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Savvy shopper cuts the cost of spending on food by batch cooking


A savvy shopper who has slashed her weekly food bill to half the national average revealed batch cooking two weeks’ worth of dinners at a time costs her around a fiver for the lot.

Always thrifty, Liane Wells, 32, became a cut-price connoisseur when she and her husband Ashley, 34, who is an engineer, moved to a house near a retail park in Biggleswade, Bedfordshire, four years ago – with a large supermarket on their doorstep.

The retail worker began snapping up the yellow sticker stock, reduced for quick sale every evening and soon the couple were living solely on cut-price produce.

However, Liane admits she has gone back to purchasing the odd non-reduced item since she started batch cooking a few months ago.

Liane Wells, 32, (pictured) who lives in Biggleswade, Bedfordshire, with her husband Ashley, 34, cuts the cost of spending on food with bulk cooking and yellow sticker shopping 

Liane began budget shopping during her teens by purchasing from charity shops. Pictured: A haul that only cost Liane £7.50 instead of £48.44

Liane began budget shopping during her teens by purchasing from charity shops. Pictured: A haul that only cost Liane £7.50 instead of £48.44

Liane said she's mostly swapped yellow sticker shopping for batch cooking because she's working longer hours. Pictured: A batch-cooked Bolognese that costs £6.74 for 14 portions

Liane said she’s mostly swapped yellow sticker shopping for batch cooking because she’s working longer hours. Pictured: A batch-cooked Bolognese that costs £6.74 for 14 portions 

Liane revealed she creates up to 14 portions of delicious food or seven dinners for two at a time at less than a fiver for the lot. 

She said: ‘I used to live off yellow sticker cooking and would pay absolute peanuts for things.

Liane’s thrifty meals 

Chilli con carne  

£4.70 for 14 portions 

  • Beef mince 2 x 20% fat £2.98
  • Chilli con carne seasoning mix 19p 
  • Passata x 2 64p (32p each) 
  • Red kidney beans x 2 78p (39p each) 
  • Value rice 500g 22p 

Bolognese 

£6.79 for 14 portions

  • Beef mince 2 x 20% fat beef 500g £2.98 
  • Whole bag frozen mixed veg 69p
  • Chopped onion 1/4 bag 20p 
  • 2 x passata 64p 
  • Whole bag of pasta 45p
  • Garlic
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Mixed herbs
  • Splash of Worcestershire sauce
  • Block of cheese grated at home £1.70 

Cottage pie

£7.04 for 10 portions

  • Beef mince £2.98
  • Onions 35p
  • Bag of carrots 1kg 41p
  • Peas 1/2 bag 30p
  • Beef stock x 2 35p
  • Few gravy granules to thicken
  • Potatoes 2.5 kg 99p
  • Block of butter £1.49
  • Whole grain mustard 1/2 jar 17p 

‘My freezer was full of chicken I’d picked up for 50p and lunch would be reduced sandwiches I’d got for just 20p.

‘Now I’m working longer hours, I batch cook more, but it’s been a life-saver. It’s such an inexpensive, easy way to eat. I’ll make 10 to 14 portions of a curry, chilli or stew for around £4 to £5.’

In her teens, Liane discovered her money saving skills, when she started wearing charity shop finds.

Then, around four years ago, her bargain hunting skills spread from her wardrobe to her kitchen when she moved a stone’s throw from a newly-opened M&S supermarket and discovered yellow sticker food.

She said: ‘I soon learnt that if I went into the shop at around 5:30pm, staff were just starting to put out the reduced items.

‘I was amazed by how much was on offer. I started timing my shops especially.

‘While it meant I couldn’t plan ahead too much, as dinner would depend on what was on offer, I found it fun to challenge myself by thinking outside the box when deciding on a recipe.’

Liane said she found an entire community of fellow bargain-hunters online, who share tips and hints about the latest deals.

She continued: ‘I learnt so much through other people. I’m not the chattiest person online, but everybody was lovely and friendly.

