Technology has changed our lives, you can do so much with a smart phone now, including save money on groceries. Some really smart entrepreneurial people created food waste apps in Canada that will save you money AND decrease the amount you spend on food to fight food inflation. Ultimately, this will help you feel good (or at least better) about our environment.
Food prices have skyrocketed in 2023 in restaurants and grocery stores.
According to Statistics Canada, groceries have increased a whopping 11.4% in September year over year, rising the fastest pace since 1981.
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Food Waste Apps Canada
The reason for this, other than the government printing money for generalized inflation, is also due to food supply chain disruption, labour shortages, and higher wages.
This picture from Statistics Canada depicts the price increase you see for prepared foods due to increased costs of raw materials.
For example, to make a pizza, the price of flour has increased by 23.2% year over year. Cheese is 10% more expensive compared to last year and fresh vegetables have increased in price by 11.0%.
This is why you see a slice of pizza much more expensive than it was last year.
Therefore, it makes sense to try and cut costs if possible to lessen the sting on your household food budget and reduce food insecurity. In addition, there’s a lot of food waste (not just the food waste that happens when it comes to feeding toddlers) that exists.
According to Too Good to Go, there is 40% food wasted globally and food waste is also the third largest contributor to climate change.
Here are 3 food waste apps in Canada that will save you money and also help save the planet.
Too Good to Go Canada
I learned about this app from my friend and now I’m addicted. There’s something that gives you an adrenaline rush when you open your surprise bag or box from TGTG to get your discounted food.
Too Good To Go is an app that was originally founded in 2015 in Denmark but recently expanded to Canada in 2021.
Many groceries, bakeries, pizzerias, restaurants, and coffee shops have a lot of food waste or surplus food that they would normally throw away.
These businesses can list their surplus food on Too Good To Go as a Surprise Bag and a TGTG app user pre-pays for their bag.
The TGTG app user then picks up the Surprise Bag at an agreed time (for example, “Pick Up Today between 4:30-6:30pm” or “Pick Up Tomorrow between 9:30-11:00am”). It’s a quick transaction because it’s already paid for within the app.
The business pays a fee to Too Good To Go for the surprise bag sale (like marketing exposure), but they also increase their revenue because it would be something they would otherwise be throwing out.
It’s a win-win-win situation.
The business gets more exposure for their business, there’s less food waste, the business gets more revenue, and the TGTG customer gets a great deal.
Too Good To Go is in most major Canadian cities including:
- Quebec City
What’s my Too Good To Go review? So far, I am a fan of it. Some of the popular ones sell out very quickly, but you can set notifications and ‘favourite’ certain stores. The value you get for your purchase is great, and the taxes are embedded into the price already.
One major downside was not being able to see a picture of what the $4.99 Surprise Bag would look like for the particular food business, but you can counteract that by looking at subreddits online of the aforementioned Surprise Bag.
You can also see the comments “large amount of food for the price” to make sure the surprise bag wont’ be disappointing. That, and the customer ratings. I avoid anything less than a 4.0/5 rating.
There’s even a Too Good To Go Canada Subreddit if you want to see what the surprise groceries or bakery items or cakes look like from other consumers. I’ve been sending unsolicited Too Good To Go pictures to my friends (and receiving them too) of my recent Too Good To Go Vancouver haul.
So far, there’s a LOT of pizza (for example, you can get a whole XL pizza for $5.99 or something like that), lots of bakery items (some things can be frozen like a loaf of bread), and lots of donuts, cakes, and pastries. There are some grocery items too.
Two Guys with Knives has Too Good To Go and for $7.99 (with a value of about $24.00) there were two large prepared meals. They have a 4.5/5 rating. It was nice to just not have to worry about lunch for a day, it was very delicious.
This is a $7.99 Too Good To Go Surprise Bag from Breka Bakery in Vancouver (a popular 24 hour bakery that is often cited as one of the best bakeries in Vancouver).
One donut is normally $2.50, a muffin is $3.75, a cookie is $1.40, an a loaf of bread is $6.00. Everything tasted great, the donut was a little less spongy but it’s definitely not bad for the price you pay.
Another bakery that’s quite popular for cakes, pastries, and buns in Vancouver is Saint Germain Bakery.
Things are usually spoken for relatively quickly, within a day or so.
Olio has Food Waste Heroes who volunteer to pick up unused foods from local businesses and then redistribute it to Olio users.
One downside is that in Canada (or at least in Western Canada) there aren’t many Olio users so the chance to pick up something edible for free is slimmer.
Apps like Flashfood Canada are similar to apps like Flashfood and are similar to the Olio app in Canada. They are certainly innovators and disruptors to the food waste app scene in Canada.
You to The Food Rescue
I have used Flashfood and Too Good to Go regularly and am happy to grab something before it is thrown in the garbage. I’m happy to buy surplus food from restaurants at a discount to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Another way to make sure you don’t have food waste is the shop your own pantry, fridge, and freezer to prioritize food rescue before something goes past the best before date.
Also I put loaves of bread in the fridge and then the freezer tp prevent them from going moldy.
Oftentimes I meal plan according to what I have available in the pantry, fridge, and freezer (instead of the other way around where you would shop for groceries according to your recipe).
We definitely have a food waste problem in North America, so every little bit helps to reduce food from ending up in the trash bin.
You may also be interested in:
- Free apps that pay you to scan receipts in Canada
- Ibotta for Canada
- Caddle review
- Food inflation in Canada
Do you have other food waste apps in Canada that you are a fan of?
Have you tried using Flash Food, Olio, or Too Good To Go? What are your thoughts on them?
GYM is a 30 something millennial interested in achieving financial freedom through disciplined saving, dividend and ETF investing, and living a minimalist lifestyle. Before you go, check out my recommendations page of financial tools I use to save and invest money. Don’t forget to subscribe for blog updates, a free dividend yield spreadsheet, and the free Young Money Bootcamp eCourse.