Buying out of date food

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Meanqueen
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Buying out of date food

Post by Meanqueen »

We have a cash and carry here, which is open to the public. They also have a market stall. I often buy out of date food from them, it's quite a bit cheaper. Today I got seven boxes of Aldi Bran Flakes (750gm), 50p each, they are normally 88p each. They are out of date by two months, that doesn't bother me, they will be ok for another six months. I am also stocking up on hazelnut milk, it's delicious on cereals, and only £1 for three cartons. Also out of date.

Anybody else got anything like this? Cheap market stalls? Cheap warehouses?
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Willow
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Re: Buying out of date food

Post by Willow »

Hiya, serious question - how do you know how far 'over date' a product can still be safely consumed?
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Meanqueen
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Re: Buying out of date food

Post by Meanqueen »

Hello Willow. There is no hard and fast rule, you cant put a specified time on it. It depends on how the food was processed and packaged. Fresh veg, fruit, bread, deli, meat and fish is obvious. You can see it, smell it, squeeze it, use your senses to determine if it is edible. It does not automatically go off a minute past midnight on the last date. People do actually throw edible food away and will clear their fridge out and go shopping again to replace it.

I do daily checks of the contents of my fridge, sometimes two or three times a day. I make a mental note of dates, and check the condition. I will make sure it is eaten before it deteriorates.

Food in the freezer will last a long time, so any fresh food that I may not have time to eat can be frozen. I make smoothies with fresh fruit, then freeze it in an ice cube tray and add it to drinks. I make soups and stews with veg, portion it up into margarine tubs and freeze them. Cheese, milk, cooked meats can be frozen. I don't eat meat but you can cook any meat, slice it and freeze it.

Tinned food can be eaten years after it has gone out of date, as long as the tin is in perfect condition, no sign of dents, rust, or punctures. Packets of dried food Will be fine a long time after the date. Once opened best if kept in dry conditions, tins or plastic boxes, or resealed to keep out moisture. Flour should be inspected and checked for infestations.

In front of me I have a jar of vegetable granules, similar to veg stock cubes, in powder form. The date is April 2015. I have several of these, they will be fine. I have packets of golden linseed, dated August 2015, I sprinkle these on my breakfast cereal. I have cuppa porridge February 2015, fine to eat.

So Willow, make up your own mind, you know what you are prepared to eat. One thing I would say is do not shove food to the back of the cupboard and forget about it. Do regular checks before you go shopping, use up before you buy new. I will also add that I am never ill, and I eat out of date food all the time.

Ilona
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Willow
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Re: Buying out of date food

Post by Willow »

Thanks for that - I know most of it is just plain common sense & depends on how it was / is stored , it was the cornflakes that actually made me ask in the first place but you're so right, we waste so much needlessly.
Have you gone into 'power usage' in any depth at all? Since I've been living alone I've been thinking of stuff like is it more expensive to heat a cup of water in the microwave or a cup of water in a kettle? (And I'm not acting daft here) :? :?
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Meanqueen
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Re: Buying out of date food

Post by Meanqueen »

Not daft at all, every penny counts.

As a single low user I changed my utilities from one of the big six, which have a standing charge, to a small fry that has no standing charge. They also don't penalize people who like a quartely bill, everyone pays the same. It is not for profit Ebico, worth looking at, but it is all down to how much you use.

Every morning I put a mug of cold water in my microwave for a couple of minutes. Get it out and add coffee, sugar, and coffee mate. test for temperature and taste, put it back in for a few seconds to finish heating. My kettle needs two mugs to cover the element and I only want one drink. I drink cold drinks the rest of the day.

I do all my washing on a 30 minute cycle, at 30 degrees. I rinse my pots, plates, cutlery etc under a dribbling cold tap with a brush as soon as I have finished with them. I fill the bowl with hot water once a week and give everything a wash down, cooker, micro, worktops, greasy pans etc. I hardly use any oil in my cooking, never fry anything, never use my oven, no baking or roasting.

