Australian supermarket employees have revealed the best times to shop for markdown items in the fresh produce aisles.
Thrifty shoppers have been raving on social media about how they’ve managed to slash hundreds of dollars off their grocery bills just by shopping at the right times.
Supermarkets are discounting items progressively through the day, with 20, 40, 60, 80 and eventually 99 per cent slashed off the retail prices of popular items.
And now Woolworths employees have shared the exact times they usually lower the prices of meat, seafood, dairy, and baked goods.
‘In my store, all markdowns for any fresh department – deli, meat, seafood and bakery – are to be done by 11am and a further one is done again at 4pm for things that have to be cleared by that day,’ one employee wrote on Facebook.
Many workers agreed with her, saying the discounts on fresh food items are carried out twice a day at their stores.
‘As far as I know, markdowns are completed before 11am and before 4pm except for bread which can vary depending on store size and production,’ one worker said, while another added: ‘I was managing the fresh food department of Woolies up until last week… markdowns have to be done before 11am on meat, dairy, seafood and deli.’
While another employee said the times the discounts take place differs at every store.
‘It’s different in every store and it varies so much,’ she said.
In a statement to Daily Mail Australia on Thursday, a Woolworths spokesman said: ‘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.’
Meanwhile, other employees said the best time to shop for weekly specials is 7am on Wednesday as the shelves get fully stocked with new sale items the night before.
On Thursday, an eagle-eyed shopper discovered a little-known code on Woolworths labels that claims shows the time the products are discounted.
The woman, from New South Wales, scored a huge discount after purchasing a $16.37 beef roast and a $1.86 bottle of full cream milk after the prices were slashed when they were marked for a ‘quick sale’.
Upon closer inspection, she noticed a time stamp on the top corner of the produce in which she believed the items were reduced.
The beef showed ’11:25′ while the milk was marked with ’10:34′ on the labels.
The observant woman said the codes will help guide her as to what time of the day the supermarket marks down perishables – so she knows when to shop.
‘Plan on working out my law of averages and striking when most likely to hit gold,’ the shopper said in a Facebook group.
‘I believe I’ve found a time stamp for when the markdowns happen on Woolies’ new labels.’
Many shoppers said they were unaware of the time stamp, while others suggested they will take note of the labels the next time they do their grocery.
However, others said there was unlikely to be a set time-of-day for markdowns, as products go out of date constantly.
‘They get done when they get done. There is no specific time they get done. It depends on staff, how many guns and printers they have. Sometimes products don’t get marked down at all some days,’ one woman said.
But bargain hunters disputed this, claiming the best times to shop are either early in the morning or shortly before closing time.