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Trialling the "Too Good To Go" App

Updated: Mar 31, 2021

You might have seen our blog about trialling the waste boxes from Lidl and how to save money and waste.

Well, there are more ways to fight food waste (and get some epic treats too). I found out about "Too Good To Go" from Emilie Woodger Smith (@simply_sustainable_living) who posted about her haul, using the app. We decided to have a go to see if we could get some good deals and save some food waste.

In the past few weeks we've got four successful "Too Good To Go"orders and then two unsuccessful ones. Our first, was from Scot-mid coop (Scottish co-op), then attempted from Costa (it failed) then came Greggs and then from a fab independent cafe called Greenwood Kafe. We also had an order from Cafe Nero, but our last, an order from Londis was cancelled at the last minute, which was particularly annoying as it was a late pick up.

Do We Recommend Too Good To Go?

First things first, when dealing with food waste, it's important to remember that you will never know what you'll get or if you'll even get anything. If you're not comfortable with the uncertainty that might come with this, you might struggle. Because what comes in the your "magic bag"- the term Too Good To Go gives the bundles of food you get, can't be predicted- it simply comes down to what is going spare that day. This also means that sometimes there isn't spare food. We ordered a costa bag on Friday afternoon and decided to make a "trip" of collecting it. We went for a 4 hour walk and decided to pick the bag up on the way home, so we had yummy treats for our hungry tummies. We got to Costa fifteen minutes earlier and decided to wait, only for the magic bag to be cancelled 10 minutes before the start, as there wasn't any food waste. The late night collection, that I had waited for- was particularly annoying. So you need to be ready for your order to be cancelled. Of course this is great that food waste has been saved, but try not to rely on your order or make a special trip too far.

Having said that, we've been really impressed in our orders. The Scotmid coop order had £21 worth of food- including meat/ fish and fresh, well in date, fruit and vegetables for £3.59. Absolute bargain, but we did get lots of foods we wouldn't normally eat- some in a good way, we got some plump delicious grapes, but also not sooo much, like white bread and haggis!! The Cafe Nero box had lots of prepared food, like chicken sandwich (my food hell) but also lots of treats like cheesecake and pastries. If you're very fussy, following a strict diet this might not be for you or don't have a few of you to share the food (and preferences) around with, then I'd be careful with where you order from. Our Greggs order was huge too, another reason to order them if there are more than one mouth to feed. We normally wouldn't necessarily gets Greggs, so it was a treat! We got donuts, pastries and a sandwich- which worked well for us that evening as it meant we didn't need to cook dinner. The prices vary for the orders, from £2.50-4 (some more specialised orders can be a lot more).

It is completely understandable that the order can't be predicted, but there is one aspect of the magic bags that I think Too Good To Go could do and that is allergies and religious preferences. I would like to see them update this in the app, as of course sometimes there might not be a choice, but other days it might simply mean one person getting more croissants and another more ham sandwiches. Of course some would prefer vegetarian and some would prefer more meat heavy. If this can't be controlled, that's understandable but I imagine for the bigger stores like Greggs, this would be easy.

I really recommend giving Too Good To Go, well, a go! But please remember to not rely on your order. The app would work really well if you live in a city, above shops that allow you to pop down when and if your order is ready. Don't do long journeys for orders, as they can be cancelled 10 minutes before pick up. And be ready for a surprise, which is both great fun as you get to try new foods but also may mean you get food you might not choose...


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