We tried out Too Good To Go and I wanted to give you a peak at what’s inside the Magic Bag!
I only recently heard about this app which was set up to try and tackle food waste in the grocery and hospitality markets.
The concept is simple – businesses sign up to partner with Too Good To Go and every day they offer a certain number of Magic Bags to customers who purchase bags through the app.
You don’t know what you’re going to get BUT the huge incentive is it’s super cheap. The bag of food costs 50% or more less than the original retail price.
So what have I had in my Magic Bags from Too Good To Go and is it worth the effort?
What is Too Good To Go?
Users of the Too Good To Go app can get Magic Bags of surplus stock that is either close to the end of its shelf life or on the final day of its “best before/use by” date. These bags are packaged together at random but the price is a fraction of the full retail value.
It’s kind of like lucky dip shopping with a huge discount.
In the last 12 months, the company behind the app says it has helped save 22,393 meals and an equivalent 55 tonnes of CO2.
There have been 280,000 views of the app, and the service has been used by more than 10,000 customers who have been able to access food worth £10 for an average value of £3.09.
How does Too Good To Go work?
Using the Too Good to Go app is simple. Download it for free to your phone through the android or Apple store and allow the app to use your location.
Once you’ve done this the home screen will tell you what Magic Bags are available in your area.
The types of companies offering Magic Bags can be browsed by different categories such as:
- Vegetarian Magic Bags
- Collect for dinner
- Collect tomorrow
- Collect now
So there’s a range of ways to find a Magic Bag that might interest you – including ones ready for collection right now and ones you can pre-book for the next day. The prices are clearly displayed on each available bag, so you know the cost.
The popular ones sell out fast, such as the Morrisons Magic Bag, so you need to keep an eye on the app to see when bags become available.
When you pick a Magic Bag you do not get to choose what is inside the bag. Each restaurant or supermarket has a summary of the type of goods it adds to its bags, but you cannot pick a specific range of products for your Magic Bag.
You don’t find out what’s inside the Magic Bag until you collect it.
What’s in a Too Good To Go bag from M&S
The M&S Too Good To Go bag was a pretty random selection of goods but it gave us enough food for a dinner one night, breakfast and lunch too for all four of us. Plus there were snacks too!
It cost £4.
Here’s a list of what was inside the bag:
- Cooked roast beef slices
- Bakery bread loaf
- Meatball wrap
- Chocolate eclairs
- New potato salad
- Spinach and ricotta topped pasta ready meal for one
- Roast chicken sandwich
- Pain au chocolat
- Tub of single cream
So as you can see you would need a lot of imagination to create a meal for four out of this lot.
We managed to do it though and I was impressed at how much we got.
Everything in the bag expired on the day we collected it. We didn’t collect it until 9pm, so we didn’t eat any of the food until the next day.
I personally don’t have a problem with eating any of this food the day after its use by date, however I know some people might so this is a consideration.
What’s in a Morrisons Too Good to Go bag?
I had heard really good things about the Morrisons Too Good To Go bag and was eager to snap one up the next time they became available locally. I missed the bags a few times because they just kept selling out so fast!
The boxes can be worth as much as £33.75 but cost just £3.09 which is an incredible saving, so I was keen to try them out.
Finally I managed to snap one up! It cost £3.09 and was packed with fresh fruit and veg. This is what really appeals to me about the contents of the Morrisons box, unlike our M&S box which had a lot of unhealthy stuff such as pastries.
Here’s what was inside my Morrisons Magic Bag.
The contents included:
- Bag of carrots
- 2 avocados
- 8 apples
- 4 baking potatoes
- Cherry tomatoes
I was so impressed with this selection of goods, and the quality of them was amazing! These weren’t soggy or nearly inedible items, they were all super fresh! Considering you can pay £3 for a box of strawberries alone I think £3.09 for all of this was an amazing saving.
It’s hard to tell how much these individual items would have been priced at, because they did not come in priced up packaging. However I looked for equivalent items in Morrisons and I believe this would have cost around £14.30. Wow!
Other users have shared the contents of their Morrisons box on Instagram and they look great!
One user had a huge selection of foods including bananas, lemons, blueberries, cauliflower, asparagus, apples, broccoli, tomatoes, carrots, cabbage and potatoes for just £3.09! It really is great value, even better than yellow sticker prices.
What other companies are signed up to the app?
Too Good To Go has partnered with companies including Spar, Co-Op, Yo Sushi!, Pret, Greggs, Starbucks, Greene King and Radisson Hotel Group.
The amount of choice available to you through the app will depend massively on where you live.
Some areas will have a number of different brands available to them, whereas if you live in a remote place you may struggle to find partners who are using the app.
Too Good To Go Pros Vs Cons
Cheap. The cost is the biggest incentive in my opinion. The value of bags tends to be between £10 and £12 with the costs ranging from £3.09 to £4.99. So the savings are big and if you choose your favourite brands, such as Starbucks or Yo Sushi!, then you’ll be getting a big discount on places you visit anyway.
Good selection of brands. If you live in a town or city then the selection of brands signed up to Too Good To Go is great, including cafes, restaurants, supermarkets and convenience stores.
Can encourage you to get inventive with cooking. Having a mystery bag of goods challenges you to create something a little different. It can also get your family trying new things.
No choice of what you can get. This is the biggest disadvantage for most people as the selection of items can be random and if you don’t like any of it then you’ve wasted money rather than saved it.
Can be difficult to make a meal out of the selection. I found our bag a challenge to create a meal from. We could combine the items with other things we already had though.
Problematic if you have allergies. As you can’t know what will be in the bag then this could be a problem if you have specific dietary requirements.
Not as many vegetarian options as some people may like. There is a section offering the vegetarian options but there’s not so much choice in this section as in the broader options.
Food is near end of its shelf life. You will need to get creative with the food and either freeze it or use it up quickly. Many things a fine beyond their best before date, as this doesn’t mean the food is unsafe to eat the day after, just that it’s not at its best. However for “use by” dates you need to be more aware of those.
You may also like: Ways to save money on food shopping
Final thoughts on Too Good To Go
I really loved giving this app a try and for the low price it’s worth doing to see what you can get.
Getting a bag that is full of stuff you like and can actually use is a bit of pot luck however, and our very random selection of items from M&S wasn’t exactly a healthy selection.
Also if you are someone who worries a lot about shelf life and Use By dates then this may not be for you unless you can use all the food on the day you get it.
But this is such a positive step towards using up food that would otherwise be wasted and so I’m really happy to see that it’s doing so well.
I’ve heard great things about the Morrisons box and will be trying to snap one of those up as soon as I can!