As the cost of living crisis continues, many of us have been looking at ways to save money on food shopping.
One way people have been saving their pennies is through the use of the ‘Too Good To Go’ app, which allows you to pick up a ‘magic bag’ of food that’s close to its sell-by and use-by dates to avoid it going to waste.
Paying around £3 for the bags and boxes, you can collect them from a variety of retailers, including corner shops, supermarkets and the likes of Greggs and Starbucks. As one Manchester Evening News reporter, Emma Gill, recently explained, you have no idea what you’ll get.
Deciding to give the app a whirl for herself, here is what she found:
“I was quite looking forward to seeing what was inside my mystery bag, which promised at least £10 worth of food,” she began. “The app lets you search via location and I chose the closest place to me for a Morrisons pick up. At the time I didn’t appreciate that it was a store attached to a petrol station in Atherton, Wigan, so when I realised that I did wonder what the selection might be. But even so, I have to say that the contents of my bag, which cost £3.29, were a disappointment to say the least. As was the experience of collecting it from the cashier, who made me feel like I was putting him out just by asking for it.
“In fairness he looked like he was clearing things from the front of the store and bringing them inside, but he could have said more than just ‘wait a minute’ and ‘magic bag’ before handing me the thing.
“Eager to see what was inside I opened it up as soon as I got in the car.
“In all I had five items – a loaf, some pork pies, a small pack of cocktail sausages, chicken and bacon pasta and some ready made mash. All of it had yellow stickers on and would have ordinarily cost £3.91 without even bothering with the app. At full price the products amounted to £8.60, so it wasn’t even the minimum £10 promised.
“Now I’m not averse to eating food that’s past its ‘best before’, most people are fully aware that you can still eat things after that date, they might just not be at their ‘best’. But four out the five items were ‘use by’ the date of collection, which as it was already evening – I was given a time slot to collect between 5pm and 10pm – there was little chance of them being eaten on that day.
“Some of them were. My son polished off some of the sausages and pork pies after his late-night rugby session, but the other stuff just seemed a bit too grim and I’m really not a fan of ready-made mash, never mind when it’s out of date.
“The bread was fine. Its ‘best before’ date was the day of collection, but it was still good for a few days. I’m the only one in the house who likes wholemeal though and I didn’t get quite get through it before it started going mouldy, so I probably should have frozen half of it as soon as I picked it up.
“Overall I can’t say I was happy with my offering, but it shows you what a lottery it can be as the bags and boxes some people end up taking home are seriously impressive. The concept is great and you can see why other retailers like Aldi have recently jumped on board too.
“But I felt like I was doing Morrisons a favour by saving stuff from their bin and putting half of it in mine. And I don’t think that’s the point of this scheme.
“After contacting Morrisons they refunded my £3.29.”
A spokesperson for the supermarket said: “We would like to apologise for this recent experience as it did not meet the standard we set for our stores.
“We have been in touch with the store directly to retrain them as we pride ourselves on our Too Good To Go offering as we know how much it can help our customers on a budget access food at a considerably lower price.”
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