10 top tips from BBC Rip Off Britain Food

In my day job at the Money Advice Service, I occasionally pop up on radio and TV to talk about money issues. This week I was on Rip Off Britain Food, BBC One’s long-running daytime consumer series.

Rather than a standard interview, this time I was out and about on the streets of Manchester chatting to members of the public about supermarket special offers. You can watch a cut-down clip of the film on the BBC Rip Off Britain website.

My background is behind the camera, so appearing on the other side is a very different experience, but I’ve really enjoyed my time with the Rip Off team, and their colleagues at Right on the Money which will be broadcast in July (I’ll let you know when).

Ten top tips from BBC Rip Off Britain Food

Obviously, appearing on the show makes me a little biased, but I’ve really enjoyed watching the ten episodes on iPlayer. They’re available to watch for the next three to four weeks, so I’d recommend dipping in. My appearance is in episode 8, and, as an extra treat, there’s even a food expert called Andrew Webb (!) in a couple of others.

However, if you don’t have time, I thought I’d share some of the top tips I’ve picked up from the series.

  1. Dry-cured bacon will lose less of its volume when you cook it, so even though it’s often more expensive it might represent better value as you’ll have more to eat.
  2. You don’t have to eat frozen meat by when the label says, though the quality might deteriorate.
  3. Some supermarkets reduce more depending on the weather, eg Sainsbury’s will clear salads when it’s snowing.
  4. Greengrocer fruit often lasts longer as it’s not been put in the deep freeze – a trade-off we have if supermarkets are going to stock favourite fruits out of season.
  5. Adding a sheet of kitchen paper to salad leaves should help them last a few extra days.
  6. Chuck out that jar of pesto! Those “use within x days” labels on condiments, dips and sauces are actually worth following as you’re introducing bacteria every time you add a spoon, crisp or breadstick.
  7. Chilled soups aren’t normally any healthier than cheaper tinned soups, including salt levels.
  8. You really shouldn’t eat food after scraping off the mould.
  9. It’s fine to buy normal butter and leave it out of the fridge – and it’s often cheaper than buying soft spreads.
  10. Freeze your mince flat in a bag – it’ll freeze and defrost quicker, helping kill off the bacteria.


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