I’m sure we’ve all seen these grocery items at Checkers: reduced-to-clear. I first came across these items probably about a year and a half ago and it certainly seems like they are becoming more and more popular. I see them more often on the shelves, I see more of a variety of reduced to clear items and I also see more and more people packing them away in their trolleys and baskets!


These reduced-to-clear items are usually 1 day, but sometimes a few days, away from their sell-by-date. The items tend to be fruits and vegetables but also very often ready-made meals, platters, cheeses, breads, cakes and desserts. The best thing about these items is that they are selling for 50% off, and sometimes for as low as 60% off.


While the reduced-to-clear items shelves seem to be the most packed around month end, you can find a few reduced to clear items pretty much on any day. I’ve also seen these items in quite a few Checkers stores in Johannesburg and Alberton so I have always kind of assumed that this must be a common trend in all Checkers stores nationwide. There are days, of course, when there is nothing available. I’ve also heard, although I haven’t seen this for myself, that a lot of deli items nearing their sell-by-date go on reduced close to the end of business day.


So, are these reduced-to-clear grocery items worth buying? My answer would be – yes! I try my best to incorporate them into my monthly meal plan, but only if I end up finding some bargains close to month-end which gives me time to plan. I have, over the past year, quite often bought a variety of salads and vegetables (brinjals, leeks, mushrooms), fruits (grapes, strawberries), cheeses, pizzas, garlic bread loaves, rye breads and desserts, all pretty much for half the price!


I also think the reduced-to-clear items are particularly welcome if money is a bit tight at a particular time of the month for you, or if you’re trying to keep your grocery costs as low as possible in general. I love a good bargain on any day of the month, to be honest, and whenever I go grocery shopping at Checkers, I always make sure I have a look at what’s available on the reduced-to-clear shelves.


Plus, I like the thought that the reduced-to-clear items are a final attempt at selling and consuming food that was manufactured instead of simply allowing it to go to waste. If you’re read my post How We Avoid Food Waste in the Kitchen you might remember that I mentioned an article by Farmer’s Weekly Food wastage in SA: shameful facts which reveals that 31,4% of all food produced in South Africa goes to waste, and food wasted during consumption accounts for 5% of this waste which occurs mainly in urban areas by those who can afford to feed themselves. I’m happy knowing that I’m doing my part in reducing the amount, no matter how small, of the food that would otherwise end up going to waste.


I’ve been asked if it’s safe to buy the reduced-to-clear grocery items. I’ve always thought so. Bear in mind that these items have not yet expired so they should be alright for adult consumption otherwise they wouldn’t be on the shelves. We’ve certainly never experienced any problems but it pays to be very careful when selecting the items you buy, especially fruits and vegetables, which may have one or two spoilt bits in the packet somewhere in which case, you would want to nicely put that packet back on the shelf and look for a better one.


Have you ever bought any reduced-to-clear grocery items at Checkers? What are your thoughts on buying these items? Please let me know in the comments below.


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18 Replies to “Reduced to Clear Items at Checkers”

  1. I stop off at Checkers regularly, enroute to collect the kids from school, to see what has been reduced it is such a help for mealtimes. I freeze ready meals eg. quiches, lasagna etc and then on busy days where we have sports – it is such a relief to just heat a premade meal…I think if I calculate the cost of ingredients and electricity (nevermind time) I would not be able to make them cheaper.

    1. You’re quite right about the cost. While I tend to cook 99% of our meals for us at home, it’s sometimes sooo nice to have a ready-made, affordable meal to just heat up! 🙂 What we sometimes do as well is freeze, for example, pizzas that are ready to go in the oven, for later.

  2. We love the reduced to clear section – means we can have some treat items I would hate to pay for. We have worked out the general time of day when they go out at our local Checkers. Never had anything close to being off even though close to the sell by date

    1. Same here – the food has always been perfectly fine. 🙂 We appreciate the treat items from time to time as well!

  3. It’s about time supermarkets in SA caught onto this. Kudos to Checkers! In the U.K., you could go to any supermarket after 5pm and they have mark downs for the day. Saved a lot of money grocery shopping on a Rand/Pound exchange!

    1. That sounds awesome! 🙂 I wish more supermarkets would follow Checkers’ lead on this too.

  4. Swiss supermarkets do that too. We discovered by chance, when we went shopping for cherries.
    Just as the nce man was putting on half price stickers!
    That evening life was a bowl of cherries ;~)

    1. Wow! Cherries at half price sounds awesome! 🙂 I really wish more supermarkets in SA would start doing the same, otherwise it’s really just food that will go to waste if not consumed.

  5. Checkers at Moffat on Main P.E often have fruit and veg clearing after 4 p.m., but never seen anything else. Most items are perfect , just the sell by dates almost up. Think about the times you have veg lurking in the fridge which was bought and not used! One tends to use these straight away.

    1. That’s so true Claudie. I never thought of it that way but you’re quite right. 🙂 And what do we do with those veggies? Consume them as soon as we can so they don’t go to waste! That’s why I’m quite happy with the reduced to clear items at Checkers.

  6. I’ve bought the reduced to clear bananas and other fruits from Checkers. I peel, cut/dice them and immediately freeze these in containers to use in smoothies. Works like a charm!

    1. That’s a wonderful idea Nancy, thank you for sharing! 🙂 I’ll definitely remember that tip for future. 🙂

  7. I also lov de reduce items.i go to checkers evryday fo my veggies.gt quite a few good buys.

    1. Yes, and you never know what nice goodies you’ll find on the reduced to clear shelves on that day. 🙂 Always exciting going to have a look whenever I’m at Checkers.

  8. As a pensioner I frequent Checkers at Northcliff Corner Johannesburg on an almost daily basis and have been fortunate to get some marked down ready made meals at times. I try to be at the shop when a staff member attach the mark down stickers on the various items but now have to compete with the Checkers staff who simply grab arms full of whatever has been marked down for themselves.
    Bad company/ shop policy to allow this.

  9. Pick and pay does the same thing, the one at Heathway in JHB put out the food everyday at 4pm. I have bought lots of half priced lasagna!!

    1. That’s awesome! 😊 I haven’t seen that at any of the PnP close to us yet but hopefully that will come soon as well.

  10. I also buy quite a lot of the reduced items. Especially at school holidays – I stock up so the kids have a ready made meal that they can just heat up. I buy from Checkers and PNP. Woolworths also has a 30% reduction and I stock up when I see the Schnitzels. So far I have see that Checkers has the most variety. There are some days where there is nothing but like last week I managed to get almost 2 weeks of meals and some desserts, which I will freeze and use over the next month. As its December and I am going on leave , its perfect then I can have a real rest and not have to cook 🙂 and its a quick meal for unexpected visitors 🙂

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