Testing Driving The 'Too Good To Go' App!

Too Good To Go, is an app designed to help to reduce the amount of food that's wasted by businesses, by offering consumers the chance to grab leftover food, at a discounted rate. The retailers/restaurants offer their left over produce at a reduced cost, in order to save throwing out the food that hasn't sold at the end of the day. The food is reduced, to an average of a third of the normal cost and added to the app. You then place an order via the app, pay, and then go and collect the goods.

You never know what you are going to get in your, what is classed as a 'Magic Bag', (A bag of goodies from the store), so you always run the risk that you might get something you don't like, but on the whole you will normally get a decent selection of goods.

The goods will normally be very short dated, often for the same day, and so you need to think ahead a little and think through what you might get, and how you store/use the items, should they be date sensitive. So as an example, if you got a load of meat from a store you might look to freeze it, or perhaps cook it up for eating that day, perhaps cooking it and then freezing it for another time. If however you ended up with a bag of sandwiches, dated that day, what would you do with them? Most of the time, it's a selection of items received, so the sandwich example is less likely, but still worth keeping in the back of your mind!

The service has really gained in popularity over the last year or so, with more and more businesses signing up to offer us the chance to grab a bargain, with big brands such as Costa, Auntie Annie's, Spar, Morrisons, Nisa and many smaller retailers getting involved.

A new petrol station, with a Sainsbury's local situated within it, recently joined the app, and yesterday I happened to be on the app at the right time to be able to grab a 'Magic Bag' (You have to be quick, very often there are only a few bags available and so they go really fast), and so decided this would be the perfect opportunity to try out the app again.

I grabbed a "Magic Bag' some months ago, from a convenience store, and wasn't massively impressed as the savings based on the RRP weren't that good, and although I did get a selection of items, they were all a bit random, and sadly a fair bit went in the bin, as I couldn't find a way to make use of them.

My hope for this bag was that my goodies would be better, as it was coming from Sainsbury's, who have a quality of goods, and a wider selection, although as this location is pretty much a motorway service station, I did run the risk of a bag of sandwiches, which was a worry, but I'm pleased to say that's not what I got! I paid for my bag via the app, via PayPal, and the app advised me that I could go and collect between 7pm and 9pm, and I went and grabbed it at round 7.30pm. I went to the cash desk and told them I had a Too Good To Go order to collect, gave the cashier the reference number for the order, and he popped out the back and grabbed my bag for me. The whjole process was very simple and streamlined.

My first impression was a good one! The bag felt heavy, clearly not sandwiches, and it was pretty bulky, which was quite exciting. I took my daughter with me, and once I was fleeced out of a Starbucks, (Located next door), hot chocolate by her, and I grabbed a festive 'Gingerbread Latte, ( Ok so the cost of the coffee clearly wiped out any savings we made on the 'Magic Bag', but this was just an experiment, and it was nice to spend some time with my daughter), we headed home to check out our haul!

So this is what I got! I paid £4.00 for the bag and the expected normal cost was £12.00. I received:

3x Packs of raspberries

1x 2 pack of Bramley apple crumbles

1x Bunch of spring onions

1x Pack of 4 beef burgers

1x Tub of salsa

1x Pack of Petit Filous

2x Packs of wafer thin chicken

1x Jumbo swiss roll

All in all a pretty decent selection of products. Everything was dated for the same day, many had yellow stickers stuck on the products, so were items that went to clearance and hadn't sold, and so were placed in the bags. That's fair enough, after all that's the idea of the service, to avoid food waste, and normally if they hadn't sold, they would have been thrown away, and so by me buying this bag, food waste has been reduced! Job done!

So what did I do with the food? Everything apart from the salsa, spring onions and swiss roll has gone in the freezer, for use at a later date. The onions and salsa aren't freezable, so are in the fridge, if I'm honest I'm not sure the salsa will be used, but hopefully we will think of a way to use it up. The swiss roll, needless to say, is being consumed, as I write this... I do love a bit of cake!

So what's my verdict ... I'm pretty happy with my haul, it's a decent amount, and more than reasonable quality of goods. I think that I got my £12 wotth of goods, for my £4, and can sleep tonight, knowing that I saved food from going to landfill! Would I buy it again? Maybe, is the answer!

If you follow my blog or have read any of my previous posts, you will know that my favourite mission in life is grabbing yellow sticker bargains and I think that that will remain my way to try and save food from waste as well as grab a bargain. The reason for this is two fold -

  1. Yellow sticker deals are on the whole a bit cheaper than the reductions I got on this bag.

  2. Most importantly for me, yellow sticker items give me the flexibility to buy exactly what I want/need, rather than taking a gamble on what you are going to get in a bag! The bags feel like an episode of the TV show, 'Ready, Steady, Cook', where you get a bag of ingredients and have to devise a meal from what you are given, and much as I enjoyed that show, it can be harder to play that game with a pack of crumbles and spring onions!

That said, I do think this is a good way to grab a deal, what you get will depend on the company you are getting the food from, after all I got my bag from a convenience store, but with so many restaurants on the app, chances are you could be grabbing a slap up meal for your money... I think my next 'Magic Bag' should be from the Toby Carvery that's taunting me with the offer of a £3.99 roast dinner, (reduced from £10), and so if I can grab that, I will let you know how it goes!

It's free to download the app, and you can download direct from the Too Good To Go website