When I heard about the Best Before shop opening in Sandton last week, I just had to go have a look! I was curious to see what’s available and what their prices are like.
The Best Before shop sells discounted, non-perishable foods, toiletries and household goods that are near, or just past, their best before date. I like the idea of saving money while at the same time helping to reduce the amount of food that would otherwise just go to waste.
What can you buy there?
The premises are quite big and there is quite a selection of items on offer. This includes toiletries (toothpaste, deodorants, sanitary pads, shower gels, soaps, shampoo, conditioner, hair dye, nappies, toilet paper, tissues), condiments (tomato sauce, chilli sauce, mustard, chutney, marinade, jams, preserves), tinned foods (soups, vegetables), coffee, cheese spread, Soya milk, chocolates, cool drinks, biscuits, crackers, sweets, etc.
Most items on sale are overseas imports from the UK, Italy, France, Spain, India, China, USA, Canada, although some of the items are locally manufactured.
I was told that new and different items will be added weekly so I suppose it would be a good idea to check, from time to time, what’s currently available.
What about the expiry dates?
From what I have seen at the Best Before shop, the majority of items for sale have already gone past, and a few are nearing, their best before dates.
Personally, I don’t mind buying jams, preserves, cereals, crackers, biscuits as well as a variety of tinned foods and vacuum sealed, dry foods that have gone past their best before dates. However, not everyone feels the same.
For more information on foods that have gone past their best before dates, have a look at Do Food Expiration Dates Really Matter? and Sell By, Best Before, Use By: What’s Behind the Dates?
What are the prices like?
Considering that most items have already gone past their best before dates, the prices were, overall, fairly reasonable and certainly cheaper than regular equivalents at other shops, as you would expect. However, it helps to know the prices of items you regularly buy so that you can be certain you’re getting a bargain when you see one.
Some items, such as toilet paper, washing powder and toothpaste were not cheaper. A pack of toilet paper (18’s) was just over R80.00 while better quality toilet paper, such as Baby Soft and the Woolies brand are selling for R79.90 for the same amount (18’s) when on special. Washing powder worked out to R21.00 per kg and that’s pretty much what you would pay for Ariel Automatic or Omo Auto when on special in other stores. Toothpaste retailed for R13.00 and that’s just about the same as elsewhere.
What did I buy?
I spent about an hour inside the Best Before shop and I found several items which I thought were fair bargains.
I bought two packets of 500 gr. of ground Segafredo coffee which cost R69.00 each. Although the coffee was past its expiry date, I felt that this was a bargain. Regular prices of ground coffee in supermarkets is R99.00 for 500 gr. and when smaller packets of 250 gr. are on special they cost R49.90 which works out the same. The Segafredo coffee I bought is in a vacuum sealed packet so I wasn’t too concerned about the expiry date.
I bought two packets of 500 gr. Italian polenta for R15.00 each. The best before date is December 2017 and this was a good price because it does cost more in the shops. We often have polenta as a staple portion of our meals and I also use it to make Millie Meal & Polenta bread for us.
I found a packet of 4 scourers for R5.00 each which is much cheaper than in other stores. I also found small packets (50 gr.) of biscuits for R1.20 each so I bought a few of those, and they are really nice. I now wish I’d bought a couple more packets!
My next find was a packet of mixed crackers (locally made) for only R7.95. This was a really good price and I bought two packets for us. Most packets of crackers these days retail for well over R15.00, even when on special.
Finally, I bought two jars of cranberry sauce, imported from the UK, at R15.00 each, and two jars of blackberry preserve, imported from France, at R22.00 each. Both of these have just gone past their best before dates, and I thought the price was fairly good.
You can follow Best Before on Facebook and visit their shop at 1 Daphny Street, Sandton (Gauteng).
I will definitely be back soon again. I’m curious to see what goodies are going to be available the next time I visit!
Disclaimer: Financial compensation was not received for this post. Opinions expressed here are my own.
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