How I saved 75% on a city centre restaurant

Getting good bargains is one of my favourite pastimes. It’s in my blood, and our Christmas tradition of chasing down last-minute deals at the local supermarkets only catalysed that love. The same was true when I worked at Morrisons: we’d collect cheap chicken and the like that had gone unclaimed at the end of a busy shift.

Then University came, and after I moved away to study, I’d pick up the odd bargain or two in Aldi, but it didn’t feel like a priority in the same way it had done.

Finally, Lockdown hit last year, and a weekly activity that we started to pass the time was to journey to some supermarkets, late at night, and stock up on anything with a reduction label.

Now that Freedom Day has been and gone, and restaurants have fully opened, I’ve had less incentive to use food shopping to entertain myself. As a result, I’ve been left wondering: how can I still enjoy myself while continuing to save money?

That’s when I had my best brainwave ever. I remembered that there was an app that existed for that sole, exact, purpose.

Is it really too good to go?

Before the pandemic started, I was employed as a Freelance Writer for It was a give-and-take service that let users lend their tools, items, or anything else for a price, and people in the local area could pay that fee to borrow them. It was a great way to get odd jobs around the house sorted. For instance, you could either spend a fortune on a power drill to build your new IKEA shelf, or spend a fiver to borrow a neighbour’s for an hour.

Pretty good, right?

As part of my freelancing role, I was in charge of the blog and socials, so it gave me a wealth of experience with that side of the internet. It’s actually one of the reasons that I revived my blog just over a year ago, not long after the website shut down (companies that specialise in sharing tools aren’t really suited to pandemics, unfortunately). Anyway, one of the aims of my blog posts for the company was to focus on money-saving tips and tricks.

It was while brainstorming a month’s worth of content that I came across an app that is dedicated to saving money: Too Good to Go. The app was made as a way to cut down on food waste and lend the environment a helping hand. To do this, users are able to buy a ‘magic bag’, full of goodies from whichever shop or restaurant you’ve selected. The catch? It comes at an incredibly low price. You just need to find the offers before they’re all gone.

I tried out this app in 2019, when I first heard about it, and it didn’t disappoint. How would it hold up, two years later, in a world struck by COVID?

Breakfast done right

In the past, I’ve exclusively saved Indian food through the app. This time, I went for breakfast from AC Hotel, on the Wharfside, near The Mailbox. In the magic bag was a promised buffet breakfast, so I went to the gym to setup an empty stomach and leave lots of room for a full bag.

The bag was far bigger than expected.

We had a box of scrambled egg, mushrooms, sausages, bacon and hash browns. On top of that was a pastry – a cinnamon swirl – a yoghurt and a baby bell. The cooked breakfast by itself was by far large enough to tide me over until dinner; I saved the pastries and other items for breakfast the next morning.

The price tag? Just £3.99, reduced from £12. It was a 75% saving. All of that for less than a fiver! How could I not?

A final word

The variety of available restaurants, cafes and shops that are on the app changes every day, and may vary based on the location that you set, as well as how willing you are to travel for a cheap dinner. However, I cannot recommend the app enough. Not only is it a fantastic way to experience good quality food from a range of places you may not have ventured to, it’s also a brilliant method for doing a little bit to reduce food waste and help out the environment.

Have you ever used Too Good To Go? Have I convinced you to? Let me know in the comments below.

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