As the cost of living rises, an increasing number of people are looking for ways to save money in their daily lives. Whether it’s using less energy or changing your shopping habits, it’s safe to say that most people are feeling the effects. A popular app, which has been around for years but is more important than ever, is helping people not only save money, but also reduce food waste.
There’s nothing better than getting takeout. From Chinese food to Italian food, even the most health conscious crave it every once in a while. But the price of picking up your favorite foods for takeout can quickly add up.
Luckily, on the popular Too Good To Go app, you can grab leftover takeaway food that might have ended up being thrown away, for just a few pounds. The simple app acts as a link between restaurants with unsold items and customers who can place orders to pick them up at a discounted price to avoid food waste.
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Due to the nature of food waste, users don’t always know exactly what foods they’re collecting, so the app acts as a sort of “lucky dip” for fresh foods. Users prepay through the app, then arrive at the store to pick up their meal during a set time window and present a mobile receipt.
The initiative combats food waste by allowing users to order a “magic bag” filled with unsold fresh food from restaurants, supermarkets and other businesses for just a fraction of the original price. The original concept has been warmly embraced by a variety of traders across Cardiff, and now the app has revealed the top 10 most popular spots. So if you fancy trying something a little different from your usual takeout, check out some of the businesses in town that will give you more than your money’s worth. To see our pick of the 50 best restaurants in Cardiff, head here.
One of Cardiff’s best-loved independents, Pettigrew’s “magic bags” regularly sell out within minutes. Known for its bread, sandwiches, sweets, and great coffee, there’s a wide variety of items you can find in your bag.
Pettigrew, which is on Cowbridge Road East, Bute Park and Cardiff Markets, offers a variety of sourdough, traditional and homemade breads, baked fresh daily, as well as several sweet and savory pastries – all of which you could have in your bag for £4.
Brod Danish Bakery
A bit of a cult in the city’s Pontcanna district, Brod Danish Bakery regularly has long lines of people waiting to get their hands on their sweet treats and savory sandwiches and breads. The bakery sells out regularly and also has a second location in Penarth, meaning ‘magic bags’ are often in short supply. But if you have the possibility to reserve a bag, do it! Chances are he won’t be here in a few minutes. The magic bags are advertised at £3.59.
With locations across the country, Parsons is a popular bakery with four locations in Cardiff. All four city branches – Roath, Rhiwbina, Whitchurch and Llanishen – feature in Too Good To Go’s top 10 users. A magic bag worth £12 which is offered to app users for just £3 £.99 will include a selection of handmade baked goods – everything from hot rolls to steak pates.
Yard Corporation / Corporate Market
One of Cardiff’s best-known pubs got a new lease on life last year when it reopened as an independent market, cafe and bar. It has now been added to the food waste app and for £3.35 you can get a magic bag full of baked goods, freshly baked bread rolls, buns and cakes.
let them see the cake
Located opposite Victoria Park in Guangzhou, Let Them See Cake specializes in pastries ranging from delicate cupcakes to luxury cookies. For £5 you can get a bag full of treats, the contents of which are often worth much more than the going price of the bag.
This street food spot opened in June 2021, after husband and wife Tudor and Caroline Barber transformed a former Chinese take-out restaurant. Its concept is simple yet exciting – each month a different chef takes over the kitchen in a rotating residency to create their own menu. Sadly the magic bag won’t feature the rotating menu – although you can find a review of the restaurant when it opened here – but for £3.35 you can save some of the restaurant’s brownies and pastries.
Yangs started life in Barry in 1998 before moving to Cardiff in 2005. The menu offers Cantonese, Pekingese, Szechuan and Hong Kong style dishes, as well as plenty of vegetarian options. If you’re looking for a hearty meal, Yangs on Too Good To Go might be an option. For £3.35 you can enjoy a delicious Asian meal worth £10.
