Buying Beyond Best Befores...official discussion

This is a special discussion as part of the

Cheap Supermarket Shopping

guide, all about buying 'beyond best before' food and drink at a fraction of the usual price.

If you've bought these types of products before, please give us your feedback on:
  • What you tried
  • Where you got it
  • How much it cost
  • How far after the best before date it was
  • What you thought of it
  • Any other useful info

Just click reply


  • mcallister1
    mcallister1 Posts: 2,198 Forumite
    I've bought a variety of things from Approved Food in the last few weeks and my top buys would be-
    Hib drinks- 24 for £1- the kids think the flavour is a bit flowery, but they are fragrant I suppose- a bit like Pom? No probs with quality.
    Seedy ryvitas- 2 packs for £1 I think-crisp and lovely
    Treacle tarts- surpisingly just the same as always.
    Tesco kids pasta sauce, which is now run out on the site- 6 jars for 50p- really healthy and a bit like tomato puree in consitency- has a date of June 2008. I got lots but it is going quick.
    Honey- from Morocco- 60p. No idea on the best before. Nice- not the runny kind.

    I'd really recommend them- if you are thinking of buying from them you may wish to check out this link
    where we've been discussing the site.
  • liz545
    liz545 Posts: 1,726 Forumite
    I'll cook with ingredients that are past their date, provided they still look and smell ok; and I'll buy short-dated food in places like the 99p store. I've unknowingly bought diet coke that's past the BBE date before and it tasted odd - sort of flavourless and not as fizzy, wouldn't do that again even if it was super-cheap!
    2015 comp wins - £370.25
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    Thanks to everyone who posts freebies and comps! :j
  • No word of a lie, I have used sugar that is more than 20 years old. And I'm still alive. Bar meat, most food is fine past its sell by; I have cheese which was meant to expire last November and there's nothing wrong with it (although I do keep it in the fridge), and I have potatoes with a BBE date of 7 December 2008, only 4 of which I've had to throw away. I just cut the "eyes" off before cooking. It's all about common sense. How do you think previous generations without BBEs, fridges and freezers coped?
  • Couldn't agree more, I never take a blind bit of notice of best before dates, they're a total con. Obviously with the exception of things like meat, particularly poultry, my rule is if it hasn't got mould on, it's edible. And even if it has, depending on the food, you can cut the mould off and eat the rest. I've done this many times to bread and cheese and I'm still here and, touch wood, have never had food poisoning. My OH is ridiculous about best before dates and claims that bread instantly tastes completely different once it's past the date. Like as if by magic, today it tastes fine and tomorrow it tastes different just because of some arbitrary date assigned by the manufacturers, it's complete rubbish! As I do most of the cooking, he often eats stuff that's past its best before date, he just doesn't know it! :rotfl:
    No Unapproved or Personal links in signatures please - FT3
  • Our dear neighbours are anthropologists. They spend several months a year living with a tribe in Peru 7 hours by canoe from the nearest "civilisation."

    Consequentially, they don't waste anything. Some of the stuff I've seen them use has made me raise an eyebrow- but they've taught me a lot. They, and their young son can survive in a humid country with no electricity for fridges etc etc- eating whatever they, and the locals can hunt. They're very fit & healthy- and are usually each guessed to be 10 years younger than they are- :rolleyes: gits!

    I've never worried too much about BBE dates, and I now use common sense with use by dates.
    Only dead fish go with the flow...
  • suepd
    suepd Posts: 10 Forumite
    We had a chicken with a jar of tomatoes/onions/peppers which was best before 1997 - that was Monday and we're still here! My eyes and nose are my guide!
  • matt1987
    matt1987 Posts: 897 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    The best buys that i have had are Amoy chinese sauces for 19p and 29p a packet, these are usually 70 - 80p in the supermarket? Packets of Mint Poppets for 19p, Straight to wok noodles for 39p, and microwaveable Pilao rice for 39p, packet of cadburys cookies for 49p.

    Got these from a chain of shop called Home Bargains. There is a thread already on MSE about the chain. There are plenty of bargains to be had on short dated food.
  • Agree completely with those who would rather trust their common sense and nose to judge whether something is safe to eat. This is particularly true if the item is to be cooked. I would go further - I deliberately keep most supermarket meat till past its sell by date as the red stuff they think we want needs to mature for tenderness and flavour.
    There was a TV programme last year where the presenter ate stuff a fortnight out of date and suffered no ill effects. (He also had all the food lab-checked as well). The film also showed a woman binning a bunch of apparently flawless bananas because they were out of date
  • gem4
    gem4 Posts: 332 Forumite
    i was brought up to not waste anything and it's stuck with me. I regularly use jars of pasta sauce from my cupboard that are out of date. I made a rice pudding on sunday with a carton of uht milk dated best before July 07 and the family verdict was 'delicious', same as ever :) I tasted the milk first of course because I didnt want to waste the rice ;)

    I even ignore dates on 'use by' stuff. I regularly eat out of date yoghurts by up to a month and for the last 3 days i've been eating an asda 'good for you' coleslaw with a use by date 1st jan.....I'm still here.

    The dates are all rubbish as far as i'm concerned, designed to make you buy more often. I have absolutely no qualmes about buying out of date or short dated stuff....its far cheaper. I go out of my way to look for them.

    If I open it and it smells ok and tastes ok then I'll eat it. Hard cheese is kept in the fridge until its all gone, just cut the mould off. Bread is the same, I just cut the mouldy crusts off. Eggs are kept in the fridge months past their date, they just look a bit flat when you crack them ;)

    If you use the senses you were born with, you wont go far wrong. Our ancestors managed well enough by taste and smell, we are conditioned into thinking this stuff will give us major food poisoning if its a day over the date printed. Absolute rubbish!

    My family are used to me now and dont even bother turning their noses up, I've even converted a few. I'm probably one of the healthiest people I know :rotfl:
    ;) debt free...yippee :dance:
  • Like others, I trust my sense of smell, taste and instinct. Many foods are fine if they are not opened and obviously common sense comes into play with fresh foods. Having said that, I've bought fresh foods well in date from some of the major supermarkets which were definitely off so a lot of it depends on storage. We're also fit and healthy and not prone to upset tummies. I'm happy to buy things others think won't be good - maybe we should keep it an MSE secret :D
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