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  • FIRST POST
    • tryingforabetterlife
    • By tryingforabetterlife 20th Oct 19, 1:35 PM
    • 13Posts
    • 34Thanks
    tryingforabetterlife
    please advise me no judging please
    • #1
    • 20th Oct 19, 1:35 PM
    please advise me no judging please 20th Oct 19 at 1:35 PM
    hey everyone please remove if not allowed
    i came across this site why googling and there seems to many knowledgable people
    so here goes ...
    my partner is on a 0 hour contract at work theyve recently changed payment providers with out telling the workers anyway when he got his wages he was only paid one day he is 4 days short on his wage after sending numerous texts to his agency yesterday and friday and actually going in and talking about it today as he is on shift the text messages where ignored and today theyve told him he and many others need too fill in missing hours forms and hopefully he will be paid it next week
    we have 2 children one is autistic and limited with foods he will eat we are currently on our last bit of food and im worried sick where can i get some help like a loan i no there is foodbanks but for my oldest it wouldnt help as he wont eat much stuff
    i put what i had on electric and gas bought bread and milk and paid my sons snack money
    i have barely anything in as we live week to week sorry for rambling but i dont no where to go with this we do get universal credit top up be we opted for this too go direct to our landlord so our rent is always covered child benefit isnt due for 2 weeks last time we got it i used it for winter coats for the children

    i have a few bits of frozen chips ,frozen veg and a bag of nuggets so covered for today but after that hes work expect us to wait until friday and there renowned for not sorting missing hours quickly please help any ideas i havent got anything i can sell currently as i did all this months ago when i had an unexpected cost in my household so sold everything i could then :/
    thanks for reading if you got this far


    I just want advice what would be the best things to get wit the £6 thanks
Page 2
    • Saipan
    • By Saipan 20th Oct 19, 9:28 PM
    • 39 Posts
    • 347 Thanks
    Saipan
    You only need one advice. Update cv and walk.
    Originally posted by Blackbeard of Perranporth
    I would be interested to know what you think the OP should do with her child, who has been assessed as having a recognised disability and is currently unable to attend school, while she 'walks'? Bearing in mind, of course, that her husband is at work?

    OP, you have received some excellent advice from other posters, and I would suggest that you also contact the Welfare Rights section of your local Council - they can be very helpful, particularly where children are concerned, and will certainly be able to signpost you to other sources of help. In most areas they work hand in glove with the local CAB but can be easier to contact.

    Good luck and please try not to worry - there is help out there for families who find themselves in this kind of situation through no fault of their own.
    • tryingforabetterlife
    • By tryingforabetterlife 20th Oct 19, 10:45 PM
    • 13 Posts
    • 34 Thanks
    tryingforabetterlife
    Sorry I’ve not replied every one the children have had me crazy

    My partner is going to be looking for work elsewhere but sticking this one out until something better comes up it is a global company but agency they don’t see fussed but he is ringing there head office first thing I think the issue is the previous payroll company well that’s excuse we’ve been given but not good enough
    Thankyou every one for your kind words and advice it means a lot
    • gettingtheresometime
    • By gettingtheresometime 20th Oct 19, 11:11 PM
    • 4,924 Posts
    • 12,356 Thanks
    gettingtheresometime
    Where in the world are you? Nearest big town will suffice
    Lloyds OD / Natwest OD / PO CC / Wescott / Argos Card / JD Williams cleared thanks to the 1 debt v 100 day challenge
    • tryingforabetterlife
    • By tryingforabetterlife 21st Oct 19, 7:17 AM
    • 13 Posts
    • 34 Thanks
    tryingforabetterlife
    Hi I’m not far from liverpool
    • CRANKY40
    • By CRANKY40 21st Oct 19, 7:49 AM
    • 3,374 Posts
    • 36,729 Thanks
    CRANKY40
    Hi I’m not far from liverpool
    Originally posted by tryingforabetterlife
    Which side of the river? There's a place in Wallasey that does food bags and isn't food bank related so you don't need to be referred. There's also a lady in Birkenhad that does the same. Message me if you want info.
    • tryingforabetterlife
    • By tryingforabetterlife 21st Oct 19, 10:51 AM
    • 13 Posts
    • 34 Thanks
    tryingforabetterlife
    other side to that im down the lancs
    im just speaking with a lady from the food bank shes going to call me back as the one that in my area thats usually on today isn't due to a overbooking where they usually go but there is one Wednesday and Friday in a different location

