Mum explains how she saved £2,340 bills on food using app trick – and you can too
A mum has explained how she saved an impressive £2,340 on food during lockdown by using a clever app.
Sarah Colley, 41, a married mum-of-one and head of finance for a menswear retailer, started to use the Too Good to Go app during the pandemic.
Too Good To Go partners up with retailers including Greggs, Marks and Spencer and Costa – as well as smaller, independent shops – to sell “magic bags” of food that would otherwise be thrown out at the end of the day.
Prices start from around £3 for a bag – and Sarah says she has been able to get full boxes of food worth £50 for just £3.09.
The only downside is you can’t choose what food you get in your Too Good To Go bag.
Sarah, who lives in Scarborough, told LatestDeals.co.uk she was “dubious” at first about Too Good To Go but decided to try it out.
But she estimates that she saved on average about £30 a week over lockdown – so over 18 months, that would roughly be a saving of about £2,340.
“I bought my first bag from a local One Stop Store and went to pick it up at 9:15pm,” she said.
“It was a carrier bag full of random items, such as sandwiches, crisps, fruit, cakes all dated that day. It was worth the £3.09 I had paid.
“I started to rely on the magic bags once a week during the lockdown as I was homeschooling all day and then going to work in the evening, finishing at 9 and picking up the bags at 9:15pm.
“They were fabulous for sandwiches for my husband’s lunches and for quick and easy meals for my son.
“As I have coeliac disease, an autoimmune disease where I can’t eat gluten, a lot of the items I couldn’t eat so when there was fruit and veg in the bags it was great.
“It started to become fun wondering what we would get in the bags.”
Once you have selected a magic bag, you go to the store to pick it up and show your order number to the staff so they know you’ve paid for it.
Sarah admits she has had bags that “haven’t been worth the amount paid” but others have been “fabulous” for bargains.
“This one, in particular, is the best I have ever had,” she explained.
“The gentleman at the store really didn’t want to throw any food away so gave me as much as he could.
“This bag cost £3.09 and it would have cost roughly £50 full price.
“In it was four packets of chicken slices for sandwiches, two pre packed sandwiches, a pot of ready-made mashed potato, a pork pie, two chicken chow mein ready meals, three punnets of strawberries, a pack of six apples, a punnet of blueberries and two packs of butter brioche rolls.
“I also got two packs of mince pies, a Cornish pasty, a pre-packed cottage pie, a bunch of celery, two packets of Mr Kipling’s fondant fancies, a pack of salad leaves, a pack of hot dog rolls, a pack of Warburtons thins, a pack of mushrooms, a pack of egg custards, a pack of brioche burger buns and a pack of two red velvet cupcakes.
“I was ecstatic when I started to take the items out. It’s such a shock knowing that this amount of food is going to be wasted if someone doesn’t get the bags off the app.”
Sarah says Too Good To Go is ideal if you’re planning on eating the food that day, or you can freeze it.
You have to time your order carefully as well, as shops tend to release their “magic bags” for sale at the same time each day.
“I would suggest getting the app and looking maybe a couple of times a day for new items,” said Sarah.
“Once you have found a shop with good magic bags, save them as your favourite.
“You do have to take the bad bags with the good though as you never know what you are going to get.
“There is a lot more choice in the bigger cities.”
Tom Church, co-founder of LatestDeals.co.uk, said: “Food waste apps such as Too Good To Go and Olio offer a win-win for everyone.
“Less food gets wasted, shoppers get a great deal and businesses still get a bit of money for food that would have ended up in the bin.
“Wasting food is a huge problem: in the UK alone, 3.6 million tonnes of food is wasted by the food industry every year.”