‘I found out that supermarkets reduce their stock at different times. Some do it first thing, while others leave it to the end of the day when they have more of an idea of what will and won’t sell. 

‘It’s a bit of a fine art and took a fair bit of hanging around different shops to see what was going on – supermarket stalking, as I called it – but I soon worked it all out.’ 

The savvy shopper can make 10 portions of cottage pie for just over £7, after snapping up reduced mince

The savvy shopper can make 10 portions of cottage pie for just over £7, after snapping up reduced mince 

Liane said yellow sticker shopping requires 'stalking' supermarkets to find out when they usually reduce the price of their foods. Pictured: Liane's freezer

Liane said yellow sticker shopping requires ‘stalking’ supermarkets to find out when they usually reduce the price of their foods. Pictured: Liane’s freezer

Liane recommends researching local supermarkets and talking to store managers to avoid a wasted trip. Pictured: Batch cooked sweet potato and chick pea curry

Liane recommends researching local supermarkets and talking to store managers to avoid a wasted trip. Pictured: Batch cooked sweet potato and chick pea curry

According to eagle-eyed shoppers on MoneySaving Expert forums, most Asda stores put out their final reductions at 9pm, while Aldi and Co-op do so at 8pm and Sainsbury’s at 7pm.

Lidl, Morrisons and Tesco start much earlier, slashing prices from the morning onwards – although the larger discounts materialise later on.

‘Of course, it all depends on the closing time of your local store and what their managers choose to do,’ explained Liane.

‘That’s why it’s good to do a bit of research, so you aren’t wasting a trip to the supermarket.’

Liane revealed she's learned a lot of money saving tips from an online community of bargain-hunters. Pictured: Chicken curry with chickpea, spinach and potato

Liane revealed she’s learned a lot of money saving tips from an online community of bargain-hunters. Pictured: Chicken curry with chickpea, spinach and potato

Liane said her best buys have included 1kg of mince for £3.50 and a family-sized lasagne for just 60p. Pictured: A yellow sticker haul

Liane said her best buys have included 1kg of mince for £3.50 and a family-sized lasagne for just 60p. Pictured: A yellow sticker haul 

Since changing jobs to a role with longer hours this summer, Liane has relied less on yellow sticker bargains and more on batch cooking to keep costs down.

Timing her shops carefully, she still picks up reduced stock – only paying full price when she absolutely must – then rustles up a recipe to see her through the next fortnight.

Liane (pictured) revealed batch cooking is helpful for portion control

Liane (pictured) revealed batch cooking is helpful for portion control 

Her favourite dishes include chilli con carne, Bolognaise, chicken curry and cottage pie with mustard mash.

While some recipes cost her £6 to £7, she can make up to 14 portions of others for less than a fiver.

Some of her greatest triumphs include picking up 1kg of mince for £3.50 and a family-sized lasagne for just 60p.

A fringe benefit of her thrifty shopping habits has been shrinking her waistline alongside her food bills.

She said: ‘Like many of us, I did put on a bit of weight in lockdown, being stuck at home.

‘I’m the kind of person that if I shop every day and make a new recipe each night, I’ll likely overload my portion size without even meaning to. But batch cooking means everything is measured out.

‘I’ll use meat that I’ve picked up cheaply and frozen and then bulk it out with whatever vegetables I can find.

‘So much of it is given away for next to nothing purely because of its sell-by date, and while I wouldn’t gamble with something that could give me food poisoning, like dairy, you can get a bit more life out of most fruit and veg.

‘I’ll just cut away the bits that are a little worse for wear and use everything else.

Liane said foods are often reduced because of their sell-by date, but you can get more from most fruit and vegetables. Pictured: A yellow sticker haul

Liane said foods are often reduced because of their sell-by date, but you can get more from most fruit and vegetables. Pictured: A yellow sticker haul 

Liane said she takes most of her yellow sticker shopping out of the packaging and relies on her senses to judge if they're safe to eat. Pictured: A yellow sticker haul

Liane said she takes most of her yellow sticker shopping out of the packaging and relies on her senses to judge if they’re safe to eat. Pictured: A yellow sticker haul 

‘I take most of my fresh produce out of the packaging, so instead of relying on sell by dates, I use my senses, asking myself if it looks and smells right.’

