Savvy shoppers tips for saving thousands on Xmas – from food to decorations

A savvy Christmas shopper has revealed how you can save thousands of pounds during the most expensive time of the year.

Adam Attew, 32, from London is a pro at shopping for Christmas on a budget, from everything to food to gifts.

He works as a retail sales assistant and posts his savings on Facebook as @savvyshoppingwithadam and Instagram as @adampastryguy, sharing his latest cheap finds.

By planning ahead, he picks up Christmas clothing for £2 instead of £14 and one of his best bargains include an eight-foot Christmas tree for £15 instead of £60.

His food bargains even include 10p mince pies, 31p crisps and 24p Brussels sprouts

"I love Christmas but it can be an expensive time of the year for many with food, decorations and presents," he told money-saving community

"I have been able to save on the cost by picking up yellow stickers for party food for Christmas, Boxing Day and New Year. After Christmas is when I make the most savings with discount decorations, trees and clothing."

"I love to bake and cook so anything I get on sale I try to make a meal or bake with. With the savings I have made, I have been able to put money towards full price items and gifts and enjoy a bit more luxury for much less."

He mainly shops in Tesco, Sainsbury's, Waitrose and Marks and Spencer. For non-food bargains, he goes to Argos, Primark and The Range.

When it comes to food, he has managed to pick up brussels sprouts for 24p reduced from £1 and Christmas vegetable crisps for 31p instead of £1.25 a pack.

He's also purchased dried fruit and mincemeat for 50p each instead of £2 a pop and a chocolate celebration cake for £4.68 instead of £13.75.

Adam shared that it’s easiest to find deals on bread, fruit, cakes, pastries, party food, sandwiches and meats.

"I have also picked up mini burgers for £1.86 instead of £7.25, mince pies for 10p instead of £2 a box, Christmas puddings from M&S for £2.50 instead of £10 each and chicken for 49p," he said.

"Food isn’t all I find at bargain prices though. I have also picked up a 50-pack tube of Christmas decorations from Sports Direct for £1 instead of £7.50, Christmas jumpers for £2 each instead of £12 or £14 each, an eight-foot Christmas tree from Argos for £15 instead of £60 and a musical Christmas biscuit tin for £3.60 instead of £12."

Adam says that on average the bargains he finds are between 50 per cent and 75 per cent off the original price.

He gets these discounts by shopping after work between the hours of 5pm and 8pm.

"By visiting a few shops on the way home whenever I can, I maximise my chances of picking up bargains," the 32-year-old explained.

"I have found that M&S, Waitrose and Sainsbury's usually reduce their items by more than 50 per cent after 7pm, and sometimes it can be earlier in M&S."

Most supermarkets, such as Sainsbury's, have a dedicated chilled cabinet with a yellow label indicating those items are reduced.

Others, like M&S, just reduce products and leave them in the aisles they come from so this requires more of a search for items.

Some supermarkets also have a dry goods shelf for damaged, seasonal and discontinued products.

"With yellow stickered items and sales at Christmas, I have saved thousands over the years. I love that I can buy more luxury items I would not usually buy for less. I also like that I am saving them from being wasted," Adam said.

He won't use all of the food he's purchased straight away as he aims to freeze as much as he can.

"I have bought meat and frozen it for meals later on, and I keep bread and cakes for a treat in the future. I keep them ready for Christmas and over the New Year period," he said.

"I love to bake and cook and try to use all I get to make a meal or treat. For example, I made a trifle with part of a chocolate cake I got on sale and the rest for making cake truffles for work. I try not to waste anything if possible."

His nifty tricks don't end there, as Adam also regularly uses the Too Good To Go app, which connects customers to restaurants and stores that have unsold food surplus.

Adam will pick up leftover food from his local Greggs, Starbucks, Yo Sushi and Morrison's after work between 7pm and 9pm. He aims to do this once or twice a week.

"I also try to regularly get a box from Morrisons full of fruit and vegetables as it only costs £3. It always makes several meals as I can combine the supplies with what I already have at home," he explained.

"I have made pineapple cake, banana cake, soup, stir fry and much more. I also get a bag from Costa for £3 which usually has toasted sandwiches I can have for my lunch before work. These are also great to freeze."

Another good resource Adam uses is Olio, an app where you can share and request food from others.

He has shared items and received bread, vegetables, milk and pastries.

He added: "For those wanting to find more bargains I would recommend looking through supermarket aisles for red labels and reduced to clear labels. When items are discontinued or seasonal they are reduced to clear.

"The freezer section also has some great bargains. You just need to keep an eye out when you are doing your weekly shopping, as this is how I have found most of my bargains."

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