Woman shares easy hacks for £3.70 food shop, free bike and 50p clothes

Karen Kirton, 59, from Berkshire, says her money-saving tips have saved her tens of thousands of pounds over her lifetime – and they’re incredibly easy to follow

Saving money has become a full time job for grandmother Karen Kirton.

The 59-year-old from Newbury, Berkshire, says her money tips have saved her tens of thousands of pounds in her lifetime.

“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,” she said.

“One area I make regular savings in is grocery shopping.

“I’ll usually shop in Sainsbury’s around 2pm on Wednesday or Thursday.

“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’ll buy yellow stickered everyday vegetables and meat and fish that I can put straight in the freezer once I get home.”

Karen, who shares her advice on her Instagram page mybestforless, says she’s big on loyalty points, too.

“I also make use of the Sainsbury’s Nectar app, as it sends regular offers and coupons.

“I save all of them, as there may be one of the bargains in my basket! I always use a loyalty card in stores I go to often. My Nectar points are used for a big turkey at Christmas.”

Ms Kirton says she very rarely pays full price for anything.

“Although I am sometimes tempted by something extravagant, I don’t generally buy full price.

“Instead, I tend to look for supermarket brands or slightly imperfect goods that are still edible to save money.

“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. That said, some items may be close to their best before date, but they are still perfectly edible.”

She says one of the least known ways to save is through cashback sites.

“Another money saver is cashback apps such as Green Jinn, Shopmium or Checkout Smart.

“A recent big saving I picked up were two razors. Usually £12, they were on offer for £6 in Wilko. With £6 cash back on each razor, I got these for free.

“I’ll also scan any receipts to apps such as Shoppix or Huyu, to collect points which eventually become redeemable for vouchers or cash.”

Karen says savers should search for their local community larder and sign up for daily alerts from the Olio app.

These are collected by volunteers and redistributed to subscribers for free.

“In recent months a Community Larder has also 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 is not means tested and so far it has worked well for me.”

“It’s not often I buy bread or pastries these days. Walking to the collection addresses helps keep the weight down – an added bonus! There is also a non-food section which I browse often.”

She says anyone in search of furniture, books and toys should also sign up to Freecycle.

This is an app where local people can list and request items they need or no longer want.

“My best collection to date has been a bike. Initially I collected it for our grandson, but it’s a road bike, not cool I’m guessing, so I got to keep it. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am.”

For those struggling to find what they’re after, she recommends locating your nearest carboot.

“Don’t get me started on car boots, I’ve not bought brand new clothes for years,” she saud.

“Most of my wardrobe cost 50p an item but a real gem was a 1950’s style dress that is as new and fits me beautifully.

“It cost £3. 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!”

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