I've come across Approved Foods many times before. It's an online grocery store that sells short-dated and surplus grocery items, and many people swear by it for saving them heaps of cash. I go on there every now and then myself, but have never bought anything because I cannot find enough goods to justify the £7.50 delivery charge.
I was over in Frugal Queen's website the last night and she'd done a post on her recent shop there, so I thought I'd pootle across to AP and have a look. I was disappointed. I just cannot find much that I would use, and the stuff that I would use I can get cheaper elsewhere.
For example, at the moment on AP there are bags of Tate and Lyle sugar for 89p a kilo. I buy 5kg bags rather than individual bags, which at the moment are £3.85 or 77p a kilo Tesco. The price of sugar fluctuates a lot during the year, so at the moment it is expensive as it is preserving season. When I bought my last batch out if season it was £3.00 for a £5kg bag.
Another example, pasta. At the moment AP has deal of 69p for 500g or £1.20 for 1kg. I buy pasta from Tesco in 3kg bags for £3.00. At the moment there is a deal on though and the bags are just £2.00.
Johnson's baby oil, which I use as a moisturiser, is on offer on AP for £1.20 for 300ml, or 40p for 100ml. That's a pretty good deal. Except Tesco has a deal on at the moment for the 500ml size of £1.50, or 30p for 100ml. Even if the deal wasn't on though, I only use a bottle every 8-12 weeks. With a delivery charge of £7.50, I'd have to stash ridiculous amount to make it worthwhile.
I think the problem is we use very few branded goods, and usually try and get deals on what we do buy, so I will always be able to shop for less than the prices AP can offer me. I don't generally buy mixes, such as crumble toppings, cake mixes, stew seasonings, etc, or unusual pickled items, both of which I find AP seem to sell a lot of. The only mixes I buy are stuffing and the occasional packet mixes for things like fajita spices. I buy one jar of pickled gherkins at Christmas, which Martin has one portion off and never has any more. I tend to enjoy my own bread and butter pickles if I have an urge to eat something like that.
If you do buy branded goods, there's no doubt they do have some bargains that might be worth stocking up on. For example, AP curently has deals on Surf products that look pretty good. Likewise it has some Felix cat food that is pretty cheap. If you buy a lot at one go or buy with friends you can justify the £7.50 delivery charge.
But for me, Approved Foods is not somewhere I can shop and save money.