Top Apps That Save You Money and Reduce Food Waste

With an estimated 18 million meals going to waste in the UK every day, these helpful apps prevent waste and save money.

a table with take away meals in trays
(Image credit: getty)

 

We are all familiar with the convenience of apps, but did you know that there are apps available that help to prevent food waste? 

With so many households across the country feeling the pinch Sammie Ellard-King, founder of upthegains.co.uk says ‘ A common misconception people in the UK have is that they can’t ask for help when they need it and it almost devalues them as an individual’ Sammie then goes on to say ‘It’s essential we find solutions to help each other out, apps like Olio and Too Good To Go are perfect for this’

OLIO

An Olio Banner for their App

(Image credit: Olio)

 

Olio is a food-sharing app, and it’s a revelation when it comes to preventing food waste. Available on both Android and IOS it’s free to download. You will find food that’s close to its sell-by-date from local shops, surplus allotment veggies on offer, or even leftovers from fellow community members. 

The idea is that food is free and once you join you can access a list of free food on offer or add food items that you would like to save from waste yourself. It’s a very community-focused project, you can even volunteer to collect food where it’s available and distribute it among your own community. The app has been a huge hit across the UK with 6,310,450 users to date and 65,312,492 food portions shared to date. (olio.com) 

TOO GOOD TO GO

Too Good To Go app logo

(Image credit: Too Good To Go)

 

This app is a personal favourite of mine. It connects the consumer to supermarkets, bakeries, cafes, and restaurants. For years the food has gone to waste at the end of the day or when it’s close to its sell-by date. Too Good To Go eliminates waste by allowing consumers to access reduced foods in the form of a magic bag. 

I chose a magic bag from Morrisons for £3.99, what I actually got was a very generous veg box with added extras including bread and cheese. The value was closer to £20 - so excellent value! The Starbucks magic bag was £5, the actual value was around £15, and included toasties and croissants.  

The app, available on both IOS and Android lists the shop's restaurants and cafes that are closest to you and the times they will be available, along with how many magic bags are available. Select your bag and pick it up at the time provided, it’s so simple! I’ve noticed that magic bags sell fast, so if you want to make use of this service, don’t delay when you find a bag of goodies you fancy.

KARMA

The Karna app logo

(Image credit: Karma)

 

What started as a Swedish start-up in 2016 has now grown into an award-winning global success. Working similarly to Too Good To Go, Karma connects communities with their local restaurants that sell surplus foods at discounted prices. 

No magic bags here though, you choose from specific meals, so probably a better option for fussy eaters! The app allows you to follow your favourite eateries and you can get notifications when meals become available. Even Barak Obama loves the app and with 4 million meals saved so far, we can see why. Karma is free to download and available on IOS and Android. 

NOSH

The Nosh app logo

(Image credit: Nosh)

 

Nosh is about more than buying reduced food, Nosh helps you make the most of the food you already have therefore preventing waste. Developed during the pandemic, when stockpiling food became the norm, the founders of this app quickly realised that these new shopping habits also create waste. 

Once you download Nosh you can take advantage of its features including, an expiry date tracker, planning with an integrated shopping list, and a bank of tasty recipes using the foods that you already have at home. Users have the planet first by using these features and saved 209.10 tons of CO2 emissions to date. 

You can still buy and sell local discounted food using the Nosh app. The Nosh Shop features listings from locals, it’s a fantastic way to buy affordable family meals. It’s a great option if you would like to help others eat well within your local community.

NO WASTE

No Waste App

(Image credit: No Waste)

 

No waste is simple to use and its features prevent food waste. Unlike the other apps mentioned, you can’t buy reduced food, you make the most of what you have already. The app allows you to create an inventory of the foods at home. You can sort them by food types and exploration dates. You can even share your inventory with family members. Use the barcode and receipt scanner to update your lists as you unpack the shopping, making it easy to know what foods to use first. 

You can keep track of the savings you make by preventing food waste. And if you want to know how your local community is doing, you can track that too. According to businesswaste.co.uk, the UK produces around 9.5 tons of waste each year. It will be interesting to see just how much of that you contribute to, and how much you can prevent. No Waste is free to download and available on Android and IOS.

KITCHE

Kitche app logo

(Image credit: Kitche)

 

The main focus of the Kitche app is to encourage its users to consider the environmental impact when it comes to food waste. Much like No Waste, Kitche allows you to scan shopping receipts, type in products, or scan product bar codes to add food items to the app. You can create lists such as ‘at home’, ‘to buy’, or ditched to keep track. 

Based on the contents of your fridge, pantry, and cupboards, find a recipe from the thousands available to create nutritious family meals. It’s especially handy if you need inspiration fast and can’t possibly imagine what you could make from, what seems like random ingredients!

There’s a bank of helpful tips and hacks at your fingertips on preventing waste and the app is very user-friendly. I looked at the online tutorials on how to use the app, and there was loads of information about food waste in general.

Whether you choose to use one of the apps suggested or a few of them. They are an easy way to save money on the weekly food shop and make a positive impact on the environment

Sarah-Jane Outten
Editor

Hi, I’m SJ. I’m an editor and content executive here at MyVoucherCodes. I started my journey here as a deals expert which gave me the skills to become a money-saving expert. You can find my tips and recommendations in various publications including The Sun, The Mirror, and The Telegraph.

I gained a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing in 2018, and I’ve put my writing skills into many projects since then. My portfolio at sarahjaneoutten.com includes my work with Cardiff Times, Buzz Magazine and more. 

I write poetry and short stories for pleasure and enjoy getting creative with watercolours and lino printing. I hope that I can merge my love of writing and art into a children's book in the future - watch this space!