Tips and Tricks: How to get meals cheaply and reduce food waste!

Hello everyone! Today I’m going to be sharing a couple of apps that I think are extremely worthwhile – not only will they help you get delicious food but also help prevent food waste as well, something close to the heart of The Financial Wilderness.

These apps work by helping you save meals from restaurants and coffee shops. Earlier in the day, you say you’ll take a meal a place local to you has left and pay for for them (at a substantial discount) in advance.

You then go and pick them up at an appointed hour later in the day, therefore saving a meal from being wasted. Obviously ideally the shop will sell the meal at full price if it can so if they don’t have anything left they’ll refund you (this has only ever happened once in my time of using these).

I’ve found it’s primarily independents which take part, but there’s a few chains like Costa Coffee and Lola’s Cupcakes (mmmmm….) that take part. It’s a really excellent way of discovering new places – I’ve had some great meals from local spots which I’ve then gone back to.

I think that last point is particularly important at the moment, as in the age of COVID-19, local businesses are going to need our support in the period afterwards when we can safely socialise again.

I’ve used two different apps – I started out with TooGoodtoGo and then also added Karma. The apps work on a very similar basis, simply having a slightly different collection of partners on each.

If you sign up to Karma using The Financial Wilderness’s link, you’ll get a bonus £5 in your account to start off your food saving.

I’ve found that I can usually get what I want on TooGoodtoGo but you usually have to take things early for the better quality and more high quality items. I find stuff on Karma around me more rarely, but they do have a “ping” notification which can alert you when things are available in your area.

There’s a few important things I’d note with this…… whilst the nature of the restaurant should offer you an idea of what you might get, what is received is solely what is going – you will not have a choice and cannot simply say “I don’t like it”.

So please only use these services if you’re willing to be flexible – there’s no point saving a meal from food waste if you’re going to end up wasting it yourself!

Have you found any other food apps you particularly love? Please let us know in the comments if so!

Tips and Tricks is our regular series on The Financial Wilderness of Moneysaving tricks. You can check out some other great articles in the series here. Also a reminder that we presently have our ongoing competition to win a fantastic Easter hamper.

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Happy Eating!

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