THE BIG EXPERIMENT:DAY 6 15:30 The Manager Reveals!

Saturday, the lovely weekend, and not only did it bring a lovely summer’s day, it also brought in the weekend staff at the local Tesco, who were much more intrigued by what a strange lady was doing with a notepad and a cameraphone in their shop. The manager very politely asked me if I needed any help and in the end, she was more than helpful, but more on that later.

Here’s what I found in today’s raid at 15:30:

But as ever, more bargains to be had elsewhere in the shop!

Mini Chocolate Roll Bites - £3.07 to £1.99 Saving of £1.08

Tulips - £3 to £1.79 Saving of £1.21

Plums - £1 to 70p Saving of 30p (but they are usually £1.45 anyway)

Pleased to see theyve got the bread in the aisle as well as in the bread section.

Total items found: 12
Breakdown: 4 Fresh Vegetables/Fruit, 0 Meat/Fish, 0 Side Dishes, 0 Ready Meals, 4 Baked Goods, 1 Sandwich, 0 Dairy/Yoghurt, 1 Inedible, 2 Drinks

Found in the aisle:

  • Ploughman’s Sandwich – £1.55 to £1.09 Saving of 46p
  • Pineapple Chunks – £1.30 to 95p Saving of 35p
  • Mouthwatering Melon – £1.30 to 95p Saving of 35p
  • Cabbage – 76p to 55p Saving of 21p
  • Chocolate Birthday Cake – £4.16 to £2.75 Saving of £1.41
  • Tesco White Bread – 69p to 49p Saving of 20p
  • Carling (2 cans) – £4.67 to £2.10 Saving of £2.57
  • Strongbow (3 cans) – £3.64 to £2.18 Saving of £1.46

Found elsewhere:

  • Plums – £1 to 70p Saving of 30p
  • Hovis Wheatgerm – 60p to 45p Saving of 15p
  • Mini Chocolate Roll Bites – £3.07 to £1.99 Saving of £1.08
  • Tulips – £3 to £1.79 Saving of £1.21

Total Potential Saving: £9.75

But, more interestingly whilst speaking to the manager – a very helpful lady might I add – she revealed the thing that this experiment has been looking to find….the pattern and the Tesco protocol for reducing items.

In her own words:

We try to get all the reduced stock ready between 11 and 1pm but it depends on how busy we are with deliveries. The whole purpose is to avoid any waste.

I then asked her about why some items aren’t put in the reduced aisle but, rather left on their original shelf.

Good question, what we do quite often is put things in two places. Some people come in and go straight for the reduced items, others know what they want specifically and this gives us the best possible chance to sell them and reduce our waste.

So there you have it – that definitely makes a lot of sense. For those who don’t normally go specifically to the aisle, it means they get the chance to buy what they orginally came in for, for a bit less and for raiders like us, we also get the opportunity to look at all of what’s on offer in one place. Smart move. But that only works when there is more than one of the item in question so it’s not a hard and fast rule, certainly.

For me, the million dollar question was this: when do you then put an extra reduction on what’s left?

You should stick around because we’ll be reducing them again in about half an hour. We have to reduce anything that’s left between 3:30 and 4:30. The machine does it all automatically.

Right, so potentially the best time to go is between 15:30 and 16:30, particularly if you’ve seen that the reduction’s just happened. That’s certainly a step forward for me.

To add to that, my highly scientifc week-long research has shown so far that in most cases in Tesco on a first reduction, you’re looking at anything between 27% and 34% off but we’ll have to wait til tomorrow to find out how much off you can expect for that magic second reduction.


THE BIG EXPERIMENT:When’s Best to Stock Up? DAY 4 13:30

When’s best to stock up? 13:30 is!


Just to recap on the BIG EXPERIMENT: every day this week I’ve been going to my local Tesco Express’ Reduced Aisle at a different hour each day – so Monday 10:30am, Tuesday 11:30 am and so on.

13:30 has been the most prolific time to visit so far, only just pipping 12:30pm with a total of 29 different items found. And remember this doesn’t include duplicates. This means 29 different varieties of food were available reduced, what a result!

