Follow the yellow sticker road

A few ladies from the Irish debt free community challenged each other to find the best bargains for under €5. So Emer from @onefootinthesave on Instagram created the hashtag Follow the Yellow Sticker Road.

What is Follow the Yellow Sticker Road?

The idea is to document and share stories of reduced food items. Oftentimes reduced food will have a yellow price sticker to draw the shoppers eye.

Pros and cons of buying yellow stickers..


Saves you money. Depending on how close to the sell by date food items can be reduced by as much as 90 percent!

Reduces waste and has a positive effect on the environment. The less food wasted and sent to landfill the better.

May inspire batch cooking and save you even more money.


Less convenient. When you buy long dated food items you don’t have to prepare them as promptly. You can safely store them when you get home until they need to be used.

Reduced food safe to eat?

**Disclaimer!!** I am not a food safety expert and do not have any relevant qualifications. Please do your own research and make an informed decision.

I have been using yellow sticker food items for years. When I’m buying reduced meat I check to make sure there is no visible changes to the food that would concern me and I check the date on it. If it has started to spoil or the container (if it’s meat) has started to swell I will not buy or consume it.

What to do with meat that’s close to it’s use by date?

Firstly if the meat has started to spoil then bin it. If in doubt throw it out.

Secondly check if the food item is suitable for home freezing.

You have two options regarding raw meat..

  1. Cook it straight away. Once cooked you can let it cool and put it in the fridge or freezer. Label it clearly with the date and what it is.
  2. Portion it up for the freezer in it’s raw form. Again make sure to label and date it properly. When you want to cook it you will need to follow safe defrosting procedure before cooking it.

What about vegetables and other food items?

Never buy dented or rusted cans. Bacteria can get in through a pin whole and cause food poisoning. It doesn’t matter how cheap it is. It is not worth endangering yourself for a yellow sticker.

While shopping for yellow sticker fruit or vegetables look at the overall condition of the produce. If one apple in a packet of 6 is bruised but the rest are perfect. Now consider the price compared to a full price packet. Is the reduction in price sufficient?

Don’t be wasteful!

The main point of follow the yellow sticker road is to avoid waste. Waste of food and waste of money. Don’t buy food you won’t eat. If it won’t be used it is counterproductive.

Further reading

You might enjoy some of my other blog posts, such as..

Affording your hobby on a tight budget

Pros and cons of frugal living

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