8 useful environmentally-friendly Android apps to tackle food waste

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Have you ever thought about how much food your household throws away in one month or even a week? The results will likely surprise you! What if, instead of wasting all that food, you gave it to someone in need? Doing so would significantly help reduce food waste. However, that’s just one of many ways you can help combat this global crisis.

According to Feeding America, a whopping 108 billion pounds of food is thrown away each year in the United States alone; this is $408 billion in food and equates to nearly 40% of all food in America. These statistics are saddening. Imagine how many hungry people could have been fed with all of this wasted food. And let’s not get started on the greenhouse gases emitted from uneaten food.


Luckily, it’s not too late to turn things around for our planet. Thanks to the incredible apps on this list, you can feel good knowing you’re doing your part to help reduce food waste by keeping delicious food items out of the dumpster.

Too Good To Go

You’ve likely heard about mystery boxes from online stores like Amazon, Best Buy, and Walmart; you never know what you’ll find inside each one. This app has the same concept, except instead of a mystery box, you can purchase a “Surprise Bag” filled with surplus food items from local stores, restaurants, and cafes. Since these places have no way of knowing what they’ll have left over at the end of the day, each bag will always be a mystery. So, you won’t be able to see what it will contain; however, that’s part of the fun!

In the app, you can enter your city or use your current location to find participating locations in your area (up to a 20-mile radius). If you’re lucky enough to have participating stores nearby, you can browse and learn more about each. For each participating store, you can a rating (based on a 5-star scale), location, the rate per bag, and anything important you may need to know (e.g., whether you need to bring a carry bag or not). Stores can also be added to your favorites for easy access.

Once you’ve decided on a location, you can choose how many bags you’d like (quantities will vary per store) and reserve a time slot for pickup. Upon making a reservation, you’ll also need to pay through the app (payments cannot be made in-store). In addition to using credit cards, you can also pay via PayPal and Google Pay. Too Good To Go services customers in the U.S. and 16 other countries, including Canada, Germany, Italy, Portugal, and the United Kingdom.


This app is here to help you find free food in your area for yourself or someone you know. To get started, enter a US-based zip code or use your current location to see a map of all free food resources nearby. You’ll then see a map with red pins indicating food pantries available to help those in need.

First, tap a pin and then tap the location name at the bottom of the screen to see more information about it. The details page provides all pertinent information, such as the address, phone number, website, email address, contact person, hours of operation, services, languages spoken, and requirements (e.g., an ID or an appointment is required).

Most of the information under the Contacts section is actionable. So, you can tap the address to automatically open the location on Google Maps, tap the phone number to call, tap the website to open it in a web browser, and tap the email to create a new message in your email app. If any of the information is out-of-date, there’s a button available to suggest an edit.


Similar to Too Good To Go, Phenix lets you purchase “Surprise Baskets” from local retailers to rescue unsold food. You can search for participating shops using your current location or by manually entering a location (address, city, or country). While there’s no way to know the basket contents ahead of time, you can get a good idea of what each one contains based on the shop. For instance, a butcher isn’t going to have vegetable baskets. Stores can be added to your favorites, and you can enable alerts to be notified when a new basket is available.

Filters can narrow down the results by basket type, special diets, payment methods, pick-up hours, and more. For example, you may be looking for a bread basket, or maybe you’re a vegan who also avoids gluten. When viewing a shop, you can see its location, operation hours, and earned badges (e.g., Outstanding Quality). Shops may have more than one basket type available for ordering, and you can choose your desired quantity. When ready, you can order right from the app and will be given a time slot for pickup.

Phenix also has a loyalty program where you can earn points for purchasing baskets and referring friends. You can then use these points to receive discounts on future purchases. The app currently has just nine countries listed on the sign-up page: France, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Hong Kong, Luxemburg, Germany, and the Netherlands. While there is also an “Other” option available, participating shops in the United States and other areas are a bit scarce.


How many items have you had to throw away because they were past their expiration or best-buy date? Unfortunately, this is almost impossible to avoid if you aren’t checking all of your perishable items regularly. Thankfully, Nosh keeps an inventory of all your food items so you can stay up-to-date on their expiry, use-by, and best-before dates. This process may be time-consuming at first; however, it ensures you use items before they expire, thus helping you reduce waste and save money.

Along with tracking your buying and wasting habits, which you can visualize with the weekly analytics feature, you can create a shopping list and get recipe suggestions within the app. Best of all, when searching for recipes, you can choose to use items from your inventory. There are three ways to add items to your inventory: scanning receipts, scanning barcodes, and manually typing them in. For each item, you can also select where it’s stored (fridge, freezer, pantry), the quantity, and the expiry date.

