A money-saving mum has explained how she bags up to 80% off Marks & Spencer food with a simple trick.
Jo Maxted, 36, explains how she finds the best deals from the posh supermarket by looking for yellow stickers after seasonal events.
For example, the bargain-hunting parent was able to pick up a Father’s Day steak reduced from £20 to £4.
This marks an impressive saving of £16, or 80%, from the original price.
Jo also managed to get M&S roast chickens that had been packaged up for Easter for £2 each from their dine in meal deal section.
Speaking to LatestDeals.co.uk she said: “I do love M&S products but they are more expensive than what you would find in Asda or Aldi, so it feels great to get stuff at a fraction of the full price.
“On Father’s Day, M&S were selling sirloin steak for £20, and two days later I got it for £4.
“The same thing happened at Easter and Christmas. I’ve picked up turkeys for £2 from over £30.
“This Easter just gone, I managed to get their Easter packaged roast chickens for £2 each from their dine in £20 meal deal section.
“We love M&S posh dog sausages and they’re usually £4.50 a pack.
“They were doing Halloween packaged ones cut in half and I got those today for £2 with a week’s sell by date on.
“It’s all about going in at the right time. I always check the use by or best before dates and check if they can be frozen when it’s fresh food.”
In another impressive haul, Jo managed to pick up discounted Halloween food – including Colin the Caterpillar cakes – with some items only costing 50p.
The Colin cake jars should’ve cost £4 each but Jo bagged five packs for £1 each – so this would’ve cost her £20 normally.
She also found bags of Mini Eggs that cost £2 down to 50p, and jelly sweets for 50p.
Jo, a director of a family construction company and a mum of four kids aged seven, nine, 11 and 15, recommends visiting M&S in the evening for the best reductions.
However, it does depend on your local store – some may reduce items in the morning.
It pays to get familiar with your nearest shop to work out when they normally start discounting their products.
“I generally go two or three times a week to have a look,” explained Jo.
“I often go and grab some ready meals at 10p each and put them in the freezer.
“When they’re usually £2.50 to £3.50 each, that’s a huge saving.”
Jo estimates she has saved several thousands over the years on her shopping thanks to her frugal tips.
She started to look for ways to save cash 12 years ago when she became pregnant with her daughter and had to take early maternity leave due to developing carpal tunnel.
Jo began by entering competitions and after the first win started finding ways to save money here and there.
As well as looking for yellow sticker deals, she also makes use of shopping apps such as Shoppix, Facebook groups and bargain websites.
She also uses cashback sites and estimates she has saved £3,000 in the past six years.
Cashback sites do what they say on the tin. You’ll get money back for a qualifying shop when you provide proof of a receipt, and as long as you complete the transaction via their website.
Some of the most popular ones in the UK are Topcashback and Quido.
Joe said: “There are some really useful websites and Facebook groups nowadays that help with finding bargains and deals for all things, even providing discount codes for items.
“I always look for a discount code or check for a student discount before I buy anything online.
“I also use TopCashback – I’ve earned over £3,000 in the past six years from cashback alone with things I would have bought anyway.
“I also love rewards cards, Tesco points, Boots, Nectar and so on.
“I always sign up for company emails, because a lot offer freebies or discounts for birthdays.
“For example, Hobbycraft does £5 free for your birthday with no minimum spend so my husband and I joined.”
Tom Church, founder of LatestDeals.co.uk: “I thought I’d heard every money-saving trick in the book, but Jo is a super saver with some really amazing tips.
“Signing up to newsletters to get birthday discounts, paying compliments which lead to freebies, and planning Halloween a year in advance are just some of her genius tips!
“With Black Friday on the way, many of us will be looking to take a leaf out of Jo’s book and save as much as we can.
“Don’t forget to download Latest Deals’ Black Friday app to help you find the best deals along the way.”