    just calling my electric and gas supplier as its looking like that wont last either
    my partners works have done the missing hours forms so all being well he will receive what hes owed friday but hes also involved head office as this is really unfair to leave a full agency of workers like this

    i do have paypal dont use it much but i did try to do a food shop from it as i got told it comes out the bank a few days later but it didnt work

    thanks for all the advice everyone
    • Lacemaker
    • By Lacemaker 21st Oct 19, 11:01 AM
    • 42 Posts
    • 146 Thanks
    Lacemaker
    other side to that im down the lancs
    im just speaking with a lady from the food bank shes going to call me back as the one that in my area thats usually on today isn't due to a overbooking where they usually go but there is one Wednesday and Friday in a different location

    just calling my electric and gas supplier as its looking like that wont last either
    my partners works have done the missing hours forms so all being well he will receive what hes owed friday but hes also involved head office as this is really unfair to leave a full agency of workers like this

    i do have paypal dont use it much but i did try to do a food shop from it as i got told it comes out the bank a few days later but it didnt work

    thanks for all the advice everyone
    Originally posted by tryingforabetterlife
    Hi,

    Is there a RC Church near you ? I can try to contact either the S VP or Catenians who may be able to help , you don't need to be a member of the church or even Christian.
    • pickledonionspaceraider
    • By pickledonionspaceraider 21st Oct 19, 4:39 PM
    • 1,559 Posts
    • 3,871 Thanks
    pickledonionspaceraider
    How did you get OP, with your energy supplier and food bank?

    I agree with Lacemaker - the RC church are really helpful - I was in your situation once upon a time and it does make you feel desperate - they helped me with a small box of groceries - I must admit i sat through a mass to get the box of food. Felt guilty for a while about that

    also there is [B]a pay as you feel cafe and marke[/B]t near me that sells stuff given to them by supermarkets that is going out of date - there is one near you - well Liverpool anyway
    http://www.realjunkfoodliverpool.org/
    The real Junk Food Project - in my city these people are heros - no referral, you could call them and explain your situation and although it may not be a typical market day they may sort you out some stuff - they have done it for me before in my city
    Last edited by pickledonionspaceraider; 21-10-2019 at 4:42 PM.
    • buildersdaughter
    • By buildersdaughter 21st Oct 19, 5:41 PM
    • 402 Posts
    • 1,314 Thanks
    buildersdaughter
    Food banks are very sympathetic to special needs - I know, having volunteered at one.
    Also - how old are the children? If appropriate, talk to the school who will have emergency contacts.
    If younger, try Health Visitor / Children's Centre.
    You must have a paediatrician or specialist nurse who oversees the care of your child with ASD, so you can contact them.
    All of these people will know who best to contact to help you. Your title question showed that you are afraid of being judged, but this is about doing your best for your kids, and is admirable.
    Finally, please do not be afraid of contacting social services - I know from my work that people get very worried, but they are there to help.
    These posts show you that we all need help sometimes, especially those who have to deal with kids with special needs, and the wicked zero hours / benefit systems. Hold your head high, do what you need to for your kids' sake and be proud. Then, some years down the line, I hope you can put back something, for someone who needs it, also with pride.
    And special thanks to pickledonio...
    • pjcox2005
    • By pjcox2005 21st Oct 19, 6:10 PM
    • 657 Posts
    • 748 Thanks
    pjcox2005
    I've no experience or additional advice to that which has already been posted.


    This may not be helpful but https://cookingonabootstrap.com/ is from a lady who always had to survive on minimal income so is cooking at low cost i believe. May not be right for your eldest child but may help the rest of your family meals. Apologies if it's no help at all. Other one longer term may be to go on the debt free forum to see if they can help with savings on your monthly expenditure etc to eek out wages a little further in future but I'm guessing there isn't much to cut.


