Martin Lewis' MoneySavingExpert reveals simple supermarket check that could save you cash | The Sun

MARTIN Lewis' MoneySavingExpert has revealed a simple supermarket check that could slash your supermarket bill.

Shoppers have admitted before they don't know the difference between "use by" and "best before" dates on food items.

But it's important to know when you can consume food, and when it is best to be binned.

This is because you could be wasting food, and cash, by throwing away food that is still good to eat.

And looking after the pennies is more important than ever as the cost of living crisis continues to bite.

Food bills have risen by 11.6% – which works out at an annual increase of £533 for the average household.


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Major supermarkets including Asda and Morrisons made major changes to their best before dates in recent months.

Charity Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) called best before dates on fruit and veg packaging "unnecessary", and contributed to climate change.

Around 6.6million tonnes of food shopping is thrown away by households each year, the charity estimates.

Martin Lewis' MoneySavingExpert team have explained what each one means – and how it could save you cash.

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'Use by' date

Put simply, "use by" dates are about food safety while "best before" dates advise shoppers about product quality.

The MoneySavingExpert team say eating food beyond the use by date is "risky, even if it looks and smells fine".

According to the Food Standards Agency, you must not eat, cook or freeze food and drink items past their "use by" date.

That's because they've gone off – and may have developed bacteria, which could make you ill.

'Best before' date

What often baffles shoppers are the "best before" dates found on supermarket products.

These are about food quality – not safety.

Martin Lewis' MoneySavingExpert team say you can trust your own judgment whether a food item past its "best before" date is still safe to eat.

But just don't expect it to be as fresh as it once was.

'Display until' and 'sell by' dates

Shoppers can be forgiven for checking these before buying, as they're common in supermarkets.

However, they're simply guidance for shop staff and say nothing about an item's quality or food safety.

The team at MSE said you should check the use-by and best-before dates instead.

All these labels indicate is a store's stock control.

They're not a legal requirement, either.

The Sun has put together a handy guide to the best and worst supermarket loyalty schemes.

We also revealed the UK's cheapest supermarket for a big shop – and it's not who you would think.

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Here's other ways to slash the cost of your supermarket spend.

Here's how to get free supermarket vouchers if you're strapped for cash.

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