Disclaimer: this post is a collaboration with Bargain Brand Food. I was sent free items for the purposes of reviewing. All words and opinions are my own.

I have always been a frugal shopper, but now with the cost of living crisis upon us it’s an absolute necessity!

It’s pretty shocking to watch the prices rise, seemingly week on week. Many of my staple products such as pasta have gone up significantly and it makes a real difference to the weekly budget.

So I was really pleased to hear from a new website called Bargain Brand Food. They specialise in short dated products and those that are just past their best before date, but still good to eat. Basically, anything that the supermarkets won’t sell any more and would otherwise be wasted.

Because of this, they can sell their products at a huge discount – sometimes up to 75% off supermarket prices!

Use-by dates vs best before dates

Before we go any further, it’s really important to understand what is meant by ‘best before date’. Basically, all prepackaged food will have at least one of the following dates on the packaging:

  • a use-by date, which relates to food safety
  • a best before date, which relates to food quality

When you have a product such as fresh meat which is sold with a use-by date, it’s really important to stick to this date to avoid any risk of food poisoning. But for long-life products such as chocolate, rice, drinks and tinned food, these are generally fine to eat long after the ‘best before’ date, although you might see a change in quality over time.

As the government’s Food Standards Agency says, ‘The best before date, sometimes shown as BBE (best before end), is about quality and not safety. The food will be safe to eat after this date but may not be at its best. Its flavour and texture might not be as good.’ 

Unfortunately there is a lot of confusion about best before dates, which leads to a huge amount of food waste! Luckily companies like Bargain Brand Food are here to sell these perfectly good products which supermarkets won’t sell, which helps keeps food out of landfill and also lets you snap up your favourite products for less than half price.

What can you get from Bargain Brand Food?

Bargain Brand Food mostly sell packaged foods and drinks but they also have some household goods, toiletries and even pet food.

They were kind enough to send me a big box of goodies so I could see the quality for myself. Here’s what they sent me:

As you can see, there are loads of well known brands and good quality products. They told me that the value of all these goodies was just £30! I couldn’t find all the products on the website to compare prices (they do sell out of things since they might only get limited quantities from their distributors) but here is an idea of the prices of some of the products I got:

As you can see, the website compares their discounted price to the standard retail price so you can really see how much you’re saving. You can see that all these products were over half price, and in the case of the cereal, it was a whopping 90% discount!! That’s because the cereal was an expensive American import. I would never usually pay the high usual UK supermarket price, but what a treat to try special items like this for such a low price.

The cereal was six months past its BBE date but looked and tasted absolutely fine.

Other products were still within their BBE dates but only by a few weeks, such as the Freddos. These were a Christmas edition so I guess that’s another reason why the supermarkets can’t sell them full price any more. Needless to say, these also tasted completely normal and they got a ‘yummy!’ from my 3 year old taste tester!

In fact, pretty much everything I tried tasted just like anything you’d get from the supermarket. The only exception was some of the biscuits which were about a year past their BBE. They were a little soft, but the only difference was the texture really. They still smelled and looked fine and there were no other signs of being ‘off’.

Bargain Brand Food even sell products such as toilet paper, soap and baby wipes! These products obviously don’t expire so I feel like there is no reason to pay full price if you can get them at a discount. Even if you were nervous about eating food past its BBE date you might be happy to use the site for household products like these.

Overall I was very impressed with the haul I got from Bargain Brand Food and I will be happy to order from then again from them in future! Saving money and reducing food waste is a win-win in my book.