Working at a supermarket for a few years I can attest to these tips. Many are quite obvious for most grocery shoppers, but still good to keep familiar with.
Dates are open to interpretation.
Except for baby formula and food, product expiration dates are not required by Federal regulations (some states, however, have their own rules requiring product dating). Labels that give a “Best if Used By” date are more of a suggestion than a safety issue—the food will taste best if eaten by the date on the label, but won’t necessarily be unsafe if eaten after that. If a product is stamped with a “Sell-By” date, that is how long the store should display it. Once you bring it home, perishable products (like meats) should be kept refrigerated and used within a few days.
Here in Australia items marked over or within a few days of the ‘expiry’ date are usually discounted or thrown out. I’ll look out for these items, many with more than 50% off, since most of these are still fine to eat for a few days.
Likewise you can get into Dumpster Diving; which is finding very edible foods that supermarkets have thrown out based on expiry dates. They’re 100% off.
10 Things Your Grocery Store Doesn’t Want You to Know – [MSNHealth]