Food is a funny old thing. So many warnings and use by dates, and ways of cooking it so we don't kill ourselves. When did food get so dangerous? Sure, in the really olden days it used to want to eat us too, but when we pick something up off the shelves we shouldn't be wondering how we can stop it from harming us. Best before and use by dates are just a way to stop companies being sued by ill people. If something is alright by your judgement then it's probably alright to eat. Unless you're stupid.
But there is one upside to these printed dates. When things get close to them and haven't sold, the people selling them lower the price and stick them in a separate section. I frequent the reduced sections in Tesco, and they have provided me with many a fine food to eat that is exactly the same as food I would get elsewhere at the store, normally at half the price. If I'm at work and fancy a little something to eat, I can normally nip over and spend a couple of pounds on an almighty feast. Just today I got two Cornish pasties and two mini apple crumbles for just over £1. My stomach almost came, before it realised that that was biologically impossible.
The reduced section has served me well over the years. I've had microwaveable treats, fancy cheeses, fancy meats, quiche, breads, fruit, desserts a plenty. There's almost always something there that can get my tumbly rumbling. But it's not for the picky people amongst us. If you're a fussy eater, it's not a good way to buy your food. You are at the mercy of what everyone else discards, and if most people don't like it enough to buy it a fussy person probably wouldn't either. Sometimes the section even likes to tease me. They have stuff that takes half an hour to cook in the oven, when I'm looking for something to stick in the microwave. Things are left there that I really want, only to find out that there's no reduced price label on it. If I have a fruitless trip to the reduced section I can be quite saddened. But mostly it is a wonderful place to go and explore, even if you have to push some old ladies out of the way to get dibs on the treats.
My rating: 4/5
Also an honourable mention to the Co-Op near my place that put all their pastries at 10p each the other night. They fed me for two days. Omnomnom.