My Mirror Online article: save 70% on your shopping with Approved Food

Picture of a screen grab of the Mirror Money Online website, showing the article I wrote on Approved Food.

My Approved Food article on Mirror Online!


After my articles on Live Below the Line for Mirror Online (budget shopping and 4 recipes for under 42p), they asked for more budget food ideas, so I wrote about Approved Food.

If you haven’t come across it before, the Approved Food website sells super cheap groceries and household items, as long as you’re willing to take a robust attitude to best before dates.

Here’s the article with my top 10 tips on shopping at Approved Food:
Approved Food: the online supermarket where shoppers save 70% – there’s just one catch

I first came across it when reading frugal blogs like Frugal QueenThrifty Lesley and Our New Life in the Country, all of which I would recommend highly.

You have to buy quite a lot to justify the £5.99 delivery charge and meet the minimum order, which is now £17.50, so I do occasional orders to supplement my store cupboards rather than relying on it for the weekly shop. If you’re planning an order, keep an eye out for discount delivery codes.

As mentioned in the article, alongside amazing bargains I’ve also made some less successful purchases, especially from unfamiliar brands.


Picture of some less successful frugal purchases I've made from Approved Food, the discount food website, including Golden sunrise soy sauce,giant cous couse and Pizza Express light salad dressing.

I have heard of Pizza Express really


Especially after Live Below the Line, I’m a massive fan of the Approved Food model offering the chance to save money on your shopping, minimise food waste and reduce landfill.

Quite the most exciting part of the article was leaving a message for Approved Food to check about average order size, customer numbers and savings, and getting called back by Dan Cluderay himself!

According to Dan their densest concentration of customers is in Kensington, which I think is hilarious. I now have the idea of all these terribly nice ladies in Kensington clasping their hands with joy at their latest delivery from Approved Food.

Dan is a former market trader who started Approved Food from scratch, along with his co-founder Andy Needham. I was fascinated to see Dan and Andy pitching their business on Dragons’ Den earlier this year, and don’t think the dragons had any idea what they were rejecting.

Dan and his team also reached the semi final of Richard Branson’s “Pitch to the Rich” competition, and I wish them well in future.
Just to be clear, I wrote about Approved Food because I’ve used them and like their business, but I haven’t been paid to write this blog post, not a sausage (or even a £1.99 case of naan breads).

However, if you click on one of my links to Approved Food, and subsequently buy something, then it might bring a small amount of money to the blog – but it won’t cost you any extra!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. 10th June 2015 / 11:08 am

    I was surprised when the Dragons rejected Dan and Andy's pitch, they just didn't seem to 'get it' did they, such a shame. I hope they do better with Richard Branson, I've already casted my vote for them, fingers crossed. My downfall with Approved Foods is when they have shop sized packs of chocolate …. chocolate santas in time for Easter and easter bunnies in time for Christmas, I don't mind what shape it is if it's cheap and it's quality chocolate I 'accidently 'order it.

    I've not ordered from Approved Foods for a while, but every time I do I get some really good bargains. I still have two huge jars of normal sized cous cous to use up and a catering sized pack of crumble mix which I tart up with nuts and things to make a luxurious crumble topping.

    I think you just cook your giant cous the same way as for the smaller stuff, it would make brilliant cold salads with chopped up peppers and onions etc. and then drizzled with some of your Pizza Express dressing.

    • 10th June 2015 / 11:17 am

      These Dragons, they just haven't discovered the delights of bargain out-date-food yet.
      Afraid I normally cook couscous by bunging boiling water on it and leaving it for 5 minutes. I tried that on the giant grains, and they remained rock hard. I've tried boiling them like pasta too, but haven't found the right timing so they actually taste OK. Generally I look at the jar, lose the will to live, and opt for something with instructions on the packet instead.

  2. 10th June 2015 / 12:09 pm

    I did a blog post about AF a while back – if it was worthwhile or not. It's in the labels on my blog. I do buy from them now and again, my biggest bargains have been bread flour. I'm working my way through some lovely malted wheat flour that was in 16kg sack for just over £5. I'm waiting for them to send a free delivery email again before I have another look. Have had a few weird things too in their £1 bargain box.

    • 10th June 2015 / 12:29 pm

      Ooooh thanks a lot for letting me know, I've had a look:
      Really interesting to see your cost comparisons, looking at what it would cost to cook, or the price of the budget version you'd actually buy rather than the more expensive normal price of the brand.
      I've also found that sometimes the RRP quoted by Approved Food is sometimes optimistic, to say the least!
      I was all fired up to do an order this week after researching current offers, and had to remind myself that with my June store cupboard challenge I'm meant to be emptying my cupboards, not filling them all over again…

  3. 10th June 2015 / 1:41 pm

    I was stumped by the couscous at first, too. It's Israeli or Jerusalem couscous – and apparently you either steam it for about 10/15 minutes or fry it for a couple of minutes and then add water (and stuff). If you google it using the above terms you'll get the recipe links.

    • 10th June 2015 / 2:05 pm

      Thank you so much! I will try it and report back.
      Feel I should also say welcome to the blog along with Sue from Suffolk and Sue from Wales, do come in, have a cup of tea, don't mind the mess and so on…

  4. 7th July 2021 / 10:33 am

    Really great article and a great resource thanks for the information

The contents of this blog are for information and ideas, and should not be viewed as financial advice. Use of the material is conditional on there being no liability for how you choose to use it. If you are unsure about any investments or financial issues, please contact a financial adviser.