How to get food for free and keep waste out of landfill using easy phone apps

Arduous-up households fighting the price of dwelling are embracing meals apps.

The common UK family wastes round £700 a 12 months by throwing away meals. The overall quantity of produce wasted is round 9.5 million tons.

However meals apps similar to OLIO and Too Good To Go assist forestall waste by connecting individuals to cut price luggage of surplus provides from supermarkets and different corporations.

Tom Church, co-founder of, says: “The large profit of those apps, in addition to being budget-friendly, is that it’s significantly better for the surroundings. Much less losing meals and fewer losing cash means everybody’s a winner.”

Right here, some savvy consumers who clarify how the apps have made an enormous distinction to their lives.

Alex Bax is an knowledgeable at discovering free meals utilizing the Olio app


Attain Commissioned)

Figuring out you’re serving to individuals in want is nice

Alex Bak managed to eat without cost for the primary six months of the pandemic.

The NHS employee has been a daily consumer of the OLIO app since March 2020 – and now makes use of it to get cut price groceries two to 3 occasions every week. Each penny the 39-year-old saves is being put in direction of a deposit for a home.

Alex says: “To know you’re serving to scale back waste through the use of meals that will in any other case be thrown out, and to know you can be serving to another person who actually wants it, is a superb feeling.

“I needed to see how far I may go together with it. For the primary six months of the pandemic, I didn’t spend any cash on meals. Each single factor was from the app.”

Among the many objects Alex collected from different individuals’s houses had been sandwiches and salads from Pret A Manger, and recent fruit, greens and bread from Tesco.

Throughout the first lockdown, Alex, who works as a scientific analysis practitioner, informed how going to gather meals was a good way of mixing her day by day train with lowering waste and saving cash.

Alex, who lives with three flatmates in Bethnal Inexperienced, East London, says: “I used to spend £30 to £50 every week on meals. That’s now extra like £10 to £20 every week, so I’m saving on common £30 – and serving to scale back waste.”

The apps imply there’s no want for meals waste

Sort-hearted Kathryn Neale not solely makes use of OLIO and Too Good To Go to save cash, however she shares recent produce with native foodbanks and care houses, too.

The 37-year-old single mum, who has 4 youngsters, works as a volunteer meals collector.

She says: “I get milk vouchers for my little two and have been getting the federal government vouchers for the large two but it surely’s not been fairly sufficient. I nonetheless must get recent fruit and veg and maintain provide of full-fat milk within the fridge for the little ones so getting a Morrisons field as soon as every week has been a fantastic assist.

Meals waste warrior Kathryn Neale

A £3.09 Too Good To Go field

“It’s £3.09 and though it’s meant to be a veg field, it may include something that’s decreased or broken however is all the time edible and needs to be as much as the worth of £10.”

In addition to selecting up cut-price meals for herself, Kathryn additionally delivers decreased produce to different individuals, together with shielding pensioners and her dad and mom.

She believes that in the event you don’t need or want sure meals, there isn’t a excuse for binning it as virtually every thing could be frozen or given to individuals who can use it by way of apps like OLIO.

It’s inspired me to be inventive within the kitchen

Final 12 months, Julia Wilson’s 66-year-old husband Peter had a stroke so she gave up her job as a carer to take care of him full-time.

She found food-saving app Too Good To Go whereas shopping the web three years in the past and says it has been “a lifeline” for them.

Julia, 60, says: “You don’t receives a commission a lot for being a carer, however Too Good To Go has been good. We used to spend a horrendous quantity on meals – about £100 every week. Now we spend round £60. It’s been an actual lifeline for us.”

Julia Wilson has saved a fortune


Julia Wilson)

Cut price Morrisons veg bag



Julia makes use of the app to purchase massively discounted luggage from Morrisons essentially the most. However she additionally will get muffins from Greggs and different native outlets like Hobbs Home Bakery.

She reserves magic luggage by way of the location round thrice every week. Julia, of Coalpit Heath, South Glos, stated: “They’re only some kilos, most frequently for produce value nicely over £10.