    Hope you managed to get through this with the help of the food banks.
    • snoopy58
    • By snoopy58 22nd Oct 19, 12:16 AM
    • 138 Posts
    • 392 Thanks
    snoopy58
    Hi there, hope you don’t mind my offering my two pennyworth. Lots of lovely helpful advice for the short term but was thinking about long term. Your eldest (?) child is ASD. Have you looked into applying for PIP? Please ask your health visitor/GP/SEND co-ordinator at school/Citizens Advice. If you are eligible to claim on your child’s behalf this in turn may make you eligible for carers allowance (£66.15 per week). Please do consider this, it would make such a difference to you financially. Plus, you are already your child’s full time carer in addition to being his Mum. I hope this helps you longer term. Good luck with all you do.
    • wort
    • By wort 22nd Oct 19, 6:44 AM
    • 986 Posts
    • 11,688 Thanks
    wort
    Try olio ?? Never used myself but heard about it on this website this is what Martin says
    neighbours' leftovers for free... if you dare)
    Whether it's burgers, beer or blackberries, a free food and drink-sharing app offers you quality grub for free. The idea is that instead of binning surplus food, people sign up to Olio and offer it to their local community – think Freecycle for food.

    And while the vast majority of items on Olio come from people emptying out their store cupboards, major supermarkets and retailers such as Pret a Manger – as well as many independent cafes, bakeries and shops – have now jumped on board to offer up leftovers at the end of the day.

    Volunteers collect any spare food from these stores and list it on the app (you collect food from the volunteers rather than the stores themselves). For example, we've seen posh loaves of bread and pastries, plus Pret yogurt pots and sandwiches, all going completely free.

    Once you've found something that tickles your fancy, request it and message to arrange a pick-up. You can sometimes find items listed which aren't food and drink too, though in most cases these are other items commonly sold in supermarkets, such as deodorant.

    How to get the free app

    Simply download it from Apple's iOS App Store or the Google Play Store. You can also access it via the Olio web app.
    Sign up with your email address, or connect the app to your Facebook, and browse free goodies from neighbours and restaurants near you.

    How to use it
    Olio says just over a million users are now signed up to its app, across the UK. So there are lots of people offering food and picking it up – though as you'd expect, you'll find more listed in big cities.

    Pret a Manger offers leftovers at lots of locations across the country, while other big stores are dipping their toes in the water and trialling it, including Sainsbury's (in Hull, Derbyshire and Durham), Morrisons (two stores in south London) and Costa (in Hull). Co-op, Planet Organic, Selfridges and Virgin Trains' food has also been distributed via the app, and we've seen lots offered by smaller, independent cafes, bakeries and restaurants.

    Unfortunately, there's no easy way to filter the listings to find food from major chains. But if you're using the web app, you can try the 'find' command (press "Ctrl" and "F") on your keyboard to hunt for what you're after. If there are a lot of listings in your area, make sure you scroll right to the bottom of the page, as this will load more for you to search through. You may find more available if you check towards the end of the day too.

    It's a sharing community, so don't forget you can offer free food as well as claim it. Got some sausages going spare? To give an item away, simply snap a photo, add a brief description and provide pick-up details.


    Food from your neighbours... isn't it all manky?
    Not at all. When we looked, we found some top-quality goodies listed by individuals as well as chains. For example, MSE Jenny nabbed four free raisin buns, which had originally been bought from a posh bakery in North London (see pic, right).
    People can add any food they like, as long as they'd be willing to eat it themselves. You can add food that's beyond its best-before date, but not use-by date. (See our Food Expiry Dates guide for more on the difference.)

    Get free chocolate, coffee, pizza & more via O2's and Three's rewards apps
    If you're a pay-monthly or pay-as-you-go customer on the O2 or Three mobile networks, you can get offers and freebies via their loyalty apps. (And even better, we've a trick to get you the O2 freebies even if you're NOT an O2 customer.)

    To take advantage of these, you'll need to download the free apps and create an account. You'll then receive regular freebies, discounts and special offers. In most cases you claim your freebies and offers using a code that you show to the person serving you or enter online.

    O2 Priority. Past examples include coffee from Caffè Nero, chocolates from Thorntons and Hotel Chocolat and beer at Byron Burger. Although this app is for O2 customers, we've found a loophole that means everyone can get the freebies simply by getting a free O2 sim card (though you now have to top it up by £10 to access the app). See full info in O2 Priority for EVERYONE.

