With the cost of living going up every day, one thing you can do is save money on grocery shopping. Most grocery items get used within a few days which means there is little reason to buy grocery items with weeks left on the best before date.
Red meat is one grocery item that is not best eaten fresh. The fresher red meat is the tougher it is to eat. Bright red meat should be avoided at all costs. No pun intended. But not only will you be buying meat at its full price, but it will also be inedible. It is best to buy it when the supermarket marks it down with only a few days to go. And it is best to eat it the night you buy it. Don’t be put off it is dark in color. It shouldn’t smell if it is within the best before date.
Chicken is different to red meat but there is also no reason to pay full price for this either. Chicken is the cheapest meat you can buy with the exception of sausages. Chicken is fit to eat with a few days remaining on the best before date and should be consumed the night you buy it.
The same applies to fish, sausages and mincemeat.
All meat should be consumed within the best before date, but there is no reason to pay full price.
Dairy products are different. You can keep milk refrigerated at the right temperature a week beyond its best before date and still drink it. But once it goes sour throw it out. Many supermarkets mark down their milk products significantly as the only thing they can do with milk products that age beyond their best before date is to throw them out.
Deli meats need care to be taken. Eating deli meats beyond their best before date can make people ill. You are taking a risk if you are buying cheap deli meats.
Yogurt is safe to eat beyond their best before date but will taste sour. If you can buy a marked down yogurt product buy it. But don’t buy it if the lid is inflated. This means it has gone off.
Cheese generally has a long shelf life. Cheese can be kept beyond their best before date and will show signs of mold. But this can be cut off and you can still consume it. Meaning that if you see cheese that has been marked down it is a good buy.
Marked down dips should be avoided as these can taste sour and will not last much longer beyond their best before date. Consumers need at least a week to consume dips and before they have consumed them they would have gone off. The same applies to non-matured cheeses including ricotta cheese, feta cheese, and cottage cheese.
Beyond its best before date, orange juice tastes sour and cannot be consumed. But if there is a week left on the best before date it is worth the savings.
Ready-made meals are safe to purchase and consume the night of purchasing. But it’s not advisable to buy pizzas with deli meats or chicken on them as you can feel ill if they are off.
Salads close to their best before date need to be consumed immediately, especially coleslaws. But bags of salad greens start to wilt and you can spot if they are not fresh.
Most processed food can be kept months beyond their best before date as they often contain preservatives to keep them from going off. With the exception of bread that can go moldy because of the build-up of moisture. But tinned food, pickled vegetables, spices, packaged food, snack foods, soft drinks, chocolate and confectionery, all have long shelf lives. The exception is biscuits as they can go stale.
But you can save money on grocery shopping with many supermarkets marking items down because they are coming close to their best before date, they are a discontinued line, or they are not selling. People that need to save money buy marked down items because of their restricted income, but if you want a substantially cheaper grocery bill there is a good reason to buy items that are reduced for a quick sale.