Money Wellness
image of a woman holding a shopping basket in a supermarket
category iconcost of living
calendar icon23 Jun 2023

Have you tried the cheap online food revolution?

Food prices are at an all-time high, soring by 19.1% in the past year alone. With families up and down the country looking for new ways to make ends meet, savvy shoppers have turned to alternative grocery providers that specialise in selling food at greatly reduced prices.

Online retailers, such as Motatos and Approved Food, buy up food close to or past its best-before date, or goods with slightly damaged packaging, then sell it on at hugely discounted prices.

Everything these retailers sell is perfectly edible. But you do need to be comfortable eating food past its best-before date by months, or even years in some cases.

Best-before vs use-by dates

More than 7 million tonnes of food and drink is thrown away each year in the UK. Often this is because it has gone past its best-before date. This doesn’t mean it isn’t safe to eat. In fact, more and more high-street supermarkets, including Sainsbury’s and ASDA, are doing away with best-before dates in a bid to reduce food waste. 

Best-before dates are a general guideline for quality, taste and freshness. They are totally different to use-by dates, which are connected to food safety.

By using Motatos and Approved Food, shoppers can get discounts averaging between 40-50%. And in some cases, prices are reduced by as much as 90%.

We put these two retailers to the test to see what savings are available and these are the discounts we found:


  • Schweppes tonic was the deal of the day at 50p with 71% off
  • Hellmann’s mayonnaise 46% cheaper than RRP at £1.99
  • Nestle Shreddies at 42% off down to £1.80
  • Tetley Tea at 2 for £2 which is 33% cheaper than RRP
  • Bin bags 44% cheaper at 2 for £2.80


Approved Food

  • £1 lucky box containing lots of different items that regularly change depending on stock. It gets a five-star review with customers saying things like ‘definitely getting one of these again, amazing value’ and ‘chockablock full’
  • Barista Coffee Co double shot expresso for 50p at 50% off RRP
  • Fentimans Mandarin and Seville Orange Jigger 275ml at 69p each or 4 for £2 – 68% lower than RRP
  • Cherry Coca Cola 1.75 litres for £1.75 a saving of 50p
  • Lotus Green curry paste 400g for £1 down from £2.65


Both are great if you’re looking to save money and stock up on cupboard essentials or find expensive treats at lower prices.

They both offer a wide range of essentials from baby products to household cleaning, pet food and alcohol, and can’t be beaten for cooking and cupboard ingredients.

However, you can’t get fresh food and product choice varies, which means you may have to shop around for anything specific you need.

Delivery is free at Motatos if you spend more than £40, while Approved Food charges a flat fee of £3 for delivery.

Obviously, the deals on offer change every day, but why not give it a try and see if these retailers can help bring down your weekly food bill?

Avatar of Caroline Chell

Caroline Chell

Caroline has worked in financial communications for more than 10 years, writing content on subjects such as pensions, mortgages, loans and credit cards, as well as stockbroking and investment advice.

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