As the cost-of-living crisis looms, the prospect of saving on your food shop is appealing. Stirling has a thriving Too Good To Go scene, with restaurants, supermarkets and cafes joining the fight against food waste.
If you’re not familiar with the app, the concept is simple; pay a reduced price for a bag of surprise food.
I tried Stirling’s three grocery Too Good To Go bags to find out which was the best. This included Morrisons, Spar and Marks & Spencer.
My aim was to find out if the contents of the bags were worth the reduced price. Would the food be fresh? Could I make meals from it? Would the surprise be worth it? Although no mystery bag is ever the same, I wanted to compare between the supermarkets to find out.
Morrisons charges £3.09 for their Magic Bag and collection is between 17:00 and 21:00.
My bag contained a red cabbage, Sugardrop tomatoes, Brussel sprouts, four McGhee’s rolls, two chocolate covered apples, one mango, blueberries, wonky carrots, a cantaloupe melon, jumbo salad onions and a bag of satsumas.
The full price of these items is approximately £13.57, which is beyond the £10 price slash.
While much of the produce was fresh, the Brussel sprouts were unusable, and the melon and mango were mushy.
Despite its Too Good To Go rating being 3.3 out of 5 stars, Morrisons had the best value for money.
It was a no-brainer to make a big pot of soup with the cabbage and carrots. There were around five portions that paired with the rolls nicely. The fruit worked as a snack the next day.
In close competition was the Marks & Spencer bag at Stirling Moto. It cost £5 and had to be collected between 20:30 and 22:00.
In my bag, I received one roast chicken and salad sandwich, a strawberry compote trifle, pink lady apples, Boston beans, 10 slices of mature cheddar, asparagus tips, a profiterole dessert, British Rosa on-the-vine tomatoes, six potato farls and four croissants.
The bag is expected to be worth £15 but the items amounted to £24.15 at full price. There was no surprise that it’s achieved a rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars, one of the highest on the app.
My items were much fresher than Morrisons’ despite all being reduced and close to the use by date. The croissants and potato farls lasted a couple more days and were perfect for breakfast. The vegetables made an excellent side but easily could have become a pie or soup. Plus, the desserts were a nice treat.
Spar at Kildean charges £3.50 for a Magic Bag. It can be collected between 19:00 and 21:00.
The bag contained four large Warburtons rolls, six Warburtons thins, lemon and white chocolate muffins, onion, garlic and herb dip, a vindaloo Grab It chicken stick and a spaghetti Bolognese ready meal.
This bag did not have the best value for money, with £10.16 worth of goods for a £10 expected value. Surprisingly, the bag has an average rating of 4 out 5 stars, which is much higher than Morrisons.
Spar had the least meal-worthy items out of the bags. The spaghetti Bolognese was a decent portion and worth the bag as it has a regular price of £2.99, but every other item was a snack or needed something to go with it. My least favourite item was the dip as its flavour was unbelievably strong. I froze the bread and ready meals to preserve them.
Overall, the M&S bag had the best value for money and variety. Even though it is further to travel and has a higher price, there was enough food for every meal and it was far fresher than Morrisons. I liked being able to freeze my Spar items but preferred having enough food for something substantial. Marks & Spencer had diversity and quality and the others simply lacked.
Feature Image Credit: Isla Glen