‘I worked at Tesco for 4 years – this is the best time of day to shop to get reductions’


Many savvy shoppers will be well aware of the reduced section at their local supermarkets with the likes of Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons slashing the price of their goods throughout the day.

As a former Tesco employee who worked at three different stores in different areas of the country, I remember reducing items nearing their best-before date down from full price to just a few pence.

Shoppers will usually find the clearance section on a shelf or two in the fresh aisle near the dairy or meat products – of course, this can vary from shop to shop.

The section will either be clearly labelled or will simply be filled with a sea of yellow-labelled items.

These food items will be nearing their best-before date or being discontinued.

However, shoppers don’t need to worry about eating certain products on the day as some items are suitable for freezing which means shoppers can stock up their freezers for a later date.

Some of the most common reduced items I saw over the years were bread, milk, custard slices, cream doughnuts, sandwiches, sushi, bags of salad and ready meals.

Sometimes, shoppers could get their hands on discounted items from the Tesco Finest range and even large cuts of meat and fish.

What time of day does Tesco reduce its food items?

Yellow-sticker reduction times can vary from store to store and often depend on other factors such as how busy the store is and how many members of staff are working.

Usually, Tesco does three rounds of reductions throughout the day which can see items reduced by 10 percent, 30 percent and then 90 percent.

The first round of reductions is usually done at around 9am/10am where 10 percent discounts are applied to certain products.

For example, Tesco Greek Style Yoghurt would be reduced from £1.10 to 99p.

The second round of reductions usually takes place from around 4pm to 5pm and this is where items are reduced by 30 percent.

For example, Tesco Two Fresh Toffee Cream Meringues which usually cost £1.40 would be 98p.

During this round, more items are reduced that have reached their best-before date that day.

To get the best bargains, shoppers should wait for the third and final reduction round which usually occurs at around 7pm.

During this round, items can be reduced by a whopping 90 percent which means some lucky shoppers could bag two pints of whole milk, which usually costs £1.20, for just 12p.

If shoppers are unsure what time their local stores apply their discounts, they can ask a member of staff in store.

Some of the best reductions can be found the day before a Bank Holiday and before holidays such as Christmas, New Year and Easter when some stores close.

Sometimes, inner-city stores will have the best bargains at the end of the day.

Earlier this year, Tesco announced it would be changing the way it displays its yellow-labelled discounted items in 300 Tesco stores. Some stores may have a sign that reads “reduced in price, just as nice”.

Tesco group quality, technical and sustainability director Claire Lorains said at the time: “At Tesco, we have no time for food waste and we do everything we can to reduce it.

“Our customers are always on the lookout for great value food, and our rebranded ‘reduced in price, just as nice’ signage makes it easier than ever to spot a short-dated and top-quality bargain.”


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