Slim pickings in the aisle but...

As predicted, the beauties and bargains were not to be found in the reduced aisle itself but elsewhere in the store.

Dotted around I found fruit, curry, moussaka, cheesecake and even flowers.

Once again I will let the pictures and the bargains speak for themselves…

Strawberries - £2.19 to £1.55 Saving of 64p

Baby plum tomatoes - £1.50 to £1.05 Saving of 45p

Whole Roast Chicken - £4.68 to £3.26 Saving of £1.42

Posh Curries - £4 to £2.79 Saving of £1.29 on each

Cadburys Buttons Chocolate Mousses - 82p to 59p Saving of 23p

Tulips - £5 to £1.25 Saving of £3.75 - the biggest mark-down so far.

Total items found: 29
Breakdown: 9 Fresh Vegetables/Fruit, 3 Meat/Fish, 1 Side Dishes, 5 Ready Meals, 7 Baked Goods, 2 Sandwiches, 1 Dairy/Yoghurt, 1 Inedible, 0 Drinks

Found in the aisle:

  • Sausages and Mash Ready Meal – £2 to £1.39 Saving of 61p
  • Roast Beef Slices – £2.20 to £1.55 Saving of 65p
  • Southern Fried Chicken Wrap – £2.08 to £1.45 Saving of 63p
  • Chicken Caesar Wrap – £2.30 to £1.65 Saving of 65p

but more so, look at the amount and variety of items found elsewhere in the shop:

  • Pineapple Chunks – £1.30 to 95p Saving of 35p
  • Mouthwatering Melon – £1.30 to 95p Saving of 35p
  • Juicy Fruit Twist – £1.30 to 95p Saving of 35p
  • Mini Fruit Platter – £2.08 to £1.45 Saving of 63p
  • Strawberries – £2.19 to £1.55 Saving of 64p
  • Avocado – £1.03 to 75p Saving of 28p
  • Red Grapes – £2.30 to £1.65 Saving of 65p
  • Baby Plum Tomatoes – £1.50 to £1.05 Saving of 45p
  • 2 Courgettes – £1.20 to 85p Saving of 35p
  • Finest Cumberland Sausages – £3 to £2.09 Saving of 91p
  • Whole Roast Chicken – £4.68 to £3.26 Saving of £1.42
  • Chicken Katsu Curry – £4 to £2.79 Saving of £1.29
  • King Prawn Red Thai Curry – £4 to £2.79 Saving of £1.29
  • Chicken Fajita Set – £2.80 to £1.95 Saving of 85p
  • Mini Indian Selection – £1.45 to £1.05 Saving of 40p
  • Finest Lamb Moussaka – £2.70 to £1.89 Saving of 81p
  • Braces Malted Grain Bread – £1.25 to 89p Saving of 36p
  • Hovis Wholemeal Bread – £1.05 to 75p Saving of 30p
  • Baker’s Soft White Bread – £1 to 69p Saving of 31p
  • Hovis Best of Both Bread – £1.05 to 75p Saving of 30p
  • 4 Birthday Cupcakes – £1.56 to £1.05 Saving of 51p
  • 2 Cheesecake Slices – £2 to £1.29 Saving of 71p
  • Cadbury’s Buttons Chocolate Mousse – 82p to 59p Saving of 23p
  • Cadbury’s Caramel Cake Bars – £1.35 to 89p Saving of 46p
  • Tulips – £5 to £1.25 Saving of £3.75

Total potential saving: £20.49 if you were really hungry. Personally I went for the curries as I’ve always wanted to try them, but one little tip from a seasoned reduced-aisle raider…

Don’t forget that when you’re looking for bargains, look carefully – I could have quite easily missed this hidden avocado or, more drastically the cupcakes!

Wheres the bargain?

Oh wait, there it is! Avocado - £1.03 to 75p Saving of 28p

Could have missed these birthday cupcakes as well! 4 Cupcakes - £1.56 to £1.05 Saving of 51p