Tesco shopper spots how shelf labels reveal when discounts end so you can pick up a bargain

TESCO shoppers can now find out when deals or discounts are about to end by looking at a secret code on price labels.

It means you'll now know how long you've got to stock up on cut-price items before they go up in price.

And knowing this should in turn help you to work out how long you've got to save up for items or how much supermarket spending to budget for.

It could also save you from bulk buying in a bid to bag a discount only to later have food go off.

To find out when deals will end, look for a six digit code on the bottom of a discount price label in store.

The last two digits are the date the offer ends, the middle two digits are the month, and the first two digits are the year.

So "190806" would be 06/08/19 meaning the offer ends on August 6 2019.

Tesco has confirmed the trick, which was first spotted by money blogger Ricky Willis who runs the Skint Dad and Skint Chef blogs, is legitimate.

The supermarket says the information is used by staff so they know when offers end.

Tesco adds that the information isn't meant for shoppers as it says the end dates on offers can still change, so what's on the label won't always be correct.

Ricky first noticed the codes in his local Tesco store and wondered if they were the dates the deals ended.

To check if his theory stacked up, he compared the dates to those listed on Tesco's website where it says how long offers are valid for, and found they matched up.

For example, Ricky spotted Heinz BBQ sauce with 50p off in his local store with a code of "190806" underneath it.

When he checked online, Tesco's website had the same offer saying it was valid on items delivered before August 6 2019 – the same date as the in-store price label.

The money saving dad then checked other items, including Maryland cookies and a punnet of Tesco's own fresh strawberries, and found the same.

Ricky said: "I won’t always buy the basic, cheaper brands as I look to mix-up promos on higher-priced foods and look at cashback apps to make things better value.

"Because of this, I always have an open eye and when I’m in the supermarket I check prices like a hawk.

"I noticed this Tesco trick when browsing in store months ago and the numbers jumped out as a date. I checked the offers online and the dates matched."

Here's how to cut the cost of your grocery shop

WE spoke to Hannah Maundrell, editor of Money.co.uk, about how you can cut the cost of your shopping bills:

  • Write yourself a list – Only buy items that you need. If it isn’t on your list, don’t put it in the trolley
  • Create a budget – Work out a weekly budget for your food shopping
  • Never shop hungry – you are far more likely to buy  more food if your tummy is rumbling
  • Don’t buy pre-chopped veggies or fruit – The extra they’ll charge for chopping can be eye watering
  • Use social media – follow your favourite retailers to find out about the latest deals
  • Be disloyal – You may want to go to different stores to find the best bargains
  • Check the small print –  It’s always worth checking the price per kg/lb/litre when comparing offers so you’re making a like for like decision as a bigger box won’t necessarily mean you get more
  • Use your loyalty cards – Don’t be afraid to sign up to them all. They all work slightly differently – work out what bonus suits you better and remember to trade in your points for additional rewards.

He added: "Shoppers can use this to determine if they need to buy their favourite groceries sharpish and potentially bulk, or if they've got more time to buy the food over a longer time, saving them from potentially wasting food."

One user of Ricky's Reduce Your Supermarket Spend Facebook group commented on his findings: "You learn something new every day!"

Another added: "Quite a few do it. I always check to see I've got time to stock up."

Someone else wrote: "I look at this all the time! It’s really helpful!"

Tesco isn't the only retailer to do this. Asdaand Home Bargains use similar codes on labels to reveal if items are one-time only offers or if they'll be coming back into stock.

And when it comes to fashion, Next, River Island and Dorothy Perkins price tags all reveal which items going in the sale – and how much the discount will be.

And Next uses the same strategy.

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