Although her precise weekly food bill depends on what bargains she has bagged, it is usually around £25 to £30 – less than half the UK average which, according to recent figures from the Office of National Statistics, is £61.90 for a household of 2.4 people, without alcohol or restaurant bills.

‘Sometimes we’ll spend more if we’re treating ourselves. I work to quite a strict budget,’ she said.

‘I know some people get their shops cheaper, but Ashley and I are foodies.’

Liane said the amount of produce thrown away by supermarkets each day is sad and it should be given to those in need. Pictured: A yellow sticker haul

Liane said the amount of produce thrown away by supermarkets each day is sad and it should be given to those in need. Pictured: A yellow sticker haul 

Now Liane wants to encourage more people to follow in her thrifty footsteps, which she hopes will, in turn, make them more mindful of food waste.

She said: ‘The amount of perfectly good produce that’s thrown away every single day is really sad.

‘I wish supermarkets could at least give it away to homeless people or those struggling, so it doesn’t just end up in the bin.

‘There’s a whole community of us online who love bargain cooking and are more than willing to share hints and tips about where to find the latest deal.

‘So, to anyone wanting to get involved, I’d say go for it.’ 



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Headlines UK

Moment furious Tesco shopper yells ‘rip the f***ers off’ as he tears plastic from items in Wales


The Welsh fight back! Moment furious Tesco shopper yells ‘rip the f***ers off’ as he tears plastic sheets from ‘non-essential’ items banned in ‘disgraceful’ Covid crackdown by his government

A furious man has been filmed removing coverings on non-essential items in a Welsh supermarket.

Gwilym Owen, who was not wearing a mask, is seen removing covers in a shop which are no longer allowed to sell under the new Welsh lockdown restrictions.

The man is heard to shout ‘since when has clothes been exempt?’, ‘rip the f***ers off!’ and ‘kids’ f***ing clothes, it is a disgrace.’ 

The footage ends with security staff approaching Gwilym as he shouts ‘since when has clothing not been essential’.

In a post on Facebook afterwards, he said: ‘I had enough last night. I don’t care about the backlash that I may get from this.

Gwilym Owen, who was not wearing a mask, is seen removing covers in a shop which are no longer allowed to sell under the new Welsh lockdown restrictions

The man is heard to shout 'since when has clothes been exempt?', 'rip the f***ers off!' and 'kids' f***ing clothes, it is a disgrace'

The man is heard to shout ‘since when has clothes been exempt?’, ‘rip the f***ers off!’ and ‘kids’ f***ing clothes, it is a disgrace’

He added on Facebook: 'I had enough last night. I don't care about the backlash that I may get from this'

He added on Facebook: ‘I had enough last night. I don’t care about the backlash that I may get from this’

‘I heard supermarkets have put covers over ‘non essential’ things such as clothes. We’re heading into winter now and who would have thought clothes for children weren’t essential?

‘I’m sure there are people out there who can barely afford heating in their houses and now they want to stop people buying clothes in supermarkets.

‘I don’t expect everyone to do what I’ve done here but I do expect everyone to know that denying the public clothing is nothing but immoral and inhuman.

‘So no I’m not ashamed of what I’ve done.

‘I’m not prepared to live in a society where they can take basic human needs away like being able to buy new clothes, especially for children. So I’ll do what I can to stop it.

‘I’ve had it up to my tether with what’s going on and we need more people to take a stand for what is right! This was my stand.’

A spokesman for Tesco said: ‘Under new restrictions set out by the Welsh Government, we are currently unable to sell ”non-essential” items in our stores.

‘Our colleagues have worked hard to put these measures in place and we ask that customers please respect these restrictions.’



