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This app can save money on food that's about to be thrown out

Are you looking to save money and prevent food waste? Apps like Too Good to Go might be the answer you're looking for.
This app can save money on food that's about to be thrown out
Posted at 11:13 AM, Feb 19, 2024

A TikTok user recently discovered the Too Good to Go smartphone application, which allows restaurants and markets to sell food that is on the verge of getting thrown out. 

Rather than putting the food in a dumpster, businesses will sell food at a fraction of the cost. 

TikTok user Kinsleigh Pa'u posted about her experience using the app in late December. She said she ordered a surprise bag from a bakery, spending $6. In the bag, there were over a dozen pastries, including doughnuts and other baked goods. 

"I am not going to eat all of these so I am to give these out to some homeless people," she said. 

More businesses across the U.S. have started using the app in recent years. It is now in many major cities, including Chicago, New York and Los Angeles. It has also grown to other small and mid-sized cities throughout the U.S. since its 2016 launch. 

"(The app) connects consumers to surplus food from local restaurants and grocery stores, such as pastries, fresh produce, sushi and more, which would otherwise be thrown away to make room for the next batch of goods," Too Good to Go said. "Each meal rescued equates to the CO2e emission of charging one smartphone fully 422 times. "

The application said there are currently over 5,000 bakeries, 4,700 restaurants and 2,100 grocery stores signed up. 

SEE MORE: Food inflation eases, housing costs continue to rise, data shows

The items generally sell for one-third the cost, Too Good to Go says. 

While the company hasn't released final data for 2023, the company showed tremendous growth through 2022. Too Good to Go said that 78 million meals were saved by customers in 2022, up from 52 million in 2021 and 28 million in 2020. 

Too Good to Go is not the only service acting as a last line of defense for food waste. 

Flashfood offers grocery items, many of which are discontinued products, at a fraction of the price.

For foods with cosmetic defects, Imperfect Foods sells products and ships them directly to consumer. The platform says it  saved 172.5 million pounds of food from lesser outcome.

But far more is needed to prevent food waste. Feeding America estimates that about 149 billion meals in the U.S. are wasted every year. The agency also estimates that about 38% of all global food waste occurs in the U.S.

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