Bit of a different post for you today, featuring an app that will feed you for less and help prevent food waste in Birmingham.
I discovered Too Good To Go about 3 years ago and, while I’ve mentioned it in passing over the years, I wanted to talk about it properly now the pandemic isn’t ruining fun and the app has booted back up properly and added some great businesses. After talking about it on Instagram this week I thought I’d share my thoughts about it in case you guys might like to try it out.
*Note: this is not a sponsored post and I’m not being paid to promote the app – I genuinely just like it and think some of you will too*
What is it?
The app itself is free to download and is designed to help you eat well for less and prevent unnecessary food waste. For a small amount (usually between £2.50-£4) you’ll be given a bag filled with edible treats that would ordinarily have cost you a lot more. You can’t specifically pick what you get, but you’re usually given a fairly decent amount of hot or cold food, depending who/when you visit. It’s all perfectly good surplus food that would ordinarily be destined for the bin, but you get to eat it for a few quid plus support local businesses and reduce food waste.
How does it work?
Download Too Good To Go. Each day the app lists which venues near you are taking part and what time you’ll be able to collect your food. It could be late morning, after lunch/mid afternoon, or the evening – you pay in advance via the app and pick up during your allotted time slot. There’s a limited number of slots available for each business, and some run out much faster than others, so it’s best to check the app late at night rather than in the morning. It does get updated through the day though, so in all honestly it’s a bit of pot luck, too.
Which businesses are involved?
In Birmingham there’s a mix of independents and chains and it ranges from restaurants to bakeries to cafes to supermarkets and pretty much everything else in between. The indi pick up places in Birmingham city centre currently include the likes of Medicine, Plant and Pulse, Urban, University College Birmimgham, Yakinori, Espresso Quarter, Evolve, Ming Moon, plus more including hotels like Malmaison. There’s lots more to choose from if you’re happy to grab from chains, including Yo! Sushi, Pret, Morrisons, Phillpots and Costa. The full list is on the app, and more are being added every month. There’s a good mix of independents and chains, and it extends UK wide.
Why use it?
Aside from the fact that it’s preventing food waste, it often gets you a lot of grub for not much money. For example, I’ve previously had about £25 worth (public price anyway) of sushi for under 4 quid. There’s usually veggie options available and most places will try to accommodate you if you really don’t like a specific thing, eg fish. If there’s anything you don’t want or like in the bag you can always give it to someone else – I often give some of my loot to anyone homeless I meet after. It works outside of Birmingham, too, so you can use it on the go in any city.
You have to pick up at certain times (not all times are particularly 9-5 friendly) and some places have very limited rescue bags available per day. There’s also little to no choice re what’s inside your loot, and it can be a pretty random selection of things, so if you’re a fussy eater or have intolerances/allergies it’s probably not ideal. I had a particularly grim experience with an Upper Crust while hungover that almost made me cry (their breakfast baps are hideous) so I’d give them a wide birth. Some places also offer much better value for money than others.
Hope this has been helpful – you guys seemed really excited to hear about over on Instagram earlier this week so here you go. I think as life gets back to normal (lol) there will be more and more places added to this app. I’d like to see more of our ace local businesses get involved as it means they don’t lose out and don’t waste anything.
Let me know what think here.
Please note: this is not a sponsored post and I’ve always paid for all orders made through the app.