A picture is often automatically added when scanning items, but you can manually add one or change it if needed. When manually adding items, you can tap to add an image from your device gallery or use the camera to take a picture on-the-spot. Managing your inventory is quick and convenient; you can edit, delete, and add items to your shopping list if you need to pick up more. The Expired section in the app will let you know if you need to dispose of any items. Hopefully, with the help of this app, that section will stay empty.


Did you know that grocery stores often discount items nearing their best-by date since they can’t be sold after that date? The only problem with this is that there’s no way of knowing when these deals are available. That’s where Flashfood steps in. The app will show you nearby grocery stores with discounts on older food items using your location. Not only does this help you save money, but the grocery stores will have less unsold food to throw away.

Flashfood is partnered with 22 stores in the United States and Canada, including Giant, Meijer, Family Fare, Food Lion, Martin’s, and Stop & Shop. So if you don’t have any participating stores in your area, you’re out of luck. However, if you sign up on the Flashfood website, they will notify you when new locations are added near you. For each location, you can see all available items at a discount, along with their best-by-date. In addition, items can be added to the shopping cart and purchased from the app. Then, you can pick them up from the “Flashfood Zone” (usually near the customer service desk) at any time of the day.

Items that you haven’t picked up yet and are still available will show in the Pickups section of the app. The Receipts section lets you view all past purchases, including picked-up items and missed pick-ups. Lastly, Flashfood allows you to add your store loyalty cards; however, you can’t collect points from your purchases through the app. Instead, they use your purchase history to tailor the items they recommend to you.


If you’re in Finland, Sweden, Poland, Estonia, or Germany, this app helps stop food from going to waste at local restaurants, cafes, bakeries, and hotels. You can either use your current location or shop for food venues in the app to find deals on surplus food. ResQ partners with available offers will show as green circles on the map, while those without available offers will display as grey circles.

You can select one or more offers and purchase right from the app using debit, credit, MobilePay, Google Pay, Apple Pay, and PayPal. The pickup timeframe will be available in the offer details, and at the venue, you’ll need to show your receipt from the app (or email) to confirm your order. In addition, you can purchase ResQ credits for yourself or as a gift for in-app purchases. You can also earn credits for inviting friends to the app.

The app has smart deal notifications that can be enabled and disabled at will. In the app’s settings, you can select any special diet you’re on to receive notifications for matching offers. Similarly, venues can be marked as favorites so that you won’t miss any deals from them. You can enable notifications for any new offers within a certain radius (up to 50 km) of your current location.


Having to throw away expired food is never fun; you’re literally throwing your money in the trash can. What if you could share those soon-to-be expired items with someone else instead of wasting them? That’s what OLIO is all about. It helps you connect with neighbors and local businesses who are either giving away surplus food or interested in taking yours. Upon joining, you’ll need to set your home location; this will show you all other users in your area.

Selecting an available item will display its details and approximate location. Then, if interested, you can tap the “Request this” button to contact the user and make arrangements to pick it up via the private messaging system. The map will also show you what’s available but includes more precise locations. However, you’ll need to become an OLIO supporter to see the listings here. An OLIO subscription costs $2.99 a month or $16.99 a year and even unlocks a special Supporter profile.

Posting food you’d like to give away is pretty straightforward. Along with a title, description, and quantity, you can add up to 10 images, set a specific pick-up time, choose how long your listing will remain active, and when to post it as available (immediately or after a certain number of hours). Not only is this a great way to reduce waste, but it also lets you connect with your neighbors.

Imperfect Foods

This app reduces food waste and helps you with your grocery shopping. After telling Imperfect Foods a little about yourself, they’ll create a custom box of groceries each week and deliver it to you if you’re in a participating zip code. Your box will be filled with flawed produce, surprise food items, and more. So, it’s a subscription box that saves time, money, and the environment. You can even choose to skip a week as needed.

When customizing your box, you can choose the type of produce you’d like to receive, your dietary preference, and the variety of food items you want. In addition, you get to decide the day of the week for each delivery. They’ll also give you a weekly shopping window where you can edit your cart to add more items and remove unwanted items found in their catalog.

Finally, you’ll be given a weekly estimate, including a delivery fee (orders over $60 ship for free). Only then will you be able to create an account, but you won’t be charged until your shopping window closes. Imperfect Foods does its own deliveries with just one van per area. Best of all, they’ll deliver to your entire neighborhood in one trip to reduce trips and harmful C02 emissions. They even go a step further by taking your packaging back with them, allowing them to reuse and recycle it.

How do you prefer to conserve food?

Keeping as much food as possible out of the trash is something we all should be striving to do. As you can guess, having landfills full of rotting food (among many other wasted things) isn’t good for us or the environment. So, it’s time that we all step up and do our part. Whether you purchase surplus food items or work harder at using items before they expire, it’s a step in the right direction. What change will you make to ensure less food is wasted in your home?

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