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Savvy Mum Reveals How She Saved £2,340 On Food In 18 Months Using Clever Trick

December 3, 2021, 12:00 PM
  • Sarah Colley, 41, uses the Too Good To Go app weekly to save on food
  • She has saved £2,340 on food in just 18 months by using the app
  • Sarah regularly gets bags full of food worth £50 for just £3.09

Food shopping can be a constant source of stress for families, with rising costs draining our bank accounts.

However, one savvy shopper has revealed a genius trick that helped her save £2,340 on food over lockdown.

Sarah Colley, 41, a married mum of one and head of finance for a menswear retailer, started to use the Too Good to Go app during the pandemic.

After being pleasantly surprised with her first “magic bag”, she then decided to use it every week, getting boxes full of food worth £50 for just £3.09.

Sarah, who lives in Scarborough, told money-saving community LatestDeals.co.uk: "I heard about the Too Good to Go app via a colleague at work. I was very dubious at first, as with living in Scarborough there weren’t many businesses signed up to it.

"I bought my first bag from a local One Stop Store and went to pick it up at 9:15pm. It was a carrier bag full of random items, such as sandwiches, crips, fruit, cakes all dated that day. It was worth the £3.09 I had paid.

"I started to rely on the magic bags once a week during the lockdown as I was homeschooling all day and then going to work in the evening, finishing at 9 and picking up the bags at 9:15pm.

"They were fabulous for sandwiches for my husband's lunches and for quick and easy meals for my son.

"As I have coeliac disease, an autoimmune disease where I can’t eat gluten, a lot of the items I couldn’t eat so when there was fruit and veg in the bags it was great.

"It started to become fun wondering what we would get in the bags.

"Once you have selected a magic bag, you go to the store to pick it up, you show them your order number and then swipe your phone to show you have picked it up – you never know what you will get.

"I have had bags that haven’t been worth the amount paid, then you get bags that are fabulous.

"This one, in particular, is the best I have ever had. The gentleman at the store really didn’t want to throw any food away so gave me as much as he could.

"This bag cost £3.09 and it would have cost roughly £50 full price.

"In it was four packets of chicken slices for sandwiches, two pre-packed sandwiches, a pot of ready-made mashed potato, a pork pie, two chicken chow mein ready meals, three punnets of strawberries, a pack of six apples, a punnet of blueberries, two packs of butter brioche rolls, two packs of mince pies, a Cornish pastry, a pre-packed cottage pie, a bunch of celery, two packets of Mr Kipling’s fondant fancies, a pack of salad leaves, a pack of hot dog rolls, a pack of Warburton's thins, a pack of mushrooms, a pack of egg custards, a pack of brioche burger buns and a pack of two red velvet cupcakes.

"I was ecstatic when I started to take the items out. It's such a shock knowing that this amount of food is going to be wasted if someone doesn’t get the bags off the app. I don’t like wasting food!

"I think the app is brilliant for any families that are struggling with rising costs at the moment.

"They are a great buy as long as you don’t mind the food being dated that day. So much of it can be frozen.

"I love getting bargains but then as a Yorkshire woman and an accountant I am bound to!

"I would suggest getting the app and looking maybe a couple of times a day for new items.

"Once you have found a shop with good magic bags, save them as your favourite. You do have to take the bad bags with the good though as you never know what you are going to get.

"There is a lot more choice in the bigger cities – we use the app to find magic bags when we visit family in Leeds.

" Over lockdown, I was saving on average about £30 a week as I was using what I could from the magic bags and making meals plans from then and trying not to go to the supermarket, so over 18 months that would roughly be a saving of about £2,340.

"I also used to get the magic boxes from the real food junk project which were full of food that supermarkets donated instead of throwing away.

"Using the Too Good To Go app has reduced the amount of waste I throw out, therefore reducing the amount going to landfill and which is much better for the environment.

"The money I have saved has helped to put towards a holiday fund when we can travel properly again.

"It’s also helped cut down the number of trips to the supermarket, reducing the use of diesel and I don’t spend as much as I don’t see lots of unnecessary things I don’t need to buy.

"The magic bags also help shopkeepers as they don’t like wasting food or throwing out such waste.

"In a time of rising costs, any help that people can get to save money is extremely helpful!”

Tom Church, co-founder of LatestDeals.co.uk, comments: “Food waste apps such as Too Good To Go and Olio offer a win-win for everyone.

“Less food gets wasted, shoppers get a great deal and businesses still get a bit of money for food that would have ended up in the bin.

“Wasting food is a huge problem: in the UK alone, 3.6 million tonnes of food is wasted by the food industry every year.

“By using apps like these, we can all play our small part in tackling this issue - while saving money too!"

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