    Wuntu. This is Three's rewards app ('Wun', 'Tu', Three, geddit?). In the past, it's offered free coffee from Costa, chocolates from Hotel Chocolat, pizzas from Pizza Hut and Domino's and a free meal at Caf! Rouge. The app also tailors freebies to you as you use it. See full info in MSE Kelvin's Wuntu blog post.
    Buy totally free food using supermarket coupons
    Most supermarket coupons and cashback apps just get you a discount on specific products, eg, 50p off a loaf of bread. But some offer products totally free.

    Check out our Supermarket Coupons guide for a full list of coupons and cashback currently available. In the past we've seen totally free Covent Garden Soup, Warburtons bread and Dr Oetker pizza. These are some of the products you can currently get completely free:

    'Free' £1.50 Primula cheese (via cashback)
    'Free' £2.19 Vita Coco coconut milk (via cashback)
    'Free' £1.25 Arla protein yogurt (via cashback)
    'Free' £1 Skyr yogurt (via cashback)
    To really take your supermarket couponing to the max, see our Extreme Couponing guide.

    Drink free tea or coffee while you shop
    A number of shops offer free hot drinks to customers if they sign up for a loyalty card. Of course, this isn't just out of kindness – they want to get you into their shop more often and for longer so you spend more money. However, you don't need to spend much (or sometimes anything at all) to get the freebie.


    Ikea. You can claim a free hot drink at Ikea on weekdays as many times as you like. Simply sign up for a free Ikea Family card to get a free cup of tea or filter coffee at the in-store restaurant. See Ikea deals for more info.

    Waitrose. Sign up for a myWaitrose loyalty card and get a 'free' regular-sized tea or coffee in store every day from the self-service machine. Sadly it's no longer completely free – you'll have to make a purchase to grab your freebie – but we've a trick to get it for pennies. See Waitrose deals.

    Booths. At posh supermarket chain Booths you can get a free regular-sized hot drink in store every day with its loyalty card, as long as you bring a reusable cup. This includes tea, hot chocolate and coffee – you don't need to spend anything to get it, though if you want to have your drink in a store caf! you'll have to buy food. See Booths deals.
    Bag a free doughnut, cupcake, cookie & more on your birthday
    Celebrate your birthday with completely free food offered by various restaurants and caf!s. Usually all you need to do is sign up to their mailing list and you'll be sent an email around the time of your birthday, with a voucher to claim the freebie.

    Here's a selection of what you can get right now:


    Krispy Kreme. Register on the 'Friends of Krispy Kreme' rewards app, and you can get a free doughnut of your choice, plus a free glazed doughnut for your children and significant other on their birthdays too.

    Greggs. Download its app and register for its rewards scheme to get a voucher for a free cupcake, cream cake or doughnut, valid for a month after it's issued.

    Hotel Chocolat. Pick up a VIP card and get a 'surprise gift' (currently £5 off a £5+ spend) for your birthday.
    For the full list, see our Birthday Freebies deals page.

    Aged 18 or 19? Get paid to drink (yes, really)
    It may sound too good to be true, but if you're 18 or 19, you can actually get paid to go to the pub. But please be Drinkaware

    Serve Legal employs mystery shoppers across the UK and Ireland to check whether staff in pubs, bars and supermarkets ask for ID when selling alcohol (it also checks other age-restricted products such as lottery tickets). See Get paid to drink for full info.

    Forage for blackberries, elderflowers, raspberries & more free food
    It might sound extreme, but you can get lots of food for free simply by foraging and picking it yourself when it's in season. Typical finds can include elderflowers, blackberries, bilberries, samphire and dandelions. However, it's important to stay safe – only forage where you're permitted and ensure what you're doing is legal.

    It's even possible to forage in the winter months - see the Woodland Trust's blog on Foraging in January, February and March for tips on what you might find.

    Where am I allowed to forage?
    According to the Theft Act 1968, foraging for personal use is generally allowed in the UK – though councils and conservation agencies can pass bylaws to stop you foraging in specific areas. If you're in any doubt over whether it's allowed, find out for sure or don't do it.