When it comes to Cardiff pies, there is none more famous than Clark’s Pie. Founded over a hundred years ago in 1913 by Mary Clark, this family business is known across the city for its iconic oval-shaped ground beef pies. From their last remaining store on Bromsgrove Street, Grangetown, the pies are distributed to fish and chip shops around Cardiff, where they are a regular fixture in hot cupboards sitting alongside saveloys and rissoles. For £3.35 you can pick up leftover pies from the famed establishment worth £10.
Undoubtedly one of Cardiff’s most famous hotels, located on the corner of Castle Street and Westgate Street, the Angel Hotel offers breakfast leftovers on Too Good To Go. If you fancy luxury of a hotel breakfast, at a fraction of the price, this might be the choice for you. For £2.99 app users will get a bag full of breads, fruit, pastries and cheeses.
Wickid Chicken caters to the needs of chicken lovers across the city, selling meat in all its varieties – including burgers, wraps, wings, nuggets, fried chicken and boneless strips. Your magic bag from this restaurant will cost £15, but you’ll only pay a third (£5) through the app. This halal restaurant also offers kids meals and bucket meals, making it an inclusive and family-friendly option.
Golden Dragon (GD box)
You can get a bag of award-winning Chinese cuisine from Golden Dragon for £30 for just £10 through the app.
Located in Cathays, the takeaway sells an abundance of noodle boxes, rice boxes, wrap boxes, stir fry boxes and even nacho boxes. Other choices customers might be lucky enough to receive include curries and soups.
Hugely popular City Road establishment, Deli Fuego, has also benefited from the fight against food waste, offering customers fresh Mediterranean and Middle Eastern meals for just £2.99 via the app. With mouth-watering starters such as calamari and falafel, and entrees such as grill platters and steaks, a magic bag of Deli Fuego is sure to be a treasure trove of hearty food.
Kreme of Cardiff opened in Cardiff Market earlier this year, selling a huge range of desserts from cheesecakes and donuts to Belgian waffles and pastries. The stand sells a huge range of cakes, with over 46 different flavors and kinds available, many of which you won’t typically find in your local bakery or patisserie. For £3.35 you can try some of the delicious pastries.
McSims Pastizzeria Coffee and Pastry
With two locations in the city, McSims Pastizzeria Coffee and Pastry is a relatively new offering in Cardiff. For £3.35, app users will be able to get a magic bag full of pastries worth over £10. The cafe is also known for its pizzas, pies and Pastizzi so who knows what you might get.
The tips, tricks and moments you need to know to get the most out of Too Good To Go
For some of the most popular companies, magic bags sell out in minutes, while for others, you can almost always guarantee yourself a bag. Here are some tips and tricks for securing your favorite:
- While there’s no surefire “best time” to make sure you secure a bag, it’s probably no surprise that weekends are busier due to the simple fact that more people compete for the limited bags. So if you can, it might be worth checking in during the week or at generally quieter times of the day to see if that increases your chances.
- Determine when the bags are released. Keeping tabs on when your desired location releases its bags could help you work out a pattern. Popular locations usually release their bags a day before the collection window, around the same time. If you’re looking for a bag that typically has a collection window of 6-7pm, the day before your Magic Bag pick, you’ll want to be on the app waiting around 7pm. With some popular bags that sell out in minutes, knowing the exact time can be very helpful.
- If you are unable to collect your order, you must let us know within 3 hours of collection before being charged and the bag will be discarded. You do it on the receipt in the app
- Bring your own bags. Although most places provide bags and containers, this is not guaranteed, so be sure to bring something to take your goods home.
- “Favorite” places in the application. If you have a few businesses that caught your eye, be sure to bookmark them in the app so they’re easier to find later.
- Check the app regularly and at different times of the day, as different establishments release their bags and boxes at different times.
- Have your payment method handy. Some people have commented online that they lost their order because the payment took too long. You have the option of saving payment details on the app, or you can also use Apple Pay and PayPal which are generally faster.
- There are no guarantees. Even if you secure an order, there is no guarantee that it will not be canceled by the store. If they’re in a hurry or sell items they’ve put aside, your order may still be canceled, so it’s worth keeping that in mind.