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Headline USA

ASOS catches shopper bragging about false delivery fail on Twitter


ASOS shopper is caught out and shamed by retailer after bragging on Twitter about getting a full refund when he lied about a failed delivery

  • Online shopper, from Orlando, Florida bragged about receiving full ASOS refund
  • Said he had lied about not receiving his package in order to get his money back 
  • British retailer hilariously outed shopper saying it was a ‘good job’ he’d tweeted

An online shopper who tried to scam his way into a refund for a package he received has been outed by the retailer on social media. 

The shopper, from Orlando, Florida, bragged on Twitter yesterday that he had ‘lied’ to online British fashion store ASOS that he hadn’t received his items in order to get his money back. 

However ASOS swiftly replied to his comment, thanking him for posting about his lie as they ‘might not have found him’ otherwise, while other users branded the shopper ’embarrassing’. 

An online shopper (pictured) who used the Twitter name Twitter @jr0dxxx and tried to scam his way into a refund has been outed by the retailer on social media

The now deleted tweet read: ‘Lied to ASOS that I didn’t receive my package and got a full refund for my items.’

The retailer swiftly replied: ‘Good job you tweeted about it, we might not have found you!’ 

Social media users quickly took to twitter to laugh at the shopper, with ASOS’ tweet racking up 244 retweets, 64 quote tweets and 3,200 likes. 

Social media users branded the shopper an ‘idiot’, while one said he had ‘played himself’ by bragging about his lie.

The shopper, from Orlando, Florida, bragged on Twitter yesterday that he had 'lied' to online British fashion store ASOS about a failed delivery

The shopper, from Orlando, Florida, bragged on Twitter yesterday that he had ‘lied’ to online British fashion store ASOS about a failed delivery 

However ASOS swiftly replied to his now deleted comment, thanking him for posting about his lie as they 'might not have found him' otherwise

However ASOS swiftly replied to his now deleted comment, thanking him for posting about his lie as they ‘might not have found him’ otherwise

‘Hope you got the idiot’s details and reversed that refund,’ wrote one user. 

Another agreed: ‘Nothing to be proud of, stealing. Embarrassing.’ 

‘You played yourself boy,’ wrote a third. 

ASOS’ returns policy states if you return an item requesting a refund within 28 days of the item being delivered to you or available for collection, the retailer will give you a full refund by way of the original payment method.

Social media users branded the shopper an 'idiot', while one said he had 'played himself' by bragging about his mistruth

Social media users branded the shopper an ‘idiot’, while one said he had ‘played himself’ by bragging about his mistruth

However if an item has not been delivered past its estimated delivery date, customers are advised to contact the brand’s Customer Care Team who can help with refunds.  

According to US federal law, in the broadest sense, a fraud is an intentional deception made for personal gain or to damage another individual. 

The specific legal definition varies by legal jurisdiction. Fraud is a crime, and is also a civil law violation.   





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Headlines UK London

Woman launches vicious headbutt attack on fellow shopper ‘for refusing to wear a mask’ in shop


Woman is caught on camera HEADBUTTING a fellow shopper ‘who refused to wear a mask’ to enter shop in London

  • A woman headbutts, punches, kicks and drags another by the hair in the attack
  • The incident broke out at a Whitechapel petrol station and Co-op on Thursday 
  • The violent fight and abusive shouting match goes on for more than a minute
  • An onlooker urges the shop’s staff to ‘fire its security’ after guard does nothing  

A woman has viciously attacked a fellow shopper for apparently ‘refusing to wear a face mask’ while in a London shop.

Dramatic footage shows the moment one woman headbutts the other outside a Co-op located at a petrol station in Whitechapel before dragging her inside.

Moments earlier, a group of women queuing to get into the shop were arguing as one apparently refused to put on a face mask.

Onlookers shouted: ‘Wear your mask!’. 

