By Rebecca Brice
Reporter, BBC Radio Nottingham
A father of two has described why he started a group to help people find discounted items at food stores.
Emlyn Mousley has set up a social media group called Markdown Addicts Nottingham, which encourages people to post photos and details of items in the reduced sections of local supermarkets.
Mr Mousley said it was a simple idea which he hoped would help families struggling with rising food prices.
“Everyone likes a good bargain, so why not share the knowledge?” he said.
Mr Mousley, 45, a former builder who now works in marketing, set up the Facebook group a month ago and already has more than 200 followers.
He said he had made significant savings by shopping in the reduced sections of food stores.
“If it’s just going out of date, and it’s half price, then buy it and bang it straight in the freezer,” he said.
“I’ve always been a bit of a wheeler-dealer.
“I think everyone likes a good bargain and if I can share details of heavily discounted items that will benefit others, that’s great.
“My family isn’t rolling in it, we’ve got kids, and bills and we don’t have a massive food budget so if I can find something half price, why not?”
He said some of his best bargains had included duck breasts, which were marked down from £13 to £3.
“We’re not the kind of people to buy duck breasts but we’re going to learn how to cook them,” he said.
“You can often pay just 10p for a pack of veggies like carrots or turnips and these can be made into soups of stews.
“Some people are on really low incomes and they may only have £5-10 to spend on food that week.
“If I can quickly share information about the location of a local supermarket shelf where they can feed their family on reduced items for a week, and stop that food going to waste, that’s hopefully a really good thing.
“It’s important not to be greedy and take all the deals for yourself. The more people we encourage to use the group, the more people will benefit from it.”
Sue Anderson, head of media at StepChange, a debt counselling charity, said: “With the recent news that inflation has now reached 11%, over the past several months we’ve seen the price of our food shop rise steeply.
“However, with many households’ incomes not rising at the same pace, people have had to carefully consider their spending and explore all the ways they can save money when buying essentials.
“For anyone struggling to manage the cost of their food shop and other essential bills, the first step we’d suggest is to make a budget to get a clear picture of your finances, understand your income and expenditure, and identify how much you have available per month for your food shop.”
She added that if people were worried they did not have enough to cover their essentials, charities such as StepChange could offer advice.
Tips for keeping food bills down
- Making a list can stop you from buying items on impulse. Check what you have in the cupboards, fridge and freezer and make a note of what you need.
- Supermarkets must get rid of food items by the best before date. These items are usually fine to eat for some time afterwards or may be suitable for freezing. Markdown addicts say late afternoons or evenings are usually when items are most heavily discounted.
- Before you go shopping, check the supermarket’s website to see if there are any coupons available for the items you need.
- Make a note of what everything costs. When you get home, look at the receipt and make a note of what you spent on each item. Over time, you’ll become familiar with these costs, which will help you when you plan your meals.
- If you haven’t already, consider switching to a cheaper supermarket. Doing this could save you hundreds of pounds a year. Try looking for websites that compare prices between different supermarkets.
Source: StepChange and Markdown Addicts