//The Best 6 Food Waste Apps To Save Some Money And The Environment

The Best 6 Food Waste Apps To Save Some Money And The Environment

food produce in garbage


Though the availability of food is certainly a hallmark of advancing civilizations, waste tends to follow such an overabundance. However, there are efforts to reduce squandered food, ranging from smartphone apps to buses powered by waste. According to a 2023 study from Greenly, over a third of all food produced over a year ends up wasted, which translates to around 2.5 billion tons and an estimated loss of $230 billion. This figure is predicted to trend upwards as well, with speculation pointing towards it rising another third by the year 2030. Luckily, there are apps attempting to alleviate this issue, each offering a novel solution to the growing problem of food waste. 

Some apps are much more focused on the individual, while others put the spotlight on the user’s immediate community. Needless to say, there are many options available for bringing the aforementioned statistics down. Some of these apps might even provide some great discounts that your wallet will surely enjoy.  

Olio is an app for decluttering that also covers food

Although there are many different kinds of food waste on a commercial scale, losses also occur on a personal level. A great program for dealing with unwanted food items is Olio, which is mainly considered a decluttering app. In other words, Olio is used by individuals to get rid of things they no longer want, and the process is quite simple. 

Olio users take a picture of what they are attempting to give away, and then post it in the app. Other users can then see what is available based on proximity, and interested parties can be connected in order to figure out how to make the exchange, whether the items are being picked up or dropped off.

People can use Olio to get rid of excess or stockpiled food before it goes bad, in addition to perhaps an old sofa or blender. Since Olio is meant specifically for giving away things, no money is typically exchanged anywhere in this process. This makes it an even easier application to use in helping out your community, so if you notice that you have some extra food laying around, Olio is a good option for those with a giving heart. 

Boasting around seven million users worldwide, Olio is highly rated by users with both Google and Apple smartphones.

YourLocal allows you to purchase overstocked goods

Another application that is growing in popularity — though currently only available in Denmark and New York City — is YourLocal, which already boasts around 250,000 users. YourLocal is planning on expanding throughout the United States at some point, so it is probably a good idea to keep an eye on this great program. YourLocal is unique because it allows restaurants and grocery stores to sell their product overstock. The YourLocal website notes that listed items can go for as much as 70% off, and the app allows you to not only pick out the items you would like, but to pay for them as well. Unfortunately, there isn’t a delivery option with this application, so users will need to personally pick up their heavily discounted items.

YourLocal App is a great means of reducing waste from business, especially since the ebb and flow of stock can swing wildly. Restaurants and grocery stores can occasionally order entirely too much, and the product either goes bad on the shelves or is tossed away. By utilizing YourLocal, you can reduce waste and snag some pretty sweet deals in the process.

Too Good To Go offers random assortments of food

If you’re feeling a tad more adventurous but still have a mind to help stem the tide of food waste, then Too Good To Go is a great application. This is another service that taps into the surplus food created by restaurants, bakeries, and grocery stores, allowing people to purchase a random assortment of food. Whereas other food waste apps allow for more choices, the draw of Too Good To Go is that you can only really guess what you might get. The app’s website notes that you get a “Surprise Bag” from one of these locations, and typically pay around one-third of the retail price.

This means that not only are you doing your part to reduce food waste, but it can be fun to not know what to expect. Too Good To Go reportedly brings in about 4.6 million users, over 10,000 business on the platform, and have served over six million surprise bags.

Flashfood is meant for selling nearly expired meat and produce before they’re wasted

Flashfood is another great source of savings while combating food waste. Flashfood aims to connect grocery stores with customers in order to sell meats and produce that are getting close to their sell-by dates. Food is typically tossed away once it crosses that threshold, which surely makes up a lion’s share of the food waste across the globe. Flashfood does its part by allowing the purchase of these closeout items, and usually for a tremendous discount — savings can range upwards of 50% off.

Using the free Flashfood app, users can select meats and produce, pay on the app, and then go and pick up their Flashfood order from a designated Flashfood zone. Users are able to use credit cards, debit cards, and even SNAP EBT to complete their purchases, making Flashfood an exceptional and flexible free service.

Food Rescue US is a great place to donate food or volunteer

If you are looking for something even more altruistic, Food Rescue US is a volunteer service and corresponding app that allows people to donate unwanted food to local social services. This means that instead of food being thrown away, it will instead be given to those in need, absolutely free of change. As such, Food Rescue US isn’t out there to make a profit, and those who donate aren’t getting paid for their efforts. 

Food Rescue US does tremendous good for local communities, and at the time of this writing, has provided over 110 million meals, prevented over 140 million pounds of food from going to landfills, and boasts over 20,000 food rescuers helping the cause.

As a food volunteer, you sign up and are given two destinations — one to pick up donated food, and one to deliver them to a social service in need. Businesses can also donate items to Food Rescue US to be re-appropriated.

Fridgely uses technology to keep track of your food and expiration dates

Holding a phone towards refrigerator


Fridgely is a unique application that allows you to track the expiration dates of your own purchased food. Instead of coming to the sudden and upsetting realization that some of the things in your pantry, freezer, and refrigerator are past their expiration, Fridgely provides warnings that your food is approaching that dreaded date. This means that instead of simply tossing “bad” food away, you’ll be given a notice to instead utilize the foodstuff before it’s too late.

Beyond tracking your own food, you can also open up the application to people who live with you, thereby turning Fridgely into a group effort. Fridgely also shows recipes for the stuff you do have in stock. This means that with a little bit of effort, you’ll be able to save food and maybe even discover a new dish you never knew you could make.

With all of these choices for reducing food waste, you now have multiple options — you can purchase food at reduced prices, donate your own, and even track what you already have.