‘I bought a Sunday roast destined for the bin and it only cost me £3.29’ – Bethan Shufflebotham

After saving £18 worth of groceries from going to waste at Morrisons, I’ve been refreshing the home page of the Too Good To Go app more than my own Instagram account.

And one of the easier-to-reserve ‘magic bags’ seems to be the roast dinners at Toby Carvery.

Having worked in a country pub which offered Sunday carveries as a teen, I’m well aware of just how much of it winds up in the bin at the end of the shift – and it feels obscene that so much perfectly good food finds itself totally wasted. I can only imagine that the amount of food at a chain franchise is much more.

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Free to download, the Too Good To Go app uses your location services to find venues near you who are partnered with it. Retailers upload a limited number of ‘magic bags’ each day, which are available at a hugely discounted price – with shoppers saving up to 70 per cent on their purchases.

And over the weekend, I was able to get a Toby Carvery roast dinner that was destined for the bin for just £3.29.

The Too Good To Go meals were well packaged and still warm when we got home

Reserving my bag, the app describes the rescued meal as ‘a delicious roast dinner with all the trimmings from Toby Carvery’.

During the week, these carveries cost £7.49, so I was instantly saving not only some food waste, but a cool £4.30, too. But on Saturdays, the meals cost £9.29, rising to £11.49 on Sundays, so a potential saving of up to £8.30.

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I reserved my meal the night before, and was given a collection time between 9pm and 9.30pm the following evening. I thought it a bit late to be eating a whole roast at such a time, but the bags have to go just before the venue closes.

When I pulled onto the car park, it was fairly quiet, with a handful of cars dotted around. But inside, though free of diners, there were already two other food waste fighters waiting for their meals at 9pm on the dot.

Both of them had ordered two meals each – as I had, for myself and my boyfriend. A gentleman walked in behind me, also awaiting his takeaway meal from him.

Unlike at Morrisons, the bags weren’t ready and waiting, but instead made up fresh off the block.

I was handed my bag and already the food smelled great, and I was pretty thrilled to hear that there were pots of gravy included, too.

Back home, I unboxed the roast carvery to see what we got. Inside each plastic container was a decent amount of turkey and a sausage, as well as a huge helping of stuffing, some cauliflower, mash and some sliced ​​potatoes with a bit of cabbage and peas hiding under the Yorkshire pudding.

All of this would have ended up in the bin if it wasn't for Too Good To Go
All of this would have ended up in the bin if it wasn’t for Too Good To Go

I swiftly piled the cabbage and peas onto my partner’s plate to be left with all the ‘best bits’.

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And while it was still warm out of the box, I did give it a quick blast in the microwave to make sure it was piping hot before pouring an entire tub of Toby Carvery gravy all over it.

I was a little gutted to not find any pork crackling, however not surprised as it’s usually the first thing to go on a carvery.

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The turkey was surprisingly not dry, even after sitting on the carvery and going for a spin in the microwave. The mash was harmless, but not as good as my mums, and the stuffing was meaty.

The Yorkshire pudding was amazing, but had gone extremely crisp, so needed soaking in gravy to avoid breaking any fillings.

But the star of the show had to be the gravy. It was so thick and full of flavour, it instantly made this would-be-binned roast 10x better. The quality was as you’d expect from Toby Carvery, you just have to eat it pretty late at night unless you plan to save it for the following day.

I can’t imagine paying full price for a Toby Carvery again, knowing that I can get it for pennies at the end of the day.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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