THE cost of living crisis has left families in Herefordshire to choose between heating and eating, but an app involving local shops is offering subsidized food every day.
The Too Good To Go connects customers to restaurants and stores that have excess food they need to sell.
This app immediately piqued my interest and I saw that there were several Hereford stores involved which I am already a customer of such as Legges, Morrisons, Greggs and Thurabread Bakery.
Stores offer so-called magic bags that include a range of items, but what you get is a surprise.
The app says, “We cannot predict what will be in your Magic Bag as it depends on what the store has overstock.
“If you are concerned about allergens or ingredients, please let the store know.”
Each store gives a time when you can pick up the bag, but you must reserve it through the app before it goes out of stock.
I went to the Pumpkin cafe at Hereford station and the Dino Market in Belmont Road to find out what they had in their magic bags.
For £3.99 I had two croissants, mozzarella and tomato ciabatta, a slice of Ginsters peppercorn steak and a Ginsters Cornish pastie – all of which would have been £16.55 full price.
If you’re splitting this between two people, you can have both lunch and breakfast for £2.
Dino Market received a one-star rating from Food Hygiene Inspectors in October 2021, while Pumpkin Cafe has a five-star rating.
The Polish shop was told that major improvement was needed while Pumpkin was rated as “very good”.
Her magic bag contained a range of items from Polish and other brands, including pumpkin seeds, a loaf of sliced bread, orange juice, microwave popcorn, Orbit chewing gum, fish with tomato sauce, espresso coffee, mini bananas and chocolate cakes, chocolate covered cookies and blueberry cake bars.
All items were prepackaged, but most had between a few days and two months to their expiry date, some had no expiry date indicated.
Some of them like coffee, chewing gum, and pumpkin seeds I would buy for myself anyway, but other items I wouldn’t.
Everything was originally priced at £2.99 and under, so for a family it would save a lot of money and time.
Shops are rated out of five by app users. Dino Market got a 3.3 rating, while Pumpkin Café got a 4.5 rating.
I would use the app again, but I would choose places where I know I like the food – a lot doesn’t mean much if you don’t like what you eat!
How to download the Too Good To Go app
- Customers can download the Too Good To Go app from toogoodtogo.co.uk/en-gb
- Businesses wishing to participate should visit toogoodtogo.co.uk/en-gb/business
- Verdict: It’s a fabulous way to save money on your food bill, although it takes a bit of planning to get the most out of it. It also helps if you’re not a picky eater as there’s no guarantee what you might have in your bag…but that’s part of the fun!