“Christmas was simply overwhelming. We had mince pies, chocolate cake… so many issues. And it’s actually impressed me to provide you with totally different dishes within the kitchen, which has simply been so gratifying.”

We’re utilizing the £2,460 I’ve saved on journey to Florida

Going out at 8pm to select up a “magic bag” of meals from her nearest One Cease store has grow to be a ritual for savvy mum Sarah Colley.

The 41 year-old, the pinnacle of finance for a web based menswear retailer, has shaved hundreds of kilos off her weekly meals store due to the Too Good To Go app.

Sarah, who lives together with her solicitor husband Andy, 42, and son Joseph, six, says: “We’ve been saving a mean of about £30 every week so over 20 months, it’s been a saving of about £2,460.

Sarah Colley has saved £2,340

Certainly one of Sarah’s cut-price hauls

“The cash we’ve saved is in a vacation fund. We’ve rebooked a visit to Florida that we had been hoping to do earlier than the pandemic and we’re utilizing the cash to go for longer.”

Sarah, of Scarborough, North Yorks, says: “Every retailer units the value of the baggage. They’ll say what number of they’ve on the finish of the day on the app and also you go and choose one up.

“You spend round £3.09 for a magic bag and it’s like a lottery as a result of you haven’t any concept what you’re getting.

“Certainly one of my colleagues jokes, ‘You’re an accountant from Yorkshire so that you’re going to be a bit tight’, which might be true. However I don’t like seeing meals go to waste if I can both use it myself or give it to individuals at work.”

I used to be impressed with the packing containers… they helped rather a lot

Widow Shelly Kelly, 41, is a carer with a watch for a cut price.

The mum of 4 swears by the Too Good To Go app after she as soon as managed to get £47 value of groceries for simply £6.

Shelly says: “I picked up two Morrisons packing containers utilizing the app and was very impressed. It helped me out rather a lot. And by paying £6.18 for 30 luggage of fruit and veg, I primarily solely paid 20p for every merchandise.”

Fruit and veg are key objects within the packing containers – and Shelly informed how one can make large financial savings.

Shelly Kelly purchased £47 value of meals for simply £6

She says: “One of the best cut price was 13 punnets of strawberries. The overall value initially would have been £21.50 utilizing the presents in retailer.

“Ten punnets had been £1.65 every or two for £3 making the whole value £15 with the provide, and the remaining three had been £2.50 every or two for £4, so the unique value would have been £6.50. Nonetheless I solely paid £2.60 for these, saving £18.90 within the course of.”

Shelly, from Leamington Spa, Warks, provides: “I froze quite a lot of it… the children made quite a lot of smoothies and milkshakes with it. Frozen strawberries had been additionally nice in my gin!”

How the free meals apps work

The apps contain selecting up completely good meals from cafes, eating places, bakeries and outlets close to you, so you need to be prepared to gather it.

Too Good To Go has greater than 28 million customers worldwide and says it saves greater than 100,000 meals every day. Customers merely register without cost and might choose up “magic luggage”, which comprise varied objects from big-brand chains similar to Greggs, Costa and Waitrose.

OLIO can also be free to obtain with an optionally available supporter donation of £4.99 a month. It permits individuals to fetch meals from all the standard sources, in addition to from neighbours, who may be throwing away good meals as a result of they’re transferring dwelling or occurring vacation.

All this value simply £6 via an unsold meals app

The app additionally features a goodwill scheme in which you’ll signal as much as be a volunteer, selecting up meals for others.

Different fashionable meals apps embody Karma, which works equally to Too Good To Go however focuses on native retailers. The meals provided on the app is offered as particular person discounted meals so you realize what you’re getting – useful in the event you’re a vegetarian or have meals allergic reactions, for instance.

NoWaste additionally helps you handle your personal meals waste. The free app permits you to log your weekly store and units up reminders so you’ll know when it’s going outdated.

One other app referred to as Nosh, developed by the College of Essex, works in an analogous approach – as does Kitche, which has greater than 1,000 recipe concepts that can assist you dissipate leftovers.

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How to get food for free and keep waste out of landfill using easy phone apps

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