Did you catch my Grocery Challenge post? If so, you’ll know I’m always looking at ways to cut our food budget.
So it’ll come as no surprise that I’m a fan of the Too Good To Go App! The app that saves you money and reduces food waste.
What is Too Good To Go?
Too Good To Go is an app that partners with shops and restaurants to reduce food waste.
Shops and restaurants partnered with the app will release a limited number of ‘magic bags’ each day for sale at a reduced price.
You are able to purchase these bags through the app, and can then go and collect them in the given time frame.
What is a Magic Bag?
A Too Good to Go magic bag is a bag of food that you can purchase at a heavily discounted rate.
It’s what the shop needs to get rid of before closing, so every one will be different each time.
For example, bakeries and restaurants that prepare fresh food each day will offer magic bags of what is left at the end of the day.
Supermarkets might offer items that are near or just past their best before date (but still perfectly safe and edible!).
The app allows you to purchase one for a fraction of the RRP – helping you to save money and helping the stores reduce their waste.
How does Too Good To Go work?
When you download the app, it’ll pull up a list of participating shops and restaurants near you based on your location.
Using the filters, you can search for particular products (meals, groceries, baked goods), pick up times, select dietary requirements etc.
You can also filter out the ones that have already sold out.
After you’ve applied your filters, click on the one you’re interested in for further information on how their ‘magic bag’ system works. -ie. What to expect, what time to collect etc.
You can then reserve and pay for your bag, then collect it per the store’s instructions.
You make payment directly from the app and can pay by card, PayPal or Apple Pay.
If you need to cancel your order, go to your receipt in the app and cancel from there.
You need to cancel at least 3 hours before you’re due to collect your order, so that someone else can take advantage of it and to prevent it from going to waste.
The feedback for the app itself is extremely positive, it’s reducing food waste and saving you money. Win-win.
But there has been plenty of mixed feedback on the magic bags which is completely dependent on the place you are going to.
Some people have felt ‘ripped off’ when they’ve paid £3 and only received a roll.
Other people have hit the jackpot when they’ve snapped up a sought-after Morrisons box and received stacks of fruit, veg, cakes and even cheese.
Because the magic bags are different every time – depending on what is left at the end of the day, the contents are purely pot luck.
But you can get an idea beforehand by clicking on the restaurant/shop and scrolling down to the ‘what others are saying’ section.
Here you’ll find ratings that previous buyers have left.
After you’ve made a purchase, you can leave your own rating which helps future users of the app.
You can also search the #toogoodtogo hashtag on social media to see what other people have got in their bags.
Tips and Tricks for Using the App
- If you live in a city, you might have lots of stores available. Here is where the ‘favourites’ feature comes in handy – you can mark your favourite stores and they will save in a separate list that you can access quickly.
- Don’t forget to update your location when visiting family and friends or if you’re on a day trip to a new area – you might have lots of new offers to discover.
- Saving your card/payment method after you’ve made your first purchase will make future purchases much more convenient.
- If you feel ’embarrassed’ about collecting a magic bag (I get it, some people do!) just tell a staff member you’re there to collect your order and show them the app – you don’t have to tell the world you’re picking up a magic bag.
What else do I need to know?
Take Your Own Bags
Some places will give you your order in a bag or box, but to help reduce waste even further take your own bag or food containers.
Let the Staff Swipe
The staff need to confirm you’ve received your Magic Bag so don’t be surprised if they try to swipe the app themselves.
Be On Time
Make sure you collect in the collection window – if you leave it too late you might find the store has already closed!
Nabbing a Coveted Too Good To Go Morrisons Box
At present, Morrisons only offer a couple of boxes each day, and as more and more people discover and download the app, the chances of snapping one up get slimmer.
Most Morrisons branches have a collection window of 12:00-18:00, and usually tomorrow’s Magic Bags go on sale 15 minutes after today’s collection closes. This means in theory, that tomorrow’s bags will go on sale at 18:15 today – however, you’ll often find that the ‘sold out’ is 18:16/18:17 – this doesn’t really give you much chance to grab one before they go!
- To increase your chances of grabbing one, add your local stores to your favourites so that they are easy to access.
- Set a reminder on your phone at 18:00 or just after
- When your reminder notifies you, open the app, click favourites and find your store.
- Pull down the screen to refresh and keep refreshing until the ‘Sold Out’ changes to ‘Buy Now’
- Click through to pay
You have to be on the ball though!
If you do manage to get one, go to the store during the collection window and go to customer services.
Show them the receipt on your phone and when they bring the box let them swipe across to confirm you’ve received it.
Tips to Reduce Waste
The purpose of this app is to help establishments to reduce food waste – but what if you don’t like the contents of the bag you receive, or decide you won’t use them?
The trouble with the items you’re likely to receive is that they’re perishable – hence why they’re in a magic bag in the first place, so a foodbank for example, wouldn’t be able to benefit from them.
There are however, other ways you can ensure the food doesn’t go to waste if you don’t want them.
Give to the Homeless
Particularly if you’re collecting from a store in a city town centre – if you don’t like what you’ve been given, I can guarantee there’ll be a hungry homeless person grateful for a meal.
Donate to Someone Else
Perhaps you’ve collected a box of groceries and there’s items in there you don’t eat or wouldn’t cook with – pass on to a family member or a friend who can use it. Take some to work and leave in the staff room for your colleagues to take.
A lot of baked goods freeze well. As do fruits and vegetables. Freeze your items and save for a time when you will use them.
Don’t Buy for the Sake of it
This is particularly in reference to the Morrisons boxes – if you don’t need lots of short dated fruit and veg, don’t buy a box just because it’s cheap. If you’re not going to use it, not only is it wasteful but it takes away from other people who could really benefit from it.
In the short few months since I installed the app, it has grown massively with new participating retailers being added all the time.
It’s a great way to grab a bargain, save some money and reduce food waste to boot.
What do you think of Too Good To Go? Have you used the app yet?