31 (was £5.25)

“Tesco Finest” Aberdeen-Angus cottage pie – £1.40 (was £3.50)

“Tesco Finest” freshly squeezed lemonade – £0.65 (was £1.16)

“Tesco Finest” chocolate and fresh cream profiteroles – £1.39 (was £3.15)

x4 Sausage rolls – £0.54 (was £1.68)

TOTAL SPEND – £6.29

TOTAL SAVING – £8.55

My verdict: On this occasion, Tesco definitely delivered the cut-priced goods. I felt oh-so fancy and totally spoilt for choice with all the “Finest” produce on offer.

With a total saving of nearly £9, I left the store with that sense of smug satisfaction that can only be gained from a highly successful supermarket sweep.

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Admittedly, this haul wasn’t the best I’ve ever had, but that’s the nature of reduced aisle raiding – sometimes you stumble across some absolute gems, while at other times there’s a more meagre medley of goods on offer.

However, every little does help and even small savings add up over time. My top tips for sniffing out a supermarket bargain?

  • Be flexible – you may not have planned to have duck breasts for dinner, but let the yellow stickers lead the way and not only will you save money, but you might even make an exciting culinary discovery.
  • Find out on which days and at which times the markdowns are best at your local store – a good bet is to visit within one or two hours of closing. Sunday evenings are always a good shout.
  • Finally, don’t be afraid to loiter awkwardly – true reduced-aisle raiders know no shame!
Jess is a final year English student at Bristol. Coming from Belfast, one of her favourite sources of amusement are the constant attempts (by friends and strangers alike) to master the elusive Northern Irish accent. She also loves spending time exploring Bristol with friends and sampling the city's culinary and cultural offerings.
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