Welcome to part one in a series of posts linking useful apps and websites to help you reduce waste and save money. This first post focusses on food waste.
According to the WRAP campaign Love Food Hate Waste , food wasted in the UK is equivalent to throwing 1 in 5 bags of shopping away! As well as meal planning to help you only buy what you need, there is a range of apps and websites to help you find ways to use up leftovers, pass on unwanted food to someone else to use, or to get hold of food that might otherwise go to waste. These are just some of them – please let me know in the comments if you have used these or any others. And if you find the list useful, please share – you can find sharing buttons at the end of the post.
1) Use it up:
Not sure what to do with those leftover potatoes, or that half an aubergine hiding at the back of the fridge? The internet is your friend, with plenty of places to find inspiration.
Many local authorities have website campaigns dedicated to reducing food waste. Here in West Sussex you can find tips as part of the #fightagainstfoodwaste campaign, while Norfolk has Plan Eat Save. Look out for one in your area.
Supermarkets also offer recipe ideas such as Tesco Real Food
And I have already mentioned Love Food Hate Waste which has loads of useful advice.
Plus there are websites and apps to help you search by ingredient such as BBC Food, BBC Good Food which I use a lot, or Supercook
2) Give it away or get it for free ( or cheap):
Use Olio to give away surplus food to your neighbours or find unwanted food for free. This app operates across the UK and is simple to use, although it depends on having other active users nearby – that will only improve as more people get to know about it. I’ve used it a few times over the last year, both to giveaway and to claim food. And it’s all for free. Whilst the app started out just for food, you can now use it to offer other items for free too.
Karma is an app for finding spare food from businesses at the end of the day – you reserve it on the app and go along to pick it up. You usually pay half the usual price for the food. Primairly operating in London at present.
Too Good to Go is another place to find food that restaurants, cafes, bakeries etc might throw away at the end of the day. Operating in a variety of big towns and cities across the UK.
Take a look at the Community Fridge Network website to find a community fridge near you (tip : scroll down the page) or to learn how to set one up. You can also search using #communityfridge. This works in a fairly similar way to Olio in that you offer or collect unwanted food – but this time you drop it off at a defined location for others to help themselves. Retailers also donate surplus food to the project. Contact the local organiser for more info on how your local one operates.
3) Other food waste initiatives
Fareshare and Foodcloud both connect supermarkets that have surplus food to charities that can use the food where it is most needed.
The Real Junk Food Project distributes food in a variety of ways – through food boxes, cafes, schools, community groups and more. Operating in various locations, and indeed across the world.
As well as these there are likely to be a range of other local initiatives going on in your area once you start looking for them. I’d love to hear about any you have used/ any others you know about.
I’m sharing this post as part of the Going Green Linky . Do visit the linky to have a look at other green posts.
4 thoughts on “Top apps and websites to help you reduce waste and grab a bargain or freebie (UK): PART 1: Food Waste”
These are great ideas but I would add a word of caution – we need to be working towards eliminating food waste and there is a risk that apps and websites slow this down as people think it is OK to overbuy because they can pass excess on. Overall I prefer helping people use what they have (so love the first points) rather than passing on what they have over bought but these initiatives are a good stop gap as they move towards reducing food waste! Those in part 2 would be really useful I would imagine for excess home grown produce. #GoingGreen
I hadn’t realised there were so many options. Obviously depends where you are based. Food planning and portion sizes are definitely the way forward, but I know I have days when my plans go off course. #GoingGreen
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Some really handy sites and tips. I am off to have a look! Thank you
Slightly delayed comment from October #goinggreen
As a family we waste food but i’m tackling that by buying less and shopping more frequently for what we need. We have a local cafe with a community fridge, the owner has just won an award for what she’s doing supporting local families. It’s a great idea.
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