    You should also avoid foraging along busy roads, where plants and fruit are likely to taste of exhaust fumes, as well as areas where dogs do their business, for obvious reasons.


    A couple of conservation charities say they support foraging for personal use on their land:

    The Woodland Trust allows foraging on many – but not all – of its 1,000+ woodland sites. If you can't forage – eg, where it's a conservation site or there are rare species – this should be indicated by signs, but check.

    The National Trust, which looks after heritage sites and open spaces across the UK (including coastline, forests, fens, beaches, farmland and moorland), also says it supports foraging for personal use on most of its sites.
    How to forage safely and legally
    The Woodland Trust publishes responsible foraging guidelines which are worth reading in full before you try this for the first time. Here are some of the key points:

    Seek permission from the landowner. If in doubt, always check.

    Know what you're picking and beware poisonous species. Never consume a wild plant unless you're certain what it is. It could be rare and protected, inedible or even deadly poisonous. Fungi can be tricky to identify, so it's usually best to leave them alone.

    Only collect from plentiful populations. Only collect flowers, leaves, fruits and seeds where they're in abundance.

    Don't touch rare species. Some species are protected by law, so know what not to collect. Ancient woodlands in particular can contain many rare species so take special care.

    Leave plenty behind for others and for wildlife. Wild food is vital for the survival of the UK’s wildlife and it is important to forage sustainably to ensure there is enough left for birds and others, and to allow the plant or fungus itself to produce seeds and spores that grow into the next generation. Only take what you plan to eat – and remember you may not be the only person foraging.
    Foraging help in the forum
    There are two dedicated foraging threads in the MSE Forum – see Foraging Challenge and Foraging – Nature's Food for useful links, tips and recipes for elderflower cordial, dandelion coffee and more.

    Top tips for newbies from forumites include stocking up on suitable containers, taking a pair of gloves and exploring public footpaths. They also share good foraging locations in their area and what to look out for there.

    I've had a great year so far! Loads of blackberries, more than I could pick for a couple of weeks. Wild raspberries just before that.
    - Vitamin_Joe

    I am enthusiastic about foraging to supplement my diet and reduce supermarket spends. You can't get better than free, fresh and organic!
    - jumblejack


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    Tricks to get food super-cheap
    If you can't find free food, there are still ways to eat well for a fraction of the usual cost.

    Find a posh three-course meal for a fiver dining out at training restaurants
    Fancy a cheap fine-dining three-course meal cooked by students? Top chefs have to start somewhere – and you can be their (very well-fed) guinea pig, at training restaurants in colleges and universities. Though it's worth noting these are generally only open in term time during the academic year (roughly late-September to May).

    Eating out this way it's possible to grab a three-course meal for much less than you'd typically spend in a high-end eatery. For example, we spotted a three-course lunch at The Isle of Wight College for just £5.


    There are lots of training restaurants across the UK – too many to list here, so your best bet is to search online for one near you. But if you're in London you can try Taste at South Thames College (Morden) or Pillars at the University of West London (Ealing). In Glasgow, try Scholars' at the City of Glasgow College, and in Belfast the Academy Restaurant at the University of Ulster.

    In 2015, our Deals Hunters went to check out the Taste Restaurant in London and were pleasantly surprised by the service as well as the price:

    Our expectation was for it to look like a school canteen, but far from it – it looked professional and modern like any high street restaurant.

    The food was delicious, we couldn’t fault the standard and it certainly matched the grub we’ve eaten in posh establishments elsewhere where they can charge double. Our waiter had impeccable customer service and although there was the odd blip, it was sorted with a smile!
    - Former MSE Anna

    The restaurants usually have set times and days you can dine and some may require you to book.

    Visit a 'pay as you feel' caf! or supermarket
    The Real Junk Food Project is a charity which runs over 40 caf!s across the UK, where you can 'pay as you feel' for food that would otherwise go to waste. Locations include Brighton, Leeds, Manchester, Leicester and Edinburgh. It also runs a food-waste supermarket in Pudsey, near Leeds.

