A THRIFTY nan has revealed how she saves hundreds when it comes to shopping for her grandkids, and how you can do the same.
Karen Kinton (59) has made bargain shopping her full-time occupation. Credit: latestdeals.co.uk 4 Karen never pays full price for food shop credit to latestdeals.co.uk 4 Karen picked up this bike for free on Freecycle Credit: latestdeals.co.uk 5 Karen from Newbury shares her journey on Instagram as mybestforless.
Karen from Newbury, who shares her journey on Instagram as mybestforless, told money-saving community LatestDeals.co.uk: “I have spent years discovering the best ways to find bargains and it’s now a habit to avoid full priced or extravagant items as I can usually find them cheaper.
“One area I make regular savings in is grocery shopping. Sainsbury’s is usually where I shop on Wednesdays or Thursdays at 2pm.
“Yellow stickers are being applied for the first time that day, so not the best bargain but still cheaper than if I’d shopped an hour earlier.
“Going later in the evening can be much cheaper. I will buy yellow-stickered vegetables, meat, and fish that I can freeze once I return home.
“I also make use of the Sainsbury’s Nectar app, as it sends regular offers and coupons. All of them are saved, because there might be one in my basket.
“I always use a loyalty card in stores I go to often. Nectar points can be used for Christmas dinner.
“Although I am sometimes tempted by something extravagant, I don’t generally buy full price. To save money, I look for cheaper brands and imperfect, but still delicious, products.
“I’ll also check the area where stocks of dented tins and other items with damaged packaging go.
“These can be real bargains, but I would advise people to check the dates. Some items might be past their best before dates, but they still taste great.
“Another money saver is cashback apps such as Green Jinn, Shopmium or Checkout Smart. Two razors were my most recent savings. Usually £12, they were on offer for £6 in Wilko. With £6 cash back on each razor, I got these for free.
“I’ve found like-minded people on Instagram that have helped spot these bargains earlier than I’d have done. I can scan receipts to Shoppix or Huyu to get points, which will eventually be redeemable for cash or vouchers.
“In recent months a Community Larder has opened near me. A single person can collect 10 Larder items such as pasta, cereal and tins and as much fruit and veg they need for just £3.70 a week. It’s not meant to be used, but so far it’s worked well for me.
“On a daily basis, I’ll get alerts from the Olio app informing me of food offered by local stores, collected by volunteers and redistributed to subscribers for free. I rarely buy bread or pastries these day.
“Walking to the collection addresses helps keep the weight down – an added bonus! The non-food section is also available, which I frequent.
I have spent years discovering the best ways to find bargains and it’s now a habit
“Something similar is Freecycle. You rarely get food. It offers more household items and toys than food.
“My best collection to date has been a bike. The bike is rare, in excellent condition and light as feathers. I originally bought it for my grandson. However, it’s a street bike so it was not cool. So I decided to keep it. I cannot express how happy I am.
“Don’t get me started on car boots, I’ve not bought brand new clothes for years! My wardrobe was mostly 50p per item, but I found a great 1950’s dress that fits perfectly and is just as good. It cost £3, but worth every penny.
“I’ve also bought myself boot roller blades for £5 – still in the box, with pads and gloves. Not bad for someone who’ll be 60 in a few months!”
Tom Church, Co-Founder of LatestDeals.co.uk, said: “Wow, Karen is a pro at finding bargains – I have learnt a trick or two myself! It must take dedication to keep the cashback and receipt scanning apps ticking over, and it’s impressive that she uses Instagram to get deals more quickly with the help of fellow bargain hunters.
“Now that car boot sales are beginning to return, it’s a welcome treat for thrifty people to go and have a root around. As they say, one person’s trash is another person’s treasure!
“The Olio app is also a great way to get totally free groceries and household goods. If you’re having trouble with paying for food, it’s a godsend, as you can almost always pick up staples such as bread without paying a penny.”