Video caught the moment one woman viciously headbutted another for apparently refusing to wear a mask in a London Co-op 

Once inside, the attacker punches and kicks the other woman who is now lying on the ground as a member of staff appears to stand by watching. 

A third woman attempts to stop a man filming the attack as other bystanders enter the Co-op to try and break up the fight.

The dramatic incident was caught on camera by a Nigerian podcaster, who shared the video on his social media accounts. 

He enters the shop as the attacking woman, whose own mask is now pulled down under her chin, furiously shouts and points at the other woman. 

The podcaster tries to stop the confrontation, saying ‘It’s enough, you’ve done enough’ and urging the victim of the brutal beatdown to pick up her belongings that fell on the floor during the fight. 

The attacker, whose own mask was pulled down under her chin, shouted and pointed at the woman after kicking and punching her, even dragging her by the hair at one point

The attacker, whose own mask was pulled down under her chin, shouted and pointed at the woman after kicking and punching her, even dragging her by the hair at one point

Security at the shop has been criticised for not attempting to intervene in the assault, with the man filming the footage asking the guard 'What the f**k did you do?' and urging the shop to 'Fire your security now!'

Security at the shop has been criticised for not attempting to intervene in the assault, with the man filming the footage asking the guard ‘What the f**k did you do?’ and urging the shop to ‘Fire your security now!’

The camera then turns on the shop’s security, as the man criticises the security guard who was nowhere to be seen during the assault for just standing by.

‘Security what the f**k did you do? You were holding the door. You didn’t do sh**’

The victim asks the man why he is filming everything, to which he responds that he has to record everything ‘for public property’.

The attacking woman then goes to the counter to by cigarette papers, while continuing to shout and threaten the other woman from a distance.

‘I’m going to break your f**king throat. I promise you if my card is broken, you’re f**king going to pay for it.’

The cameraman heads to the counter to buy his own cigarettes, yelling at the clerks to ‘Fire your security now!’ 

After the attack, the woman continues to shout and threaten the other, saying she will kill her if her card has been broken in the fray

After the attack, the woman continues to shout and threaten the other, saying she will kill her if her card has been broken in the fray

He then appears to compliment the woman on her ability to fight, even offering to buy her items. 

Later in the more than five-minute video, both women and their companions appear to be attempting to restart the fight outside before eventually walking off after the cameraman says the police have been called.

The Metropolitan Police confirmed police were called at 22:46 local time over the altercation at the petrol station in The Highway. 

The Met told MailOnline no arrests were made and that those involved in the incident had left the scene prior to police arrival.  

The Co-op did not respond to a MailOnline request for comment at the time of this article’s publication.  



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Technology US

Amazon’s $4.99-a-month personal shopper service is now available for men


Amazon is expanding its personal shopping service to cover men’s fashion. For $4.99 a month, Amazon Prime members can be sent monthly packs of personalized clothes that match their style and budget based on an introductory survey. They can choose eight items to be shipped to their home for free, with a seven-day try-on period and free returns.

The service, dubbed Personal Shopper by Prime Wardrobe, originally launched for women’s fashion in July last year. It’s Amazon’s answer to Stitch Fix, one of the leaders in online personal shopping. Rather than a monthly subscription, Stitch Fix charges a $20 “styling fee” whenever users request a new package of clothing (the frequency of which depends on the customer). This $20 payment is then credited towards any clothes they buy.

Personal Shopper by Prime Wardrobe for men will include a number of established brands including Adidas, Lacoste, Carhartt, and Levi’s, as well as Amazon’s own in-house brands, reports TechCrunch. New customers will take a style survey to uncover their preferences, and subscribers can also make special requests, like a new suit for a job interview.

Right now the service is only available on Amazon’s mobile app for US Prime customers. The service is an expansion of Amazon’s Prime Wardrobe feature, included with Prime memberships. This also offers shipments of up to eight clothing items, with free returns and no payments until customers decide what they want to keep. The only difference is that for $4.99 a month, Personal Shopper will select those clothing picks for each customer.



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