If you like the idea of saving money on food that would otherwise go to waste, then the Too Good To Go app may be right up your street. Read our Too Good To Go review to find out what’s involved and whether it’s worth the effort.
How does the Too Good to Go app work?
The Too Good To Go app allows local restaurants, cafes, bakeries and other food businesses to sell surplus food. This food would generally go in the bin at the end of the day. Instead, it’s stuck in a “surprise bag” and offered on the app at a significantly reduced price.
You can download the app for free onto your phone from your usual app store. Once installed, you sign up and then browse the offers from a wide range of food outlets and restaurants near you. If you find something you like, you reserve the bag, pay your money and collect the goods at an allocated time.
While the app works well, there are a few things to be aware of. For starters, you won’t know what food you’ll receive until you pick it up. You’ll have a rough idea, as it will be something the shop sells, but what you get for your money is unknown until you open the bag. So, if you love surprises and aren’t a fussy eater, this adds to the fun of using the app. Otherwise, be cautious about what you order.
The other thing to consider is when you can collect the food, as each outlet offers different time slots. For example, my local Spar allows collection between 5pm and 10pm. However, the breakfast surprise bag from the Toby Carvery nearby is only available to collect between 11 to 11:15am. The collection time does appear on the app before you order, but only buy if you know you can get there in the allotted time.
Finally, each outlet usually only has a limited amount of food available, and the app doesn’t currently offer notifications when it becomes available. Therefore, it’s best to check regularly and grab a deal when you see one, as they get snapped up quickly.
So is the Too Good to Go app worth it?
Okay, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, so below is a selection of bags I bought from different businesses to see what you get.
This surprise bag from the giant coffee chain cost me £3 for £10 worth of goodies, and I had to collect it between 5pm and 6pm. I received one tuna panini, one cheese and tomato panini, and two coronation chicken toasties. As the picture below shows, I warmed – or slightly burnt – them before eating, making a good evening meal for two people.
Cooplands is the second largest bakery in the UK, but most of its shops are in the north. They offer similar value as Greggs, and I was happy with the £10 worth of food I received for £3. However, the collection time was tight as I had to be there between 4pm and 4:15pm. The bag contained a tuna sandwich, plus a ham and cheese sandwich. I also received a steak pasty and two small curd tarts, and altogether it made for a varied evening meal for two.
Most of the supermarkets on the app are your smaller convenience stores, and Costcutters seemed the most active in my area, with bags available every day. I paid £3.33 for £10 worth of food and received a sizeable wholemeal loaf, a cottage pie, a mixed veg bag and some mango chunks. Unsurprisingly, all the items were from the reduced aisle in the store, but I still saved 50p by getting it on the app! Collection time was between 7pm to 8pm and, as most of the goods had a use-by date of that day, I used it to make a small late evening meal with the mango chunks as a pleasant dessert.
Greggs the Bakers
Greggs won my prize for the best value. For £2.59, I received £8 worth of food, with a reasonable collection time between 5pm and 5:30pm. My surprise bag contained two large baguettes (ham and cheese and chicken and bacon), a tuna mayonnaise roll, four sausage rolls and a jam doughnut. I enjoyed some of it for lunch the next day, and a couple of work people I had at the house at the time appreciated what was left.
Too Good To Go review verdict
Overall, I was impressed with the quantity and quality of food I received from every store. I sometimes wished for a bit more, but I shouldn’t grumble, considering the price. It’s also a fixed discount, so I should expect less from Costa than Greggs as its prices are generally higher. Most of the food bought was on its use-by date, so eating that day is best. However, I did leave some for lunch the next day and haven’t died of food poisoning yet.
The bags I bought are also a small selection from the many varied shops and cafes on the app. For example, I could have bought American sweets from an independent gift shop and even beer from a local brewery. I’ll likely buy from them all eventually, even if it’s just for the surprise of seeing what’s inside my bag!
Too Good To Go
Value for money
A brilliant way to pick up cheap food that would otherwise be destined for landfill
- Lots of food at modest cost
- Wide variety of participating stores
- Well designed app
- Pick-up times can be very restricted
- No certainty over what’s in food parcels