I Saved So Much Money On Food Using This App In Canada & It's The Ultimate Hack

I'm never going back!

Contributing Writer, Vancouver
Sierra Riley holding a Terra Breads Too Good To Go box. Right: the Too Good To Go app.

Sierra Riley holding a Terra Breads Too Good To Go box. Right: the Too Good To Go app.

This Opinion article is part of a Narcity Media series. The views expressed are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Narcity Media.

Here's a four-word horror story: grocery prices in Canada. I live in Vancouver, so it really stings.

Needless to say, there are few things that can brighten my day more than a sweet money-saving hack — so naturally, the Too Good To Go app was a blessing.

The app connects people with stores and restaurants that have extra food, so you can get your eats at a major discount. Because that food would have likely gotten thrown out otherwise, Too Good To Go doubles as a way to reduce waste.

It's pretty simple: download the app, choose one of the nearby restaurants or shops that are on there and order a "surprise bag" of surplus food. The restaurant tells you when to come by and what the regular price would be so you can see how much you're saving (usually, it's a ton).

Then, just go at the scheduled time to pick up your bag full of goodies — and chow down on all the miscellaneous food you scored.

Groceries at Granville Island Public Market.Groceries at Granville Island Public Market.Sierra Riley | Narcity

Obviously, when I heard about this app on TikTok, I had to give it a go for myself. Now that I have, you won't catch me buying full-priced take-out for a while.

It's not just available in Vancouver — people in cities across Canada (and the world) can use the app to get seriously discounted food.

Too Good To Go is set up in Metro Vancouver, the Greater Toronto Area, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, Winnipeg, Calgary and Edmonton. So listen up Canadians, because there are local eats up for grabs on the app for a third of the regular price.

How it works

Upon downloading the app, I was met with an expansive catalogue of restaurants in Vancouver, ranging in cuisine from pizza to pastries.

Screengrab from the Too Good To Go app in Vancouver.Screengrab from the Too Good To Go app in Vancouver.Courtesy of Sierra Riley

Options in my neighbourhood included Fresh Slice, 7-Eleven and Terra Breads (to name a few), the latter of which caught my eye — or at least appealed to my sweet tooth.

Each spot offers up a bundle that can be picked up within a given timeslot (usually a two to three-hour window at the beginning or end of the business day). The bundles are typically a "surprise bag" — you won't know what you're getting, but you will know the value.

For example, Terra Breads had two options: a bread bundle for $4.99 that promised $15 worth of loaves, or an assorted pastry bundle for $7.99 containing goodies valued at $25.

I opted for the second option because saving $17 on an assortment of treats is my idea of heaven.

Terra Breads in Granville Island Market.Terra Breads in Granville Island Market.Sierra Riley | Narcity

Getting your food

I quickly secured the bag from Terra Breads on the app by hitting "reserve" as fast as my thumbs could. My order would be available for pickup the following morning between the hours of 8:30 am and 11:30 am.

Luckily, Vancouver decided to be sunny that morning, so I had a gorgeous walk over to the Granville Island Public Market, where I showed an employee my order screen on the open app.

I swiped to confirm receipt and was delighted to discover a cornucopia of goodies.

Terra Bread Too Good To Go pastries.Terra Bread Too Good To Go pastries.Sierra Riley | Narcity

The label on my little Terra Breads to-go box thanked me for fighting food waste with them (the pleasure was all mine) and gave me instructions on how to best reheat my food.

Inside the box were two mini-focaccia, a brioche bun, an oatmeal cookie, a cheese scone and a cranberry tart.

Terra Bread Too Good To Go pastries.Sierra Riley | Narcity


I enjoyed the cookie right away, but there was honestly more food than I could devour within a reasonable timeframe. I froze some goodies so they'd keep for longer, but made a mental note to do this again in the future before heading to a morning meeting or a pal's house. As the old adage goes, sharing is caring.

I can safely say I'm hooked on Too Good To Go. I love saving money and feeling like I'm doing a little something to reduce waste.

Oh, another tip: I quickly learned that you kind of have to stay on the ball with this app, setting alerts for the places you might be interested in buying from.

These bundles go fast — it's honestly a race to get the good stuff — and the restaurants may only have a single bag up for grabs. If someone books it before you do, you'll have to wait until the next day to get your shot at glory.

Sierra Riley
Contributing Writer, Vancouver
Sierra Riley is a Contributing Writer for Narcity Canada and is based in Vancouver.