Shopping for yellow sticker bargains can become a way of life, rather than just a way to save some money!
Most supermarkets will heavily reduce products to ensure they are all gone by the end of the day. Most often, products will be reduced down three times a day. Once in the morning, once around lunchtime and then the final reduction around 7 pm.
You generally find that the 1st reduction is around 25% off the regular price. The 2nd usually is about 50% off, and the final reduction can be between 75% and 90% off, sometimes more!
You have to expect that the final reductions will have fewer products than earlier in the day as discounted goods get snapped up. Still, if you are willing to hold your nerve and wait until the final discount and don't mind the inevitable scrum of people trying to grab the best deals, you can grab some great deals.
Most of the products will be dated the same day as you are shopping, so you need to think about what you are going to do with what you have bought. Fruit and veg will most likely be fine in the fridge for several days, but dairy and meat need to be dealt with quickly.
See more info about this at the bottom of the page.
You can save a small fortune by taking advantage of yellow sticker deals, I recently filled up the freezer with an assortment of over 30 products for less than £10, and it kept us going for ages!
So what is the best before date?
The best before date, sometimes shown as BBE (best before end), is about quality and not safety. After this date, the food will be safe to eat but may not be at its best. Its flavour and texture might not be as good. Best before dates appear on a wide range of foods, including:
frozen foodsdried foodstinned foods
The best before date will only be accurate if the food is stored according to the instructions on the packaging.
A use-by date on food is about safety. This is the most important date to remember. Foods can be eaten until the use-by date but not after. You will see use-by dates on food that goes off quickly, such as meat products or ready-to-eat salads.
You must carefully follow storage instructions for the use-by date. For example, if the instructions on the packaging tell you to refrigerate after opening, you should keep the food in a fridge at 5°C or below.
The freezer is great for storing meat, ready meals, bread and even butter, milk and cream. Stick a lolly stick in any yoghurts you have bought and pop them in the freezer, and you then have yummy yoghurt lollipops for the kids.
Food properly frozen won’t deteriorate, and bacteria cannot grow in it, so it can’t become more unsafe when frozen. Once defrosted, however, the pause button is off. Only defrost food as you need it and eat it within 24 hours. Once food has been defrosted, use it within 24 hours and cook it until steaming hot before serving.
The video above is a great help in figuring out the difference between a best before date and a use-by date.
Advice in regards to the cooking of foods from the Food Standards Agency
Cooking food at the right temperature and for the correct time will ensure that any harmful bacteria are killed. Always check the advice on food packaging and follow the cooking instructions provided.
Before you serve white meat and minced meat, make sure it is steaming hot and cooked all the way through. When you cut into the thickest part of the meat, check that none of the meat is pink and that any juices run clear. This is the area between the leg in a whole bird and the breast.
Follow this advice when cooking turkey, chicken, duck, goose, pork, minced meat, kebabs, sausages and burgers.
When roasting a whole bird, such as chicken or turkey, you should cook the stuffing separately, not inside the bird. This is because stuffed birds will take longer to cook and may not cook thoroughly.
Most frozen vegetables, including sweetcorn, will need to be cooked before you can eat them.
If you intend to use frozen sweetcorn or other vegetables as part of a cold salad, check the instructions on the packaging first. If the advice is that the sweetcorn or other frozen vegetables should be cooked, you must ensure that this is done before they are eaten cold.
After cooking, the food should be cooled down as quickly as possible (ideally within two hours), stored in a fridge and eaten within two days.
When food is cooked in an oven, it is through three different heat transfer methods.
Radiant or direct heat
This is where the flames at the back of a gas oven or the element in an electric oven cook the food.
This is where the heat travels through the shelf, into the baking tray/dish, and then into the food.
This is where the air within the oven is heated and travels over and through the food. It is essential in a fan assisted oven and is why these cook foods faster. This last method may not work properly if the bird is stuffed.
It is advised that birds are cooked unstuffed, with any stuffing cooked in a separate tray or dish. Do not allow hot food to sit out at room temperature for long periods. Cool it and put your leftovers in the fridge or freezer within 1-2 hours.
Why you shouldn't serve burgers rare or pink
Whole cuts of meat, such as steaks and joints, only ever have bacteria on the outside surface of the meat.
When meat is minced to make a burger, any harmful bacteria from the surface of the meat can get spread throughout the burger. As a result, rare and undercooked burgers can have harmful bacteria inside and may cause food poisoning if not fully cooked.