    How much do I actually have to pay?
    It's up to you. You are expected to offer something, but the Real Junk Food Project says "people can pay with money, they can offer their time, or they can present a skill". It told us some people actually give more than they would pay in a supermarket.

    What kind of food is available?
    The menu is set by each caf! and varies depending on what food donations they've received that week. Most offer typical caf! fare – for example, the Second Helpings caf! in Stamford, Lincolnshire, has previously served roast pumpkin and apple soup, vegetable curry and banana bread and butter pudding. The Dhali Cafe in Leeds offers purely vegetarian and vegan food.

    The caf!s intercept food which would otherwise go to waste, which means some food may be past its best-before date. This doesn't mean it's not safe to eat, however – while use-by dates are an important health warning, best-befores are just a manufacturer's guidance of quality. Workers at each caf! use their judgement to ensure the food is OK to eat.


    Is this just aimed at people in need?
    No – while the Real Junk Food Project's a charity, the project's founder Adam Smith told us this is an environmental concept, rather than a social one, and there are "no criteria" for getting food there.

    The Real Junk Food Project website also says: "We don't just feed 'homeless people', 'the needy', nor do we just feed asylum seekers, refugees, or whoever. We feed everyone."

    Despite that, it's worth bearing in mind this project will be helping people who are struggling for money. So if you can afford to, give a decent donation so it can continue to operate.

    Get discounted food at Starbucks, Itsu & Wasabi
    Buying food and drink at chains such as Starbucks is rarely MoneySaving, but some offer decent discounts if you time your visit for just before they close.

    Starbucks. More than 350 of its 800ish UK stores now offer food at half-price which would otherwise be thrown out – all money raised by selling these items is donated to Action Against Hunger. Reduced items are marked '50% off food, 100% to charity'. See a list of participating stores.

    Wasabi. Sushi restaurant Wasabi discounts food by 50% at the end of the day. It says it does this 30 minutes before closing in participating stores – see the Wasabi website for details and locations.

    Itsu. Asian-inspired fast-food chain Itsu says it offers a half-price sale in all its branches at least 30 minutes before closing.
    In London? Get discounts in the capital
    If you live or work in the capital (or are simply visiting), there are a number of London-based eateries offering discounts at the end of the day, including the Harrods food hall. See our Cheap things to do in London guide for the full list.

    If you've found any other big chains offering discounts at the end of the day, please let us know in the forum or by emailing news@moneysavingexpert.com.

    Use a free app to find even MORE end-of-day discounts at caf!s and restaurants

    Too Good To Go aims to reduce food waste and save you money at the same time. It hooks you up with local caf!s, bakeries and restaurants which have leftover food at the end of the day, and lets you buy it at a discounted rate.
    All meals are priced between £2 and £4, and Too Good To Go says they've been discounted by a minimum of 50% (though some by as much as 90%).

    Once you've selected the meal you want, you pay via the app. Then simply visit the location during the set collection time to pick up your food (you'll need to check this on the app, as the collection time varies from place to place).

    When we checked for deals near MSE Towers, we found a 'magic bag' from Yo Sushi for £3.50 (its sushi boxes are normally £5+). It says staff will fill this up with whatever is left over at the end of the day.

    How to get the app
    Simply download it for free from Apple's iOS App Store or the Google Play Store. You'll need to create a free account or log in via Facebook to browse restaurants near you.

    How big is this?
    The app was launched in the UK in 2016 and currently lists food in most cities across England, Wales and Scotland, including London, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Oxford and Swansea. More than 1,500 businesses have signed up to offer discounted food.

    Find yellow sticker discounts in the supermarket
    'Yellow sticker' discounts are when a supermarket's reduced items to clear, and they've been slapped with... well, the clue's in the name. If you can find something you're looking for with a yellow sticker on, fantastic – grab it and use it quickly as it's a saving on perfectly good nosh.

    To try to build a picture of the best time to find these savings, we've asked MoneySavers who work or shop in supermarkets such as Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury's and Tesco to spill the beans. See our Supermarket Shopping Tips for the full lowdown.

    Spend 59p & get as many £2 Big Mac & fries as you can stomach
    It's not the healthiest way to eat. Yet you can make decent savings on burgers with these fast-food hacks (just make sure it's part of a balanced diet).

