Save 70% off your food shopping (but it might be out of date)

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  • Want to save money on food? Thousands of people are supplementing their grocery and supermarket shopping each week buying food that is close to, and past, the best before date.

    Clearance XL and Approved Food claim that they can save shoppers up to 70% compared to supermarket prices. The specialist websites help shoppers who don’t mind buying clearance items find bargains – but are they really cheaper? And is the food safe to eat? goodtoknow investigates. See all the latest offers from ClearanceXL and Approved Food here.

    What are they?

    Both ClearanceXL and Approved Food sell food and drink that is close to, and past, the best before. There are also hundreds of household items on sale too, like washing powder and cleaning products.

    I want to save money on food – but isn’t the food out of date? Is it safe to eat?

    Yes, in some cases the food is past its best before date. A ‘best before’ date is guideline for how long it will remain at optimal quality – so there is no health risk buying and eating food beyond this date.

    Neither of the websites sell products that have ‘use by’ dates, like chilled or frozen products do, as this could carry a serious health risk.

    A spokeswoman from Approved Food said, ”Best before’ dates are about quality, not safety. When the date is passed, it doesn’t mean that the food will be harmful, but it might begin to lose its flavour and texture.’

    A spokesman from ClearanceXL, said, ‘The food and drink lines are approved and fit for human consumption. My main supplier has over 30 years experience in this industry and I am working closely to bring in the very best products for my customers. We also offer other non-food items ranging from Clothing, DVDs, Toiletries, Cosmetics, Garden Products, Pet Foods etc.’

    Why is the food so cheap?

    All the stuff being sold is either about to go out of date or already past its best before date. This means they can bulk buy up stock and pass on the considerable savings to customers. Win – win!

    Is it really cheaper than the supermarkets?

    Approved Food claims to save up to 70% off your shopping bill when comparing recommended retail prices. For example, it’s currently selling a two litre bottle of Coca Cola for 25p each, this has the recommended retail price of £1.98.

    Clearance XL also claims that customers can save up to 70% on average compared to the recommended retail price. Once a product sells out it may not return so it’s first come, first served.

    If you’re unsure of any of the offers on ClearanceXL or Approved Food then you can check on supermarket comparison website It compares the prices of Asda, Tesco, Sainsburys, Morrisons, Ocado, Waitrose and Aldi.

    How do they work?

    You fill up your basket with goods, just like any other online shopping website. You have to register with Approved Food and ClearanceXL before you can start shopping and they will also send you a newsletter with the latest offers and promotions.

    You can pay for Approved Food through credit or debit card as well as PayPal – but you’ll need an account if you don’t already have one. Clearance XL takes payment by credit or debit card.

    How much is delivery?

    Approved food
    You must order at least £15 worth of items and delivery costs £5.25 for England and Wales and parts of Scotland. Each box can contain a total of 25k shopping – anything over this will cost £7.50 for 50kgs. Additional boxes are charged at £3.75 each per 25kg. For more information about delivery charges visit the Approved Food website.

    There is no minimum order limit. Items are delivered between one and five working days. Delivery costs £5.99 for a 28kg parcel but starts from 99p for a 100g package. This is calculated on the website in the shopping basket. The company uses couriers for smaller packages and they deliver nationwide. A spokesman said, ‘We predominantly serve the UK, however I have sent out parcels to countries in Europe and have had requests for shipping costs for outside of Europe.’ Visit the ClearanceXL website for more information.

    Would you buy food or any other items from Approved Food or ClearanceXL? Tell us in the comment section below. 

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