For many years now, savvy shoppers have waited for their local supermarket to reduce certain food items. For instance, we all know that if the shelves are full of Halloween themed sweets on 31st October, in the following few days they will be reduced – stores need rid of them in order to re-stock for Christmas! However, it is not just the seasonal items that we hold out for, but also the unplanned purchases from the ‘reduced shelf’. Stores have become wise to the swarming shoppers who hope to get several close-date bargains to immediately stuff into their freezers. Certainly things are not as reduced as much as they used to be. Nonetheless, it is still worth hunting out a bargain, particularly if the item can be frozen. Personally I would steer clear of copious amounts of fresh veg, but if you intend to eat them in the next day or so, or make a soup or stew, which can then be frozen, you can grab yourself a bargain there too. You can actually freeze some fruit and vegetables, which the BBC Good Food site details here: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/videos/techniques/how-freeze-fruit-and-vegetables
Most things on the reduced shelf are a mishmash of different things. Obviously the store is trying to sell off items that are almost out of date, they aren’t going to do us a favour and fix us up an easy meal (unless you want steak, a custard slide and a pasta pot on your plate). You therefore need to bulk up your reduced purchase with full priced items to make a meal, or try and be creative with what you can get. If you are prepared and able to visit one or more shops over a couple of days, and take into account if items can be frozen, or even cooked to prolong their safe eating life, it is worth doing. I work in an office near to two well-known supermarkets, so without having to spend money i.e. petrol to get to them (which would sort of defeat the object of the game!), I can walk over during my lunch breaks. So I decided to do just that. Gastronomic social experiment? No, a week until pay day and the cupboards are starting to look bare, so I’m going to give it a go. Stay tuned to see the the upcoming concoctions. I will be adding a photo of the reduced food item and receipt (once home, I may look slightly strange taking a photo of the reduced shelf), so you know I haven’t been cheating!