Shopping tips

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40, 50, 60% off - slash your shopping bill by knowing when to shop.

Thrift queen Cath Armstrong runs the website Cheapskates, and she knows exactly when supermarkets markdown which products giving you the best buys ever.

“Sunday night excellent for markdowns zip in around 5.30 - 6.00 just as the rush form weekend shopping is over and the stores are starting to regenerate because they need to get fresh stock into that cabinet for Monday.”

Woolworths' Luke Schepen says there are huge savings to be made in the bakery. “So morning tea lines we start making them down at 3pm in the afternoon, you can save up to 20, 40 even 60% off.”

Because supermarkets bake early each morning, by the afternoon the stock must be well on its way out. As for fresh produce ...

“Friday mornings often good but ask the produce manager when they get their deliveries in because the day the delivery comes in is the day they'll mark down the existing produce.”

Its often half price; a kilo bag of potatoes, $1.10 down from $2.35, a kilo of grapes $2.50, full price $4.98.

“Certainly the later in the afternoon and the evening closer to closing time is often a time to pick up an extra bargain” says Scott Driscoll.

The United Retail Federation's Scott Driscoll says heavy discounting is a win win for all.

“A lot of that food will either be thrown out or sold and you do get a lot of bargains if you're around at the right time” says Scott.

Cath's golden markdown rules are these:

BUY MEAT: early morning or early evening. Best time being Sunday between 5 and 9pm.
BREAD: between 3 in the afternoon and 9 at night.
PASTRIES AND CAKES: from 3pm daily
DAIRY: is impromptu, but if you look around there's nearly always a markdown.
FRUTS AND VEGETABLES are discounted daily but check Friday mornings.
COOKED CHICKENS buy 4 - 5 hours after they're cooked.

“Don’t just look for the markdowns grab a catalogue and look for the specials” says Cath.

“We've got 3000 specials at any given time through the week at Woolies” says Luke.

That’s 10% of the entire supermarket, with Woolies specials being sent out on Sundays. Coles catalogue distributed Thursdays.

For more tips and saving advice visit: www.cheapskates.com.au

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