We spoke with self-confessed 'budget queen' and mum-of-two Kelly Lakeman about her top tips for scoring markdowns at the supermarket.
We all love a good markdown on fresh produce, bread, and meat – and knowing when products get discounted can help you save thousands on your grocery bills every year.
Supermarket stores across Australia slash the prices of perishable foods throughout the day in a bid to sell whatever they can before throwing them out.
So when are the best times to snag a markdown? Woolworth's employees are lifting the lid on the exact times items go on sale.
Top tips for getting markdowns
- Ask workers at your local Coles or Woolies. They might let you know the times they markdown items.
- There are no set times for markdowns in Australia, although supermarket employees and shoppers say 8:30 am, 11 am, and 4 pm are good times to find items on markdown.
- Stockup on markdowns when they are on sale and store them in your freezer.
- Don't just buy markdowns for the sake of it – make sure you're actually going to use the products you buy.
'In my store, all markdowns for any fresh department - deli, meat, seafood, and bakery - are to be done by 11 am, and a further one is done again at 4 pm for things that have to be cleared by that day,' one employee wrote on Facebook.
Many other Woolworths employees also agree with her and say markdowns are carried out twice a day at their stores.
'As far as I know, markdowns are completed before 11 am and before 4 pm except for bread which can vary depending on store size and production,' one worker says.
Another added: 'I was managing the fresh food department of Woolies up until last week... markdowns have to be done before 11 am on meat, dairy, seafood, and deli.'
Aussie shoppers have also been sharing their tips for getting markdowns at the supermarket.
'I've found my Woolies is good for markdowns early in the morning. Quite often, I go in at around 8.30 am, and they are marking stuff down,' one shopper says.
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Another says: 'I go around 6.30 pm to 7 pm and usually get my shopping done in record time and get some good markdown bargains.'
Other markdown addicts suggested shopping on Tuesday evenings or afternoons, before the specials end and workers are forced to clear shelves to make way for the new ones.
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'Our local Woolies was doing it on Tuesday afternoons to clear stock before the catalogue's changeover on Wednesdays.
Self-confessed 'budget queen' and mum-of-two Kelly Lakeman says it's essential to do your own research because markdowns can vary from state to state.
'There is no specific time that I've found for markdowns, and they range from all different shops depending on their routines in store,' she told AussieSaves.
'I've spoken to a few managers at Coles and Woolworths, and what they tell me is completely different at each store,' she explains. 'It's important to do your own research and find what works for you with your shopping.'
And what are her top tips for keeping your grocery bill down?
'Don't just buy things for the sake of it being marked down and then worry how you're going to use it – you will waste money if you have to throw things out because you never used it,' she says.
'Make a list and stick to it - make sure you have a budget and know what you're going to cook for that week and how the markdown will fit into it.'
She also advises shoppers stock up on markdowns when they're available and store them in the freezer, so you've got food on hand when you need it.
In a statement, a Woolworths spokesman says: 'We use markdowns from time to time to minimise food waste.
'The availability of markdowns will vary from day to day and store to store based on stock levels and demand.'
Be sure to check out Kelly Lakeman's YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjnfMoD0-gUUZT-UbSu_VkA