Perhaps an inauspicious start to this new feature, but you can see at the dedicated page more or less what it’s all about: any and all Slogger ideas gratefully received at jawslog@gmail.com.

My topic today is Reduced to Clear.

All supermarkets throughout the world (where there is a Sell By Date culture) have an area instore were those items they need to sell are gathered together. The good news is that, almost without exception, it’s perfectly safe to eat them, because sell-by dates tend to err massively on the safe side thanks to fears of being sued. The even better news is that the savings can be spectacular.

The health warning, however, is that there are two reasons why something is Reduced to Clear: (1) the product is crap or (2) the buyers screwed up the supply/demand equation. Only the latter syndrome is worth buying into.

In the last six months since I started being something of an anorak about this, I have picked up some savings so massive, previously one could only ever get them by buying stolen property. (And on me muvva’s grave, M’lud, I swear I never done that).

Examples include 7 oz of Parma Ham for 90p, fresh Tuna reduced from £6.30 to £1.50, plaice fillets reduced from £6.20 to £1.10, Corn fed chicken down from £7.35 to £2.80, and rump steaks that once cost £8.00 being sold for £3.30.

The best days to go in search of these are Sunday afternoons after 2.30 (when the supermarkets want to stock up ready for ‘replenishment’ days) and any time after noon on Wednesdays (before the rush to buy for the weekend starts). Especially good are the last afternoon’s trading before an extended holiday weekend (when they almost give the stuff away) and the last afternoon of such holidays (when unsold stuff can’t be allowed to hang around for another two days before shoppers replenish again).

The golden rule with this approach is, however, don’t buy reductions on stuff marked ‘Everyday Value’, ‘Essentials’ or any of the other weaselly branding used to describe stuff that’s likely to be pretty tasteless/poor quality in the first place. It didn’t sell because nobody wanted it – not even the poor folks.