    There's a sneaky way to get a Big Mac and regular fries for £1.99 (normally £4ish) EVERY time you visit McDonald's after you've made one purchase – the cheapest item is a 59p mini McFlurry. For full details, check out our Deals Hunters blog.

    We also have a whopping trick (sorry) to get a £4.40 Bacon Double Cheeseburger for £2 in Burger King, plus 20+ McDonald's hacks and 12 Nando's hacks.

    Buy cheap clearance 'past-best' goods online
    While 'use-by' dates are an important health warning, 'best-befores' are just a manufacturer's guidance of quality. It's perfectly legal to sell goods beyond a best-before date – there's no hard and fast rule on when it's still safe to eat products; you need to make that call yourself. Look and smell are often the best indicators.


    Clearance site Approved Food* sells groceries which are approaching or have passed their best-before date (and it'll usually display the best-before date online for each product). It offers a hefty discount, though with delivery starting at £5.99 for up to 25kg and a £22.50 minimum spend, it's only MoneySaving if you buy in bulk.

    These are some examples of the savings we've spotted in the past:

    Lavazza decaf Italian coffee 250g – £1.99 (next cheapest we found: £3.75 at Asda)
    Box of Cadbury's Roses chocolates 275g – £2.50 (next cheapest: £5 at Sainsbury's)
    Honey Monster Puffs 625g – £1.50 (next cheapest: £2.50 at Sainsbury's)
    Before you buy, check our Approved Food deals page for exclusive discount codes.

    Struggling to afford food? You may be able to get help from a foodbank
    The tips in this guide are fun, clever MoneySaving ways to eat for free – but sadly many people struggle to afford food on a daily basis.

    If that's you, there are places that can help. Foodbanks give out free parcels that should provide at least three days' worth of in-date, non-perishable food.


    Who can use a foodbank?
    To get help from most foodbanks, you need to be referred (though this isn't the case with some independent foodbanks).

    You can typically get referred by a doctor, health visitor, school or social worker. If you're not sure who to talk to, try asking Citizens Advice.

    You'll likely be asked some questions about your income and why you need to use the foodbank. This ensures the food goes to people who need it most. Common reasons for referrals include redundancy, receiving an unexpected bill or a delay in benefit payments.

    The Trussell Trust is one of the biggest foodbank charities in the UK, where it runs two-thirds of foodbanks – use its website to check if it operates near you.


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    How to get free (or cheap) food

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    Hope it helps
    Focus on contribution instead of the impressiveness of consumption to see the true beauty in people.
    • PipneyJane
    • By PipneyJane 22nd Oct 19, 1:16 PM
    • 1,403 Posts
    • 10,230 Thanks
    PipneyJane
    other side to that im down the lancs
    im just speaking with a lady from the food bank shes going to call me back as the one that in my area thats usually on today isn't due to a overbooking where they usually go but there is one Wednesday and Friday in a different location

    just calling my electric and gas supplier as its looking like that wont last either
    my partners works have done the missing hours forms so all being well he will receive what hes owed friday but hes also involved head office as this is really unfair to leave a full agency of workers like this

    i do have paypal dont use it much but i did try to do a food shop from it as i got told it comes out the bank a few days later but it didnt work

    thanks for all the advice everyone
    Originally posted by tryingforabetterlife
    How are you getting on, Hon? Did the foodbank get back to you? Have they helped?

    What have you eaten today? Please tell us what is left in your store cupboard, fridge and freezer and we may be able to help with recipe suggestions.

    - Pip (Concerned Lurkers want to know)
    "Be the type of woman that when you get out of bed in the morning, the devil says 'Oh crap. She's up.' "

    C.R.A.P R.O.L.L.Z. #47 Official Brain Harvesting Body Counter
    • Working Mum
    • By Working Mum 22nd Oct 19, 1:31 PM
    • 456 Posts
    • 1,805 Thanks
    Working Mum
    Hello and welcome tryingforasbetterlife,
    I know you have a lot on your plate right now and you've got some great advice.

    Are you taking some practical steps to help make your home efficient for winter?/ There are a couple of really good threads on here which may help you save some pennies on your fuel costs as the coder months hit.