Have to go out now, Crafty Club this morning, stitch and bitch, knit and natter, with the ladies in the Village hall. Catch you later.
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Mo
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Re: Buying out of date food

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I think part of the 'power' equation is, what happens to the waste heat.
If you put the oven on in winter it warms the house so the central heating thermostat won't kick in so soon. In summer it will just make you too hot. Also the fan cooling my computer makes my study cosy in winter.

The one I'm not sure on is cooking / cooling or freezing /reheating. And bulk buying / freezing - I suspect that buying cheap milk (2x4pint organic at £3 from Co-op) and freezing some v. getting one @£2.07 on the doorstep might be a balance of cheap for me v. better for the environment.
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Re: Buying out of date food

Post by sandy »

In the shop I work part time we always eat the out of date stock. We shared a packet of chedd.ars that were sell by last October. I would never eat milk stuff and I don't eat meat anyway.
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Meanqueen
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Re: Buying out of date food

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Even milk lasts a long time past the sell by date now. I bought a 2L bottle of whole milk reduced from £1.35 to 40p, dated 9th July, and I've just had it on my breakfast cereal. goodness knows what they put in it to make it last so long.

Every shop I pop into I look in the chiller cabinet for reduced stickers. This milk was from Wilko, but I have found eggs at 50p from Poundland before now, and reduced cooked meats from the discount stores. Treats for the pets, not for me.
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Mo
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Re: Buying out of date food

Post by Mo »

What do you think about powdered skimmed milk. Not sure what it's date was (it was in a cardboard pack, before I refilled the tin), but it's been around for months
I also have a big tin of Birds custard power and a packet of cornflour, but I don't suppose there's much to go off there.
I used to make a lot of custard, with powdered milk, but don't for one.
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Meanqueen
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Re: Buying out of date food

Post by Meanqueen »

I think it would be alright to use, Mo, as long as it hasn't got any creepy crawlies in it. You could make up the milk in a jug and keep it in the fridge and use it in a day or two. The custard powder should be ok. If they are very old and have gone lumpy I might consider chucking it. You could put the cornflower into stews to thicken them.
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Mo
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Re: Buying out of date food

Post by Mo »

Well the whole point of powdered milk is to make it up as needed. I don't like the taste in teas, but do use it for custard & cooking. I used it in coffee from a thermos (on the train), and it curdled because the water was too hot.
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Re: Buying out of date food

Post by Spreckly »

I expect my tin of custard powder is out of date, but have no qualms about using it, several other items, blanc mange, rice, things like that I use when past their date stamps.

Friends who had a village store always brought the out of date goods home and used them.
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Re: Buying out of date food

Post by Mo »

I have no qualms about using grain based - custard powder, flour, cornflour.
It is the dried milk I was wondering about.
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Re: Buying out of date food

Post by Mercedes »

I'm terrible for not eating things that are out of date. My other half doesn't care so if he catches me before I throw something out he will eat it. I've got jars of jams and pickles in the fridge that say 'use within 6wks of opening' and I won't eat them once they've been in there any longer, but he does and he's fine.

The one thing I don't mind about so much is milk as it's obvious when it's on the turn and ours always lasts a few days past it's 'use by' date and it's fine, but it does make you wonder why it lasts that long. I can remember years ago when if you didn't bring your milk in off the doorstep quickly it would go off in no time.

Since OH retired I've been trying to be more frugal but I'm not doing a very good job of it. I do bulk buy cereals, basmati rice and Pringles when they are on offer in the supermarket though :-D
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Re: Buying out of date food

Post by jemberelli »

I made hubby a ham sandwich today and he came to show me the tiny spot of green on the bottom of the bun. I told him to get pick it off but he was horrified and opened a new pack and transferred the filling to a new bun! If I had seen it while I was making it I would have picked it off, given him the sarnie & never mentioned it. He would have been none the wiser! Too fussy in my book :-D
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