Nothing is a more upsetting than watching good food being thrown away. However, we now live in a world full of technology and smartphone applications that can help you save money on food and eat for less. Use the apps below to make your food budget stretch that extra bit further whilst still enjoying beautiful food at a discounted rate.
Food Waste Apps
Best For: Purchase wasted food at discounted prices.
As the war or waste begins to gain momentum all over the world, you can also participate! I recently discovered the free app ‘Too Good To Go’ which allows you to purchase food, that would have been thrown away, at a reduced rate from restaurants, bakeries, supermarkets… you name it!
The app is so widespread that you can find participating eateries all over, whether you’re in London or Amsterdam. I recently picked up a Too Good To Go bag for €3.50 from a local bakery in the Netherlands- safe to say I got my fill of fresh croissants and sourdough bread for the week.
As an international student like me, it’s great knowing a cheeky meal deal is never too far away.
If you’re like me and food is life – then welcome to all foodies best-kept secret. P.S if you’re a sushi lover then you are going to think you’ve died and gone to heaven.
The app is super easy to use, you can select distance, time of collection, food type, all to help you get the best offers that suit you.
But you gotta be on the ball- its often so popular they run out fast!
Where To Get it?
If you’re interested in a cheeky meal deal like me, then check out the daily offers at their official website or download the app at https://toogoodtogo.co.uk/
Best For: Finding free food near you.
Ollio is an app that helps you to connect with your neighbours or local shop so that any surplus food or other items can be shared and never thrown away.
If you love food and hate Waste this is the perfect app, allowing you to pick up food that would have otherwise been discarded.
If you’re looking for food you can simply browse what’s available and then take your fancy and pick it up.
Also, the app allows you to list excess food with a brief description and pick up details, then your neighbours will be able to come and collect it from you.
Best For: Purchasing delicious foods at half price.
Did you know that 1/3 of all food produced is wasted? With Karma’s app you can now find tasty food from your local cafes, grocery stores and restaurants at half price.
Plus with over 1500 retailers selling excess food, it’s truly a great way for you to score a free meal. There are more than 400,000 users buying food at half the price and it’s available in 150 + cities, so why not join in on the fun?
Best For: Discover deals and compare prices between supermarkets.
Favado allows you to capture deals across a wide range of supermarkets such as Aldi, Target or Walmart.
The application also has smart price comparison, enabling you to easily compare the cost of your local supermarket groceries before leaving the house.
Additionally, you can also upload items to Favado so that if a sale starts appearing on that item, real-time notifications will be sent to your phone so that you can catch the deal.
Best For: Earning gift cards from in-store and offline purchases
Whether you’re shopping online or offline, Shopkick is the perfect application to help you earn gift cards whilst doing your normal weekly or bi-weekly shop.
By simply walking in or scanning items in-store you will earn points that can be redeemed for gift vouchers. These gift vouchers can be used at the following stores:
Amazon / Starbucks / Walmart / Nike / Target / Best Buy / Uber / TK Maxx / Uber / Marshalls / Lowe’s HomeGoods / GameStop.
Best For: Price comparison for products, searching for deals and discounts on scanned items.
Instantly compare the prices of scanned items or items from the comfort of your home.
Also Shop Savvy allows users to scan in their own items and sell these via the platform.
Shop Savvy is integrated with over 40,000 retailers, the app comes with money-saving deals which are provided by Groupon.
Restaurant Phone Apps
Best For: Earning points to discount your future restaurant meals,
If you like to eat out from time to time, OpenTable is a great phone app that allows you to:
- Reserve dinner tables
- Read restaurant reviews from diners
- Earn points towards free meals
The number of free points that you can earn with each meal changes according to the time of the day, the number of servers and the restaurant.
What’s great about this application is that everytime you eat out via an OpenTable restaurant you’re earning points to reduce the cost of your next meal out.
Mystery Dining & Shopping Apps
Companies are always looking for people to be their mystery shopper or for genuine strangers to try their new food or restaurant.
What is Mystery Shopping?
Mystery shopping is essentially an activity that you can use to earn an additional income whilst being at university. Companies like to use mystery shoppers to gather information and quality control the service that they are offering. Simply put they pay you a fee for trying out their service, so whether you’re going to a restaurant or you’re going into a betting shop they will pay you to have the experience.
Not all of the companies that offer mystery shopping or dining will be relevant to you, however, I’d recommend registering to as many as possible, just try them out and see if they are a good fit for you.
Also, the people who are working there will not know that you’re actually a mystery diner or a mystery shopper, so remember to play nice!
Here’s a list to all of the best mystery shopping apps:
- HGEM Empowering Hospitality
- Clickandwalk (android download) (IOS download)
- Roamler (android download) (IOS download)
- StreetSpotr (android download) (IOS download)
- ProInsight (android only)
- FieldAgent (android only)
Mystery Shopping Best Practices
Set realistic expectations
Mystery shopping or dining is not going to get you rich. However, what it will do you is save a lot of money if you regularly eat out. Make sure to account for the time that it takes and your travel costs as these are normally not claimable.
Avoid rushing the experience
When you finish the mystery shop or mystery dining experience it’s essential that you take the time to answer the questions or questionnaire fully. They’ve provided you with a free service and in return, you need to do your best and answer the questions so that their company can understand their future customers more effectively.
Save your receipts
It’s highly recommended that you always save your receipts and keep up a printed physical copy even after you’ve uploaded the digital version. This ensures that if anything goes wrong you have a copy of the receipt to claim back the money for the mystery shopping or dining experience.