Thrifty woman swaps to ‘yellow-sticker shopping’ to cook meals for less than £ 1

Therapist Clare Rice, 33, says she and her partner Shaun Guillan, 34, who works in customer support, eat like kings on a tiny budget, but it requires a lot of extra work

clear
Clare has dished up thousands of meals

A woman has told how she works extra hard to rustle up inflation-busting meals by seeking out yellow sticker deals so she can make gourmet dishes for less than £ 1 per head.

Keen to share her bargain bagging tips as inflation has risen by nine per cent – the highest climb in 40 years – therapist Clare Rice, 33, has created a rigorous schedule to bag the best deals.

By finding out when food is reduced by supermarkets and shopping at night when prices are slashed, she will spend as little as £ 15 on the ingredients needed to produce 21 meals including showstoppers like duck an orange or a full roast dinner.

Clare, of South Shields, Tyne and Wear, said: “Cooking on a shoestring can be difficult, but it can be done.

“Seeing the way prices and the cost of living is soaring, it’s never been more important to find ways to save money.

Get the news you want straight to your inbox. Sign up for a Mirror newsletter here







Clare and Shaun
(

Image:

PA Real Life)







Clare’s yellow sticker shop
(

Image:

PA Real Life)

“But food isn’t just important for sustenance, it’s also a big source of happiness, as it can be therapeutic and sociable, so I want people to make sure they can still enjoy it.”

With the war in Ukraine and Covid hitting places like China again, this week Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey warned of food prices becoming “apocalyptic,” while the Office for National Statistics announced that inflation in the 12 months to April 2022 rose by nine per cent – the highest it has been since 1982.

And while Clare, who feels privileged to be living in a two-income household, was initially inspired by environmental concerns over food waste to create her Instagram page called Whoopsie Cooking in mid-2019, where she showcases some of her amazing cheap meals, she now hopes her money-saving tips can help people who are struggling to survive.

Dubbing her frugal project the “MasterChef mystery box of the reduced section,” she has since dished up thousands of meals and polished her skills in the kitchen.







Lasagne
(

Image:

PA Real Life)







Turkey salad
(

Image:

PA Real Life)

She said: “It’s not just not just about eating, reducing waste and saving for me now.

“I love cooking, I love sharing and I think that’s so important.”

A super-savvy shopper, Clare says that by waiting for the yellow stickers showing food has been reduced to be put on by supermarkets, she saves between 50 per cent and 80 per cent on every trip.

She said: “Yellow stickers have become so important in these times and now more and more people are looking into this way of shopping.

“I would love to be able to help people who might be struggling to find ways to cook great food without breaking the bank.

“It can be quite daunting to see prices rising and wonder what you can afford to make, but by shopping this way it really is possible despite inflation.

“I think we all deserve to eat well, cost of living crisis or not.”







Clare’s duck in orange
(

Image:

PA Real Life)







Turkey curry
(

Image:

PA Real Life)

In order to find the best bargains, Clare usually shops in the evening, so she can bag yellow sticker bargains and says not knowing what she will get is all part of “the buzz.”

She said: “It’s about being resourceful with what you have and seeing it as something that’s quite fun.

“I love experimenting and I’m obsessed with cooking magazines and cooking shows.

“I just look at what we have and then decide how to make it work.

“I go shopping quite late sometimes, at around 8pm, when things are about 75 per cent off, but there is less choice.

“Once, ages ago, I got pickled herrings for 90p instead of £ 3 and they sounded disgusting, but I made a salad using them, which was really nice.

“I’d never bought them normally, but they were so discounted I decided to try them. I Googled pickled herring online and saw that you could make a potato salad which was really surprising.

“I made a German sausage stew a while back using frankfurter sausages and topped it with sauerkraut and red cabbage which was absolutely delicious, after being inspired by a recipe I saw online – all for £ 2.24p for four portions.

“I also remember buying yoghurt, pomegranate and crunchy nut cornflakes to make an acai berry smoothie bowl for just 72p for four servings.

“Shopping like this makes me far more adventurous and gives me a challenge.”

And Instagram has given her the perfect platform to share her discoveries with fellow diners.

Recently, Clare cooked up an entire turkey for a Sunday roast with all the trimmings for eight people for just £ 17.

Also, the leftovers lasted all week, as she turned the remaining turkey into a pie, sandwiches and salad and used the carcass to make stock for a tasty soup.

Clare is also a great advocate for using the freezer.

She said: “Your freezer is your best friend. If you see any good deals on meat you should just get it and freeze it immediately, even if it’s going out of date that day.

“As long as you freeze it and defrost it properly it will be fine, even after being frozen for a month.

“I try to have at least some meat in the freezer at all times, so there’s always some protein to use which just needs to be defrosted.”

Some of Clare’s best dishes have included a fillet of cod with thinly sliced ​​potato “scales,” with a potato and parsnip puree, topped with spinach and mint oil and pickled radishes, which cost just £ 2.70 for two hefty portions.

And for just 60p per serving, she was able to make a pulled BBQ chicken burger with salt and pepper chips and coleslaw, which she swears tasted better than any restaurant burger she has eaten.

Clare said: “As a child, I was given £ 10 to go to the shops and I’d always see how far it would stretch.

“It’s the same now. I don’t go to the supermarket with a plan. I just see how it all pans out.

“Once you realize it’s possible to find bargains and cook nice food, it becomes a less stressful experience.”

Claire’s top tips:

  • Do not go shopping when you are hungry.

  • Don’t buy more than you need.

  • Do not buy more than you have space for.

  • Find out what time of day your favorite supermarkets put out their yellow sticker stock.

  • Become best friends with your freezer and stock up on deals when you see bargains.

Read More

Read More

.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.