A Blog by International Students at Leiden University

Too Good to Go- Cheap Food and Sustainable Living!

Living sustainably can sometimes be difficult (and often expensive). That’s why it’s so great to find apps like TooGoodToGo that offer a solution to this exact problem!

Not everyone has the time or money to live sustainably. And, let us not forget, not everyone wants to. And that’s OK. My goal is not to convince you to change the way you live or your values, and nor is it to lecture you on your choices.

But sometimes sustainable living is just the added bonus to some other perk, and that’s when it becomes the best option for everyone.

So what am I talking about?

TooGoodToGo is a free app in which you can buy unsold food items from shops, restaurants, hotels, or supermarkets.

The story behind it- Confronted with the vast amounts of food that is being wasted on a daily basis worldwide, the goal of the initiative was to find a way to prevent this from happening. And the solution they came up with? An app.

With a growing community, they are getting closer to that goal with every meal purchased through TooGoodToGo. But this is still not enough. That’s where you come in.

Why is this sustainable?

By buying products and food that will otherwise be thrown away you reduce food waste, and by that also the raw materials used to produce that food: water, agricultural land, labor, and transport. Food-waste also has consequences for our environment, mainly increased CO2 emission.

How does it work?

An example of some options in Leiden

After downloading the app, you can choose from several options in Leiden (or any other city in the Netherlands for that matter) to choose from. They will offer you a “Magic Box”- a box of varying products, the content of which remains a surprise until you collect it. The prices range from 2.99-14.99 euros, but the worth of the boxes is always more than 3 times what you pay for it!

After you pay, all you have to do is go to the collection point in the time window given to you, and… that’s it!

What do you get from this?

Cheap food!

You heard me, cheap food that has nothing wrong with it, but regardless would have been thrown away. This is why the products change daily- the contents of the box depend on the products to be thrown each day.

For example: you can get a package from Bakker van Mannen worth ~15€ for only 5€, a complete breakfast from Best Western worth ~12€  for only 3.50€, an assortment of health products from Zaailing natuurwinkel worth ~15€ for only 5€, and more (you can even buy ice-cream!).


For some of the providers, demand is so high that they run out of packages in a matter of minutes! My tip to you- if you want one of the more popular options (Bakker van Mannen, for example) make sure you buy early during the day and don’t wait until the last second.

You never know what you’ll get, but you’re always happy!

Now, go explore!

Join the “waste warriors” army (as they so adorably put it) and make a difference! My tip to you is to just start buying boxes and slowly figure out which providers are your favorite. The anticipation and surprise of each box is an experience in itself, but from my experience, the products never disappoint either.


A link to the website (where you can also download the app)-


2 comments on “Too Good to Go- Cheap Food and Sustainable Living!

  1. Esra@theleidener
    May 3, 2019

    This is one of my favorite apps! It is such a good idea and such a good article 🙂

    • Maya Orbach
      May 4, 2019

      Thanks 🙂 I love the app, too (obviously haha)!

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This entry was posted on May 2, 2019 by in Maya, Practical Stuff.

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