3 Food Waste Apps in Canada (That Save You Money)

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 restaurants and grocery stores in recent years.

According to Statistics Canada, groceries have increased a whopping 11.4% in September year over year in 2022, rising the fastest pace since 1981.

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:

    • Vancouver

    • Toronto

    • Montreal

    • Quebec City

    • Calgary

    • Edmonton

    • Ottawa

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 (depending on the store), 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.

At Saint Germain, one slice of cake is normally $4.95 and a bun is around $2.50.

 

This was a $4.99 Too Good To Go bag, this is not bad for almost $15 worth of food.

I would say that Too Good To Go is not good for the waist line (I blame it on all the baked goods) but if you’re looking for a treat and if you’re looking to save money, it’s great.

Of course, there’s also groceries (like fruits and vegetables) that are much healthier and a great way to use Too Good To Go, as well.

There aren’t many apps like Too Good To Go out there.

Flash Food App

Another food waste app in Canada is the Flash Food App.

Flashfood was created by Josh Domingues with the goal of reducing the large amount of grocery store waste. It was even on Dragon’s Den.  Their mandate is to have grocery stores to sell surplus food at discounted prices.

Flashfood App

 

Flashfood disrupts this logistical process by providing consumers the ability to see the clearance section on their phone, and they can order the groceries and come to the store top pick it up. 

How it works, is you browse the Flashfood App, and put the items in the cart that you want to purchase. Then you purchase it (it is done through the app) and go to the Flash Food location to pick up your items. You have to pick up your items before the agreed time (usually it’s a few days or the next day) and that’s it.

Flashfood zone locations in Canada are:

  • Giant Eagle Supermarket
  • Maxi
  • No Frills
  • Superstore
  • Wholesale Club (for example, in Victoria, BC)
  • Provigo Le March
  • Meijer
Flashfood Reviews

Personally I use the Flashfood at Superstore and always check if there’s something to pick up when I’m at Superstore. It’s really easy, you just go to the customer service and tell them you have a Flashfood pick up, and they go to the Flashfood fridge and grab your item for you.

Here’s my detailed Flash Food App review.

Here’s a Flashfood referral (or use the code CY00TA4G) where you can get $5 off after you make a minimum purchase of $10. 

You will need to input your phone number and they will text you the link to download the app on your phone.

The $5 will be added as “My Rewards” and be automatically deducted on your next purchase.

Once you sign up you’ll get your own referral code to share with friends and family for $5 off when they spend $10.

Olio App Canada

The last food waste app in Canada is Olio.

Olio kind of works like Facebook Marketplace (because you can pick up free stuff from your neighbours). Olio was created by Saasha Celestial-One and Tessa Clarke in 2016, they met at Stanford Business School and the rest is history.

This is a free food app in Canada basically.

How Olio works is that it connects neighbours with each other and with local businesses so that extra food can be given away, and not thrown away. The extra food can be food that is close to the expiry date, or is too much food that you have made.

You can always give away non-food items.

To use Olio, you sign up and share your location (can be once), and see if there are anything available that is being given away. Or if you want to give something away, take a picture and post it on Olio. Your neighbours will receive a notification, and then they will arrange pick up with you. You can just put your item on the doorstep.

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.

Hopefully this small list of food waste apps in Canada has helped you save money on your groceries in Canada in addition to saving money on takeout in Canada.

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 to 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:

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?

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2 thoughts on “3 Food Waste Apps in Canada (That Save You Money)”

    • @Dreaming Of Dividends- I agree some of them get snatched up quickly. I’m not sure if there are bots reserving them, I guess I wouldn’t be surprised. I think there are people who definitely set up notifications though.

      Reply

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