Sustainable Living

7 Food Waste Apps for Saving Money *and* the Planet

Tehrene Firman

Photo: Stocksy / Flamingo Images

Food waste is a serious problem. It’s estimated at being between 30 to 40 percent of the entire food supply in the United States, and nearly 80 billion pounds of wasted food per year. Instead of being composted or given to those who need it, that food is sent straight to landfills and takes up more space than any other type of waste.

Each American is estimated to toss more than 219 pounds of food per year. Doing your part to cut back makes all the difference, and these services and apps help make it easy. There are companies that send “ugly” produce to your door that would have gone to waste, and apps that enable you to volunteer your time to transfer fresh food from grocery stores to those in need. Here are the best food waste apps and services to help you do your part in ending food waste for good.

The best food waste apps and services

1. Imperfect Foods

You never know what to expect when your Imperfect Foods box lands on your doorstep. You’ll find “ugly” fruit and veggies—items that would have gone to waste because of their imperfections. But instead of going to waste, they’re sent off to homes that know they’re just as healthy and appreciate all the character they bring to meals.

2. Misfits Market

Misfits Market works with farmers to send organic and sustainably-sourced produce to your home for up to 40 percent off what you’d pay at the grocery store. This provides people with affordable access to healthy food, as well as cuts down on food waste—it rescues the “misfit” produce that would have been tossed.

3. Too Good To Go

When you download Too Good To Go, you can start saving meals from restaurants, bakeries, and supermarkets from going to waste. Here’s how it works: After you find a store near you, place your order then collect your meal at a specified time. You’ll have a perfectly delicious meal at a bargain price, and you’ll save that food from going in the garbage. Find it on the App Store or Google Play.

4. Hungry Harvest

Every delivery from Hungry Harvest saves at least 10 pounds of food from going to waste. Not only that, but you’re also spending less on those fruit and veggies than you would at a store. You can also add other rescued grocery staples to your order too, like coffee, grains, eggs, bread, and canned goods.

5. Food Rescue Us

If you want to help reduce food waste on a bigger scale, volunteer. This app uses technology to get the job done. Volunteers use the app to transfer any extra fresh food from grocery stores, restaurants, and other sources to social service agencies that feed those who need it. Find it on the App Store or Google Play.

6. Olio

If you hate tossing out good food, OLIO can help. With the app, you’ll easily be able to give away food and other household items to your neighbors. Not only does that help you clean out your cupboards, but it also gives food that would be wasted to those who could use it. Find it on the App Store or Google Play.

7. Flashfood

The Flashfood app lets you quickly find discounted food at grocery stores in your area. You can score anything that’s nearing its “best before date” at a discounted price, and you can pay right through the app. Right now, it’s available at select stores in Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Find it on the App Store or Google Play.


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