    Have you got a local "community orchard" near you?? They give their produce away for free and this will provide you with fresh apples/pears etc which saves you buying them from your food budget.

    When you get into the Food Bank please ask if they have any toiletries etc that you can have - I donate to my local Food Bank and they always ask me to collect sanitary towels etc as people need these but are often forgone when money is tight and budgets don't stretch.

    Food Bank will also be able to signpost for help etc.

    I would second reaching out via Face Book or twitter - I follow a few Churches and see this kind of request a lot - they are often answered too (according to a friend who is a Church Warden).

    Good luck and I will be thinking of you
    Last edited by Working Mum; 23-10-2019 at 9:38 AM.
    • tryingforabetterlife
    • By tryingforabetterlife 23rd Oct 19, 7:33 AM
    • 13 Posts
    • 34 Thanks
    tryingforabetterlife
    Hi every one sorry I’ve not replied for a few days ended up with my son in hospital so been manic
    My energy supplier Wouldn’t help they said they can’t as I have a small debt on the meter so they can’t be seen to put me in more debt but I’m
    Sure I’ll sort something today over that I’m going to read through all the advice shortly and I have just applied for the warm home discount so that would help
    Thankyou all
    • DWhite
    • By DWhite 23rd Oct 19, 8:12 AM
    • 185 Posts
    • 668 Thanks
    DWhite
    Hi, I hope you’re holding on ok? Advice here has been amazing already, for me all I can add is have you got any supermarket loyalty points? I save mine so I know they’re there if needed. Even a few pounds worth would get you something for now.
    Or perhaps a local charity does soup runs? I volunteer for a charity who gives out clothes etc to people in need and work along side a church who goes every night to offer soup and sandwiches. The food is donated from Greggs and Pret so pretty nice stuff and they just hand it over, no questions.
    Worth asking around Facebook etc to see if there’s something like this near you.
    Good luck! It’s half way to Friday now, so you’re nearly there!
    • Mummy2cheekymonkeys
    • By Mummy2cheekymonkeys 23rd Oct 19, 8:47 AM
    • 251 Posts
    • 1,702 Thanks
    Mummy2cheekymonkeys
    I hope you are doing OK. You've had some brilliant advice so far. All I can do is repeat what others have said but you defiantly need to sort out dla for your son. I have just done this myself as my eldest was diagnosed with asd in august. You can print the forms off but if you call up and request one it wil be noted on their system and the claim will be backdated to the date you called and not from when they receive your form. Could mean an extra 2 weeks money for you. As soon as you get the letter confirming if your son is eligible you can put in a claim for carers allowance. This should be backdated as well. I would phone to request a form today and make that your priority.
    I hope everything works out for you and please keep us updated x
    • tryingforabetterlife
    • By tryingforabetterlife 23rd Oct 19, 10:03 AM
    • 13 Posts
    • 34 Thanks
    tryingforabetterlife
    I’ve just requested forms was totally unaware we could claim dla for him ����!♀️ Would be helpful as he goes through so many things beds and clothes especially as he chews everything
    We’re doing ok thanks every one
    • buildersdaughter
    • By buildersdaughter 23rd Oct 19, 11:24 AM
    • 402 Posts
    • 1,314 Thanks
    buildersdaughter
    I’ve just requested forms was totally unaware we could claim dla for him ����!♀️ Would be helpful as he goes through so many things beds and clothes especially as he chews everything
    We’re doing ok thanks every one
    Originally posted by tryingforabetterlife
    If I could make a suggestion - get help with the form from someone who knows your family. Health Visitor, Specialist Nurse, family worker or similar (not doctor - you may need some official input about diagnosis from them, but they're not usually good at forms!)
    The forms can seem very strange if you've never done them before, and there are some key words and phrases that tend to help with the application. People who have dealt with them a lot are often good at this!

    Good luck
    • KxMx
    • By KxMx 23rd Oct 19, 11:32 AM
    • 7,688 Posts
    • 11,308 Thanks
    KxMx
    Also when dealing with illness and disability your way of life becomes normal to you, and it can take someone helping with the forms asking the right questions to make you realise, hang on a minute...!

    I know that from my own experience of filling in ESA forms.
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