Never scrape your surplus into the bin again with these apps that aim to eliminate food waste.

In the UK we throw away £20bn food each year – that’s the equivalent to £300 per Briton – and the figure is rising year-on-year. Yet, thanks to the latest technology, a rise in food waste apps are emerging – from those designed to help you reduce your own waste at home, to those enabling businesses use their surplus for good and help distribute it to those in need. Here are our pick to save your leftovers going into landfill.

Olio


The digital equivalent of a food-care parcel for a neighbour in need, Olio lets you connect with those local to you and let them know you have food going to waste. Think a glut of garden produce come summer, emptying your fridge before going on holiday or a surplus of soup that needs to find a good home.

Foodcloud


Foodcloud is like a matchmaker for food waste, partnering food businesses with surplus produce and charities in need. The social enterprise app allows businesses to list exactly what they have going to waste alongside local community organisations, such as homeless shelters and family support services, who may wish to claim the items that they can put to good use. Reducing food waste and helping sustain those in need: double win.

Too Good to Go


The Too Good to Go (TGTG) app is kick-starting a food waste revolution across nine European countries. The platform allows delis, cafes and restaurants (currently in London only in the UK) to sell their surplus produce at a reduced rate at the end of the day. It also offer ‘Magic Bags’ which are filled with delicious, ready-to-eat delicacies and everyday staples that must go that day, yet you don’t know what you’re going to get until you collect. Simply check in daily to see what’s on offer, buy through the app and collect before closing time. If you’re flexible about what you want to eat, there are some amazing, high-quality eateries listed. Since the app launched in the UK in 2016, TGTG has saved more than half a million meals from landfill. Amazing stuff.

Karma


Some 550,000 users - or ‘food savers’ as the Karma app dubs them – sign up for alerts from 1000+ restaurants and cafes in London and, as a result, get to snap up unsold food for a guaranteed half price. You can search by location or filter by cuisine, save your favourite eateries (from Michelin-starred restaurants to artisan bakeries) and get notified when they list.

No Waste


If you want to get on top of your food shopping and fridge inventory at home, the No Waste app has a clever receipt and barcode scanner that sends you expiration reminders and a meal-planner feature based on what you’ve bought. You can sync your lists with friends and family too, to stop you both picking up milk on your way home. A simple organisational tool to enable you to reduce waste, unnecessary food shops and save money, too.

6 Tips To Reduce Your Food Waste At Home


Before you go food shopping, do a quick inventory of what you already have in your store cupboards.

This is both to prevent buying something you already have and also to try and use what’s in your cupboards as the basis for your next week’s meals, minimising the food you need to purchase fresh each week.

Use your freezer more!

Don’t leave food festering in the fridge. Lots of foods can be frozen in batches and then you can just defrost the portion you need. Lots of ginger or garlic to use up? Freeze it in ice cube trays and pop a cube straight into your saucepan as and when you need it.



When it comes to sell-by dates, use them as guidelines and above all, use your common sense.

For meat, fish and dairy you may want to err on the side of caution, but certainly with fruit and veg, if you’d bought it from a market, or greengrocers it wouldn’t have been stamped with an arbitrary ‘best before’ date, so use your senses. Look, smell and touch to see if it’s still edible.

Invest in BPA-free food storage containers and love your leftovers.

Making a little extra at dinner for lunch the next day, or batch-cooking a working week’s worth of soup will not only save you time and money, but will ensure you use up what’s in your fridge most efficiently.

One big weekly supermarket sweep might not actually be the best way to shop for fresh food.

Buying just what you need two or three times a week will allow you to keep on top of what you have in your fridge and avoid foods spoiling before you have a chance to eat them.

Is your food stored in a way that’s easy for you to see at a glance what you have?

Regularly sorting and clearing out over-crowded cupboards, or those jars of condiments lurking at the back of the fridge will ensure you don’t forget about the food you already have.

By Lydia Mansi
February 2020

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Lydia Mansi

Lifestyle Editor

Lydia is an all-round lifestyle guru, tireless champion of women in business and our resident expert on beauty.

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